2018 Boston Project
SpeakEasy’s Boston Project is back for a third season, featuring two brand new locally-set plays by playwrights Phaedra Scott and Ethan Warren.
We are thrilled to announce the return of Obehi Janice, a 2016-2017 Boston Project Playwright, who will continue development of her play OLE WHITE SUGAH DADDY.
The three Boston Project playwrights will each receive a commission and will have nine months to write and develop their proposed plays. Throughout the process, SpeakEasy Stage will provide directors and dramaturgs dedicated to each project, research assistance, developmental readings, and other support as needed. The playwrights will also benefit from the input and support of SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault. Work on each play will build toward a two-week developmental workshop, culminating in invited staged readings in June 2018.
Once again this year, The Boston Project has been made possible through funding from the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Read more about all three plays and playwrights below. Thank you to everyone who submitted. The overwhelming response to our call for proposals demonstrates that there are many stories to be told about Boston. Our hope is that this project will put more of them into the theatrical ecosystem.
DIASPORA by Phaedra Scott
DIASPORA explores the world of Sunny, a writer on the edge of success, whose life is shaken when she discovers where she came from. Janae, her niece, is a Black Studies major with a specific set of world views that Sunny does not fit into. Created identity and biological fact all come into question in their journey to find truth, acceptance, and selective honesty.
PHAEDRA SCOTT is a Boston based writer, dramaturg and director. An all-around Renaissance woman, Phaedra has been a part of the artistic departments of Cleveland Play House, Huntington Theatre Company, and Company One Theatre. Recent dramaturgy credits include Homecoming and Jass (New Harmony Project), OLE WHITE SUGAH DADDY (The Boston Project), How Soft The Lining? (Bad Habit Productions), and Can You Forgive Her? (Huntington Theatre Company). Directing credits Include: She: A Choreoplay (HERE Performing Arts), Weightless (TC2), I Don’t Know (Company One), and Every 28 Hours (Company One/MFA). Phaedra is a contributor for WBUR’s The ARTery. She is also the recipient of the Bly Creative Capacity Grant, the Early Career Dramaturgs Grant, the Comegys Bight Fellowship and the Frederick Douglass Fellowship for her work on August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. She also crochets, is a journalist, and enjoys obscure history.
HOT DOG CHRISTMAS by Ethan Warren
Joey and Grace are cousins and longtime Fenway Park employees who believe their daily superstitious rituals influence the fate of the Boston Red Sox. When Heather, a wealthy college student haunted by a recent trauma, gets a job as a fan photographer, Joey and Grace recognize her as a powerful influencer in their connection to the team, and decide for the first time to expand their closely-guarded circle. Featuring passages drawn from interviews with real members of Red Sox Nation, Hot Dog Christmas is an examination of responsibility, privilege, and a tumultuous era in America, all through the lens of what it means to root for your hometown team.
ETHAN WARREN’s first play, Why Are You Nowhere?, won the Playwright’s Award for Staged Reading at the 2016 Midtown International Theatre Festival, as well as the Inkslinger Award from Southeastern Louisiana University, where in February 2017 it had its premiere production. His second full-length play, The Healing in the Air, had a developmental reading in December 2017 with New York City’s The Bechdel Group, and his shorts have been performed at festivals across the country, with one, Ode on a Donut Shop, collected in the Stage It! 10-minute play anthology. Ethan is also the writer/director of the independent feature film West of Her, released in February 2018, and a staff writer for the film journal Bright Wall Dark Room. He lives in Norwell with his wife, Caitlin, and their daughter, Nora.
OLE WHITE SUGAH DADDY by Obehi Janice
OLE WHITE SUGAH DADDY tells the story of Lynn, a Dorchester native who is a rising star in the startup industries of Boston and Cambridge. The play centers on Lynn’s attempts to court a new Angel Investor, and looks at how race, class, and color collide in her private life, public persona, and cyber footprint as she attempts to build her legacy. Obstacles arise in many different guises in OLE WHITE SUGAH DADDY, a play about love, identity, and the tension between striving and thriving.OBEHI JANICE is an award-winning actress, writer and comedian. A graduate of Georgetown University, Obehi was named “Boston’s Best Actress” by The Improper Bostonian in 2014. Her comedic short, Black Girl Yoga, won the Reel 13/AfroPunk Film Competition (WNET/New York Public Media). A leader in the millennial renaissance of socio-political arts and culture, Obehi works extensively on stage, screen and as a voice actress in video games, radio, and commercials. She has garnered esteem and recognition from American Theatre Magazine, Bustle, WBUR, DigBoston, For Harriet, and The Boston Globe. She is a Luminary Artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the recipient of a TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. Her plays have been developed or seen at the Gardner Museum, Off the Grid Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Bridge Repertory Theater, Company One, Boston Center for the Arts, Sleeping Weazel, Interim Writers, Our Voices Festival, Boston One-Minute Play Festival, Boston Theater Marathon, Berkshire Fringe Festival, MPAACT, ImprovBoston, GAN-e-meed Theatre Project, and 119 Gallery. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity Association. www.obehijanice.comPhoto credit: Abigail Rhinehart