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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.

Running time: approximately 2 hours (including one 10-minute intermission)

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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 Statements After An Arrest Under the Immorality Act, Lonely Planet, 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.

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.

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*  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).

Elizabeth Ramirez*, Assistant Stage Manager
Elizabeth Ramirez*

Assistant Stage Manager

Lee Schuna, Sound Designer
Lee Schuna

Sound Designer

LEE SCHUNA  returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Two Jews Walk Into a War, Lonely Planet, Statements After an Arrest, Fiddler on the Roof, and serving as Sound Engineer on multiple productions and events. Lee is a transmasculine freelance sound designer, composer, music producer, and graduate of the Music Industry program at Northeastern University. Credits include Hype Man, Peerless, Really, and The T Party (Company One); Every Brilliant Thing, Grand Concourse, and Significant Other (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Fires in the Mirror and The King Stag (Tufts University); and The Women Who Mapped The Stars (The Nora Theatre Company). He is currently working on experimental electronic music to be released on his pet record label at Human Nature Records. He resides in Roxbury.

* 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


“Michael Kaye and Tim Spears have no difficulty drawing the audience in and engaging us in the story… As a tandem, the actors inhabit their characters and give us a window into a very touching relationship.”

- Broadway World

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PRESS RELEASE – Lonely Planet

Read the STATEMENTS/LONELY PLANET Program online!


LONELY PLANET Panel: Reflections of those who served during the AIDS epidemic
NEW DATE: Sunday, March 4th at 3:30pm
Email to reserve your complimentary spot!
Kyna Hamill (moderator), Assistant Director of the Core Curriculum and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Theatre,  Boston University
Rev. Dr. Michael Paul Melendez, Professor of Social Work at Salem State University
Virginia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theater, Connecticut College
John Gatto, Senior Vice President of Community Health, Leader In Social Justice, Justice Resource Institute
Kyna Hamill is the Assistant Director of the Core Curriculum and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Theatre at Boston University. She specializes in the iconography of the commedia dell’arte tradition and the intersection of theatre and visual studies. She has published articles in Print Quarterly, Theatre Symposium and Theatre Survey and is currently completing a monograph examining three centuries of theatrical encounters with the Baroque print artist, Jacques Callot (1592-1635). Kyna has been profiled on her research examining the history of “Jingle Bells” in the Boston Globe, The Guardian and NPR.

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.


John Gatto  first began working at JRI as a mental health clinician at JRI Health in 1994, providing home-based services to adults with HIV/AIDS in our housing and home care programs. Over the following five years he assumed positions of increasing responsibility, overseeing the development of substance abuse services at the Sidney Borum Health Center and then serving as the Clinical Director of the Assisted Living Program. John left JRI in 2000 and held leadership positions in the HIV/AIDS community, leading the merger of several AIDS service organizations in the Boston area. He returned to JRI in 2012 as the Executive Director of JRI Health and now as the Vice President of Community Health. He holds an MSW from Boston University.


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

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: