These plays were created in collaboration with a theater company. Basically the process is as follows: after a theme and the subject matter is decided on, the playwright (in Martha’s case also the director) comes in to the first rehearsals with a structure, the basic outline of the play and a sense of who the characters are. The actors, who are often called upon to help with the research if the play has an historical base (as in ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN and THE REAPERS’ TALE), will then explore the themes of the play and improvise the scenes over a period of several weeks, or if possible, months. The playwright/director then writes the play from these improvisations, again over a period of a few months. She brings the draft back for more discussion, re-writes, and finally begins rehearsals of the production, which can continue to change all the way up until opening.
“Martha Boesing’s ability to draw out words and images from her co-workers and then weave these into a magnificent, masterful, well-wrought script is unsurpassed.” – Sandy Spieler, Artistic Director, IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST THEATER, MInneapolis
ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN
ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN is a play about nuclear proliferation and its consequences, framed by the story of a woman who is dying and her family’s fear of facing her demise. (6 women) - first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, MInneapolis, 1983.
“ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN bears the consistent Boesing stamps, evident through her career: moral concern, emotional warmth, crisp humor where appropriate, and genuine theatricality.” Elinor Fuches, Professor of Theatre Arts, Columbia University, NYC
This play explores many different kinds of addictions and recovery from them, including heroin, alcohol, sex addiction and others. (7 women) – first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, MInneapolis, 1981. Filmed by Kathleen Laughlin, 1982, available on video.
This play, based on Margaret Randall’s SANDINO’S DAUGHTERS, looks at the women of Nicaragua fighting for their freedom through the eyes of six North American women who are also struggling to find their own voices and freedom. (6 women) - first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, 1984.
SHADOWS, A DREAM OPERA
Springing from the dreams of the company members, this opera explores the shadow side of our consciousness. Music by Paul Boesing. (3 women, 3 men) - first produced at the Academy Theater, Atlanta, 1973.
THE REAPERS' TALE
Created with puppets of all sizes and performed by puppeteers and actors, THE REAPERS’ TALE tells the story of Columbus’ landing in America, and the consequences of that event. (13 men and women) - first produced In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, MInneapolis, 1989
THE STORY OF A MOTHER
Based on the company’s own stories of their relationships with their mothers, in a ritual theater event which involves audience participation, this play addresses the pains, frustrations, and joys of being both a mother and a daughter, in late twentieth century America. - first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, MInneapolis, 1977. Published in WOMEN IN AMERICAN THEATER, Crown Pub, N.Y., 1980.
“An impressive work, a brave work, that attempts to move into areas of pain without glorifying the pained one, THE STORY OF A MOTHER is crisply literate, often beautifully comic and ultimately honest.” – Arthur Sainer, VILLAGE VOICE, New York City
Based on the ten Ox-herding pictures of the ancient Zen Buddhist teachings and on the testimonies of street retreatants with the Faithful Fools, THE WITNESS follows the journey of a young woman who walks onto the streets to be with the homeless. (1 woman) - first produced by the Faithful Fools Street Ministry, San Francisco, 2001, available on video.