[act-ma] 9/5-9/21: "The Boys of Winter": premiere of an antiwar play by Barry Brodsky, Dean B. Kaner, & Eric Small

Mary Curtin marycurtin at comcast.net
Tue Jul 22 10:44:17 PDT 2008

For Immediate Release
Theater (Political / Antiwar)
July 2008
Media Contact: Mary Curtin, 617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell), HYPERLINK
"mailto:marycurtin at comcast.net"marycurtin at comcast.net
Local Co-Producer Contact: Faith Verrill, 617-386-9770 (cell), HYPERLINK
"mailto:faithverrill at yahoo.com"faithverrill at yahoo.com

The Boys of Winter

world premiere of an antiwar play 

written by
Barry Brodsky
Dean B. Kaner
Eric Small

directed by 
Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
September 5-21

“The Boys of Winter is a powerful play with 
timeless social and political relevance.”
(Michael Chiklis, actor, The Shield, Fantastic Four)

(Boston, MA) The Boys of Winter, antiwar play written by Barry Brodsky, Dean
B. Kaner, & Eric Small; directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary. September
5-21; performances run Fri.*-Sat. at 8 pm, Sun. at 2 pm and 8 pm.
[*September 5th benefit performance for Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans
Against The War.] At the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave.,
Boston. Convenient to the Green Line (B train) [detailed directions at
.html]; wheelchair accessible. Tickets: $20, $10 for students / seniors /
veterans / first responders; group rates available. Box Office opens one
hour before each show (cash or credit cards only). For advance tickets, log
"http://www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/2692"www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/2692 or
call 866-811-4111 (toll free). For general information, log onto HYPERLINK

The Boys of Winter playwrights, Dean B. Kaner and Eric Small, have never met
their Boston-based collaborator Barry Brodsky – in person, that is. Their
intense collaboration has all been done by way of the Internet, where they
have virtually teamed up to tackle the creation of their war-is-hell drama.
The Boys of Winter scenario harkens back to the Vietnam War era, yet it
easily and eerily could read in the present tense:
Half a world away from Vietnam three high school seniors are playing hockey
... for their lives. The year is 1966. The place is Minnesota. Upon
graduation they will either go to college or end up in Vietnam. Watch the
story of these boys and those around them as their chances dwindle and the
miles to war become fewer.

The Boys of Winter is a memory play about a Vietnam veteran reflecting on
his youth in the Midwest of the 60’s while reconciling demons in the
present. Clearly there is a parallel to returning veterans from Iraq and the
tragic lessons of Vietnam, never learned and repeating themselves 40 years

The Boys of Winter delves into the lives of what could be any young man or
woman compelled or forced to head out and “defend this nation” by fighting
on foreign soil. If and when they return, it is a matter of debate as to
whether these soldiers and their loved ones are actually able to move on in
a positive manner from their combat duties. The Boys of Winter wrestles with
the lessons learned from our nation’s Vietnam experience. The playwrights
are keen on provoking current audiences into becoming more aware of those
who are now returning in droves from Iraq and Afghanistan. Instant recall
about our current engagement should not only be triggered when we’re driving
under an overpass decorated with signs of “welcome home.”

The Boys of Winter world premiere is being directed by Bridget Kathleen
O’Leary, whose father served in Vietnam, and features the performance work
of Sarah Carlin, John Grenier-Ferris, Michael Jorgensen, John Oxenford,
Elizabeth Rimar, and Zachary J. Winston.

More background information:

The Boys of Winter had humble beginnings in 1991 in Los Angeles as a story
titled The Boys From Minnesota. Dean B. Kaner (from Scottsdale, AZ) met Eric
Small (from LA), both writers. Kaner discussed a story based on his
friendship with some classmates from Minnesota in 1966. Small liked the idea
and crafted a story with some new characters with dramatic twists and turns.

Later a screenplay was optioned by an independent production company in
1994, but producer financing never materialized. Kaner and Small retained
the rights. An opportunity came by way of a drama teacher in Phoenix in 1999
named Jane McSpadden, who fell in love with the story. She had grown up in
the Vietnam era of the mid-60’s and lost some high school classmates in
Vietnam. The antiwar theme stuck in McSpadden’s mind, so much so that she
told Kaner if he and Small could adapt the screenplay to the stage, she
would perform it at her high school. The play was written and renamed The
Boys of Winter.

The Boys of Winter became an experimental play performed in Phoenix in 1999,
then later in Los Angeles in 2000. The audiences reveled in what they saw on
stage, but the authors wanted to eliminate any remnants of a screenplay.
Particularly spurred on by all the developments in the wake of September
11th, Kaner began searching the Internet in 2006 for a playwright who could
capture the story they created, yet write a completely different play with a
stronger more universal antiwar theme. With the unpopular war in Iraq on the
fast track, it was time to connect the dots from Vietnam to Iraq.

Fifty playwrights’ works were evaluated and Boston native Barry Brodsky, who
served in the Army during the Vietnam War and is currently the Director of
the Veterans Upward Bound program at UMASS Boston, agreed to rewrite the
play. The entire development process was done by the three playwrights via
the Internet and several conference calls. Although The Boys of Winter was
born in a virtual world, the story is very much based in reality.

In April 2007, the play had successful readings at the former Jimmy Tingle’s
Off Broadway space in Somerville, MA, and then went on to become runner-up
in The Last Play Standing competition in Chicago in October 2007.

Barry Brodsky was born, raised, and educated in Boston. His stage plays have
been produced in many cities; two have been published in anthologies, and a
third, All Other Nights was recently published. Two of his screenplays have
been optioned by an independent Boston producer, and he teaches
screenwriting classes at UMASS Boston and at Emerson College. Brodsky is the
Director of the Veterans Upward Bound program at UMASS Boston, a
pre-collegiate program for veterans seeking to go to college. He received a
BA in Politics from UMASS Boston and an MFA in Theatre Arts from Brandeis
University. Brodsky served in the Army from 1967-70 during the Vietnam War
and is a member of the Smedley Butler Brigade, Veterans for Peace.

Dean B. Kaner, who served in the USAF Reserve, began writing plays out of
college. He co-wrote and co-produced The Night of Broken Glass with award
winning playwright the late Alice Josephs. Kaner also co-wrote the play
Hardball based on his grandfather’s life in a semi-pro baseball league in
northern Wisconsin. It premiered in Memphis at Playwrights’ Forum on May 30,
2008. Switching from drama to comedy, he co-wrote the play Pets Are Human
Too. Kaner’s present screenplay credits include The Ditz Sisters under
representation by Cary Koslov and Associates, Los Angeles, a WGA literary
agency. He resides in Scottsdale, AZ with his family.

Peter Bogdanovich was an early mentor to Eric Small while he studied film at
UCLA where he graduated with honors. For the next decade Small worked as a
first assistant director in television and film. He joined the Director’s
Guild of America and was fortunate to work with many talented and
influential directors.  All the while, Small was a screenwriter looking for
the proverbial “break,” which came with the sale of his original screenplay
Rubicon to Touchstone Pictures. Assignments followed for the studios. One
screenplay, Blue Blazes, was awarded the Gold Medal for Best Screenplay at
Houston’s International Film Competition. Small debuted as a director with
The Dust Factory, a film he produced from his original screenplay for
MGM/UA. He followed with The Probe, a one-hour drama he co-created for the
FX Network and 20th Century Fox. Most recently, Small is the co-creator of
the Emmy-nominated and WGA award-winning Showtime original series Penn &
Teller: Bullshit! He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Bridget Kathleen O’Leary, who is an Artistic Associate at the New Repertory
Theatre, received her MFA in directing at Boston University. Most recently,
she completed her thesis production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are
Dead. Prior to her thesis, O’Leary directed the Boston Playwright’s Theatre
production of The Devil’s Teacup. In 2007 she assisted Artistic Director
Wendy C. Goldberg at the National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene
O’Neill Theater Center, where she assisted on new plays by Rebecca Gilman
and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. B.U. credits include The American Clock, Curse
of the Starving Class, and Sarah Kane’s Crave and 4.48 Psychosis. While in
Washington, D.C., O’Leary worked with the Olney Theatre Center, Theater
Alliance, Cherry Red Productions, Charter Theater, Studio Theatre Second
Stage, and Phoenix Theatre DC, of which she was a founding member. DC
directing credits include Independence, Parallell Lives, and the creations
of Unwrapped and Lulu Fabulous by area playwrights. O’Leary’s father is a
Vietnam War veteran.


--submitted by marycurtinproductions
c/o Mary Curtin
PO Box 290703, Charlestown, MA 02129
617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell), HYPERLINK
"mailto:marycurtin at comcast.net"marycurtin at comcast.net
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in
non-traditional venues"
HYPERLINK "http://www.marycurtinproductions.com/"




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