AFTER LONG SILENCE
This play tells the story of Mary Macauley, a poor Irish Catholic girl who grew up in the tenements of South Boston, married into a Boston Brahmin family, moved to Belmont and followed her Irish ancestors into alcoholism after the suicide of her first husband. The story unfolds thirteen years later, on the eve of the bombing of Hiroshima, with Mary struggling to raise her feisty adolescent daughter alone, as she gets pulled into the memories of her earlier life. Money and the lack thereof, misplaced love and addiction shape the world of this play. (1 man, 2 women, 1 teenage girl) – first produced at the Madison Repertory Theater (reading series), 1999.
A PLACE OF HER OWN
Maud is an eccentric published poet in her late seventies, who is packing up, throwing things away and reminiscing about her life as an artist, an activist, and a mother, because her landlords have sold their home and she has to move. She has reluctantly agreed to move into a small in-law apartment behind her daughter Abby’s home, when Abby calls to say that they have decided to rent the apartment at over twice the amount that Maud is able to come up with, and therefore Maud has to move into a tiny room inside their house instead. Through the closed door of Maud’s studio, they grapple passionately with this new development. (2 women and 1 man, offstage voice only) – 2007, not yet produced
HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
Based on the 1930’s 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 people's capacity to act together in times of crisis. Popular tunes of the thirties are woven throughout the play: "Brother Can you Spare a Dime?" "Happy Days are Here Again," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and others. (5 women, 3 men) – first produced at the Illusion Theater, MInneapolis, 1994, and again at the Sowelu Theater in Portland, 2013.
"In her play, Boesing manages to present an unflinching depiction of economic hardship as well as a powerful belief in community—both of which ring remarkably timely bells in our current day. In and around and through the very human charaters and situations of the play, Boesing has woven a stirring poetic layer, which allows the piece to transcend the historic setting of its characters and shine vivid light on our enduring issues of class struggle, economic slavery, dignified survival, and our connection to one another as a human community." —Lorraine Bahr, Sowelu Theater, Portland, OR 2013
In this play 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. (5 women, 1 man.) – first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, MInneapolis 1976.
“THE MOONTREE captures the waves of rising feminine consciousness and communicates them brilliantly in a veritable cavalcade of images, actions and insights. It’s a bit like going with Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole but the women of THE MOONTREE, unlike Alice, do not wake up where they started, looking back on a dream. Rather, they awaken to a new struggle for self-determination and independence.” – Annette Drabinsky, MINNEAPOLIS STAR
THE MOTHERS OF LUDLOW
A musical drama (libretto by Martha Boesing, music by Paul Boesing), THE MOTHERS OF LUDLOW is a fictionalized account of the events leading up to the terrible Easter Sunday massacre of the striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914. This tragedy is experienced largely through the perspective of the women as they struggle through the cruel Colorado winter, homeless and banded together in make-shift tents. (6 women, 6 children, 6 men, additional chorus optional) – first produced in concert by Nautilus Music Theater, MInneapolis
MY OTHER HEART
This play was a 1993 winner of the Fund for New American Plays at the Kennedy Center. Set inside the larger pageant of fifteenth century Spain which is haunted by the burnings of heretics and the pestilence of the plague, MY OTHER HEART tells the story of the wife of one of Columbus' navigators, Pilar Quintero, and the Native American Tainos girl, Guarcarapita, he presents to her as a slave, a gift from the New World. Pilar is a young Jewish girl whose family "converted" to Christianity when the persecution of the Jews burgeoned under Ferdinand and Isabella's rule. The girls struggle with each other for power and finally come to be good friends. A friend, in Guarcarapita's world is called "My Other Heart." (3 women, 2 men) –Kennedy Center New American Plays award, 1993; first produced by the Northlight Theater, Evanston, Ill, 1994.
RIVER JOURNAL is a morality play placed in a frame-work of fairy-tale, song and ritual 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, abetted by Snake, the High Priestess of the Terrible Goddess of the Blood-Seed, finally lets herself go into her madness and sets herself free. (4 women, 2 men) – first produced At the Foot of the Mountain, MInneapolis, 1975.
“Seeing RIVER JOURNAL was my first truly cathartic experience in the theater; my most inner screams and sighs were given form on stage, and with color, humor and hope I had never realized.” – Robin Samuels, Director and Actor, MInneapolis
STANDING ON FISHES
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. (7 women, 5 men) – first produced by the Environmental Theater Project, MInneapolis, 1991
THESE ARE MY SISTERS
This one woman show is a series of monologues, part remembered, 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 they gather together 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. The play can be performed by one woman or by six (the five activists and a narrator). First produced at the Southern Theater, MInneapolis, in collaboration with the Walker Art Center, 1996
This play 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 present-day 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. (5 women, 3 men) – first produced by Trinity Square Rep. Co., Providence, R.I., directed by Adrian Hall, 1982. Published by Theatre Communications Group, “Plays in Process,” Vol 4 #1, 1983.