Writing workshop and conversation with playwright JACLYN BACKHAUS


Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 4:00pm


Farkas Hall, 10-12 Holyoke St.

Jaclyn BackhausPresented by: Learning From Performers in partnership with the Theater, Dance & Media Concentration, Harvard College Women's Center, Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, Harvard College Office of BGLTQ Student Life, and SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston
Admission: Free and open to the public; seating first come, first served, subject to venue capacity.

Harvard affiliates and the public are invited to attend a playwriting workshop and conversation with playwright Jaclyn Backhaus. Her 90-minute play Men on Boats captures both the past and our own times with a dramatic re-visioning of the 1869 Powell Expedition on the Colorado River. Backhaus based her play on John Wesley Powell’s journals, which recount the historic, U.S.-backed expedition to chart the river. In the spirit of Hamilton, Backhaus bends the history by stipulating that the actors must be of “fluid” gender and race. “If summer has you hankering for fitness-testing excursions through the dangerous outdoors, you will surely want to spend time with the hearty title characters of Men on Boats,” Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote about the Off Off Broadway Wild Project production in 2015. SpeakEasy Stage Company is producing the play through Oct. 7 at Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston.


Readers for this event include:

Peryn Reeves-Darby ‘18
Meghan Onserio ‘19
Kier Zimmerman ‘19
Lindsay McAuliffe ‘20


The cast of "Men On Boats" at SpeakEasy
The cast of "Men on Boats" at SpeakEasy Stage Company PHOTO: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott

Jaclyn Backhaus is an Indian American playwright and co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper. Recent New York productions include Men on Boats (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks, The Kilroys' 2015 List), People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival's INCOMING! Series at The Public Theater), The Incredible Fox Sisters (Live Source, The New Ohio), and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, with The Hypocrites in Fall 2016). She has received commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Ars Nova and is the 2016 Tow Foundation playwright-in-residence at Clubbed Thumb. Her work has been developed and showcased with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Playwrights Horizons, The Public and Joe’s Pub, The Ice Factory Festival, (not just) 3 New Plays, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ars Nova’s ANTFest, and The Falcons. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona, and lives in Ridgewood, Queens, with her husband, theater director Andrew Scoville.

Jaclyn Backhaus presenters