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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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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 

Benjamin Evett*

Han van Meegeren

Benjamin Evett*

Han van Meegeren

BENJAMIN EVETT returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Good, Broken 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.

Laura Latreille*

Geert Piller

Laura Latreille*

Geert Piller

Laura Latreille returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Regular Singing. Recent regional credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (SpeakEasy Stage), Ripcord (Huntington Theatre), and The Nest (Denver Center for the Performing Arts). She has also worked with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Vineyard Playhouse, Greater Boston Stage Company, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, among others. Off-Broadway credits include Love Song (59E59); and The Elephant Play (Playwrights Collective). She has participated in the development of new plays with The Lark, New Dramatists, Theatre Masters, Women’s Project & Productions, Playwrights Collective, Huntington Theatre, and the Denver Center’s New Play Summit. She is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for her work in The Shape of Things with SpeakEasy Stage and Improper Bostonian’s Best Female Performance for Time Stands Still with Lyric Stage Company.  Laura is an assistant professor in Suffolk University’s theatre department and holds an MFA from Brandeis University.

Creative Team
Kate Cayley, Playwright
Kate Cayley


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◊


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.

Cristina Todescoº, Scenic Designer
Cristina Todescoº

Scenic Designer

Cristina Todesco returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Freud’s Last SessionA NumberOn the VergeAmadeusThree ViewingsThe Last Five YearsOpusafterlife: a ghost storyPicasso at Lapin AgileThe Clean HouseHouse with No WallsSilence, and The Santaland Diaries. Theater companies include Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Company One, ART Institute, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the Culture Project, Gloucester Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Olney Theater Center, Orfeo Group, Poets’ Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Harbor Stage, Summer Play Festival, Trinity Rep, Wheelock Family Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival among many more. She has designed for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston and at Tanglewood. For Outstanding Design, she is the recipient of four Elliot Norton Awards and an IRNE Award. She earned a BFA in painting from Boston University’s School of Visual Arts and an MFA in scenic design from BU’s School of Theatre, where she currently teaches. Originally from Milton, she currently resides in Dorchester

Molly Trainerº, Costume Designer
Molly Trainerº

Costume Designer

MOLLY TRAINER (Costume Designer) returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Freud’s Last Session, Broken Glass, Scenes from an Adultery, The Whipping Man, The Elephant Man, Holiday Memories, Three Viewings, Indulgences, The Santaland Diaries, Mister Roberts, A House With No Walls, Orson’s Shadow, The Ice Breaker, Ragtime, True West, and No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs. Other area credits include Master Harold…and the Boys, Trying, and An Ideal Husband (Gloucester Stage Company); Deported, A Dream Play (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Twelfth Night (Elliot Norton Award, Actors’ Shakespeare Project); The Golden Age (Emerson Stage); and The Real Inspector Hound and Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Publick Theatre). Ms. Trainer earned her BS at Northeastern University, studied photography at the University of the South and studied design at both The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and The School of Fashion Design in Boston. Ms. Trainer teaches at Boston College, Emerson College, and Salem State University. A Massachusetts native, she resides in Malden.

Scott Pinkneyº, Lighting Designer
Scott Pinkneyº

Lighting Designer

SCOTT PINKNEY (Lighting Designer) returns to New Repertory Theatre after designing Freud’s Last Session, Broken Glass, The Whipping Man, Race, Opus, and The Last Five Years. Mr. Pinkney was represented on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein’s Tony Award-winning Torch Song Trilogy. Off-Broadway credits include Becoming Dr. Ruth, The Majestic Kid, Divine Fire, Nymph Errant, and The World is Made of Glass. Regional credits include Mala (Guthrie Theater and Huntington Theatre Company); Don Juan (Denver Critic’s Circle Award, Denver Center); My Fair Lady (Phoebe Award, Theatre Virginia); Secret Garden (Olney Theatre Center); and Texas Flyer (Theatre Under the Stars). He has designed the last fourteen seasons for Barrington Stage, where he serves as an Associate Artist, including productions of The Best of Enemies, The Crucible, A Streetcar Named Desire, Carousel, Uncle Vanya, Follies, West Side Story, and Ring Round the Moon. He designed more than 30 productions for Bristol Riverside Theatre, including The Balkan Women (Barrymore Award Nomination), Evita, Chicago, Alive and Well, and Dear World. Other credits include ‘ART’ and Kiss of the Spider Woman (Singapore Rep); Concerts (The Club Mohamed Ali, Cairo); Ulysses on Bottles (Israeli Stage); The Comedy of Errors (Elliot Norton Award, Commonwealth Shakespeare); Don Giovanni (NEC Opera); The Merchant of Venice (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); The Glass Menagerie and Adrift in Macao (Lyric Stage Company); Absurd Person Singular, The Sea Horse, and Van Gogh in Japan (Nora Theatre Company); and Grease, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Into the Woods (The Majestic Theatre). Mr. Pinkney is a Professor at Emerson College.

