In December, Boston playwright MJ Halberstadt had the satisfaction of seeing his first professional full-length piece of theatre, not JENNY, put into action. The reunion story of estranged twin sisters, not JENNY, plumbs themes of tragedy, neglect, sibling rivalry, and pasts both recent and ancient through a surreal and comical lens. The play was directed by Rebecca Bradshaw and presented by the Bridge Repertory Theater, a new Boston-based theatre company of which MJ is a founding member.
not JENNY, the second production of Bridge Rep Theater’s first season, is making waves for the emerging company. Boston Arts Diary raves, “The premise of the oddly named character sets the play up as a kind of extreme farce […] The bizarre background of the family seems so unbelievable at first that, as with any surrealistic representation, it is so jarring that we jolt in laughter from discomfort. Later on, the scene’s strangeness becomes so familiar that it takes on shades of realism, and that makes us cry.”
In a November interview with The Boston Globe, MJ gives us a glimpse into where his next projects might take us, “I want to keep falling down the rabbit hole, as it were, and see where it takes me. One of the big goals is to tell stories that are empowering to disenfranchised and underrepresented voices, by making the qualities that make these people disenfranchised or underrepresented secondary to the larger story” (The Boston Globe).
For news, blog posts, and upcoming productions, visit MJ’s website.