HPF "iPlays": Boston Writers Take On Audio Plays

by:  Charles Haugland at 05/03/2010

For the Emerging America Festival, we issued an audio play challenge to all the current and former members of the Huntington Playwriting Fellowsprogram. In collaboration with the other participating organizations, we gave them a few restrictions and ideas.

The only non-negotiables were that we wanted:

  • an audio “play”
  • less than ten minutes
  • performed in the playwright’s own voice
  • designed to be listened to in the close vicinity of one of the three participating venues: the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End, the ART in Harvard Square, and the ICA at the Harbor

Seven playwrights took us up on the challenge. What has been fascinating about the process is how differently each playwright interpreted the challenge. Listening to all seven becomes a tasting menu of these playwrights’ voices, one where the site-specific restrictions of the challenge bring out each playwright’s unique spin and point of view. And, because it is recorded in the playwright's own voice, you get a chance to hear their work just the way they imagine it.

The plays went live yesterday. To listen, download them as podcasts at OR listen to them the weekend of the festival (May 14-16, 2010) by calling 215.525.1043 where an audio menu will guide you. There are also podcasts from our partners at the ICA and (coming soon) the ART.

Here's a sneak peek at each of the HPFs' plays:

I AM NOT INVISIBLE (5:51) by Pat Gabridge (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen on the brick plaza in front of the BCA.
Maybe you should pay more attention to the people behind you in the supermarket. You might have ignored and pissed off the wrong man, someone who has chosen to creep closer. Much closer.

JILL AND DELILAH (6:59) by Kirsten Greenidge (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen in Harvard Square, standing next to the Co-op.
Eavesdrop on a private conversation between sisters, and examine the space between checking out of your life and checking back in again.
Performed with actress Marvelyn McFarlane

TEA (7:12) by MJ Kaufman (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen on the wooden steps behind the ICA, facing the harbor.
Slippage abounds between two very different "tea parties." Found text blurs the line between the dissenters and the terrorists, your patriotism and your ambivalence.

FLANNERY O'CONNOR GOOGLE (7:14) by John Kuntz (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen on the wooden steps behind the ICA, facing the harbor.
John Kuntz is talking directly to you. But, is that really John Kuntz? And, is that really you? And, what about the things he asks you to do...?

HELEN HANGS UP (10:14) by Ryan Landry (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen in the Eagle, drinking at the bar.
A few cocktails (and this short monologue) will give you all the courage it takes to drunk dial your ex and let 'em have it!

HAL'S HAVEN (8:20) by Rebekah Maggor (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen in the passageway adjacent to number 2 Arrow Street in Cambridge between Mt. Auburn Street and Massachusetts Avenue.
Your neighborhood changes when a nightclub moves in. One local grandmother takes a late night stand against ivy-league party kids and drunken professionals.

REAL TIME ENCOUNTER (2:45) by Ken Urban (Huntington Playwriting Fellow)
Listen in the MBTA Station at Back Bay, Dartmouth entrance.
Wait patiently in the station to meet up with Pat. Or, at least he told you that was his name online.

Peter DuBois also gives an irreverent and epicurean walking tour of the South End, where he lives. Check it out, too: 

WALKING TOUR (21:29) with Peter DuBois (Artistic Director of the Huntington Theatre Company)
Begin at the Calderwood Pavilion, hub for HTC Emerging America events
Join Peter DuBois for stories about his home turf from stores to parks to restaurants. Watch out for large birds and firefighters. And your waistline.


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Lisa Timmel,  Bevin O'Gara, and Charles Haugland share their thoughts on New Plays, Dramatury, and their experience sharing nightly conversations with the audiences that come to see our shows. Get the inside scoop of new scripts and play development!

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