MEMORIAL to Open Boston Playwrights' Theatre's 2016-17 Season

Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) opens its 2016-17 season with Memorial by Livian Yeh. Running from October 13-23, this new drama is directed by Kelly Galvin.

Memorial is about the then 21-year-old artist and architect Maya Lin, whose "untraditional" memorial was selected in 1981 to commemorate Vietnam veterans on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. An undergraduate at Yale at the time, Lin found herself defending her design for The Wall to veterans, the United States Congress, and even her own parents.

Playwright Yeh-who had considered writing about the architect and artist for some time-attended a lecture given by Lin at Boston University last year.

"After seeing her at BU, I decided she is too amazing not to write about," Yeh says. "She seems so confident. It's hard to believe she ever doubted herself as an artist."

A post-show conversation with Memorial's playwright, director, and cast members will follow the Oct. 15 performance.

Yeh is a member of the Boston University M.F.A. Playwriting Program class of 2017. Her play Nightfall was a co-recipient of the Stephen Lim Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Director Galvin is completing her M.F.A. in Directing, also at Boston University. She has worked with several area theatres, including Shakespeare & Company and the Huntington Theatre Company.

Five of this season's plays were written by the Boston University M.F.A. Playwriting Program class of 2017. Four, including Memorial, will be co-produced with the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre-part of its New Play Initiative-and will feature collaborations between graduate-level playwrights and directors.

BPT's season continues in December with Faithless by Andrew JosepH Clarke; The Atheist by Playwriting faculty member Ronan Noone (in January); The Honey Trap by Leo McGann (February); Franklin by Samantha Noble (March); and Every Piece of Me (April) by Mary Conroy.

Founded in 1981 at Boston University by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) is an award-winning professional theatre dedicated to new works. At the heart of BPT's mission is the production of new plays by alumni of its M.F.A. Playwriting Program, the latter in collaboration with Boston University's renowned School of Theatre. The program's award-winning alumni have been produced in regional and New York houses, as well as in London's West End. BPT's productions have been honored with numerous regional and Boston awards, including 12 IRNE Awards for Best New Script and six Boston Critics' Association Elliot Norton Awards.

The BU New Play Initiative (NPI) expresses the Boston University College of Fine Arts' commitment to the School of Theatre's participation in the development of new work. This special initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theatre. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to utilize the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. The life of these new plays doesn't end on the BU stages. Many New Play Initiative productions are often later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative, including the School of Theatre's professional extension-Boston Center for American Performance.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission. Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts is a top-tier fine arts institution. Comprised of the School of Music, School of Theatre, and School of Visual Arts, CFA offers professional training in the arts in conservatory-style environments for undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students.

LIVIAN YEH is a Taiwanese playwright. Her plays include Nightfall, recipient of the John Golden Playwriting Prize and the Goldberg Playwriting Award from NYU, as well as the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Nightfall was first work shopped at The Goldberg Theatre in collaboration with The Flea Theatre and its resident Acting Company and will be included in Fresh Ink Theatre's 2016-2017 season as part of the Ink Spots Reading Series. Her short plays have appeared at the National Concert Hall in Taipei (Taiwan), Manhattan Repertory Theatre (NYC), 13th Street Repertory Theatre (NYC) and The Cape Cod Theatre Project (MA). She holds a B.F.A. from NYU and is an M.F.A. candidate at Boston University.

Kelly Galvin (director) is completing her M.F.A. in directing at Boston University. Most recently she directed Much Ado About Nothing for The Theater at Woodshill and this winter she will direct The Cherry Orchard at the Boston University Lane-Comley Studio 210. While at BU she has directed The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls, and Changes of Heart. Previously, Kelly served as the artistic associate at WAM Theatre Company in the Berkshires and has been a company member with Shakespeare & Company since 2008 where she works as a director, teacher, and actor. She has served as assistant director to Tina Packer on All's Well That Ends Well and Julius Caesar, held assistantships with Bedlam, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, and Boston Center for American Performance, and recently completed an observership for the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like SugaR. Kelly attended Wellesley College where she studied Theater and Political Theory.


Memorial by Livian Yeh

Directed by Kelly Galvin

October 13-23, 2016

Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

When her "untraditional" memorial is selected to commemorate Vietnam veterans on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., 21-year-old architect Maya Lin finds herself defending it to the veterans, the United States Congress, and even her own parents. As the opposition to her design gains momentum, Maya must make a difficult choice. Should art challenge the way we honor the fallen?

A BU New Play Initiative production, produced by Boston Playwrights' Theatre and the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Adults ($30); BU Faculty/Staff ($25); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)

Subscriptions Available: Playwrights' Pass ($90); Three-Play Flex Pass ($50)

Call 866.811.4111 or visit

Press Night: Saturday, October 15 (8 p.m.)


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