Moonbox Productions has announced that it has selected eleven original plays by local playwrights for its first annual Boston New Works Festival. Moonbox will host the New Works Festival from June 24-26, 2022 at the Boston Center for the Arts.
Over the past year, Moonbox Productions has switched from normal operations to launch this new initiative dedicated to the cultivation of new works by local artists. In response to its request for proposals in fall 2020, Moonbox received sixty-five submissions from local playwrights. From these sixty-five proposals, a diverse jury chose eleven original plays. Over the coming year, the selected submissions will be part of a larger workshop process that will culminate in productions staged at the festival in June 2022.
âNew works have always been on Moonbox’s shortlist, but it wasn’t until COVID – with all of its undeniably disastrous ramifications – that we suddenly found ourselves with time and space to finally dive in,â said the producer Sharman Altshuler. âWe have always sought to endow and broadcast our shows exclusively from the local Boston community, and to be able to extend that commitment now to supporting and showcasing local theater writers and creators is deeply exciting and rewarding. ! The Boston area is teeming with creative talent, and an annual festival will create a fun, accessible, welcoming and exciting event that all communities in the greater Boston area and beyond can participate and enjoy together, âsaid Altshuler.
Playwrights and plays selected for Boston’s first annual New Works Festival include:
It is 1975 in Boston and school buses are fueling racial tensions. William, a community-minded black law student, and Fitzy, a fanatic white man from South Boston, face off at a bar in the dramatic sixth game of the Boston-Cincinnati World Series. After that first meeting, William has little reason to be kind – but when their paths cross again just before the ’78 Sox-Yankees playoff game, William’s unexpected kindness sparks an unlikely friendship. William and Fitzy’s friendship – and their love of baseball – evolves over thirty years of heartbreaking Red Sox near misses … but will it be a match for the systemic racism that defines the city it is? they live?
Kathleen Cahill & Michael Wartofsky – Late, a new musical
First day back. The school was closed, but it is open again. Billie is hiding in the pantry – her hideaway – preparing for the speech she is going to give to the school assembly. Her friends are at the door, telling her she needs to hurry, it’s starting. But what is it? The Assembly? Or the memory of that day? … A day in the life of Billie, Charlotte, Makala, Jake, Katie, Vernell, Ryan, Autumn and Cole. An ordinary American day for nine ordinary American children Only a few survived Late was written as a way of expressing the writer’s grief over the murder of American schoolchildren with gun violence.
Julia is working as an actress in Boston when she receives a frantic summons from her stepmother – her estranged father is on his deathbed. She rushes to his side, only to find him seemingly the same wise grumpy he always has been – only now he’s obsessed with the Italian deli the family visited when Julia was a child. When her father’s health takes another turn for the worse, Julia and her brother Max set out on a quest to find the deli and give their father the sandwich of his dreams. Struggling against the urge to flee her family with the help of a former priest, Julia embarks on a road trip with her family, trying to reconnect with her father as they search for the memory of a mysterious deli that is no longer there. ‘may not even exist.
Kai Clifton – Queens
Queens is a story of four queer black men living in New York City. Through a storytelling that combines poetry, rhythm and song, we follow Sky, Bobbi, Alex and Adrienne as they discover all the juiciness that adulthood has to offer: from career to friendship, to love. and sex. In the midst of it all, they are fighting for their masculinity, facing societal pressures without excuses.
“I hate this school!” echoes through the halls of the Victoria School for Girls, one of America’s oldest unisex institutions. Can a new student, returning alumnus, and school principal change the narrative to show us that single sex schools are relevant? And will they be open to recognition of other genres? Sister School explores the world of a high school just for girls whose time may be up and the girls who will sing their way into the hearts of anyone who’s ever asked the question, “is this the place for me? “
Catherine Giorgetti – Rocky Relations
As the tides change and the waves break, they push and push the rocks on the beach into new and unexpected places. As we descend to see life through the ever-changing perspective of the rocks, we gain new insight into how we, too, are drifting in and out of each other’s lives.
Surrey Houlker – For the fish
It’s 1974 and we’re somewhere in the heart of rural America. Susanna, 13, goes fishing with her uncle every Sunday, and it’s an almost religious respite for both of them. But Susanna’s fierce attachment to animals, absolute contempt for her first name and estrangement from the men in her life keep her precarious between normality and disaster. As the year draws to a close, Susanna and her uncle grow closer, bound by an understanding that very few people in their town will ever share. This piece is an invitation to take a step back from urban “liberal utopias” and a step towards queerness in America’s footnotes.
Nick Malakhow – Affinity Lunch Minutes
Ben and Jasmine are the only two black teachers in Penn Valley, a private Ouaker school. Passionate Jasmine always pushes the boundaries, while “nice” Ben, the Dean of Diversity, has risen through the school ranks never making waves. When a racist disciplinary decision triggers divisions at school, Jasmine and Ben’s collegial relationship – and friendship – will be put to the test.
Jonathan is a young man with autism who works at a big box store the week before Christmas – but as the holiday season heats up, his personal aspirations are at odds with the reality of how he is being treated. Will Jonathan push to keep his job or quit? Will his employer help him succeed or get rid of him? Jonathan confronts what we really believe in America: about adults with disabilities, about jobs, and about the comforts of a retail economy.
Gabby Simone – Limon
Silt is an impossible conversation about unconscious racial violence and how it changes relationships. In an imaginary world without responsibility, the author and the audience confront reality together. Will they – and will the characters choose – recognition or ignorance? Silt offers a stimulating and cathartic experience of racial conflict that is both poetic and disturbing.
Rebecca Wright & Kelvyn Koning – The Prince and the Painter
In this fantastic new musical, The Hero’s Journey meets the sparkle and quirk of the jazz era. After the disappearance of its magic, the land of Fidan collapses. Ylber Sassoun, a young rebellious artist, unwittingly holds the key to his survival – but he’s busy trying to get past his terrible secret. As he struggles, he befriends a movie starlet, his fiancÃ©e, and a weird, serious boy. Can Ylber and his friends unravel the mystery of the vanished magic before their country – and perhaps reality itself – collapses around them?
For more information on the Boston New Works Festival, visit www.moonboxproductions.org.