LEFTOVERS: A PlayLab Public Reading

Sunday, July 9th | 2:30 – 5:00 pm
@ Dudley Cafe, Roxbury

Join us as we ramp up to next summer’s production of LEFTOVERS by Josh Wilder! Get a sneak peek at the script-in-development and meet the playwright at this free public reading — part of C1’s groundbreaking PlayLab program. Your participation helps guide the continued development of the play leading up to its Company One premiere next summer.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required to save your space! CLICK HERE to RSVP.

About LEFTOVERS:
Weeds are a given in the heart of South Philly, but when a giant dandelion sprouts overnight and wishes start falling from the sky, one family begins to see a way out of the cycle of poverty that has governed their lives. For brothers Jalil and Kwamaine, hope is running thin as they wait for the arrival of their absent father—and in time, discover the power of their own dreams and the transformative influence of forgiveness. Seizing the possibility of no longer feeling like the city’s leftovers, the two brothers find themselves on an adventure they never could have dreamed of.

Josh Wilder is a playwright from Philadelphia, PA. His work has been developed at various theaters and festivals across the country including Company One Theatre, The Fire This Time Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, The Drama League, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. His play LEFTOVERS was the recipient of the Holland New Voices Award at The Great Plains Theatre Conference and will be receiving its World Premiere at Company One Theatre in Boston this season. Recent commissions include, Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and THE HIGHWAYMEN at The History Theatre. Josh is a former Jerome Fellow and Many Voices Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis; has been in residence at The Royal Court Theatre; and is currently an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Yale School of Drama.

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THE KING OF LOVE IS DEAD: A PlayLab Reading & Closing Celebration

Wednesday, August 2 | 7:00 pm
Location: Boston Center for the Arts

Join us for a special C1 reading and PlayLab closing celebration! First, get a sneak peek at THE KING OF LOVE IS DEAD, a script-in-development by C1 PlayLab Fellow Liana Asim. Chat with the playwright about her writing process, then join us in celebrating the hard work of this year’s PlayLab cohort with a celebration like no other!

Free and open to the public, but registration is required to save your space. Click here to RSVP!

The King of Love is Dead by Liana Asim
A C1 Reading & PlayLab Closing Celebration

It’s 1968 in Gateway City — a momentous year in American history in an “everyone knows everyone” town. All over the country, the riots, sit-ins, and marches of the Civil Rights Movement rage on; a plea for equality echoing through streets, homes, and hearts. The Jones’ — the epitome of a loving, respectable church going family — find themselves struggling to navigate and uphold a normal life as they are confronted by hate, police brutality, and political corruption. Told through the narration of Crispus, the youngest son in the family, The King of Love is Dead explores whether or not the love of family can prevail when challenged by a discriminatory society trying to tear them apart.

About the playwright:
Liana Asim is a playwright/actor/director. She recently directed the world premiere of family musical, The Hairy Scary for The Outside the Box festival 2016. She was recently seen on stage as Mai Tamba in The Convert at Central Square Theater (winner of the Elliot Norton Award for most Outstanding production.) And also played Marcus Lycus in the Stoneham Theatre production of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum. A 2015 BCA and Company One PlayLab Fellow, her full-length plays include Bedfellows, The King of Love Is Dead, Slut Walk or A Play About Marilyn Monroe, The Hairy Scary (musical co-written w/J. Asim and Joshua Stephen Kartes.) Her work has been developed at BCA/Company One, Boston Theatre Marathon, Fresh Ink Theatre, Davenport Studios NYC, Playwright’s Platform and Emerson College in Boston, MA. She has studied performance art at Northwestern University and screenwriting and playwriting at Emerson College. She is the proud wife of author Jabari Asim, mother to five brilliant children and a grandmother of two delightful grandbabes. She wholeheartedly believes in the power of LIVE theatre to change the world.

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Young Person’s Guide

Young Person’s Guide to:

peerless by Jiehae Park

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PLOT

Twin high school seniors L and M are dead-set on attending not just an Ivy League school, but the Ivy League school, and they think their acceptance is guaranteed. When a rival student emerges, the twins will do anything to knock out the competition—but does that include murder? Mean Girls meets Macbeth in this dark comedy, which sets one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays against the backdrop of competitive college admissions.

