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Heffron’s Play Premieres at Rep

Heffron’s Play Premieres at Rep

: Hannah Mootz in "Bo-Nita"; courtesy of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Nate Watters.

Heffron’s Play Premieres at Rep

: Elizabeth Heffron; courtesy of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Nate Watters.

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The play is Bo-Nita by Cornish faculty member Elizabeth Heffron, and it’s opening soon at the Rep with an alum in the starring role.

Some events just push all the buttons, and the opening of Bo-Nita October 18 in the Seattle Rep’s Leo K. is one of these. First, it’s a world premiere in a major regional theater by a Cornish faculty member, Elizabeth Heffron. But wait, there’s more. The Rep cast Cornish alum Hannah Mootz (TH ’11) in the title role.  Are we done? No. Directing the piece is Paul Budraitis, also on the faculty of Cornish. That should be enough, right? ’Fraid not. As Bo-Nita opens at the Rep, across the walkway, Cornish will be opening its first production of its first full season at the newly renamed Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, the Moliere-Lully opera La Bourgeois Gentilhomme, on exactly the same day.

All of these coincidences certainly have been noted at the Rep: “This is the first Seattle Rep production in which the playwright, director, and lead actor are all affiliated with Cornish College of the Arts.”

“Bo-Nita is especially gratifying because it serves as a ‘welcome wagon’ to Cornish, our new neighbors,” stated Artistic Director Jerry Manning. “We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship between the two organizations.”

Elizabeth Heffron, who did a fantastic interview in CityArts, is pleased as well. “It’s terrific to see such a positive meeting of the educational and professional realms in this city,” she says. “I think it bodes well for continued new work, and the gifts of our young Cornish actors, directors, and playwrights.”

Other great press going into production included articles on Heffron in the Seattle Weekly, the play on Seattle Magazine’s website and on Mootz and the play in CityArts.

“Life’s not easy for Bo-Nita,” writes the Seattle Rep of the plot of Heffron’s play. “It never is for a 13-year-old, but especially one who winds up with a dead, semi-ex-stepfather on her bedroom floor. With humor, pathos, and a dash of Midwest magic realism, Bo-Nita follows the resourceful exploits of a working class mother-daughter duo determined to stay together—and out of jail.”

Elizabeth Heffron’s works include New Patagonia (Seattle Rep) and Mitzi’s Abortion (ACT), which has since received performances nationwide. She was a member of the inaugural class of Seattle Rep’s Writers Group from 2011 to 2013, and her new play The Weatherman Project was workshopped at the Rep’s 2013 New Play Festival. Bo-Nita was workshopped at Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival in 2012, under the direction of SRT Associate Artistic Director Braden Abraham. The play will be fully produced at Portland Center Stage in February 2014 as part of their 2013-2014 season.

Hannah Mootz most recently appeared in The Trial (New Century Theatre Company), A Behanding in Spokane (Theater Schmeater), and the 14/48 Festival. She has worked at Printer’s Devil Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ArtsWest, ACT, and more. She wrote and performed her own solo show, H’s for Hillary, while a student at Cornish.

Director Paul Budraitis will be making his first appearance at the Rep. Known for his solo work and keen visual sensibility, he has worked with On the Boards, the Degenerate Art Ensemble, Annex Theatre, Balagan Theatre, and New City Theatre, among others. He recently appeared at On the Boards with two solo performances, (IN)STABILITY and Clear Blue Sky at the Northwest New Works Festival. In 2001, Mr. Budraitis received a State Department Fulbright grant to pursue a master’s degree in theatre directing from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Bo-Nita plays October 18 - November 17, 2013 (Opening Night: Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m.). Performance times: Wednesday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with select Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. (no matinees during previews).


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