Director Bridget Kathleen O’Leary discusses The Other Place

Bridget Kathleen O'LearyWhen Central Square Theater announced its season, The Other Place in particular jumped out at me.

Sharr White is a writer whose work I was already very familiar with. As a playwright, he is not afraid to confront his audiences with the harshness of the world and the extreme polarity in which we often find ourselves. But in this play, White softens his lens a bit and asks us to consider many possibilities to the challenges Juliana faces as she finds herself desperately trying to connect the dots.  So, I jumped at the chance to work on such a complex and beautiful story. Perhaps my favorite element of this piece is the relationship that the playwright builds between the audience and the main character.

Juliana is a scientist, a woman who is used to order and control.  What happens to us when the world that we trust–all that we know to be true–is suddenly turned on its head?

This play is a logic puzzle, and it asks the audience to be complicit as our heroine tries to uncover the truth of what is happening in her life: a marriage that is seemingly falling apart, a last ditch effort to reconnect with her estranged daughter, and an undiagnosed illness that is threatening to derail everything she’s working towards.

As a director, I am drawn to stories that challenge our notions of reality and that ask big questions about what is underneath our own choices and actions. This play does both.  In this story, we find beauty, heartbreak, and humor.

I invite you to sit forward and come along for the ride.