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Lyric Stage Company Of Boston Presents THE GREENWAY SERIES

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For this second round of Walking Plays, the Lyric Stage is collaborating with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Lyric Stage Company Of Boston Presents THE GREENWAY SERIES

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston has announced its continuation of the Walking Plays audio series titled, The Greenway Series. For this second round of Walking Plays, the Lyric Stage is collaborating with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, the non-profit responsible for the management and care of The Greenway, a contemporary public park located across several Downtown Boston neighborhoods. The Greenway Series begins in July.

Earlier this year, the Lyric Stage created the Walking Plays audio play series, which provides a way for audiences to explore both the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of Boston and the joy of theatre beyond the Lyric Stage doors. The Copley Square Series commissioned six 10- to 15-minute plays exploring the private moments we experience in public. Listeners can use maps provided by the Lyric Stage to walk along with the plays or to listen to them from their own homes. The series took audiences through several beloved landmarks and areas in downtown Boston, including the heart of Copley Square, the Public Gardens, Quincy Market, Chinatown, and the Back Bay.

The success of the Walking Plays inspired the Lyric Stage to dedicate future series to other Boston neighborhoods, including this summer's Greenway Series.

Executive Director Matt Chapuran said, "Early into this project, we realized that there might be a larger ambition at work. We started to imagine commissioning new plays every year, discovering and rediscovering different neighborhoods of Boston. We hope these plays snake through all of Boston's main avenues and hidden corners, knitting the city more closely together."

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a linear public park that stretches along several Downtown Boston neighborhoods, including Chinatown, the Financial District, and the North End. The Greenway consists of organically landscaped gardens, promenades, fountains, and public art exhibitions for everyone to enjoy and admire.

"The Lyric Stage and the Greenway Conservancy both provide meaningful cultural opportunities and connection for Boston residents and visitors, " said Conservancy Executive Director Chris Cook, who performed at the Lyric Stage in its 2002 production of Epic Proportions. "We're delighted that audiences will reconnect to The Greenway through the unique experience of Walking Plays this summer."

The Greenway Series of Walking Plays will feature three 10-15 minute plays. Premiering in early July will be the first play titled Walking It Off, written by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro and directed by Michelle Aguillon. Alfaro has been produced by many theaters, including the Huntington Theatre, Pan Asian Repertory (N.Y.C.), East West Players (L.A.), Magic Theater (S.F.), La MaMa (N.Y.C.), and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She wrote and narrated the documentary Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place, directed by Leita Luchetti, (the Smithsonian Institution and PBS Seattle). She was a Huntington Playwriting Fellow (2010) and MCC Artist Fellow in Playwriting (2011). Her shorter plays have been produced in venues like the Boston Theatre Marathon, the Umbrella Stage, and Me & My Masks and anthologized by Baker's Plays, Heinemann, Meriwether, PlaySource, Smith and Kraus, in vivo Ink, and Charta Books. A member of MUTT, a Pack of Playwrights, and the Asian American Playwright Collective, she was named to the 2020 inaugural group of 20 Cambridge Cultural Visionaries by the Cambridge Community Foundation.

"Writing Walking It Off as part of a larger series was challenging for me because I think of playwriting as a solitary activity until rehearsals and production," said Alfaro. "I'm usually more alert to inner than exterior space, and I was also not that familiar with the Rose Kennedy Greenway. In the end I found the project very rewarding for the same reasons."

The series continues with Hummingbird, written by Kirsten Greenidge and directed by Michelle Aguillon that will be released mid-July. Kirsten Greenidge's plays are best described as works that place hyper realism on stage as they examine the nexus of race, class, gender, and the black experience. Recently recognized as playwright laureate of Boston by Roxbury Community College, she is the author of Feeding Beatrice (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Common Ground Revisited, co-conceived with Melia Bensussen, which is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name by J. Anthony Lukas, Our Daughters, Like Pillars (The Huntington), Greater Good (co-produced by Company One Theatre and The American Repertory Theatre), Baltimore, a commission from the Big Ten Consortium at the University of Iowa, Bud Not Buddy, an adaptation of the children's novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, with music by Terence Blanchard, The Luck of the Irish, and Milk Like Sugar, which was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award and received an Independent Reviewers of New England Award, a San Diego Critics Award, and a Village Voice Obie Award, among others. Other plays include Little Row Boat: or, Conjecture, Bossa Nova (Yale Rep) and Sansculottes in the Promised Land (Humana Festival/Actors Theatre of Louisville). She's enjoyed development experiences at the Family Residency at the Space at Ryder Farm, the Huntington's Summer Play Festival, Cleveland Playhouse as the 2016 Roe Green New Play Award recipient, The Goodman, Denver Center, Sundance, Bay Area Playwright's Festival, Sundance at Ucross, and the O'Neill. Kirsten is currently working on commissions from The American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.), The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse (To the Quick), and Oregon Shakespeare American Revolutions Project (Roll, Belinda, Roll). A recent PEN/Laura Pels Playwriting Award recipient and current Andrew W. Mellon/Howlround Fellow, she is an alum of New Dramatists, and has proudly graced the Kilroys list of New Plays by women and women identified playwrights several years running. She attended the Playwright's Workshop at the University of Iowa and Wesleyan University and oversees the BFA playwriting track at Boston University's School of Theatre where she is Co-Chair of Performance and Chair of Theatre Arts.

"I hope listeners take away the idea that all of us, even when we are older, need play in our lives," said Greenidge. "There are many ways to play. But all of us need to smile and to laugh, especially when the world feels as if it is bearing down on us."

The Walking Plays Greenway Series will conclude in early August with Mother's Day written by John Minigan and directed by Rosalind Bevan. Minigan is a recent Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing and New Repertory Theatre Playwriting Fellow. He has developed new work with Urban Stages, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Portland Stage Company, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Queen of Sad Mischance was a 2020 winner of the New American Voices Festival and the 2019 Clauder Competition. Noir Hamlet was a Boston Globe Critics' Pick and an EDGEMedia Best of Boston Theater for 2018. His work is included in the Best American Short Plays, Best Ten-Minute Short Plays, and New England New Plays anthologies, and published by YouthPLAYS, Smith Scripts, and Theatrefolk. He is on the faculties of Emerson College and the Hanover Theatre Conservatory and serves as Dramatists Guild Ambassador for Eastern New England.

"I realized on the first day I walked the route of the play, on a gorgeous afternoon in April, that I hadn't actually set foot in Boston since February of 2020," said Minigan. "So the ideas of what it means to come out of isolation, to re-enter the world after being quarantined from it, to bring to light things that we hide in order to 'stay safe'... All that kept tugging at me as I wrote."

The Walking Plays Greenway Series will be available for free on the Lyric Stage website, as well as on Soundcloud and the Apple Podcast app.

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston thanks our sponsors for making the Walking Plays possible: our media partner WBUR, our Greenway Series sponsor First Republic Bank, and our generous season sponsors Diana & Lee Humphrey and Bank of America.

"WBUR is pleased to team up with local organizations like Lyric Stage who contribute to the vibrancy of the city of Boston," said Pete Matthews, Executive Director of Business Partnerships at WBUR. "We know that audio is a powerful tool for storytelling and are excited for listeners to engage in The Greenway Series Walking Plays this summer."


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