[ 2021 – stage play (in development) – dark comedy ]
Friendships, politics, and a bizarre ritual combine for an explosive and heartbreaking
New Year's Eve in this dark comedy by Jeremiah Munsey.
North By South Theatre & Mogul Productions presents
a play directed by Matt Aaron Krinsky | written by Jeremiah Munsey
produced by Jeremiah Munsey & Matt Aaron Krinsky
workshop production starring Josh Adam, Chase Anderson-Shaw, Amira Nader, Alissa Nordmoe,
Kevin Tomlinson, Kyle Garibaldi, Olivia Hope Talbott & Stephen Ferguson
When twin siblings Maura and Barrett decide to bring their old group of friends back together for one final New Year’s Eve party before selling their family’s Appalachian home to developers, they plan to innocently host the last of their peculiar ritual: a “birthday party” for a pioneer baby buried on the property 168 years before. But old friends, betrayals, politics, and alcohol can make for a volatile combination, and before the night is through, these old friends realize that this isn’t a party… it’s a wake – for their relationships, their long-held beliefs, and the people they used to be. Set in the college town of Morgantown, West Virginia, Pagan Century is a dark comedy dealing with the fear, confusion, and anxiety that comes with seeking your true identity in this turbulent and uncertain new century, where it seems as if not just the rules, but the games themselves, have all been changed.
Featuring 8 formidable roles – 3 female, 5 male – for a multicultural cast of actors aged mid-30s and up, this ensemble piece is adaptable to a variety of theatrical spaces and can be produced across a range of budget options.
Whether the set reflects an authentic three-bedroom middle class home found in the Appalachia region, or a far more minimalistic representation, the two key visual elements are the same. The first, a grave marker from 1848 that remains a constant presence at downstage left. The next, a well-worn, homemade banner – reading “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELIZA!” – that features prominently in the unforgettable ritual scene, which will leave audiences laughing at its utter ridiculousness.