Once Nunnery-Bound, Theresa Is a Newlywed in New MA Play

News   Once Nunnery-Bound, Theresa Is a Newlywed in New MA Play
 
Village Theatre Project, in collaboration with Boston Playwrights' Theatre, launched the world premiere of Boston playwright Janet Kenney's Theresa at Home in Boston March 24.

The play, about a woman who was nearly a nun but is now newly-wed, was developed at the VTP's Ashby Retreat for playwrights in the summer of 2005.

It will play three weeks in Groton, MA (VTP's home), following an initial three-week run in Boston.

According to production notes, "Theresa at Home is set in 1956, where the former nearly-nun, now newlywed Theresa is unpacking her new home. Overwhelmed and even a bit terrified by the unfamiliar realities of married life, Theresa finds herself exhausted and knee-deep in boxes. She is visited by a cavalcade of hilarious characters, including her mother, two sisters, the Welcome Wagon ladies, her upstairs neighbor, and her former Mother Superior, all of whom have something to give...and something to take."

Directed by Vincent Murphy, VTP company members Julie Jirousek and Cheryl McMahon portray a wide range of broad characters. Expect quick costume changes.

The production features Boston actress Stacy Fischer as Theresa. The creative team includes set designer Jon Savage, lighting designer Matthew Smith, costume designer Mary Grusak and sound designer Haddon Kime.

Boston Playwrights' Theatre has hosted six of Janet Kenney's ten-minute pieces at the Boston Theatre Marathon. Village Theatre Project hosted her at a summer retreat in 2005, during which time she completed the draft of Theresa at Home. Her play Globus Hystericus was commissioned and hosted by Theater Emory in Atlanta. Her many awards include the Tanne Foundation Award, Perishable Theatre Women's Playwriting Festival, Provincetown Theatre Company, Edward Albee Conference Panelist's Choice and two-time O'Neill Finalist. Kenney has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a M.A. in Playwriting from Boston University.

Of her 2005 stay at the Village Theatre Project's Ashby Retreat, Kenney stated, "I came up to Ashby…with 30 typed pages, four notebooks full of stuff and a rough idea of where I wanted the play to go. There I was 'given' a director and three actors — all of whom worked so hard that I had to work twice as hard to keep up with them, and to surprise them every day. Two weeks later, I had a draft of Theresa at Home and had already had a chance to experiment with different actors in different roles, try some lovely staging ideas and get lots of interesting feedback from an intelligent, attentive audience. [We started] rehearsal with a draft, of course, but, thanks to the retreat, it's a good draft."

Boston Playwrights' Theatre is located at 949 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Performances continue to April 7.

The production moves to the Groton-Dunstable Performing Arts Center, 344 Main Street in Groton, for performances April 13-22.

For more information, visit www.thevtp.org or http://www.bu.edu/bpt.

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