I look forward to the Boston Theater Marathon all year. For me, it’s like the theatrical version of the Patriots or the Red Sox in the playoffs. I don’t like to miss a minute. For a single day, a huge swath of the Boston and New England theatre community comes together to show off their stuff. Last year, I dragged my 16-year-old daughter and fellow Rhombus playwright, Alexa Mavromatis (who didn’t actually require dragging), to the Marathon and we watched every one of the fifty plays. We packed snacks, we stretched, we took notes, we chatted with friends between sets, and we soaked it all in.
We’ll be there again this year.
The minute the lights go down, there’s that flicker of electricity that comes at the start of any show. But at the Marathon, you get a new jolt every hour, with each new set of plays. Fifty scripts by fifty different writers (fifty-three this year, because fifty just wasn’t enough), directed by fifty different directors, produced by fifty different theatre companies. It’s rare in any city to see companies of all different sizes putting their work on the same stage—but at the Marathon, they all play together, as peers.
But wait, there’s more. You get to watch all these interesting new plays and fantastic New England actors, and it’s all for a good cause. Yep, the money raised is for the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund (TCBF), which gives financial relief to members of the theatre community in crisis—people facing extreme illness, flood, fire, theft. TCBF gives out thousands of dollars every year. And the Theater Marathon helps make all that possible.
So you can go for fun, or to socialize, or to help theatre folk in need. Or all three. But whatever you do, don’t miss it.
Patrick Gabridge is a board member of StageSource. He is also a playwright, author, and blogger. www.gabridge.com