Meet MJ Halberstadt, Antarctica enthusiast, educator, and just one of seven playwrights working on ATB’s new documentary theatre project This Place/Displaced to give voice to stories of displacement, gentrification, and housing inequity in Boston.
We touched base with MJ to learn about his play, Kung Pao Something, and what it was like to write based on interviews.
Join us at Charlestown Working Theater August 17-25 to see Kung Pao Something and six more new plays!
Have you ever worked on a play based off of interviews before? What has this process been like for you?
Not until This Place/Displaced! The process was fascinating — I like having a place to begin from, rather than a blank slate. My partner provided lots of material to draw from and adapt, which made my task easier and more tangible.
Can you talk about your choice to center your play around a moment of making food?
MJ Halberstadt is a playwright, educator, and Antarctica enthusiast based just outside Boston. He is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow and recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for “Outstanding New Script”. His plays have been produced by Bridge Repertory Theater, Fresh Ink Theater, Boston Teen Acting Troupe, The Arctic Group, The Survivalists, and Pingree School. Acknowledgements and support from Assets 4 Artists, BCA/Company One PlayLab, Boston University’s Creative Writing Global Fellowship, Flat Earth Theatre, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and Last Frontier Theatre Conference. He is an Adjunct Professor of Writing for Film & TV at Emerson College, Playmaker Emeritus of Bridge Repertory Theater, member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc, and alumnus of Emerson College (BA Theatre Education) and Boston University (MFA Playwriting). Learn more at mjhalberstadt.com.
This Place/Displaced is performing at the Charlestown Working Theatre on at 8pm August 17, 18, 24, and 25. Tickets from $10. Join us to hear the stories of our eight amazing community partners from across the city of Boston. Plus, check out an exhibit of our community partners’ own artwork and writing in the lobby and pick up ATB’s original zine about the history and current climate of gentrification in Boston.