Genie in the Machine: Virtual Play Readings on Artificial Intelligence

Join us April 18th, April 25th, and May 2nd at 8pm for Genie in the Machine: Virtual Play Readings on Artificial Intelligence. Each night, 10-minute play readings will be presented via Zoom and Facebook Live by the Catalyze Playwriting Group, inspired by Ada and the Engine.

April 18th – The Canteen – by Carl Danielson & The Orphidy Smorlack Variety Hour – by Nathan Comstock

April 25th – Deaths of Despair – by Anna Waldman-Brown & HadalyGirl – by Zach Barryte and Rachel Bowens-Rubin
May 2nd – Edisons – by Austin Hendricks
Zoom Link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/801660241

What Matters Most

Michael Ricca
In
What Matters Most
with Ron Roy, on piano

March 6-8, 2020
Tickets: $30, plus fees

Singer Michael Ricca will perform his one-man show What Matters Most, a lively and poignant musical evening exploring the people, places, and ideas that matter most in life. Using an array of musical styles, What Matters Most looks at how we determine our priorities, and the many ways we evaluate what’s important to us. This musical meditation on our values, features an eclectic mix of songs by Michel Legrand, Stephen Sondheim, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Duke Ellington, and many more. As always, Mr. Ricca will be joined by the incomparable Ron Roy, on piano.

About the Artist
Michael Ricca has performed in jazz and cabaret rooms, theatres and venues throughout New England, Chicago and New York, most recently in several performances at the Metropolitan Room.  He’s headlined at several New York area venues, including Arci’s Place and Danny’s Skylight Room.  In 2014, he made his seventh sold out appearance at Scullers Jazz Club in the show, Still That Boy.  For many years, he performed with the local jazz vocal group At the Movies. Their CD, Reel One, was released in 2003. The group received the IRNE award for best cabaret performance in 2004. Also an actor, Mr. Ricca is a founding member of Titanic Theatre Company.

History Café: Engaging Through the Arts

In partnership with The Cambridge Historical Society, we invite artists David Fichter, Eryn Johnson, and Vincent Siders to discuss how the arts can serve as a catalyst for– or reaction to– change. We ask, how is their work informed by a history of social justice in the arts? Does this build on a legacy of such work in Cambridge? Dr. Marty Blatt will moderate the conversation. This event is part of Central Square Theater’s Central Conversations series and the final History Café of the Society’s 2019 “How Does Cambridge Engage?” programming.

This event will be held during the Nora Theatre Company and Bedlam’s production of The Crucible, framed and inspired by the #metoo movement.

When: Monday, September 23, 2019.

Doors open 6:00. Event begins 6:30.

RSVP at Eventbrite.

Tickets: Members $10 // Non-Members $15 Visit cambridgehistory.org for more information!

Eryn Johnson is the executive director of the Community Art Center and helped create the Youth Development in the Arts Youth Work Training curriculum (image top left).

Vincent Siders is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and educator. He serves as the Lead Instructor and Director of the Ambassadors of Youth Underground at Central Square Theater (image top right).

David Fichter is an internally-recognized muralist, and his art can be found throughout Cambridge. Depicted here is a detail of his 1994 mural “The Potluck,” located in Central Square (image bottom left).

Dr. Martin Blatt is director of the Public History Program at Northeastern University. He has an advocate of the arts and a longtime supporter of the Central Square Theater (image bottom right).

 

Bedfellows (reading)

Bedfellows

by Liana Asim
Directed by Pascale Florestal
August 26, 7:00pm
Studio

“Bedfellows” offers a peek into the bedroom window of Abe Lincoln and Joshua Speed, his roommate and most “intimate companion.” On January 1, 1841, Speed induces Lincoln to end his engagement to Mary Ann Todd. Lincoln, guilt-ridden, slides into a state of depression. Speed adds to Lincoln’s despair when he announces that he is selling his business, moving back to Kentucky and reveals his engagement to Fanny Henning. Lincoln discovers a letter from Speed’s mother suggesting that Lincoln is prone to “streaks of lavender” and that Speed’s reputation will be ruined if he continues to fraternize with a man of such common heritage. Melancholy breeds self-destruction as Lincoln puts a pistol to his skull. At the end of the day Lincoln’s life and his friendship with Speed are spared.

Shelter of Last Resort (reading)

Shelter of Last Resort

by Miranda Adekoje
Directed by John Adekoje
August 13, 7:00pm
Mainstage

Shelter of Last Resort catapults us from an antebellum plantation to the Superdome post-Katrina. This dark Louisiana Fugue chronicles the stories of the entitled, the enslaved, and the innocent. The future entwines with the past creating a murderous current in which promises are made and betrayals are exposed and each soul searches for light amidst the rising water.

