The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is kicking off its season early this year, with readings in the Monday Night Specials series starting on June 12. Over the course of the summer and early fall, the Playhouse will feature readings of 11 plays — most of them new work by playwrights from all over the country.
The series begins with a comedy by Gwyn McAllister, directed by MJ Bruder Munafo, and featuring a cast of seven actors. Ms. McAllister is a longtime resident and frequent contributor to the Times; she now splits her time between Oak Bluffs and New York City. She is a journalist, humorist, and playwright who has previously had her work produced as readings on the Vineyard and in New York City.
Ms. McAllister’s play “The Green Rose” is a farce set in early 20th-century England. The action involves multiple romances and the many twists and turns that eventually lead to love and, in some cases, marriage. At the heart of the story is a gay couple coping with the attitudes of the day toward same-sex relationships.
“It’s an old-fashioned comedy of manners that tackles some contemporary issues,” says Ms. McAllister. “Although I certainly didn’t set out to write an issue play, recent events, like Great Britain’s posthumous pardons of convicted gay men, have made the story a bit more relevant. The story at the heart of the play sort of speculates on what life would have been like for someone like Oscar Wilde. There’s nothing heavy about the material, though, as anyone who knows me should realize. It’s a bit of a soap opera or a rom-com with British accents. Sort of ‘Downton Abbey’ meets ‘La Cage aux Folles.’”
The Monday Night Specials series continues through Sept. 18. Some highlights include a reading of a new play by MacDowell Colony fellow Krista Knight, directed by Claudia Weill (a joint presentation with the famed MacDowell Colony) on July 10, and a reading of a play by legendary playwright and screenwriter Moss Hart, directed by his son Christopher Hart, on July 17. All Monday Night Specials readings include a post-show Q and A with for writers, directors, performers, and audience members.
Reading of “The Green Rose,” a new farce by Gwyn McAllister, Monday, June 12, at 7:30 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven. Special early-season ticket price of $15. Visit mvplayhouse.org.