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SpeakEasy Stage Company to Present Boston Premiere of HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING by Will Arbery in September

Set one week after the Charlottesville riots in 2017, the play focuses on four friends who gather in a Wyoming backyard to gossip and reminisce.

SpeakEasy Stage Company to Present Boston Premiere of HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING by Will Arbery in September

From September 9 to October 8, 2022, SpeakEasy Stage Company will present the Boston premiere of the provocative drama HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING by Will Arbery.

Set one week after the Charlottesville riots in 2017, the play focuses on four friends who gather in a Wyoming backyard to gossip and reminisce. They've assembled to honor Gina, their mentor and the newly inaugurated president of a far-right Catholic university, of which they are all alumni. But as their celebration carries deep into the night, the reunion explodes into vicious insults, political accusations, and stunning revelations. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal, as "a work of singular distinction for which the word 'remarkable' is, if anything, an understatement," HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING is a daring look at the heart of a country at war with itself.

Will Arbery describes himself as a playwright from Texas + Wyoming + seven sisters. His play HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING premiered at Playwrights Horizons in Fall 2019 and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play also won numerous awards, including the 2020 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. Most recently, his play Corsicana premiered at Playwrights Horizons in summer 2022; and his play Evanston Salt Costs Climbing will have its New York premiere at The New Group this fall. In television, Mr. Arbery is a writer on HBO's Succession.

Actor/director Marianna Bassham will helm this Boston premiere production of HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING, having previous directly Every Brilliant Thing for SpeakEasy. Most recently, Ms. Bassham won the 2022 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for her work in SpeakEasy's New England Premiere production of People, Places & Things. "This play challenges me-as an artist, and as a liberal woman in America," said Ms. Bassham in a recent interview. "While these characters might represent certain Christian archetypes, they are also human, complex, messy people that I love in spite of myself. The play snuck up on me emotionally; I was gutted."

Norton Award-winner Karen MacDonald heads a top-notch Boston cast that includes Dayna Cousins, Jesse Hinson, Nathan Malin, and Elise Piliponis.

The design team is Baron E. Pugh (scenic); Rachel Padula-Shufelt (costumes); Jeff Adelberg (lighting); and Elizabeth Cahill (sound). Thomas M. Kauffman is the Production Stage Manager.

HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING will run for five weeks, from September 9 through October 8 2022, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston's South End.

Ticket prices start at $25, with discounts for students, seniors, and people age 25 and under. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call BostonTheatreScene Ticketing Services at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

About the Playwright

Will Arbery is a playwright from Texas + Wyoming + seven sisters.

His play Evanston Salt Costs Climbing will be having its New York premiere at The New Group in Fall 2022. His play Corsicana premiered at Playwrights Horizons in Summer 2022 in a production directed by Sam Gold.

His play HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING premiered at Playwrights Horizons in Fall 2019 and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and winner of numerous awards, including the 2020 Obie Award for Playwriting, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award. Arbery also won the Whiting Award for Drama in 2020.

In addition to Evanston Salt Costs Climbing, Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Corsicana, Will's other plays include: Plano (Clubbed Thumb); You Hateful Things (NYTW Dartmouth Residency); and Wheelchair (3 Hole Press). He's currently under commission from Playwrights Horizons, MTC, and Audible. He's a member/alum of New Dramatists, The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Page 73's Interstate 73, Colt Coeur, Youngblood, and Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers Group. His plays have been developed at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, The Vineyard, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Cape Cod Theater Project, The New Group, EST/Youngblood, The Bushwick Starr, Alliance/Kendeda, and Tofte Lake Center.

In television, he is a writer on HBO's Succession. (he/him)

About the Director

Marianna Bassham (Director) is so excited to be back at SpeakEasy, having previously directed Every Brilliant Thing. Acting at SpeakEasy: Blackbird (Norton Award); A Future Perfect; Reckless; In The Next Room (or the vibrator play); Admissions; Hand to God; Small Mouth Sounds (live as the unseen teacher!); and People Places & Things (Norton Award). She has also appeared with the Huntington, Playwrights Horizons, Actors' Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Underground Railway Theater, Greater Boston Stage Company, and others. Marianna teaches acting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. (she/her)

Actor Information

DAYNA COUSINS (Teresa) returns to SpeakEasy having previously appeared in People, Places & Things. She is currently the Director of Admissions at the School of Theatre at Boston University, from which she received her MFA in Theatre Education. Dayna sends endless love and gratitude to her family, as her artistic career would not be possible without their constant support and homemade lunches. www.daynacousins.com (she/her)

JESSE HINSON* (Justin) returns to SpeakEasy having last appeared in Shakespeare in Love. He is a Boston-based actor, educator, violence designer, and intimacy choreographer, and also a member of the Actors' Shakespeare Project's Resident Acting Company. Recent credits include Incels and Other Myths (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); The Merchant of Venice (ASP); The Thanksgiving Play (Lyric Stage); and Cymbeline (Commonwealth Shakespeare). Jesse is an Associate Teaching Professor and the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Department of Theatre at Northeastern University. (he/him)

Karen MacDonald* (Gina) has been an actor, director, and teacher in the Boston area for many years. Her SpeakEasy credits include Drowsy in The Drowsy Chaperone, Polly in Other Desert Cities, and Rose in The Children (the run of which was cut short in 2020 by the onset of COVID-19). On Broadway, Karen understudied and performed the role of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, directed by John Tiffany. She has also appeared at Theatre for A New Audience, The Roundabout Theatre, and Second Stage. In the New England area, she has appeared at the Huntington Theatre (most recently in Common Ground Revisited), Merrimack Rep, Hartford Stage, Trinity Rep, Gamm Theatre, Lyric Stage, Boston Theatre Company, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, Greater Boston Stage Company, Gloucester Stage, Israeli Stage, New Rep, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company among others. Karen is a Founding Company Member of The American Repertory Theatre, where she appeared in 73 productions. She has also worked nationally from The Wilma Theatre to Berkeley Rep. Karen has received several Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for her performances, as well as the Robert Brustein Prize for Sustained Achievement in the Theatre and the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. She is the recipient of a Fox Fellow/TCG grant, in partnership with the Merrimack Rep Theatre. Karen is a graduate of Boston University and a Lecturer at Harvard University. (she/her)

NATHAN MALIN* (Kevin) returns to SpeakEasy after appearing in Admissions and The Sound Inside. A New York- and Boston-based actor and director, Nathan's acting credits include Witness (Arlekin Players); The Crucible (u/s, Bedlam); Vanity Fair, The Happy Prince/Matchless (u/s, Underground Railway Theater); 1984, The Lathe of Heaven (Boston University); Maura Dunne (The Poets' Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Actors' Shakespeare Project); Much Ado About Nothing (Boston Theatre Company). Training: Boston University, Shakespeare & Company. www.nathan-malin.com. (he/him)

ELISE PILIPONIS (Emily) is thrilled to be making her SpeakEasy Stage debut alongside such an inspiring cast and creative team! Originally from Nashville, Elise is a recent graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a BA in Theatre and Communication Studies and appeared in The Bacchae (Agaue), The Wolves (#2), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Gladys). Elise recently completed an Artist Residency with the Chelsea Theatre Works, where she collaborated with director Devon Whitney to create and perform the debut of her one-woman show: Strawberry Princess. She is grateful to her family and friends for all their love and support! (she/her)

For tickets or more information on HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING, the public can call BostonTheatreScene Audience Services at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

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