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by Aaron Loeb
directed by Jim Petosa
co-produced with Boston Center for American Performance
mainstage theater
SEP 2-24/2017

In Aaron Loeb’s darkly comic psychological thriller, a group of top-tier consultants are tasked with a mysterious project for an unnamed client. The team must come up with a solution to a morally ambiguous hypothetical—one that threatens to tear them apart. Ideation is a captivating Boston-area premiere that will leave you on the edge of your seat.


“First and foremost, due to the secrecy of our assignment, we won’t be using PowerPoint. We want no digital files associated with Senna. All ideation is to be done on the whiteboard and erased. Results will be recorded to memory. Any notes recorded to, gasp, paper…” – Brock, Ideation

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Ideation   |   Oleanna   |   Man of La Mancha   |   The Bakelite Masterpiece    |    Two Jews Walk into a War…

Unveiled   |   Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act    |   Lonely Planet   |   Ripe Frenzy 

Running Time: Approximately 100 minutes without intermission
Christine Hamel*


Christine Hamel*


CHRISTINE HAMEL* has appeared at New Rep in Ideation, Brecht on Brecht, Broken GlassOn the Verge, Ragtime, and Sweeney Todd, directing God Box, and dialect/voice coaching many productions, including Golda’s Balcony, Tongue of a Bird, Camelot, The Elephant Man, Amadeus, Holiday Memories, and The Kite Runner. Recent area credits include The Women Who Mapped the Stars (workshop, Poets’ Theatre); Tongue Tied Tight, and Delivered (workshop, Huntington Theatre Company); A Disappearing Number (Underground Railway Theater); The Penelopiad (Boston University School of Theatre); Season’s Greetings and Our Town (Wellesley Repertory Theatre); and The Glass Menagerie (Boston Center for American Performance). Regionally, she performed the role of Emma Darwin in Trumpery (Olney Theatre Center). Ms. Hamel is an Assistant Professor of Voice/Speech and Acting at Boston University. She is a Designated Linklater Voice teacher, and holds a Teaching Certificate in the Michael Chekhov acting technique. She currently resides in Arlington.

Ed Hoopman*


Ed Hoopman*


ED HOOPMAN* has previously appeared at New Rep in Ideation, Mister Roberts, Indulgences, and touring productions of Macbeth and Hamlet. Recent credits include Camelot (Lyric Stage Company); and Finish Line (Boston Theater Company/Boch Center). Other regional credits include Peter and the Starcatcher, City of Angels, Dear Elizabeth, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Animal Crackers (Lyric Stage Company); Dog Paddle (Bridge Rep); King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Taming of the Shrew (Commonwealth Shakespeare); A Civil War Christmas (Huntington Theatre Company); Assassins, After Ashley, and A Clockwork Orange (Company One); and Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse). New York credits include Interior: Panic and World’s Fastest Hamlet (Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre); Jester’s Dead (The Outfit); and Foreign Wars (Random Access Theater). Television credits include See Kate Run (ABC); and Aftershock (History Channel). Mr. Hoopman is also an accomplished voiceover actor whose work can be heard both locally and nationally. Born and raised in Northern California, Ed now calls Cambridge home after 13 years in the Boston area.

Matt Ketai*


Matt Ketai*


MATT KETAI* is currently making his New Rep debut in Ideation. Regional credits include Dracula, Or The Undead (Williamstown Theatre Festival); A Christmas Carol (Trinity Repertory Company); Othello (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); and Fallujah (Kennedy Center ACTF/InCite Arts Festival). New York acting credits include Xander Xist… (Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival); Oedipus (La MaMa); La Ruta (Working Theatre); Mom Play (Sarah DeLappe Premiere). Matt was a member of the Flea Theater’s resident acting company, The Bats, from 2014-2015. Matt received his BFA in Acting from Boston University and his MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company. Brown/Trinity credits include Side Show (BroadwayWorld and RI Critics Pick, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet.

