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Martha Boesing

MARTHA BOESING  (1936 - )

Nationality:    USA
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    n/a


Martha Boesing (Playwright/director) has written over 40 produced plays, led workshops, and directed plays for theaters throughout the country. She was the Founder and artistic Director at the Foot of the Mountain theater in Minneapolis (the longest running professional women's theater in the country) from 1974-84. She has won several national awards including an NEa, a Bush fellowship, and the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American playwrights. In the sixties, she was a company member of Minneapolis' Firehouse Theater (an iconoclastic, experimental theater springing out of New York's Open Theater) where she got her wings. She now lives in Oakland with her partner Sandy Boucher, close to her four grandchildren, and most recently has created several theater pieces for The Faithful Fools, a street ministry in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, SYLVIa'S aDVICE ON HOW TO aGE GRaCEFULLY ON THE PLaNET DENIaL (based on Nicolle Hollanders' stories and cartoons) for Stagebridge theater in Oakland and the libretto of THE MOTHERS OF LUDLOW, a musical drama produced by the Youth Music Theater Co. of Berkeley.

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below is a list of Martha Boesing's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

After Long Silence         Business At Hand, The         Gelding, The         Hard Times Come Again No More         Moontree, The         Mothers Of Ludlow, The         My Other Heart         Pimp         River Journal         Song For Johanna         Standing On Fishes         Syliva's Advice On How To Age Gracefully On The Planet Denial         These Are My Sisters         Trespasso         Web, The



After Long Silence

Synopsis:
aFTER LONG SILENCE is about a poor Irish Catholic girl who grew up in the tenements of South Boston, married into an Boston Brahmin family, moved to Belmont and followed her Irish ancestors into alchoholism after the suicide of her first husband. Framed by the social and economic realities of American society on the verge of the Great Depression, money and the lack thereof, misplaced love and addiction shape the world of this play

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Madison Repertory Theater, Madison, Wisc. (Reading)    1999

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Business At Hand, The

Synopsis:
In THE BUSINESS aT HaND, a one-act play, a woman is preparing to entertain an old friend who has just been released from four months in jail for engaging in some sort of antimilitarist action. They reveal their inner feelings by speaking out loud the stage directions that would normally be used to guide the actors' interpretations of the part (She laughs; He doesn't.). as she begins to break the rules and say what she really feels, the meeting collapses and both are left trapped by their insurmountable loneliness.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
The Actors' Theater, St. Paul, Mn    1987

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
New Rivers Press, Mn. (NEW THEaTER FROM MINNESOTa'S PLaYWRIGHTS' CENTER), 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Gelding, The

Synopsis:
Written as a companion piece to PIMP, THE GELDING is a one-act play for three men: The father (Eban), his son (Jules) and Eban's mute shadow-self (Beethoven). Episodic and imagistic in style, the play is about Eban's sturggle to make contact with Jules through the barriers of convention and frozen emotion. Based on the true story of a man who castrated his son in Texas in the early 1970s, the father's eventual castration of the son is an insane gesture of compassion and hope.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
at the Foot of the Mountain, Mpls, Mn.    1974

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Vanilla Press, Mpls, Mn, 1978   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  1 musician

Further Reference:
-

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Hard Times Come Again No More

Synopsis:
Based on the 1930s writings of Minnesota's legendary Meridel LeSueur, HaRD TIMES COME aGaIN NO MORE is set in a Minneapolis boarding house during the truckers' strike of 1934, and weaves the stories of eight characters from Meridel's essays and fiction into a tribute to into people's capacity to act together in times of crisis. Throughout the play are many of the popular tunes of the thirties: "Brother Can you Spare a Dime?" "Happy Days are Here again," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and others.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Illiusion Theater, Mpls, Mn    1994

