Flat Earth Theatre presents a radically collaborative virtual theatre experience in 7 Rooms: The Masque of the Red Death. We’ve united seven local playwrights and seven local directors to construct seven new short plays to fill the unique rooms of the famous manor from Edgar Allan Poe’s deliciously macabre short story.
Within Prospero’s manor where masked revellers escape the plague that devastates the world outside, these assembled works create an evening of theatre that explores isolation, connection, moral dilemmas, humor, and humanity during the time of plague.
7 Rooms: The Masque of the Red Death streamed on Zoom from July 28th through August 15th, 2021. While the masquerade has concluded for now, we invite you to peruse this site to learn about the many talented artists who made this unique project possible.
If you attended the masquerade, we'd love to hear from you! Please take a few moments to fill out our Attendee Survey!
Since our activities are shared digitally to the internet, let's take a moment to consider the legacy of colonization embedded within the technology, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day. We are using equipment and high-speed internet, not available in many Indigenous communities. Even the technologies that are central to much of the art we make leave significant carbon footprints, contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect Indigenous people worldwide. I invite you to join us in acknowledging all this, as well as our shared responsibility to make good of this time and for each of us to consider our roles in reconciliation, decolonization, and ally-ship.
“It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade. But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. These were seven—an imperial suite." Edgar Allan Poe
What’s the difference between appropriation and veneration? Elvira, the Ivory Explicator of the Blues, is about to find out when her performance is interrupted by an unexpected visitor.
A pair of hourly workers manage the avalanche of jackets that are coming into coat check, while comparing notes about some unusual behavior at the party.
Lee Mikeska Gardner enters her 9th season as the Artistic Director for The Nora at Central Square Theater. Lee began her career as an actor and director working on plays in development, participating in over 40 world premiere plays and musicals. She has visited the world of Poe before, when she helmed the world premiere of Peter Coy’s musical Poe and All That Jazz for Charter Theater in Washington D.C. Her most recent work, directing the world premiere of Alexandra Petri’s Inherit the Windbag at Mosaic Theater in Washington, D.C., pivoted from the stage to the Zoom platform with the Covid shutdown. Also in the virtual world, she directed Amy Merrill’s new play Shoe Leather Epidemiology for CST’s Women & Science Theater Festival. Her last live production was the Elliot Norton Award–winning Cloud 9 (outstanding Direction and Production) at The Nora, where she also directed the world premieres of The Midvale High School Fiftieth Reunion (with Gordon Clapp) and Saving Kitty (with Jennifer Coolidge.) Lee was an Artistic Associate for ten years at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and spent amazing time with Charter Theater, The Keegan Theater, Washington Shakespeare Company, Consenting Adults Theater Company and the Shenandoah Playwrights’ Retreat.
Lee is an award-winning actor in two cities with an Elliot Norton and Helen Hayes nod and has developed roles in 11 plays and countless readings.
As an educator, Lee has taught or served as a guest artist at colleges and universities across the nation including Emerson, University of Nevada – Las Vegas, UVA – Charlottesville, University of Maryland – College Park, and Middlebury College.
A visitor comes knocking at the airlock door of the spaceship Athena, asking to be let in contrary to quarantine protocols. Do the rescue crew aboard dare open the door to the unknown?
A trio of guests at Prospero’s posh party steal away from the crowd to sit around a campfire trying to re-create an annual ritual to celebrate their friendship after an extended period apart. But memories of what occurred at the previous “Toasting Man” reveal a dark secret they share and which they agree to finally lay to rest.
Dr. Hortense Gerardo is a playwright, filmmaker, and anthropologist, and serves as the Director of the Anthropology, Performance, and Technology (APT) Program at the University of California, San Diego. Her works have been performed nationally and internationally, including: LaMama Experimental Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston, the International Performance Art Festival, the Venice Biennale, and the Nuit Blanche International Festival in Toronto.
Hortense’s award-winning documentary film, Small Steps: Dances of Resilience, is a recent recipient of the award for Best Environmental Film at the 2021 Vancouver Independent Film Festival, and Best Dance Film at the 2021 Rome Film Awards.
Dr. Gerardo received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Anthropology and Performing Arts from Boston University. For more information go to: www.hortensegerardo.com
Olivia Dumaine (she/her) is a graduate of the BFA Theatre Performance program at Salem State University, with minors in both Psychology and Dramatic Literature.
Some of her recent acting credits include: Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Zoom Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Apollinaire Theatre Company), Macbeth (Underlings Theatre Company), Henry IV (Praxis Stage), and Three Sisters (Apollinaire Theatre Company). She is a resident actor at Playwrights' Platform.
