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An Interview with Bridge Repertory Theater's John Tracey

About John, Associate Producer


BY DAY: Administrative Assistant, MIT. AT

BRIDGE REP: Associate Producer, Actor, Assistant Stage Manager, Properties Designer, Therapist to the Producing Artistic Director, .gif Technician


So who is Bridge Repertory Theater? For those of you might not have heard of this local theater company or of the play, Mrs. Packard, we thought we would do the digging for you! Check out our chat with John Tracey below.

Q: Speaking to someone who has never heard of Bridge Repertory Theater, what would you say you are all about?


A: Bridge Repertory is about advancing the belief that live theater is not itself the end goal but rather a means of connection. It’s about the act of coming together with other people and witnessing live theater and sharing an experience. A real community experience.

Q: How did you find the story of Mrs. Packard and what was it about the story that made you want to perform it?


A: We found the story of Mrs. Packard in a meeting with the playwright. Emily Mann mentioned that she had written this play and Oliva – the Artistic Director – picked up a copy and immediately knew that she wanted us to produce it. It is an incredible American story that most people don’t know about, featuring this woman who single-handedly is responsible for reform in the justice system and women’s’ rights. It’s common, whenever someone produces a play, to hear them say that “it’s more timely than ever”. In this case, it seems that it really is as timely in that it’s the story of a woman who is being silenced, who has to sensor herself in order to be effective in creating change. Which is why one of our promotional hashtags on social media, months ago we decided, it was going to be #shespeaks. And we wake up today, and #letlizspeak is trending because Elizabeth Warren is being silenced by the white, male patriarchy. Which is exactly what this story, from the 1860’s in Illinois, is about. It’s inspiring but it’s also maddening that this is actually this timely.

Q: Talking about Bridge as a whole, what motivates you all as producers and directors to choose the plays that you do?


A: This is our 13th full production as Bridge Repertory, and the thing that we always say when we are trying to figure out what to do next is, what haven’t we done? Compelling human stories is something that we are drawn to both in terms of ourselves as artists and in terms of what experience we are giving to the audience. We’re looking for what’s challenging for us and what’s rewarding for the people we are doing it for.

Q: As one of the handful of theater companies in Boston, what excites you about the theater scene here and what does Bridge Rep do to help it grow?


A: What’s exciting [about the Boston theater world] is that it is such an ecosystem in that, what the theater companies of all sizes choose to do affects everyone else. What happens with the Huntington is going to affect this theater company and that theater company and it flows both ways. What Bridge Rep offers to this ecosystem is reflected by one of its goals, which is to create opportunities for early to mid-career artists. There is a very large pool of young, non-union actors in Boston and then there’s a large pull of established, equity actors in Boston and there’s not a lot of opportunity for people who are in-between. One of the things we are committed to with Bridge Rep is creating union opportunities for artists who are in-between. That’s part of where the name for Bridge Rep comes from, to bridge that gap between the established and not-so established. We also bridge the gap by meeting in the middle. A lot of the actors that have been working here for years work with us and we also work with some of the younger actors in the community, it’s like a meeting place in the middle where everyone gets to work together.


Past Events

We had a blast with the CPS K-8 graders, their family, friends, and teachers last Thursday! What a fun Gallery Reception. Thank you to everyone who came in support of the young artists and thank you to Blick for providing art materials!


Click the images above to take a look at some snapshots from the show.


*All photos by Caitlin O'Brien unless otherwise stated

Click HERE for more details

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