Boston Playwrights’ Theatre continues its 2017-18 season of new plays with the Boston premiere of Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler
BOSTON, MA: Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (BPT)
continues its 2017-18 season with the Boston premiere of Elemeno Pea by Molly
Smith Metzler. Running from November 2-19, the comedy is directed by Shana
Gozansky. The play centers on Devon and Simone, working class sisters who
reunite at the posh summer home of Simone’s wealthy employer on Martha’s
Vineyard. Their end-of-summer sibs fest takes a turn when Simone’s boss Michaela
unexpectedly returns home after a marital blowout.
Like the young sisters in Elemeno Pea, Metzler found the exclusive enclave to be very different than the town in Upstate New York where she grew up when she spent a post-college summer on the island working at an upscale club. “The yacht club world looked pretty enticing to me, all sun kissed and luxe,” she says. “But after a few months, I started to sense a real darkness under the hood. The tension between new money and old money was a rich stew in terms of drama, and the stories I overheard while serving drinks were darker and more unhappy than you’d guess. . .When I started writing a play about class, ambition, and women ten years later, I knew Martha’s Vineyard was the perfect place to set it.”
Even though Metzler “finished” Elemeno Pea with its premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2011 Humana Festival of New American Plays and subsequent productions at South Coast Rep and other theatres around the country, “I found myself going back to the play in 2015 anyway. I had had a child at that point, and the play’s imperfections gnawed at me. I didn't think I had been fair to one of my characters, Michaela. I knew I could write a more honest and compassionate draft, one that asked a bigger question. And, with absolutely no real reason to do so, I started working on the play again.”
Metzler continued her work with the 2015 production of the play at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, where—when they asked if they could produce the original version of the script—she asked if she could do some “tinkering.” “I started pulling threads and kept pulling them, long after the Pittsburgh show closed,” she says. “In the end, it was a "page one" [complete] rewrite I did. And I am very proud!”
Metzler’s plays—including Humana Festival 2017’s Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Close Up Space and Training Wisteria (first produced at BPT in 2002)—have been performed throughout the country. For television, Metzler has written for Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Casual (Hulu), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). Metzler graduated from the Boston University Playwriting Program in 2002.
“We’re honored to be producing this newest version of Molly’s wonderful play but even happier to have her back in our theatre again,” BPT Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass says. “She has a true gift for comedy, but it’s her characters who pull us into the world and who make us care. I can’t wait for this gifted cast, designers, and director to get started! And I can’t wait to work with Molly again.”
A post-show conversation with Snodgrass, Metzler, Gozansky, and the cast will follow the Nov. 4 performance.
BPT’s season continues in March with the world premiere of Brawler by Walt McGough (in collaboration with Kitchen Theatre Company) and the North American premiere of The Rosenbergs (An Opera) in April—in collaboration with the Brandeis University Department of Theatre Arts—with music by Joachim Holbek and libretto by Rhea Leman.
AT A GLANCE:
Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler
Directed by Shana Gozansky
November 2-19, 2017
Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Adults ($30); BU Faculty/Staff ($25); Seniors-62+ ($25); Students with valid ID ($10)
Subscriptions Available: Playwrights’ Pass ($60)
Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.bostonplaywrights.org