The Lyric Stage Company Of Boston Announces WALKING PLAYS Audio Play Series

The Walking Plays provide 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.

By: Jan. 12, 2021

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston has announced its newest development: the Walking Plays audio play series. Artistic Director Courtney O'Connor said, "In a world where people are unable to experience the beauty of live theatre, we've created the Walking Plays as a way to bring a form of live theatre to them."

The Walking Plays provide 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. This series will commission six 10- to 15-minute plays exploring private moments we experience in public. Listeners will be able to use maps provided by the Lyric Stage to walk along with the plays or to listen to them from their own homes. Together, the plays will form a loop beginning in Copley Square, winding through the city, and ending at a special location in the Back Bay. The plays will be available for free on the Lyric Stage's website.

The Walking Plays will include "Easter eggs" throughout the walk, which will add another level of enjoyment for listeners. Executive Director Matt Chapuran said that, "It's a great chance for people who are unfamiliar with the city of Boston to learn more about what makes it so special. Or a chance to fall in love with the city all over again."

The series premieres on January 15 with the release of On Paying Attention by David Valdes, a Cuban-American playwright interested in stories of personal identity, especially global majority and LGBTQ experiences. He teaches playwriting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, as well as English at Tufts University.

"I was excited to collaborate with the Lyric on a project that would reflect the diversity of the city, both in creators and creations," said Valdes. "At the same time, spending time on my part of the route introduced me to sights I had never noticed, helping me re-see places that I knew."

The series continues with Monster in the Sky by Ginger Lazarus. Lazarus is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose works have been featured in her native Boston area, around the country, and across the pond in London. She holds a master's degree in playwriting from Boston University and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

"I relished the opportunity to physically connect with Boston after not setting foot in it for months," said Lazarus. "Walking the route of my play was an adventure in itself-tuning into each sight and sound and finding the story in it."

The remaining four plays will be released in two batches later in the winter and spring.

The third play in the series, Kill the Dogs, Knock Them Over!, is by Liana Asim. Asim is a playwright, actor, and director, as well as a Founding Playwright-In-Residence for Resilience Arts Collective. Her work has been developed at BCA/Company One, Boston Theatre Marathon, Fresh Ink Theatre, Davenport Studios NYC, Playwright's Platform and Emerson College. Asim studied performance art at Northwestern University and screenwriting and playwriting at Emerson College.

Following Kill the Dogs, Knock Them Over! is Secure the Shadow by Miranda ADEkoje. ADEkoje is a stage and screenwriter, as well as a producer and actress. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in literature and cultures in English, after which she trained in London at the Rose Bruford college for Drama and received a Master's degree with Distinction in Theatre Practices. ADEkoje has also performed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Theatre Royal Stratford. Currently she is a writer, director and producer for the Boston-based Production company, Beyond MEASURE Productions.

Living Water by Melinda Lopez is the penultimate piece in the series. Lopez is a playwright, actress, and educator that aims to create complex Latina women and put them center stage. She is the playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre, and part of the Mellon Foundations National Playwright Residency Program. Lopez also teaches playwriting at Boston University and Wellesley College.

This series of the Walking Plays comes to a close with Monstrat Viam by Pat Gabridge. Gabridge is a playwright, producer, screenwriter, and novelist based in Boston. He has been a playwriting fellow with the Huntington Theatre Company and New Rep in Boston. Gabridge has helped found many organizations such as the Rhombus Playwright's Group, the Playwrights' Submission Binge, and the Bare Bones Theatre Company in New York. In 2013, he co-founded the New England New Play Alliance and still serves as its coordinator. In 2018, Gabridge founded Plays in Place, a theatre company that specializes in creating site-specific work in partnership with museums, historical sites, and cultural institutions.

The Walking Plays will be available for free on the Lyric Stage website, as well as on Soundcloud and the Apple Podcast app. The Walking Plays is a program that the Lyric Stage hopes to continue in the future. "If this continues in the future, we hope to expand to more neighborhoods in the Boston area, like Mattapan or Dorchester, or perhaps longer stretches, like the Southwest Corridor Trail," said Chapuran.