THE BAKELITE MASTERPIECE

by Kate Cayley
directed by Jim Petosa
mainstage theater
MAR 17-APR 8/2018

At the end of World War II, artist Han van Meegeren sits in a prison cell accused of selling a long-lost Vermeer to the Nazis. A crime tantamount to treason, van Meegeren contends that the painting was a forgery, which he skillfully produced and aged with a special treatment of the plastic known as Bakelite. Now he must create another masterpiece in front of his jailer, art historian Geert Piller, to save his life. The Bakelite Masterpiece is a dynamic and compelling Boston-area premiere from playwright Kate Cayley.

 

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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 

McCaela Donovan*

Geert Piller

McCaela Donovan*

Geert Piller

MCCAELA DONOVAN* returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Assassins, Amadeus, and Hot Mikado. She has performed locally with ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theater, Gloucester Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Reagle Music Theatre. She has performed nationally with Primary Stages, New York Musical Theatre Festival, and Children’s Theatre of Sioux Falls. She received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College, an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University. She has worked or taught with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, Dean College, Emmanuel College, and Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Ms. Donovan currently serves as Assistant Director of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre.

Benjamin Evett*

Han van Meegeren

Benjamin Evett*

Han van Meegeren

BENJAMIN EVETT* returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in GoodBroken GlassAssassinsOn the VergeCamelot (2014 IRNE Award, Best Actor in a Musical), AmadeusCherry DocsOpusIndulgencesA Christmas CarolQuillsA Girl’s War, and Jerusalem, and directing RENT. He recently won the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance 2015 for Albatross with The Poets’ Theatre, where he is also Executive Director. He has appeared in Freud’s Last Session and God of Carnage (co-produced with Arizona Theatre Company and San Jose Rep). He was a member of the ART Resident Acting Company from 1993 to 2003, performing in over 50 productions including Waiting for GodotThe BacchaePhedre, and Six Characters in Search of an Author. He has performed at Missouri Rep, Virginia Stage Company, Alley Theatre, Taiwan National Theatre, and Moscow Art Theatre. He is Founding Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, where he played Coriolanus, Hamlet, Petruchio, Edmund, and Caliban.

Creative Team
Kate Cayley, Playwright
Kate Cayley

Playwright

Kate Cayley is a fiction writer, playwright, and poet. She has written a short story collection, How You Were Born (Pedlar Press), which won the 2015 Trillium Book Award, a collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End (Brick Books), which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror (Annick Press), which won the Goeffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has co-created, directed and written eight plays with the company; her work with Stranger Theatre has been seen in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Istanbul. She has been a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre since 2009, and has written two plays for Tarragon, After Akhmatova and The Bakelite Masterpiece. She lives in Toronto with her partner and their three children.

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 3/25, 2pm
Sunday 4/1, 7:30pm
Thursday 4/5, 2pm
Thursday 4/5, 7:30pm
Sunday 4/8, 2pm

Han van Meegeren:
the real fake behind The Bakelite Masterpiece

The Bakelite Masterpiece is based on the true story of master art forger Han van Meegeren. As in playwright Kate Cayley’s version, the real Van Meegeren was accused of selling a Vermeer original to Nazi Field-Marshal Hermann Goering. His defense: he was innocent of collaboration with the Nazis because the artwork was not a Vermeer at all, but his own painting. All told, he forged nine Vermeers, as well as several other artists’ works, earning him more than half a billion dollars in today’s currency. 

Can you guess which of the above is one of Van Meegeren’s “Bakelite masterpieces” and which is an original Vermeer? Click the button below to see the answer!