Blinders coming back to Boston

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I’m super excited to announce that my political satire, Blinders, will return to Boston in June.  The Flat Earth Theatre will mount the production at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, June 10-25. This will be my first revival–the play was done in Boston more than ten years ago, back in 2005, by Out of the Blue (my first full-length play produced in Boston).  The timing couldn’t be more perfect–the current bizarre presidential race is the perfect backdrop for a production of Blinders. I admire the work that Flat Earth has been producing and I’m thrilled for a chance to work with them.

Here’s the blurb:

The world is in awe of a scientific miracle: two genetically identical humans, unrelated but more twin than twins, exactly the same in every way! No one can tell them apart – except journalist Karen Sayer, whose declaration to the brainwashed public that they don’t look anything alike destroys her career and throws her sanity into question. As the duplicates parlay their commercial success into burgeoning political power, Karen’s quest for truth takes her on an unexpected mission with some unlikely allies and even stranger enemies.

Darkly absurd and laugh-out-loud funny, Blinders is a cautionary tale about the dangers of the American political circus, just in time for election year.

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Nice words about Steering to Freedom

perf6.000x9.000.inddSteering to Freedom has garnered some nice reviews and commentary recently.  The Historical Novel Society reviewed the book in their magazine, and had this to say:

Author Gabridge weaves a tight, suspenseful tale that is a valuable addition to the ever-growing library of books that recount the contributions African-Americans made to the war effort. The novel is meticulously researched; by the time the reader finishes the book, he may be able to pilot a riverboat. The research is never pedantic, however, and it never gets in the way of an entertaining story. This book is highly recommended.

And Marina Julia Neary, on her CT Commie Tiger Mommy blog wrote a terrific post about the book, including:

Patrick Gabridge’s Steering to Freedom is an absolute must-read for all history majors focusing on American Civil War. This novel is an authentic account of one man’s rise to heroism and assumption of a task that’s nothing short of apostolic. It’s also a must-read for anyone contemplating getting involved in social activism around the delicate and volatile issue of interracial relations.

I’m still hoping for a few more reviews here and there.  Last night, I was the guest speaker at Beacon Hill Village in Boston and had a great time talking about Robert and his adventures.

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Escape to Wonderland to hit New Jersey

escape in NJ posterMy gritty little one-act, Escape to Wonderland, originally created as part of Mill 6’s T Plays in Boston, will make an appearance in New Jersey in February. It will be part of the 2nd Annual Kicking & Swearing Festival of Original One-Acts, produced by Fearless Productions in Rahway, New Jersey, Feb. 8-13. Here’s the Facebook event for it.

Sadly, I won’t be able to get down there to see it, but if any of you do, please let me know how it goes.  I’ll try to post some photos at some point.  Here are some photos from past productions:

 

 

from the Boston Theater Marathon, Meredith Stypinski and Allison Vanouse

from the Boston Theater Marathon, Meredith Stypinski and Allison Vanouse

from the Madcap Players production in Washington DC

Keva Colbert, in the Madcap Players production in Washington DC

from the initial T Plays production, with Ally Tully and Jen O'Connor

from the initial T Plays production, with Ally Tully and Jen O’Connor

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Blood on the Snow is actually happening, in May!

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Just about two years ago, Nat Sheidley, the director of public history at the Bostonian Society, commissioned me to write a play about the day after the 1770 Boston Massacre and a fateful meeting that took place in the Old Council Chambers at the Old State House, between Governor Hutchinson and his opposition, “The Patriots,” most notably Samuel Adams and John Hancock. For me, it was an opportunity to dive into a new era of historical research, and it was especially fun to be guided by such a knowledgeable historian.

The script came together quickly, but it took a while to raise all the money needed for this really cool, site-specific project. But thanks to a partnership with the National Park Service, we raised the money we needed. Blood on the Snow is now scheduled for a workshop and reading on March 6th (the date of the actual anniversary of the meeting) and a three-week run, opening May 13th, with an Equity cast.  We’ve got an incredible creative team assembled, lead by director Courtney O’Connor.

This production lets me indulge both my love of history and my experience creating site-specific work (which we did quite a bit in Denver with Chameleon Stage back in the 90s.) We’re already starting to get some press for the show, and seats are limited to 50/show, so I think tickets are going to go fast.

Here’s the blurb:

Boston, March 6, 1770.
Four unarmed civilians have been killed and eight more wounded by the King’s soldiers.
Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson is presented with a stark choice –
Remove the troops and give in to the mob’s demands or face another night of bloodshed.

Many know the story of the Boston Massacre, but few know of the events that took place the day after, on March 6, 1770. Blood on the Snow is a new play by Patrick Gabridge, set and staged in the Council Chamber of the Old State House. Almost 250 years ago, in that very room, the leaders of Boston struggled to heal their town and unwittingly placed Massachusetts on the road to revolution.

Visit the web site, www.bostonmassacreplay.com for more information or to buy tickets.

blood-postcard

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Gabridge festival in South Korea!

I get a special thrill when my work is produced overseas.  So far, my work has been done in

The T Plays version of Escape to Wonderland

Ally Tully and Jen O’Connor in Escape to Wonderland in the T Plays

thirteen different countries (US, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Finland, India, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and The Philippines), primarily in English. I recently found out that the And Theatre in Incheon, South Korea, along with several other small companies, is going to present a festival entirely comprised of my short plays, in August. And even better, they’re going to fly me out to see it! I’ve never been to Asia before, and I don’t speak Korean, so it’ll be a grand adventures for me. I was fortunate to be able to meet Jina, the young woman who will be doing the translations when she visited Boston at Christmastime.