Outside of acting, Olivia is passionate about consent education, communication, and the future of intimacy direction. She has toured with Speak About It, Inc., educating college students across the country. She is also committed to studying intimacy direction, and has participated in several workshops with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. Olivia is also the Managing Director for Acropolis Stage Company.
Adrift in the Violet Room, two partygoers must choose between returning to the world they know or diving into the unknown.
In the middle of Prospero’s party, an influencer decides to do a quick makeup tutorial to cheer up her poor plague-besieged followers. But as the horrors of the party seep in, she soon realizes that once you go live, it’s very difficult to turn back or turn off.
Lorraine Kanyike is a Boston-based actor and theatre artist. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and African Studies, and has been acting professionally in Boston and digital platforms for the last few years. Past credits include: The Three Musketeers (Greater Boston Stage Company), Puffs (FTLO Theater), Hamlet (Striving Artists Theater Company), Intermittent Dreams (Hub Theatre Company), Digital Dionysia (Third Citizen Theater Company). She would like to thank Flat Earth Theatre for such a fun and creative experience, her family and friends for their support, and the creative team behind this production of The White Room! More of Lorraine’s work can be found on her website: lorrainevkan.wixsite.com/lorrainekanyike.
As always, All Black Lives Matter.
A misanthropic occultist seeks solitude in the cellar. The room seems to offer up something they have sought for a long time, but can they truly attain their desire?
Within the multi-faceted walls of the manor, Prospero reigns over the most prestigious end-of-the-world party of all time, but something’s wrong. Prospero’s secret will be revealed, and it will blow everyone away.
Lindsay Eagle is an IRNE Award–winning actor and director with a degree in Theatre from Suffolk University.
In 2007, Lindsay co-founded the critically acclaimed fringe company The Independent Drama Society, which she led as Artistic Director for three years until its amicable end in 2011. During this period, she facilitated more than 15 full-length productions, including directing Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice (nominated for Best Production - Small Theatre, IRNE Awards; awarded Best Director, MyTheatre Awards).
With a focus on social justice theatre, feminism, and body image activism, Lindsay earned critical acclaim, including an IRNE Award for Best Actress -- Small Theatre, for her portrayal of Helen in Fat Pig by Neil LaBute (Flat Earth Theatre), and has also acted with many local theatre companies, including Bridge Repertory Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Happy Medium Theatre Company, and Flat Earth Theatre. Her directorial credits include a radically representative production of Antigone by Jean Anouilh (Flat Earth Theatre), as well as several productions with all-female casts, including The Good Body by Eve Ensler (Hub Theatre Company of Boston), the first all-female professional production of Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory and the New England premiere of What Once We Felt by Ann Marie Healy (both with Flat Earth Theatre). Other directing credits include Citizens of the Empire: a Space Opera by Kevin Mullins, From The Deep by Cassie M. Seinuk (both with Boston Public Works), and short plays and readings with companies such as The Body and Sold Project, Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company, The Charlestown Working Theatre, The One-Minute Play Festival and Open Theatre Project.
Lindsay is a freelance actor and director, as well as the Marketing & Publicity Manager and a Company Member of Flat Earth Theatre. www.lindsayeagle.com
The Seven Rooms team would like to thank the following individuals and organizations without whom this project would not have been possible.
Flat Earth Theatre crafts experiences that challenge the worldview of both artist and audience. Through evocative, intimate staging and visceral, intelligent performances, we inspire the community to question their preconceived notions and expand their perspective. We stage productions of neglected and underperformed scripts, as well as new and in-development pieces, and conceive unique takes on more conventional works. Flat Earth Theatre thrives in its egalitarian approach, engaging the diverse ideas and skills of its company members and collaborators to create thought-provoking theatre that informs and entertains.
Flat Earth Theatre has been collaboratively crafting award-winning theatre in the Greater-Boston area since 2006. Founded in Watertown by two long-time friends, the company has since produced more than three dozen mainstage shows in its fifteen year history, and has established itself as a distinctive voice in the local fringe theatre scene. Driven by the unofficial motto, Challenge Your World, Flat Earth has earned a reputation for producing envelope-pushing shows that spur audiences to confront their preconceived notions, and look at their world in new and unexpected ways.
Offstage, Flat Earth prides itself on its egalitarian governance model. The company has no Artistic Director, nor any other hierarchical structure. Rather, all decisions from show-selection down are made by consensus of its now thirteen members. In that sense, Flat Earth functions as a community of artists; a consortium of creatives brought together in pursuit of great theatre. Learn more about Flat Earth and our history at flatearththeatre.com.
Flat Earth is a federally-recognized non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support this and other projects by visiting flatearththeatre.com/contribute today!