The Boston Theatre Marathon ran for the 19th year on Sunday, continuing its long history of bringing together the Boston theatre community to celebrate new plays. 50 ten-minute plays were performed at the rate of 5 per hour, for 10 hours of locally-made theatre, organized and run by Boston Playwrights’ Theater to benefit the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, an organization which helps area theatre artists and companies in crisis. For the second year in a row, Northeastern’s Department of Theatre took its place alongside Boston’s best known theatre companies, including the Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theater, New Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and too many more to name. Playwrights represented in this year’s Marathon included Theresa Rebeck, Ronan Noone, Constance Congdon, Israel Horovitz, and Robert Brustein.
Jonathan Carr directed Northeastern’s production, A Normal Story, by Beirut Balutis, which takes the audience through the entire story of a romantic relationship in ten minutes. The Department of Theatre strives to give undergraduate students opportunities to experience the professional theatre world. In this case, the cast brought together a working alumnus Michael Underhill, with a current student Matthew Hosking, playing two men who tell the audience – and each other – the emotional story of how cancer brought them closer together for a time. They rehearsed the play at Northeastern, experimenting and incorporating rewrites in a fast but intensely productive process with the playwright. After a week at Northeastern, they performed A Normal Story as part of the full day festival at the Wimberly Theatre, the largest space in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.