LONELY PLANET

by Steven Dietz
directed by Jim Petosa
co-produced with Boston Center for American Performance
blackbox theater
FEB 3-MAR 4/2018

In a revival to commemorate its 25th anniversary, Lonely Planet tells the story of two friends during the height of the AIDS epidemic in America. While Carl is able to see beyond the confines of Jody’s map store, Jody refuses to acknowledge what’s happening. In Lonely Planet, playwright Steven Dietz crafts a humorous and touching play about friendship, loss, and hope.

 

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MAINSTAGE SEASON

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

STATEMENTS OF SURVIVAL SERIES
Unveiled   |   Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act    |   Lonely Planet   |   Ripe Frenzy 

Michael Kaye*

Jody

Michael Kaye*

Jody

MICHAEL KAYE* returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Good, Broken Glass, The Elephant ManAmadeusOpus, House With No Walls, and Silence. He also appeared in Good this past summer Off-Broadway (PTP/NYC). Other area credits include Mothers and Sons and Clybourne Park (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Uncle JackMonster, The Glass Menagerie, and Good (Boston Center for American Performance); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Book of Days (Lyric Stage Company); and various productions at Huntington Theatre Company and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Mr. Kaye serves as Assistant Professor of Acting at Boston University School of Theatre, where he earned both his BFA and MFA in Acting and Theatre Education respectively. Born in Chicago, he now lives in Sandwich, NH.

Tim Spears*

Carl

Tim Spears*

Carl

TIM SPEARS* returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Good, The Elephant Man, Amadeus, and Mister Roberts. He also appeared in Good this past summer Off-Broadway (PTP/NYC). Other New York City credits include A Question of Mercy and Assistant Director on Monster (PTP/NYC); and JUMP! and Realism (The Exchange). Other Boston credits include Clybourne Park (Speakeasy Stage Company); Uncle Jack, Monster, House (IRNE Nomination), Good, and A Question of Mercy (Boston Center for American Performance); and The Devil’s Teacup (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). Mr. Spears received a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Directing from Boston University. Born in Texas, he now resides in Somerville.

Creative Team
Steven Dietz, Playwright
Steven Dietz

Playwright

Steven Dietz’s thirty-plus plays have been produced at regional theaters across the United States, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions of his work have been seen in England, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, Russia, Slovenia, Argentina, Peru, Greece, Singapore, and South Africa. Recent plays include the widely-produced thriller, Yankee Tavern; the Steinberg Award finalist, Becky’s New Car; the Pulitzer-nominated Last of the Boys (produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago); and the Edgar Award-winning Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (from William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle). Other plays include Fiction (produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company), Shooting Star, Inventing van Gogh, The Nina Variations, Private Eyes, Halcyon Days, God’s Country, and Lonely Planet (PEN-USA Award for Drama). Mr. Dietz’s work as a director has been seen at many of America’s leading regional theaters. He divides his time between Seattle and Austin, where he is a professor at the University of Texas.

Jim Petosa◊, Director
Jim Petosa◊

Director

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.

* 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

Talkbacks

Sunday 2/18 at 7:30pm
Friday 2/23 at 8pm
Thursday 3/1 at 2pm
Sunday 3/4 at 2pm

Jody’s Maps and the Greenland Problem

In Lonely Planet, the character of Jody runs a map store. He explains what he calls “the Greenland Problem”—that on many maps, Greenland appears to be about the size of South America, whereas its area is actually closer to Mexico. Why the discrepancy?
The map pictured to the left is the Mercator Projection, developed in sixteenth century Germany. According to Jody, this map “was a great aid to navigators since, for the first time, all lines of longitude ran perpendicular to the equator… [which] meant that, for the first time, a sailor could draw a straight line between two fixed points on the map and steer a constant course between them. The map had accounted for the curve of the earth—the sailor did not have to.”
And yet, as time has passed, the errors in geographical perception have arguably outweighed the intended benefits of the Mercator Projection. Boston Public Schools officially began phasing out the map in favor of the Peters projection just this past spring.
This scene from the second season of The West Wing—which aired nine years after Dietz wrote Lonely Planet—highlights the complexities of the Mercator Projection’s continued use in classrooms: