• September 1, 2017
  • By Chisel and Brand LLC
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BOILER ROOM SERIES: New Works Staged Reading #5

Join us at Keegan on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm for a special Boiler Maker Staged Reading and Post-Show Discussion as part of Keegan’s Boiler Room Series: Obessiah by Suzanne Willett, directed by Josh Sticklin.

About the Play

Gloria and Dale Rowe are struggling with the obesity of their son, Blandon.  He is a college student finishing up a gaming degree.  Gloria has just brought Blandon from the doctor wherein Blandon was supposed to agree to a gastric bypass.  From Friday night until Saturday noon, tensions in the house slowly come to a head, finishing off with Blandon attempting to leave on Saturday.  He gets stuck in the front door.  As he struggles under the brutal Florida sun, Gloria and Dale attempt to free him while their neighbor, Frank, records and uploads the family’s trauma on the internet.  Blandon, as he struggles to survive, becomes an inadvertent internet star.

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About the Playwright

Suzanne Willett is a Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist, a Women’s Works Short Play Lab 2018 Finalist, and the Fresh Ground Pepper PlayGround Play Group 2017 Finalist. NY productions: Rock, Paper, Scissors (Arctic Fridge Fest, 2017), Wonder Company (Dixon Place, 2017), Fall Pieces, a collection of experimental shorts (Dixon Place 2015), Tompkins ’88, a play about the Tompkins Square Park Riot in 1988 (Metropolitan Playhouse 2015), and Robert McIntyre, a play about a man’s struggle with his paralyzed hand (Manhattan Rep 2014). Full productions include: Red Pepper (2011), a play about the 1950 Florida Senate campaign and Maria’s Song (2008) a musical drama about immigration. MFA in Playwriting, Hollins University. Member: Dramatist Guild, 29th St. Playwrights Collective.

“I wrote this play when I was living in the Southern United States.  In the 15 years that I lived there, I increasingly saw the impoverishment of the working class — i.e., people that could not afford to go to a doctor and would wind up paying way more in an emergency room visit. While seeing the impoverishment of America’s working class, I was also witnessing a deluge of consumption — consumption that really, in effect, was empty — from the food to the cheap items that line Walmart shelves. In the midst of this poverty/abundance juxtaposition was the rise of internet consumption (i.e., Youtube) and the making of ‘empty’ heroes.  This consumption is a sad, prevalent truth about the devolution of American society that is not treated in American theater, but a truth about which I felt compelled to write.”

What’s the Boiler Room Series?

The Boiler Room Series at Keegan, named after the old boiler room of the pre-renovation Keegan Theatre, is a bold programming initiative that focuses on the development of new works and the producing of unique performances. The name speaks to the two-part mission: crank up the artistic heat on new works in progress and let loose the creative voices of tomorrow’s theatre. LEARN MORE

At the beginning of the season, Boiler Room Series launched an international, national, and local search for new plays and musicals. Selected from hundreds of submissions, this play or musical will be workshopped by Keegan’s Artistic Development Team and presented to the public as a staged reading. Every staged reading is followed by a post-show discussion.

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