Jake Murphy*


Jake Murphy*


JAKE MURPHY* has previously appeared at New Rep in Ideation, Brecht on Brecht. Boston credits include Mamihlapinatapai (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) and The Human Comedy (Boston University). Off Broadway credits include Dead End (Axis Theatre Company); and a staged reading of The Crowded Hour (Manhattan Theater Club). Regional credits include Noises Off and Sherlock Holmes (Sacramento Theatre Company); Boner Problem and Missed Connections (Brunch Theatre); and Romeo and Juliet (Marin Shakespeare). Film credits include We Can Do It, Can Hitler Happen Here?, Prom King 2010, and Ghost Light. Television credits include A Crime to Remember and The Defectives. Jake received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. “Love to ma & B.”

Lewis D. Wheeler*


Lewis D. Wheeler*


LEWIS D. WHEELER* is currently in the cast of Ideation and has previously appeared at New Rep in The Gift Horse, Muckrakers, Pattern of Life, Rancho Mirage, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Silence, and a touring production of Cyrano. Recent credits include Finish Line (Boston Theater Company); Hand to God (SpeakEasy Stage Company); and Uncanny Valley (Stoneham Theatre). Regional credits include No Man’s Land (American Repertory Theater); Richard II (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Blood on the Snow (Bostonian Society); A Number and The Glass Menagerie (Lyric Stage Company); Doubt and An Ideal Husband (Gloucester Stage Company); and five seasons with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Also American Stage (FL), Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Nora Theatre Company, Underground Railway Theater, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Vineyard Playhouse, Publick Theatre, Cape Rep, Shakespeare Now, Wellesley Repertory Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre. Lewis was a founding member of Harbor Stage in Wellfleet, where he performed in The Seagull and Hedda Gabler and directed David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones. Film and television credits include Manchester by the Sea, Live by Night, Black Mass, The Company Men, Pink Panther 2, Louisa May Alcott (PBS), Brotherhood. Lewis earned his BA in Theatre and Film Studies at Cornell University and his MFA from the American Film Institute. He resides in Boston and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity since 2004. He appears next in To Kill a Mockingbird as Atticus at Gloucester Stage and in Shakespeare in Love at SpeakEasy Stage.

Creative Team
Aaron Loeb, Playwright
Aaron Loeb


Aaron Loeb is a San Francisco Bay Area playwright whose work has been performed around the country. His full-length plays include The Proud, Alcestis (Doesn’t Live Here Anymore), Brown, First Person Shooter, Blastosphere (with Geetha Reddy), and Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party, which had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2010. Among the honors Loeb has received are: two Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Awards for Best New Play (First Person Shooter in ’07, ALBGDP in ’08), Outstanding Play from the New York International Fringe Festival (ALBGDP ’09), GLAAD Media Award Nominee (ALBGDP ’09), and seven “Emerging Playwright Awards” from PlayGround. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc and a Playwrights Foundation resident playwright.

Jim Petosa◊, Director
Jim Petosa◊


JIM PETOSA (Director, Artistic Director) joined New Repertory Theatre as an award-winning theatre artist, educator, and leader in 2012. He has served as Director of the School of Theatre, College of Fine Arts, at Boston University since 2002, and Artistic Director of Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center for the Arts and its National Players educational touring company (1994-2012). While at Boston University, he established the Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP), the professional production extension of the Boston University School of Theatre, in 2008. Throughout the Northeast, Mr. Petosa has directed for numerous institutions, including The Gift Horse, Brecht on Brecht, Good, Freud’s Last Session, The Testament of Mary, Broken Glass, Assassins, On the Verge, The Elephant Man (IRNE Nomination), Amadeus, Three Viewings, The Last Five Years, and Opus at New Rep. In Boston, his work was nominated for two IRNE awards for A Question of Mercy (BCAP). He has served as one of three artistic leaders for the Potomac Theatre Project (PTP/NYC) since 1987. In Maryland, his work earned over 25 Helen Hayes Award nominations as well as the award for outstanding direction of a musical for Jacques Brel is Alive and Well… His production of Look! We Have Come Through! was nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play, and he earned the Montgomery County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Artist/Scholar. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Mr. Petosa has served on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for StageSource. Originally from New Jersey, he was educated at The Catholic University of America and resides in Quincy.

Ryan Bates, Scenic Designer
Ryan Bates

Scenic Designer

RYAN BATES (Scenic Designer) has designed Ideation, Brecht on Brecht, Thurgood, The Testament of Mary, Via Dolorosa, and The Snow Queen at New Rep. Other recent scenic design credits include Los Meadows (Boston Public Works); Dear Elizabeth and Melancholy Play (The Umbrella); Blasted (Off the Grid Theatre Company); The Last Five Years (Arts After Hours); The Launch Prize (Bridge Repertory Theatre); That Time the House Burned Down (Fresh Ink); Academy Fight Song (Centastage); A Visit with Marie Curie (Parity Productions); Angels in America (Boston University Opera Institute); and 4000 Miles and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Gloucester Stage Company). Ryan received his MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University and a BA in Theatre and Art History from Middlebury College. Originally from Danvers, he currently resides in Brighton. Upcoming projects include Or (Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine) at Chelsea Theatre Works.

Penney Pinette, Costume Designer
Penney Pinette

Costume Designer

PENNEY PINETTE (Costume Designer) has designed Ideation, The Gift Horse, Golda’s Balcony, and A Number at New Rep. She is a Boston-based designer focusing in dance and theatre. In addition to designing for the stage she also teaches fashion design and construction at Mount Ida College as well as costume production at Boston University where she has recently received her MFA. Some of her work has been with local puppeteer Bonnie Duncan of They Gotta Be Secret Agents, and the local dance community including Prometheus Dance, Contrapose Dance, and Fort Point Theater Productions. This year will be her fifth year designing costumes for the Boston Conservatory dance department.

Dewey Dellay, Sound Designer & Composer
Dewey Dellay

Sound Designer & Composer

DEWEY DELLAY  returns to New Repertory Theatre after composing and designing for Ideation, The Gift Horse, Thurgood, The Testament of Mary, The Whipping Man, Rancho Mirage, and Long Day’s Journey into Night.  Other credits include Duet (Greenwich Street Theatre, Off Broadway); and The Countess (Criterion, London’s West End). Other regional credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Lyric Stage Company); Photograph 51 (IRNE nomination Best Sound Design, Nora Theatre Company); and When January Feels Like Summer (Underground Railway Theater). He has received an Elliot Norton award for Outstanding Design and an IRNE for Best Sound Design. Television credits include original music for Emmy nominated National Geographic’s China’s Mystery Mummies, Discovery Channel’s Miami Jail, and five seasons of the show Our America with Lisa Ling for the OWN Channel. He presently is contributing music to This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN.

Brian M. Robillard*, Stage Manager
Brian M. Robillard*

Stage Manager

BRIAN M. ROBILLARD*  returns to New Repertory Theatre after previously working on Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, Lonely Planet, Ideation, The Gift Horse, Brecht on Brecht, Fiddler on the Roof, Baltimore, Scenes from an AdulteryAlbatross, On the Verge, and Pattern of Life. Recent area credits include A Christmas Carol (Central Square Theater); A Little Night Music (Huntington Theatre Company); Romeo & Juliet and King Lear (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Don Giovanni and Siren Song (BU Opera Institute); Song Cycle (Peabody Essex Museum); and Hairspray and The Fantasticks (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre). Brian received his BFA in Stage Management from Boston University. A native of Massachusetts, Brian currently resides in Chelmsford. Upcoming projects include Calendar Girls (Greater Boston Stage Company).

* member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
◊ member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
º member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829


“Ideation is an attention-grabber, smartly written and surprisingly funny… and will keep you guessing.”

- Broadway World

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“Genuinely funny… Loeb’s text nimbly toggles from laugh-out-loud, quick-witted humor to morbid beats that are sobering for audience and characters alike. The small ensemble cast carries this energy skillfully.”

- Talkin’ Broadway

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“Brilliantly clever… hysterically involving.”

- South Shore Critic

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“A fascinating piece… an exceptional ensemble that draws us deep into absurdity, hilarity, and a heavy heart of darkness.”

- WGBH’s Jared Bowen

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“Relentlessly smart and probing… How great is the horror that can be masked with euphemism? And moreover, how far will people trust institutional structures and professional norms when those are in conflict with their more elemental…


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High Resolution Production Photos: IDEATION

Press Release: IDEATION

An In-Depth Look at IDEATION


Sunday, September 10 following the 2pm matinee
Creating Realities: The Shifting Culture of Understanding What Is True
featuring WGBH contributor and media specialist Dan Kennedy and Northeastern University’s Parker Ellen, Ph.D.

Free and open to the public! Email to reserve your complimentary spot!

DAN KENNEDY is a nationally known media commentator who writes for, the Nieman Journalism Lab and other publications. He is a regular panelist on Beat the Press, an award-winning weekly media roundtable on WGBH-TV. Kennedy teaches news reporting, media ethics and other journalism courses, with an emphasis on how technology is changing the business of news at Northeatern University. In 2016 Kennedy was a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. While at Shorenstein he wrote a paper titled “The Bezos Effect,” which tracks the reinvention of The Washington Post as a national digital news organization under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. His paper will be part of a book he is writing with the working title of The Return of the Moguls. His book The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age explores the burgeoning world of online local and regional journalism, focusing on the New Haven Independent, a nonprofit news organization founded in 2005. The Wired City has been favorably reviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review, The Boston Globe and CommonWealth Magazine. A former media columnist for The Guardian and The Boston Phoenix, he is the 2001 recipient of the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism. He is also the author of Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter’s Eyes, a memoir about raising a daughter with dwarfism. His blog, Media Nation, tracks issues related to journalism, politics and culture. Kennedy received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and his master’s degree in American history from Boston University. From 1979-1988, he was a reporter and editor for the Daily Times Chronicle in Woburn, MA.

PARKER ELLEN, PH.D. is the Assistant Professor of Management and Organizational Development at Northeastern University. Dr. Ellen researches organizational behavior topics related to social influence in organizations. His primary focus areas are leadership and organizational politics, with related interests in accountability and teams. He has taught courses on both organizational behavior and leadership in organizations. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Ellen spent nearly a decade in the consulting engineering industry. During this time, he served in project, office, regional, and firm-wide management roles for a privately held organization with more than fifty offices across the United States. In addition to his primary management roles, he also served as the director of the firm-wide corporate training program for mid-level professionals. Dr. Ellen is an active member of the Academy of Management, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Southern Management Association. In addition to reviewing for the annual meetings of each of these organizations, Dr. Ellen serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, and as a regular reviewer for The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior and Journal of Business Ethics.


Thursday 9/7, 7:30pm
Saturday 9/16, 3pm
Sunday 9/17, 2pm
Thursday 9/21, 2pm
Sunday 9/24, 2pm

Meet the Playwright

Aaron Loeb – Playwright and Gamemaker

Outside of his work in theatre, Loeb is a well-known professional in the video game industry. Just named the President of Studios at FoxNext Games, Loeb will be working on a multiplayer mobile strategy game based on James Cameron’s Avatar.

How has his work in video games influenced his work as a playwright? According to Loeb, Ideation “uses language that’s highly influenced by working management consultants and technical people working in video games,” even though the play isn’t about video games at all.

How does writing for theatre and for video games differ? “In theater, most of the time your audience is going to experience things linearly and they’re completely under your control. You are, as a playwright, essentially writing out a blueprint that tells the director and actors exactly how you want the audience to see something happen from the beginning to the end.” Writing for video games, by contrast, is “extremely nonlinear” because the player, rather than the creator, decides when information is introduced.