Heartland assists playwright to Edinburgh festival

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BOSWELL by Milwaukee playwright Marie Kohler, a new play featured at Heartland Theatre Company, debuted in Scotland in August. 

Heartland’s “The Play’s the Thing” in December of 2018 delighted audiences with the reading of the new play, BOSWELL, with Heartland actors and Equity actor Brian Mani. 

The play was groomed and tweaked with the playwright in the process. 

Three credentialed responders were invited to give their impressions and suggestions, along with the audience. 

Heartland’s new play project is supported by the Mirza Arts and Culture Grant of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, and occurs again this December 7 & 8 with Chicago playwright Doug Post’s new play, THE SPY IN SPITE OF HIMSELF. 

Marie Kohler’s popular BOSWELL completed a successful three week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. 

The play received four-star reviews and sold the most tickets of any productions offered at the Riddles Court venue – a historic, 16th century property on the Royal Mile. 

“There is an infectious energy and clear commitment to detail in this production: it is very well loved and immaculately researched…. playwright Marie Kohler certainly seems to enjoy the opportunities to draw out elements of bawdiness and humour to lighten the earnest literary tone,” Rebecca Vines of Broadway Baby said. 

Ultimately though, it is the extremely strong performance of Mani and Gill, and the delicious piquancy of the location which carry the show.” Vines concluded. 

A cast of four professional Equity Actors accompanied four UW-Parkside students, a University of Nevada-Las Vegas student and two designers on this epic journey, a living metaphor of the play. 

Administrators Lesley Heins Walker (Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at UW Parkside) and Norma Saldivar (Chair of the UN-Las Vegas Theater Department) profoundly supported the project through their two institutions’ co-production efforts alongside MHK Productions. 

Renaissance Theaterworks generously served as the 501C3 for the project’s fundraising successes. 

Institutions,individuals and foundations donated over $94,000 to the Boswell project, in addition to many in-kind hours. 

Heartland Theatre Company is a non-profit black box theatre serving the central Illinois region since 1986. 

Heartland supports new plays and playwrights with its three new play programs: The Play’s the Thing New Play Reading, Annual 10-Minute Play Festival and its Annual Mike Dobbins Memorial New Plays from the Heartland.