ROXBURY, MA. – Smoked Oysters revolves around loving and successful Black family members who experience unexpected challenges. Ulysses, a retired Black history professor, refuses to leave his house, even to get the smoked oysters his wife, Arnetta, won’t buy him. She is busy planning their dream trip, a safari in Kenya. Bernard, their ambitious son, asserts that his father’s contrary behaviors are not typical and that his mother should take him to see a doctor. When tragedy strikes, Bernard is the one who must make a difficult decision.
Smoked Oysters is written by Hibernian Hall’s 2021/22 Playwright In Residence Mary McCullough. It is Hibernian Hall’s first in-person play since 2019. Smoked Oysters will also be recorded and streamed online in December 2021.
According to Haris Lefteri, Interim Program Director for Hibernian Hall at Madison Park Development Corporation, “Smoked Oysters allows the audience to peep through a keyhole of what a real family looks like. It is an examination of sickness and health, of family patterns and relationships and, most importantly, a paradoxical mix of energy and exhaustion that seems to seep from each one of the characters’ pores.”
“Smoked Oysters is about a tight-knit family, the fragility and futility of making plans, denial of aging, and resistance to “stepping up to the plate.” Candelaria Silva-Collins, a longtime Friend of Hibernian Hall, says, “Families come in different configurations, and they all, eventually, do a generational dance, where roles become blurred and reversed. The family dynamics were recognizable to me, and the dialogue felt like I was eavesdropping on an actual family and not one that had been creatively imagined. I recommend. The play deals with serious issues, but it does not burden.”
Tickets to Smoked Oysters are $30 for general admission adults, $15 for students and seniors, and available at www.madison-park.org or at the door. Hibernian Hall is located at 184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA 02119.
PRESS NIGHT: Thursday, September 16, 2021 – 7:30 pm
Dates and times are as follow:
Friday, September 17, 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 18, 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 19, 5:30 pm – (Pay-What-You-Can Night)
Friday, September 24, 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 25, 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 26, 5:30 pm
About the Playwright:
Mary McCullough (she, hers) is the 2021-2022 Playwright-in-Residence at Hibernian Hall, Roxbury, MA, and a co-founder of The Streetfeet Women, a performing and writing company. Streetfeet has toured McCullough’s play, Twilight Time, nationally and internationally. McCullough’s other plays have been produced by ACT-Roxbury, Our Place Theater, Weston Public Schools, and TC Squared Theatre of Cambridge, MA. McCullough’s plays have been read in TC Squared New Works Festival, Roxbury Film Festival Daily Reads, Vermont New Works Festival, Slam-Boston, and the former Theater Cooperative of Somerville, MA New Works Festival. Dramatic works by McCullough can be accessed on the TC Squared’s Volume Up series website. An excerpt of her play, Ballahoo in the Hair Kitchen, is also available for listening on the Boston Podcast Players’ website, Season I. McCullough’s play, A Fine and Dangerous Country, was a semifinalist in the 2020 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Theater Conference. McCullough’s other creative works have been featured in literary journals, newspapers, the International Center for Women Playwrights, and The Streetfeet Women’s publications. McCullough is an alumnus of Company One Theater’s Playlab Unit and is developing new work in the TC2 PlayLab. She is a member of the International Center for Women Playwrights and the Dramatists Guild. McCullough has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater from Goddard College and a Master of Arts in Writing Degree from Northeastern University.
About the Director:
Dawn M. Simmons (Director) is thrilled to be back at Hibernian Hall. Recent credits include The Nora Theater/Front Porch Arts Collective/Hangar Theatre, (Queens Girl In The World), New Repertory Theatre, ([keyp-ing]), The Nora Theater/WAM Theatre, (Pipeline), Lyric Stage Company, (The Wiz, Warrior Class and Saturday Night Sunday Morning), Hibernian Hall, (With Glittering Eyes) Actors’ Shakespeare Project (Macbeth), The Front Porch Arts Collective/Greater Boston Stage Company (The Three Musketeers), Greater Boston Stage Company (The Irish and How They Got That Way), SpeakEasy Stage Company (Just Cause (The Boston Project)), Men On Boats), Bad Habit Productions (The Real Inspector Hound), Boston Public Works (Hard and Fast: A Love Story), New Exhibition Room (Smile), Fresh Ink Theatre (The Embryos), Dawn is also the Artistic Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective Online: www.frontporcharts.org.