RAZA (reading)

RAZA

by Jonah Toussaint
Directed by Tonasia Jones
August 12, 7:00pm
Mainstage

 

Ever want to watch a musical about lynching?

 

RAZA is a dark absurdist comic tragedy with only a few songs. The play takes place in a dystopian world where swaying black bodies are prayed to like Gods. Full of neo negro spirituals, nooses and miracles, RAZA is a wacky ride through the slip and slide of time

 

Raging Skillet

Raging Skillet
by Jacques Lamarre, based on the memoir of the same title by Chef Rossi
Monday, December 17 at 7pm (Join the WAIT LIST!)
Tickets are free. Reservations recommended.

Featuring Lee Mikeska Gardner, Greg Maraio and Annette Miller.

Chef Rossi, the punk rock kitchen goddess and New York’s #1 rebel anti-caterer, has gathered friends and admirers to the theatre to celebrate the launch of her first-ever memoir, The Raging Skillet. Acting as Master of Ceremonies, DJ Skillit gets the crowd pumped for Rossi’s party where she will tell stories from the book and perform a cooking demo of some of her white-trash treats. Things immediately begin to unravel with the unanticipated arrival of her long-dead mother who has come all the way back from the afterlife to “kvell” over her daughter’s accomplishments. We hopscotch from Rossi’s childhood growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home in New Jersey to Manhattan to discover her true calling. No longer willing to put up with the sexism of the male-dominated professional kitchen, Rossi launches her own business – The Raging Skillet – and establishes her reputation as a feminist culinary commando.

Sex and Other Disturbances

Sex and Other Disturbances
by Marisa Smith
Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm (RSVP Online)
Tickets are free. Reservations recommended.

Featuring Celeste Oliva, Lee Mikeska Gardner, and Joshua Coleman.

It’s the fall of 2018 and a storm with no end is pummeling Manhattan and so are a variety of extreme midlife crises for the characters in Sex and other Disturbances. When your husband is too busy buying cabins in Newfoundland for the apocalypse, what’s the harm in having a little affair? Sarah, a former actress and now stay-at-home Mom and woman on the verge, finds out the hard way in this fast-paced comedy about friendship, love, sex, and other disturbances.

Proserpine, and its companion piece Midas

Proserpine, and its companion piece Midas
by Mary Shelly and Percy Bysshe Shelley
directed by Jessica Ernst
Tuesday, October 23 at 7pm (RSVP Online)
Tickets are free. Reservations recommended.

Proserpine, and its companion piece Midas, by Mary Shelly and Percy Bysshe Shelley is a verse drama written for children. Mary wrote the blank verse drama and Percy contributed two lyric poems. Composed in 1820 while the Shelleys were living in Italy, Proserpine was first published in the London periodical The Winter’s Wreath in 1832. The drama is based on Ovid’s tale of the abduction of Proserpine by Pluto, which itself was based on the Greek myth of Demeterand Persephone. Mary Shelley’s version focuses on the female characters. In a largely feminist retelling from Ceres’s point of view, Shelley emphasizes the separation of mother and daughter and the strength offered by a community of women. The genres of the text also reflect gender debates of the time. Percy contributed in the lyric verse form traditionally dominated by men; Mary created a drama with elements common to early nineteenth-century women’s writing: details of everyday life and empathetic dialogue. Proserpine is part of a female literary tradition which, as feminist literary critic Susan Gubar describes it, has used the story of Ceres and Proserpine to “re-define, to re-affirm and to celebrate female consciousness itself”

Learn more about Jessica Ernst.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley
by Helen Edmunson
Monday, October 22 at 7pm (RSVP Online)
Tickets are free. Reservations recommended.

Mary Shelley by Helen Edmunson centers on a crucial episode in Mary’s early life. Her parents were radical feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and political philosopher William Godwin. After Wollstonecraft’s death, the family, now joined by stepmother Mary Jane Clairmont and her daughter, Fanny, are struggling under the weight of heavy debts. When young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley becomes a regular visitor to the house, his financial stability and dangerous charisma charms the family, especially Godwin’s three young daughters. But it is feisty young Mary who becomes the object of his affections. The play details their scandalous elopement when Mary was just sixteen and the impact it has upon her stepmother, her sisters and above all, her troubled father. Three years after this life-changing event, Mary would write one of the greatest novels in the English language, Frankenstein, which changed the literary landscape forever.

Learn more about Adrienne Boris.