THEMES

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

How do you handle rejection?
Should family equate loyalty? Why or Why not?
What scares you the most when you think about your future?
How do you deal with stress?
What causes you stress?
What does a successful student look like to you?

 

DRAMATURGY BLOG

Want a peek into the rehearsal room? Click here to check out our dramaturgy blog for insight into the play and production process. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask a dramaturg!

RESOURCES FOR THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS

Boston Public Library’s College Planning Center
The ASA College Planning Center at the Boston Public Library offers guidance on choosing a college, applying for financial aid and scholarships, managing money, and choosing a major or a career.

College Board 
College Board is dedicated to providing students with resources regarding choosing colleges, applying for financial aid, and registering for the SAT.

Common App
Common App guides students through the College Application process for 700 colleges and institutions.

Early Action V. Early Decision
College Boa
rd article describing the differences between Early Action and Early Decision

 

Here is a list of C1 community partners for peerless that work mainly with youth and/or offer youth programs. Click on the organizations’ names below to learn more about the resources they offer!

Hyde Square Task Force
Breakthrough Greater Boston
Boston University’s Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment (AWARE)
ASPIRE
Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services
Actors’ Shakespeare Project
Boston GLOW

Additional community partners:

Asian American Commission
Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis
Korean Cultural Society of Boston
Pao Arts Center

 

 

 

 


>> For more information about Company One Theatre’s production of peerless, please visit the production page.

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>> STUDIO SESSIONS | peerless at One Chinatown

APRIL 4, 2017 | 7 – 8:30pm
@ One Chinatown, 99 Albany Street, Boston MA
>>CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Part happy hour, part exploration of the rehearsal process, Studio Sessions is an opportunity to interact with our production of PEERLESS by Jiehae Park prior to opening night.

We will be meeting at One Chinatown for snacks and a cash bar, followed by an open rehearsal of PEERLESS. After the rehearsal, we’ll be diving into a conversation with the cast and artistic team about the play and our exciting collaboration with the Boston Public Library.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required to save your space!
Complimentary snacks, cash bar.

About PEERLESS:
Twin high school seniors L and M are dead-set on attending not just an Ivy League school, but the Ivy League school. With their perfect SAT scores, perfect hair, and “perfect” minority status,  they think acceptance should be guaranteed. When a rival student emerges with a personal tragedy to make an admissions officer weep, however, the twins will do anything to knock out the competition. Does that include murder most foul? Mean Girls meets Macbeth in this dark comedy, which sets one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays against the backdrop of competitive college admissions.

THE CITY TALKS AT THE MFA | artivism

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March 8th  | 7:00 – 8:30 pm
@ the Museum of Fine Arts
FREE

Artivism: How Does the Creative Community Motivate Boston to Take Action?

Artivism provides creators with opportunities to address social issues through art, building and promoting community action. Join Boston-area thinkers, institutions, entrepreneurs, activists, city officials, and artists at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for a discussion inspired by themes in “Political Intent,” on view through July 30.

Our moderator will be C1’s Director of New Work, Ilana M. Brownstein. 

Panelists include:
• Summer L. Williams, associate artistic director, Company One Theatre
• Lori Lobenstine, program design lead, Design Studio for Social Intervention
• Stella Aguirre McGregor, founder and executive artistic director, The Urbano Project

>>Click Here to Learn More!

>>STUDIO SESSIONS | REALLY AT SOWA

January 11th | 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Gallery Kayafas and Matter & Light Fine Art

Part happy hour, part exploration of the rehearsal process, Studio Sessions is an opportunity to interact with our productions prior to opening night. We will be meeting at Gallery Kayafas first at 7pm, and headed to Matter & Light at around 7:30pm for the rehearsal and conversation with the cast and artistic team. Join us for a portion of the evening, or the entire event.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required to save your space>>http://bit.ly/2j8gkwv

>>WHAT CAN WE DO RIGHT NOW? | POST-ELECTION ACTION ITEMS

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With a significant change in our country’s leadership, there is concern for our city and nation’s most vulnerable communities. Since many of us at times can feel powerless, our dramaturgs and engagement staff are continually compiling resources that may empower us all to fight against our changing government. We will periodically share this ever growing list of events, protests, volunteer opportunities, and community meetings  many of which are hosted by our peers in the #BosArts community so that together we can set our nation on a course towards inclusivity and safety for all its citizens. These lists will include a range of post-election resources, from concrete action items to performances centered around issues of social justice. If you would like to submit an event or resource, please email hspivey@companyone.org.

 

 

>>POST-SHOW PROGRAMMING | REALLY

Want to extend your #RevoltWithC1 experience? There will be post-show programming following every Thursday evening performance and select matinees!

>>Performing the Revolution: A Conversation with Director Summer L. Williams and the #RevoltWithC1 Cast

Thursday, October 27th, following the 7:30pm performance

Curious about the artistic process of #RevoltWithC1? Stick around after the show to speak with Summer L. Williams and the cast. 

 

>> PlayLab Panel and Kick-off Party

Sunday, October 30th, following the 2:00pm Pay-What-You-Want performance

Join incoming PlayLab participants for a panel discussion on all things playwriting, followed by a kick-off party for the new play program.

 

>> Smashing the Patriarchy: A Panel

Thursday, November 3rd, following the 7:30pm performance

Stick around after the show for a panel discussion on the themes of REVOLT – A little #MasculinitySo Fragile, some #EffYourBeautyStandards, and a whole lot of #SmashThePatriarchy. Panelists include: Linda Luz-Alterman from Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, Nicole Mazzeo from Pleasure Pie, Day Marcucci of Boston Feminists for Liberation, and Professor Erika Williams from Emerson College.

 

>> Zine-Making Workshop

Thursday, November 10th, following the 7:30pm performance

Feeling woke? Feeling creative? Channel that energy in a zine making workshop led by our friends at Pleasure Pie and Boston Feminists for Liberation.

 

>>Smashing the Patriarchy (Again): A Panel

Thursday, November 11th, following the 7:30pm performance

Stick around after the show for a panel discussion on the themes of REVOLT – A little #MasculinitySo Fragile, some #EffYourBeautyStandards, and a whole lot of #SmashThePatriarchy. Panelists include: Linda Luz-Alterman from Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, Day Marcucci and Nicole from Boston Feminists for Liberation, and Professors Erika Williams and Claudia Castaneda from Emerson College.

>>Imagining our Future: A Conversation with Summer L. Williams

Company One Theatre production Dramaturg Jessie Baxter sat down with Director Summer L. Williams to talk about the Revolt. She said. Revolt again. rehearsal process and what life might look like for women in a world without patriarchy.

What grabbed you when you first read the script and made you think, “This is a project I need to work on?” 

SLW: I love when I read something and it feels like I don’t actually know how to read anymore — that was my first experience reading this piece. On the page it made wonder who was meant to be speaking, and who I wanted to be speaking. It made me think about the bodies that the words inhabit, and the effect those bodies have on the words. I loved that it was so open, because I could create a vision for it in my head. It was so malleable that it was scary, and anything that’s super scary feels like the thing I want to do.

What do you think the expectations might be for audiences coming to see this play? What ideas do you hope to upend?

SLW: I think the expectation might be that this is a play about some badass women who are doing some badass things in the name of feminism or women’s rights. What one might not expect is the darkness that surrounds all that. I think Alice is offering an entry point into a conversation about what it means to be a woman, and the particular ways society feels women should behave, but that idea can’t actually be explored without including the nastiness behind all of it.

It’s about walking that line of confident badassery, but also showing the vulnerability. There has to be both.  

SLW: Right. This is not necessarily the emblem I hold highest for feminism, but the thing that struck me about Beyoncé’s recent, acclaimed visual album Lemonade was here she is, hot sauce in her bag, skipping around in her Oshun yellow dress, owning shit and kicking ass. But also, several moments later, she wants to reconcile with this man who hurt her so deeply, but who she loves so profoundly. And she understands that it’s cyclical, because she watched her father do the same thing to her mother, but understands the love they carried for each other and for their children. It’s a really full package, and we don’t always talk about how heavy that package is: to want to walk confidently and boldly in the world, but also needing to reconcile your heart within all of that too.

I think this play also asks us to think about what life as a woman looks like now, versus x-number of years from now. How are you thinking about that question?

