For the past two years playwright I have produced and directed a video series call Boston Play Café – first on local Watertown TV station, WCATV with links to Video On Demand (no longer available) and now as a straight-to-the-web YouTube series. The show focuses on play development. It brings its audience to a table where a cast reads a new script and teases out what’s behind their roles with the playwright and a host. This year, the informal action is followed by a formal, final read of the piece. Theaters like New Repertory Theatre have been experimenting with opening the rehearsal process to curious theater goers, and this show fits right into that trend.
I started the program because I really wanted to be part of bringing more new works to the public and recognizing working playwrights. I had worked with Public Access for many years and thought that blending theater and TV would be a great way to do that.
At the end of season one, I was looking for a new home for the series so that it would find a larger audience. I kept reading about the fact that young audiences were switching from traditional broadcast media to the web more and more, and decided it was time to make the platform leap! I love the fact that our shows are seen all over the world. But the value of theatre is its emphasis on the real-time relations of actors and those are the core of each episode of Boston Play Café. Not only do they work with the script, but they have a lot of fun with each other- just like in a real theater.
All of the plays are ten-minute works and have featured playwrights from as far away as Texas and Chicago, as well as many local writers, including George Smart, Lawrence Hennessy, Ludmila Anselm, and June Bowser Barrett from the Playwrights’ Platform.
The first episode of the new season can be found below (and via our YouTube channel):