2015 Breaking Ground Festival of New Plays

Breaking Ground is the Huntington Theatre Company's festival of new work, a vital part of our new play development program. The festival highlights the work of local playwrights and presents national writers in partnership with the Huntington. Over the last eight years, Breaking Ground plays have gone on to appear at the Huntington as well as theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally.

Readings are free and open to the public, though not to reviewing members of the press. Advance reservation is required.

The three-day festival included:

“The mix of artists participating in our Breaking Ground festival of new plays is truly thrilling, some old friends and some new to Boston,” says Director of New Work Lisa Timmel. “Our Huntington Playwriting Fellows Sam Marks and Walt McGough have both written trenchant and timely plays. It's a great pleasure to welcome Mat Smart and Liesl Tommy back to the Huntington. And speaking personally, it's especially gratifying to host Michael Lew and Boston University alumnus Moritz Von Steulpnagel, both with whom I worked when they were just starting out. Directors M. Bevin O'Gara and Stella Powell-Jones round out this powerhouse group of artists. This series promises to be three days of serious fun.” 

Plays & Playwrights

  • Non-Player Character by Walt McGough

    Directed by M. Bevin O'Gara
    Thursday, April 23 at 7PM
    South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

    Aspiring video game designer Katja and her longtime friend Trent are an unstoppable team against animated monsters in the virtual underworlds of SpearLight, an online role-playing game. But after a humiliating falling-out, Trent marshals an army of internet trolls to wage real-life war against her. Comic and poignant, Non-Player Character is a timely, boldly theatrical exploration of the games we play and who’s winning.


  • The Royal Society of Antarctica by Mat Smart

    Directed by Liesl Tommy
    Friday, April 24 at 7pm
    South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA 

    Dee is the only person ever born at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Shortly after giving birth, Dee’s mother mysteriously disappeared. Now, 24 years later, Dee returns to the otherworldly brightness at the bottom of the earth to work as a janitor — scrubbing toilets 60 hours a week and discovering something about what it means to disappear.


  • The Department Party by Sam Marks

    Directed by Stella Powell-Jones
    Saturday, April 25 at 2pm
    South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA 

    As a blizzard hits, a graduate student, Frances, finds her affair with a decade-older professor, Jake, collapsing. When Jake ducks out to a faculty party, Frances is left alone at his apartment — until a surprise visitor shows up. The Department Party takes us through one evening’s delicate, nuanced look at sex, small talk, and how different phases in life drastically change our perspective.


  • Tiger Style! by Mike Lew

    Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
    Saturday, April 25 at 7pm
    South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

    Albert and Jennifer Chen were at the pinnacle of academic achievement. But now they suck at adult life. Albert's just been passed up for promotion and Jennifer's been dumped by her loser boyfriend. So they do what any reasonable egghead brother and sister would do and go on an Asian Freedom Tour! From California to Shenzen, Tiger Style! examines the successes and failures of tiger parenting from the point of view of a playwright who's actually been through it.


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