SLW: It makes me think of a text exchange between a mother and daughter that recently went viral, where the mother prompts the daughter at the end of the exchange, “Which is why we…?” And the daughter responds, “SMASH THE PATRIARCHY.” That feels wildly new to me, and I’m not that old, so I know that means something about the time we’re in now and about the time that the play is maybe urging us towards. In thinking about the history of women, or the history of any group of people who have been marginalized or objectified in some way, there have been points in time where it feels like, “Now is the time to seize this new thing, to further whatever it is we are trying to do.” This feels like one of those moments to me, to smash the patriarchy. I don’t think I knew what patriarchy was when I was thirteen.

When we look at mainstream feminist history, and how it’s separated into waves, those waves were generally confined to a single generation. There’s something about this current moment, and I’m sure social media is a huge part of it, where women from different age groups, geographic regions, economic backgrounds, and racial backgrounds are connecting more than before. It feels like there’s a real conversation happening about what it means to be intersectional – to take race, class, and ability into account as we discuss gender dynamics – and I wonder how that will play out in the years to come. As we’ve been talking about that possible future in rehearsal, we’ve been exploring the ideas of AFROPUNK and AFROFUTURISM. Can you talk about why those concepts are important to this process?

SLW: Number one, it has a lot to do with my own lens, right? As a black woman, the first time I read the play I thought, “This is an awesome play, but I don’t hear or see myself in it.” I had to think about what I, conceptually, needed to be able to see or hear myself in it. That’s what brought me to afropunk and afrofuturism. The afrofuturism piece helps me see myself in it. I want to know that, even if we’re moving to a total dystopian future, I want to know that I’m there! I don’t want to be in District Eleven (the district where the black citizens live in The Hunger Games, a dystopian adventure trilogy of books and films). I want to know that I’m part of something; we’re all in something together.

Afrofuturism creates the opportunity to recognize how the past has influenced our path, and how we can make different choices to get to a better future. One of the core tenets in afropunk is there are no phobias; the idea is that you are welcome as the exact person you are in this moment, come as you are. That idea feels important to the feminist future and feels deeply resonant to me. One of the ways we all figure out who we are is in how we present ourselves to the outside world, in terms of our style and our choices. Some people want brightly colored hair, and some people want to wear skirts that are down to their ankles, right? And there has to be room for both to exist in the same space, without one being critical of the other.

One of the big questions we have been asking in this process is, what does the world look like if patriarchy doesn’t exist? What might a feminist utopia look like to you?  These are some big questions.

SLW: I think my very simple answer is, if sometime in the not so distant future, every single female-born or female-decided person, from the moment of their conception, whatever that is for them, understands that their worth is not measured by anything that has to do with their body. That the value of their life doesn’t have to pass some sort of test. If every single person can feel, immediately and continually, that they were enough. That, as a start, is my feminist utopia. And that’s not to say that I don’t think men grapple with those issues, I believe that they do, but I think when women are grappling with those issues they tear themselves up inside. If we could just figure out how to eradicate the mechanisms that have been created that make us want to tear ourselves up inside, that would, in my mind, be the place we are trying to go. So it’s not at all about women and their relationships to men. It’s about edifying, fortifying women and their relationship to themselves, so they are able to hold the space they are in confidently, without external forces trying to chip away at it.

Great, I think we nailed it. Let’s go do that.

 REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. By Alice Birch, Directed by Summer L. Williams. Oct. 21-Nov. 19. Company One Theatre. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org Tickets start at $15.

>>Grown-Up StoryTime + WE’RE GONNA DIE at Oberon

Company One Theatre is teaming up with GUST to host a night of storytelling at ART’s Club Oberon in Harvard Square after a performance of WE’RE GONNA DIE, featuring Obehi Janice, on Wednesday, October 5th! WE’RE GONNA DIE is the first half of the evening. GUST is taking over for the second half. What does this mean? For one – mark you calendars for October 5th. Two – Get your tickets.

Rules for GUST are the same: Under 1800 words (hint: even shorter tends to read better), fact or fiction (or everything in between) is welcome. Send them in to BostonGUST@bootown.org by Wednesday, September 28th. Feel free to message us or email us with any questions. Can’t wait.

New to GUST? Here are the deets:
BooTown Boston presents GUST: an hour of funny, heartwarming, crazy, amazing stories read aloud. We take short stories (fact, fiction, and everything in between) written by local writers and pair them with local readers who bring them to life once a month at Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville, MA.