Dewey Dellay, Sound Designer
Dewey Dellay

Sound Designer

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


“Captivating moral drama… Evett and Latreille have excellent chemistry and entice the audience into their world of ever shifting power dynamics.”

- New England Theatre Geek

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“Smart and twisty two-hander… Director Petosa deftly builds an aura of suspense.”

- The Boston Globe

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“A closely-observed psychological struggle between love and rage, justice and vengeance… Cayley’s play feels precisely honed”

- Edge Media Network

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“Compelling… the more you come to know Van Meegeren, the more your assumptions and even belief systems around art and talent will be tested.”

- WGBH’s Jared Bowen

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“Stellar performances…The constant questioning of what is true and what is false, what is authentic and what is forged, and the cat and mouse game between the two characters, adds to the timeliness of the play.”

- Broadway World

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High Resolution Production Photos: THE BAKELITE MASTERPIECE

PRESS RELEASE – The Bakelite Masterpiece

Art and the Spoils of War: the societal impact of art theft and forgery
Sunday, March 25th at 3:15pm
Email to reserve your complimentary spot!
Elisa Germán (moderator), doctoral candidate at Boston University
Dr. Lauren Fogle, historian and author
Stephen Kurkjian, journalist and author

Elisa Germán is a doctoral candidate at Boston University specializing in modern and contemporary art. Her dissertation, entitled: “The Creative State: The Calcografía Nacional and its Impact on Printmaking in Madrid after the Spanish Civil War, 1939-1959,” explores the institutional and artistic networks available to artist-printmakers who remained in Spain amid the post-WWII and the Cold War eras. She expects to defend her dissertation in the Spring 2019. Professionally, she has held positions in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the former W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, and currently serves as an officer for the Association of Print Scholars. Elisa holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from Boston University.


Dr. Lauren Fogle is a medieval historian and writer of historical fiction. She is a professor at UMass Lowell where she created a course entitled “Art and the Nazis” for the Honors College. She also teaches classes in her primary field, which is medieval European history. Her first novel, The Altarpiece, was published in 2013 under the name Lauren Fogle Boyd and focused on Nazi art looting during World War II. She is currently working on a sequel.


A Boston native, Stephen Kurkjian spent nearly 40 years as an editor and reporter for The Boston Globe before retiring in 2007. During his career, he shared in three Pulitzer Prizes and won more than 20 regional and national reporting awards.

Educated in the Boston public schools, Kurkjian graduated from Boston Latin School in 1962. He majored in English Literature at Boston University and earned his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1970.

Kurkjian was a founding member of The Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, and its editor for 1979-1986. In 1986, he was named chief of The Globe‘s Washington Bureau and for six years oversaw the work of the paper’s 10 reporters in Washington. Returning to Boston in the early 1990s, he completed numerous investigative projects from The Globe newsroom including the clergy abuse scandal inside the Boston Archdiocese and the devastating fire at a Rhode Island nightclub that took the lives of 100 people.

His 2005 article of the theft of 13 pieces of artwork from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is regarded as the most complete account of the still-unsolved crime. His book, MASTER THIEVES: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist, was published to critical acclaim in 2015. Soon after publication, the book was optioned by Sony/TriStar pictures who recently announced that it had contracted with firm director Jose Padilha to make it into a Hollywood movie.




Sunday 3/25, 2pm
Saturday, March 31st, 8pm
Sunday 4/1, 2pm
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!