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 outside. In Lonely Planet, playwright Steven Dietz crafts a humorous and touching play about friendship, loss, and hope.


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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 

Michael Kaye*


Michael Kaye*


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*


Tim Spears*


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


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◊


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.

Jeffrey Petersen, Scenic Designer
Jeffrey Petersen

Scenic Designer

JEFFREY PETERSEN  returns to New Repertory Theatre after working as Technical Director for Brecht on Brecht and Thurgood. Recent New England design credits include Elemeno Pea, Lost Tempo, Equal Writes, Restricted, and The Honey Trap (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); and The Werther Project, Uncommon Women and Others, Cosi fan tutte, Rosmersholm, and The Whitmores (Boston University). Assistant design credits include Melancholy Play (Trinity Rep). Select Technical credits include The Cherry Orchard, Ivanov, and Galileo (Classic Stage Company); Collaboration: Warhol & Basquiat (HERE); Rated P (Westside Theatre); and Ripcord, Come Back Little Sheba, The Second Girl, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Huntington Theatre Company). Select regional design credits include Dancing at Lughnasa, Pavilion, Sylvia, Last Five Years, Glass Menagerie, and String (Yellow Tree Theatre); and Rocky Horror Live (Cardinal Theatricals). Jeffrey received his BFA in Performance and Scenic Design from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is anticipating his MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University in the spring of 2018. jeffreypetersendesign.com

Becca Jewett, Costume Designer
Becca Jewett

Costume Designer

Matthew Guminskiº, Lighting Designer
Matthew Guminskiº

Lighting Designer

MATTHEW GUMINSKI  returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Via Dolorosa and The Testament of Mary. Recent design credits include Ghost: The Musical (WPPAC); Million Dollar Quartet (Seven Angels Theatre); and Rocky Horror and High Society (Winnipesaukee Playhouse). Other regional theatre credits include work at Timber Lake Playhouse, Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Foothills Theatre Company, The Barnstormers Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, and the North American tour of Sleeping Beauty and The Great Russian Nutcracker (Moscow Ballet). His work has also been seen across most of the world as the Lighting and Video Designer for the pop rock bands JoJo, Jon Bellion, Neon TreesMisterWives, and Young the Giant. Mr. Guminski is an eight-time recipient of the New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Professional Lighting Design for Proof (2006), The Woman In Black (2007), Two Rooms (2008), The Glass Menagerie (2009), Around the World in 80 Days (2010), Shipwrecked! (2012), The Fantasticks (2014), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2015). He received his BFA in Lighting Design from Boston University. mglightingdesign.com

Zachary Rice, Props Manager
Zachary Rice

Props Manager

ZACHARY RICE has performed at New Repertory Theatre in The Gift Horse. He was most recently seen in Hamlet (Apollinaire Theatre Company). Other credits include directing Dusa, Fish, Stas & Vi (Boston University); Roundabout (Boston Theater Marathon); InSync (Roxbury Repertory Theater); assistant directing Precious Little (Nora Theatre Company); Matchless & The Happy Prince (Underground Railway Theater); Significant Other (SpeakEasy Stage); The Housekeeper (Fresh Ink Theatre); and dramaturging When January Feels Like Summer (Underground Railway Theater). Zachary received his BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University. He is originally from Washington state and currently resides in Cambridge.

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

Stage Manager

BRIAN M. ROBILLARD* (Stage Manager) has stage managed Ideation, The Gift Horse, Brecht on Brecht, Fiddler on the Roof, Baltimore, Scenes from an AdulteryAlbatross, On the Verge, and Pattern of Life at New Rep. Recent area credits include 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.

Elizabeth Ramirez*, Assistant Stage Manager
Elizabeth Ramirez*

Assistant Stage Manager

* 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

LONELY PLANET Panel: Reflections of those who served during the height of the AIDS epidemic
Wednesday, February 28th at 7:30pm
Email symposium@newrep.org to reserve your complimentary spot!
Rebecca Haag (moderator), former CEO of the AIDS Action Committee of MA
Rev. Dr. Michael Paul Melendez, Professor of Social Work at Salem State University
Virginia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theater, Connecticut College
Chris Richards, National Director Immunology Nurse Educators
Kenneth H. Mayer, M.D.,  Medical Research Director of The Fenway Institute
Rev. Dr. Michael Paul Melendez is Professor of Social Work at Salem State University. He is the former associate bureau director of the Bureau of Addictions for the Boston Public Boston Public Health Commission and former Professor of Social Work at Simmons College. Dr. Melendez has been a long standing AIDS Activist since 1985 having served on the boards of AIDS Action Committee, the Latino Health Institute and the Women of Color AIDS Council, United Ways AIDS task force for location. He is the receipt of the 25 Years/25 People- Honoree Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the “From All Walks” AIDS Walk 2010. Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education MA Chapter 2006, The AIDS Action Spirit Award, 2000 and the Elizabeth Ramos AIDS Activist Award. Finally he is an ordained deacon for the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts.


Virginia Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Theater at Connecticut College where she teaches a variety of courses concerning theatre and culture, directs for the main stage, and serves on the steering committee for the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. She earned her Ph.D. in Drama from Tufts University, an MA in Performance and Culture from Goldsmiths College, University of London, an MA in Drama from Stanford University, and a BA in English and Theatre from Carleton College. Her dedication to advocacy and the arts has been recognized by the National Center for HIV, STD, & TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as well as AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. Her essay “Performing Interventions: The Politics and Theatre of China’s AIDS Crisis in the Early Twenty-First Century” appears in the newly released Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave, February 2018). Her current book project concerns the on- and off-stage history of Broadway theatre and the AIDS epidemic.


Chris Richards graduated from nursing school in 1985 and began her professional career on a medical unit at a teaching hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. While the majority of patients she cared for had some form of cancer, there was a growing number of HIV-AIDS patients admitted to her unit. There was an undeniable tension growing as some of her colleagues didn’t want to care for “those patients”. Chris welcomed the opportunity to care for these individuals as she was intrigued by the science and felt emotionally connected….little did she know that caring for these men helped her come to terms with her own sexuality.

Chris went on to serve as a co-leader for a RAIN [Regional AIDS Interfaith Network] care team. This was a church based team provided services for end of life AIDS patients.


Kenneth Mayer’s clinical research career has focused on the natural history and transmission of HIV in the US and in Asia, having developed some of the first cohort studies and prevention interventions dealing with the AIDS epidemic. He has co-authored over 800 peer-reviewed publications and is currently a Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of HIV Prevention Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As the Principal Investigator of the Brown-Tufts Fogarty International AIDS Training and Research grant for more than a decade, he helped develop the research capabilities of almost 100 international investigators.  He is the founding Medical Research Director of The Fenway Institute, the research division of the largest ambulatory facility caring for HIV-infected patients in New England, where he continues to teach and mentor medical students, residents, and fellows. He has served on the national boards of the HIV Medicine Association, amfAR, and the GLMA. He has received awards recognizing his work from the Governor of Massachusetts, the Rhode Island Medical Society, the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. He currently serves as a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society.

This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, State-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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: