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

Nate Goldshlag nateg at pobox.com
Mon Aug 25 10:48:16 PDT 2008


The Boys of Winter is co-written by Veterans For Peace member Barry  
Brodsky and is an excellent play.  You have yet another chance to come  
to a joint fundraiser for Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against  
The War at the Friday Sept. 5 performance.  A web link to buy tickets  
is given below.  Pat Scanlon, our vice-coordinator, will be singing  
some songs before the play.  Please come and support us and see an  
excellent play in the process.  I hope to see many of you there.   
Please forward this email far and wide to your email lists and friends.

Nate Goldshlag
Coordinator, Smedley D. Butler Brigade Veterans For Peace

For Immediate Release
Theater (Political / Antiwar)
July 2008
Media Contact: Mary Curtin, 617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell), marycurtin at comcast.net
Local Co-Producer Contact: Faith Verrill, 617-386-9770 (cell), 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 www.bu.edu/bpt/directions/ 
index.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 onto www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/2692 or call  
866-811-4111 (toll free). For general information, log onto www.boysofwinterplay.com 

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 later.

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), marycurtin at comcast.net
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in non- 
traditional venues"

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