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Moontree, The

Synopsis:
Based on a modern-day Bluebeard tale, each woman in THE MOONTREE looks behind a secret door to find, not the corpses of former wives, but their living madnesses. The play is set in an asylum for insane women, where three of Schooner's former wives are incarcerated. a play-within-the-play featuring Schooner and his fourth wife, Crustacea, is performed in the asylum. Watching and even entering into the action of this play, each of the former wives gradually discovers her own powerful independence as a "Lunatic" i.e. one who lives under the influence of the moon. Music composed by Paul Boesing.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
at the Foot of the Mountain, Mpls, Mn.    1978

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mothers Of Ludlow, The

Synopsis:
The women gather in their tents to share stories, gossip and advice as their husbands carry out the strike against the coal mine owners. They give each other the courage to face sickness and death, the growing poverty, the advancing winter weather, their worries about their children, and bring what humor and tenderness they can to hard times. The days go by. The women support each other, as one loses her husband to the cross-fire in Ludlow, one flees with her scab lover, another is arrested. They create times of joy and dancing in the midst of loss and fear. The tension and skirmishes mount until finally the guards open fire. In the ensuing massacre most of the children and many of the women are killed, leaving only two at the end to carry on and tell the story so that the world will not forget.

Notes:
THE MOTHERS OF LUDLOW is A big piece - large cast, 15 piece orchestra. It is An historical drama And perfect for University or conservatory musical theater students.

1st Produced:
Youth Music Theater Company, Berkeley, Ca    Jul 2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Musical drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  5            Other:  6 children/teenagers & chorus

Further Reference:
-

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My Other Heart

Synopsis:
Upon landing in "the new world," Columbus was met by the Guaraos Indians, a gentle people whose word for friend was "my other heart." My Other Heart charts the unlikely friendship between the Spanish wife of one of Columbus' navigators and the enslaved Guaraos woman he presents to her as a gift. Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition, My Other Heart dramatizes the clash between old and new worlds through one woman's awakening to her true identity. Despite its period setting and basis in fact, My Other Heart is not simply a forgotten chapter in history; instead, it uses the past as a prism to spread light upon relations between cultures, genders, and religions

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Northlight Theatre, Evanston, IL    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Pimp

Synopsis:
Based on a true story of a woman in Ohio who sold her daughter to a married man for $40,000 in the early 1970s, PIMP, a one-act play, is about women selling out each other and themselves for the men in their lives. It is an imagistic excursion into the minds and feelings of three women: a mother (Jo), her daughter (adrian), whom Jo sells in order to secure the attention of her lover, and the wife of the buyer (Ruth). a montage of scenes reveals each woman's fears, fantasies and needs. Music for the songs is by Paul Boesing.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
academy Theater, Atlanta, Ga    1974

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Richard Rosen Press, NY, NY. (a CENTURY OF PLaYS BY aMERICaN WOMEN), 1979   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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River Journal

Synopsis:
RIVER JOURNaL is a morality play about the masks that ann has been enculturated to wear (The Care-Taker and The Seductress) in her relationships with men, and the madness these roles engender in her. Pushed into these roles by her marriage to Myles, and recording her surrealistic fantasies in her journal, ann finally lets herself go into her madness, abetted by Snake, the High Priestess of the Terrible Goddess of the Blood-Seed.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
at the Foot of the Mountain, Mpls. Mn.    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Vanilla Press, Mpls, 1978   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Song For Johanna

Synopsis:
Conceived originally as a radio play, but easily produced on stage, SONG FOR JOHaNNa, a 30 minute play, is about Johanna, mother of five and a radical community leader, who retreats at mid-life into a desperate and lonely search for spiritual meaning by sitting for 10 days in the bathtub. There she fantasizes long conversations with the whales, whose songs are heard behind her musings. Her husband, Gerry, and her teen-age son, Matthew, meanwhile try to connect with her and each other in their abandonment.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
KSJN, Mpls (as Radio Play); Walker art Center, Mpls (as staged production)    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Standing On Fishes

Synopsis:
STaNDING ON FISHES is a lyrical and imagistic play springing from John Seed's and Joanna Macy's Deep Ecology workshop, "The Council of all Beings" in which humans are invited to give voice to the concerns and wisdom of the other creatures who inhabit this planet with us. as a ritual drama about our loss of connection with our own eco-system, it is also a plea for change, for a less destructive way of living on the earth..

