Holy cow. Ten straight hours of theater. I did. I sat through every single play. I have twenty-seven solid pages of notes, half a page for each play: all fifty-four of them. Here are some things that I learned:
Boston has some a-m-a-z-i-n-g actors. While I definitely saw familiar faces and friends, they were few and far between. Instead I was delighted by performer after performer after performer I had never seen before do some great great work. Watching it all had some terrifying implications for myself as an actor. Granted I know more than a few of them were equity, and that’s not happening any time soon for yours truly, but STILL. Wowza.
This town’s also got some amazing playwrights. There were many great, and I’m talking GREAT plays. Plays I would be thrilled to see performed again. Obviously much credit has to be given to the actors and director, but the plays were legitimately surprising and subtle and poignant and laugh out loud funny. I can’t think of the last play I saw that had me laugh as much as I did at so many of the absolutely terrific pieces presented at the Calderwood this afternoon/evening.
It didn’t feel like ten hours. Granted, I was smart. I packed snacks and three bottles of water. Also, I am somehow part-camel and never needed to use the bathroom which is good because:
Some of the intermission breaks are short. There were a few hours where six plays were crammed into the itinerary instead of just five and one particular break seemed to have been less than sixty seconds, just enough time to let people flee into and out of the theater.
The plays were uniformly good. I can count on one hand with some digits left over the plays that I flat out didn’t like. But the plays that I loved? I can’t count them all on BOTH hands. I’m going to obviously be posting individual reviews soon (though I think I’ll organize my posts into the hour chunks, reviewing five (sometimes six) plays at a time) but here are my top fifteen favorites in some particular order:
Peggy’s Properties by MJ Halberstadt
New Construction by Gayle Hanrahan
Ashley’s Lament by Marc C. Clopton
The Maltese Walter by John Minigan
Love, Dad by Richard Dresser
The Doppler of My Heart by Rick Park
Film Appreciation by David Susman
Webbed Hands by Cecelia Raker
Lifetime Achievement by Jack Neary
Fracking with Walt Whitman by Gregory Hischak
The End by Nate Krieger and Gus Viveiros
Baggage by Theresa Rebeck
Giving and Taking by Greg Lam
Deep Love of Nightgowns by Haley Jakobson
Drinks Before Flight by Lisa Kenner Grissom
I had so much fun and I can’t thank the Boston Playwright’s Theater for putting on such a crazy but crazy marvelous event. I can’t wait for next year!