After 300 years, Boston’s Old North Church has stood through some of the most exciting and harrowing moments in our nation’s history. The Old North Church’s clock has consistently kept time since 1726. Playwright Patrick Gabridge pens an original play that explores a particularly intense dialogue set on the eve of the Revolutionary War in 1775. Plays in Place rewinds the clock to 1775 where three individuals contemplate their fates as tensions escalate to panic, gradually making it impossible not to take action.
In honor of the Old North Church’s 300th anniversary and directed skillfully by Alexandra Smith, Plays in Place presents Patrick Gabridge’s engaging Revolution’s Edge, live and in person at The Old North Church in Boston Massachusetts on select days through September 19. The production is 45 minutes with no intermission and the box pews provide an immersive view. It is an educational production that is appropriate for families. Click here for more information and for tickets.
From colorful waistcoats to pristine linen shirts to proper vestments, Christina Beam’s elegantly detailed costumes are perfectly authentic to its era and one couldn’t have asked for a better setting than the Old North Church, Boston’s oldest surviving church right along the Freedom Trail.
Three individuals composed of a reverend/doctor, his slave, and a sea captain are metaphorically tied together during this strained window in history. They are contemplating the state of Boston, the nation, and their future. Each clings to a different perspective of their future in terms of family, loyalty, occupation, politics, and identity. Two are a friendship divided through conflict and one is left without a choice as they articulate their thoughts and struggles while the world seems to be collapsing around them.
Gabridge’s passionate script has an intensity rooted in fear that looms quietly and then builds throughout the production. It also brings out the best in this trio of performers. Revolution’s Edge teeters from warmth to anxiousness to manipulation, but each evokes a note of consideration and compassion, even while blinded by fear.
Evan Turissini portrays American ship captain, vestryman, and patriot Captain John Pulling Jr. with reason, devotion, and compassion for the others, but is squarely dedicated to his cause. Turissini and Brooks Reeves as complicated Rev. Dr. Mather Byles Jr, a reverend and doctor with ties to England and America, share some pivotal and contentious moments that bring out some indelible performances. Huddled closely together, it is engrossing to watch their war of words. Byles’s impatience and manipulative side is particularly exposed in a significant conversation with Byles’s slave Cato, depicted sympathetically and astutely by Nathan Johnson. Johnson is faced with agonizing sacrifices and is truly the heart of this production.
Revolution’s Edge cleverly weaves some of Boston’s most significant events including the Boston Tea Party and Revere’s Ride while the audience is still privy to dangerous events in motion right outside the church’s windows.
Though this would be especially fascinating for visitors of Boston and historians, Revolution’s Edge is an exciting and deeply educational window into a harrowing moment in history. Witnessing it knowing how the world is now brings intricate and profound meaning.
In honor of the Old North Church’s 300th anniversary and directed by Alexandra Smith, Plays in Place presents Patrick Gabridge’s engaging Revolution’s Edge live and in person at The Old North Church in Boston Massachusetts on select days through September 19. The production is 45 minutes with no intermission and the box pews provide an immersive view. Click here for more information and for tickets.