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Environmental Theater Project, Mpls, Walker Community Church    1991

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Syliva's Advice On How To Age Gracefully On The Planet Denial

Synopsis:
The play opens with Sylvia receiving news that her landlord is selling the apartment building where she lives and works, giving out "Sylvia's Excellent advice Service." She runs to the bar next door to commiserate with her friend Harry, the bartender, who suggests she talk to her three girlfriends about living together. When the girlfriends arrive she reminds them of the many conversations they used to have when they were younger about taking care of each other in their old age, and tells them the time has come - she needs a place to live, and she needs their help - now. The rest of the two-act play shows us the four women bantering and arguing about what this might mean if they were to live together: how to agree on a place to live? How to get enough money to support them all? How will they take care of each other in their old age? and what are some of the old accounts that have never been settled between them? all of this is interspersed with dances and songs, and very funny scenes between Sylvia's cats who finally provide a "deus ex machina" by talking an audience member into calling the landlord and persuading him that it is a terrible time to sell. In the end the women renew their friendship, put the problem on the back burner and agree that it's probably better for everyone to live in denial for a little longer

Notes:
Syliva's Advice on How to Age Gracefully on the Planet Denial is A theatrical Adaptation by Martha Boesing of Nicole Hollander's gloriously funny stories And cartoons, Nicole is best known for her nationally syndicated comic strip SYLVIa, published in many major newspapers Across the country including the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe And the Seattle Times. The music for the many songs in the play is composed by well-loved Bay Area musician And performer, Richard "Scrumbly" Koldewyn. Syliva's Advice on How to Age Gracefully on the Planet Denial gives us An outrageous And funny look At the process of Aging, without Avoiding the real issues of growing old. It Appeals to An Audience that is under-represented in our theater And therefore is An easy winner for Any theater to produce with its small cast, single set, And simple piano Accompaniment.

1st Produced:
Stagebridge, Oakland, Ca    Feb 2010

Organisations:
Stagebridge, Oakland, Ca

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Musical play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  4            Other:  2 (cats)

Further Reference:
-

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These Are My Sisters

Synopsis:
THESE aRE MY SISTERS is a series of monologues, part remember, part invented, about the second wave of the women's movement in the 1970s. Five women -- an aging hippie, a feminist scholar, a butch dyke, a radical political activist, and a suburban housewife -- each speak about their own lives and what led them into the movement, then gather together in the second half of the play to talk about what it all means to them now. The text is based on personal history as well as interviews with some of the women who made it happen.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Sourthern Theatre, Mpls, Mn    1996

Organisations:
Walker art Center

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  can br done with 6

Further Reference:
-

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Trespasso

Synopsis:
TRESPaSSO, a one-act play, is a fantasy dealing with two women's struggle for power. agatha has fallen off a ship and has been treading water for several hours; she now sees everything around her as an hallucination which she has created in order to survive. Mick, a nomad, thinks that everything and everyone she meets is setting up a test that she must pass in order to survive. They discover that their friendship means more to them than their need to be in control. Music by Paul Boesing

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
at the Foot of the Mountain, Mpls, Mn.    1979

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  3            Other:  comprising 2 actors and a singer

Further Reference:
-

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Web, The

Synopsis:
Premiered by Trinity Square Theater in Providence RI under the direction of adrian Hall, THE WEB tells the story of abigail Sater, playwright and mother, who watches the tapestry of her life emerge in front of her. It is made up of scenes from her childhood, snatches from her lectures on feminist aesthetics, images from her plays, and immediate interruptive calls from her two teen-age daughters. She obsesses about the meaning of the threads, finally lets go and accepts the richness and love which abound through her life.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Trinity Square Repertory Theater, Providence, RI    1982

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Theatre Communications Group, NY, NY, 1983   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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