The plays that will be produced include: Quack -PG

  • Quack
  • Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
  • will/did/is
  • Second Look
  • Escape to Wonderland
  • Newton’s Call
  • The Retreiver
  • Beatrix Potter Must Die!

All have been popular with audiences here in the states (and elsewhere–Quack has been beatrix potter graphic w textproduced in Scotland and Finland), but I’m extremely curious to see how they’ll work in translation for Korean audiences. When submitting the work to them, I worried that my writing might feel so specifically American, culturally, that they might not make sense outside of an American context.  Guess I was wrong.  In August, I’ll get a chance to find out with real live audiences. I can’t wait!

 

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Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (in Maynard) and Charlie

The Acme Theater in Maynard, Massachusetts, produced Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in early January.  I was able to see the evening this past Saturday night–it was a terrific line-up with lots of scripts by playwrights I know and admire (folks like Chris Lockheardt and Rick Park and Peter Floyd).  My cast, of Anne Fortier, Steve Lillis, and Nick Gegorietti, did a lovely job under David Dooks’ direction. And apparently the audience thoughts to, too.  They voted Santa to be the winner of the annual “Charlie” award for audience favorite!  It even came with this nifty plaque.Charlie award for Santa

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Ms. Claus spanning the Atlantic

One of my newest short plays is a fun little Christmas comedy, Ms. Claus, about an interview to replace the old Santa and a woman shows up to compete for the job.  The play is on stage this week in Indianapolis at the Phoenix Theatre for their extremely popular festival: A Very Phoenix Xmas X: O Come Let Us Adore Us, and closes December 20th.  (All the shows are sold out!  They did an amazing job with my play, Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in last year’s festival.)

And Ms. Claus also made a brief stop in London, in Encompass Productions‘ Bare Essentials Christmas–it finishes up a four-night run tonight, December 18th. I wish I could have been able to see either of these shows.

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Lab Rats opens today!

LabRats_squareMy new full-length play, Lab Rats, opens in Boston tonight.  I’ve had a blast working with the Brown Box Theatre Project.  I couldn’t asked for a better team–the director, Kyler Taustin, and I really clicked, and our cast of Brenna Fitzgerald and Marc Pierre are superb.

The show runs for the next two weeks at Atlantic Wharf in downtown Boston (Fri-Sun, 7:30pm, November 6-15, and tickets are free! (But you should reserve ahead.)  And then we go on tour to the Eastern Short of Maryland.

Opening Night day for the premiere of a new full-length play is a little like Christmas Eve. There’s such great mystery and anticipation. The audience will be bringing the final gift to the production–their presence and attention. We give them our talents and energy and words. And when the lights finally go up, we unwrap it all and hope for great joy. The anticipation for that moment is wonderful and dreadful. The hours creep by. (I plan to pass the time by painting my house.) For playwrights, we’re lucky if we get this moment once a year (sometimes it’s a LOT longer between them). I try to do my best to savor it all, even the anxious moments of waiting.

 

Here’s a summary of the play:

Mika and Jake earn a slim living as test subjects in medical experiments. When their waiting room banter deepens into a real relationship, these drifting twenty-somethings must navigate a treacherous maze of emotion, trust, and survival as their carefully monitored and medicated lives bleed into their true selves.Lab Rats, a World Premiere production by Boston playwright Patrick Gabridge, is a sharply comic love story that poignantly examines the raw connection between two damaged humans as they struggle to redefine what it means to escape.

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Lab Rats opens in two weeks!

brennabits

In a tiny bit more than two weeks, Friday, November 6th, Lab Rats opens in Boston at Atlantic Wharf (290 Congress Street).  I can’t wait!  The cast is so very, very good.  I’ve been at rehearsals for the first two weeks, but now I’m taking some time away, so I can come back with some renewed perspective, and they can have a chance to work without thinking about me in the corner taking notes. My thing is, I like rehearsals so I can see my play come together, but I also just love the entire process of watching a play take shape and observing actors at work.

marcpierrebits

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Big News: Brown Box Theatre is producing Lab Rats!

Lab RatsSome very big, good news that I’ve been remiss in not sharing sooner:  Brown Box Theatre is producing my new full-length play, Lab Rats. This play had readings from Argos Productions and the Munroe Center for the Arts, and now Brown Box is going to give it a full production, first playing for two weeks in Boston at Atlantic Wharf, and then taking it on a brief tour to the eastern shore of Maryland. Kyler Taustin is directing, and we have a fabulous cast in Brenna Fitzgerald (who was in both readings) and Marc Pierre.

Here’s a summary:

Mika and Jake earn a slim living as test subjects in medical experiments. When their waiting room banter deepens into a real relationship, these drifting twenty-somethings must navigate a treacherous maze of emotion, trust, and survival as their carefully monitored and medicated lives bleed into their true selves. Lab Rats, a World Premiere production by Boston playwright Patrick Gabridge, is a sharply comic love story that poignantly examines the raw connection between two damaged humans as they struggle to redefine what it means to escape.

It’ll be a super fun show (and tickets to the Boston shows are FREE!).  I hope to see you there!

 

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