O’Neill’s “Murph” returns to the Boston stage this week

Actors in rehearsal for MURPH by Catherine M. O’Neill. From left, Stewart Evan Smith, Colin McIntire, Steven Kline, Meg Anchukaitis.

Open Theatre Project presents the revival of “Murph” by Dorchester playwright Catherine M. O’Neill from Oct. 20-29 at the Allston performing arts venue Studio 52.

The play debuted in 2012 at the Boston’s Playwrights’ Theatre and was praised for its familiar portrayal of a state rep and his staff. The new production is directed by Dustin D. Bell of The Open Theatre.

“The story is fantastic and [O’Neill] is a master wordsmith. She’s as Boston as they come, energetic, and the reason we’re doing this play,” said Bell. “As part of OTP’s Series 3, “Murph” celebrates our mission—it’s comprehensive and representative. It is as local as it can get, collaborative as it can get, and focuses on voices that aren’t necessarily heard.”

The play is set in the weeks before President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. As politics are shifting in the City of Boston, Rep. Kevin ‘Murph’ Murphy plots his own rise to the top of the political chain with his two staffers, Katie and Gary. Ultimately, secrets are revealed and truths are told, and the lingering question begs to be answered: what sacrifices have to be made and what will the cost be for these characters?

Bell has reinvigorated the narrative and made a few changes to the production, but is staying true to the authenticity of play and the set’s design and décor with the help of O’Neill.

“This play doesn’t have a genre, it’s just very real,” said Bell. “It’s authentic and you go up and down with each one of the characters. They’re real people making decisions in life. You think you know what people are motivated by but it changes in an instant.”

All of the performances of “Murph” will be held at Studio 52 located at 52 Everett St. in Allston. The 8 p.m. performances will be held from Oct. 20-22 and 27-29, and one 2 p.m. performance will be held on Oct. 23. Pay-What-You-Can-Night is on Fri., Oct. 21. According to OTP, this night is about access and guests are welcomed to pay what they can, even if it’s just a smile. The general admission ticket price is $25.

For more information on OTP’s productions, please visit theopentheatre.com.


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