Martha's (B)rainstorm:

A Boston fairy tale

Written by John J King

Directed by Stephanie LeBolt

In collaboration with the Boston Public Library Playwright-in-Residence program and part of the Push Project Residency at Boston Center for the Arts

June 7, 8, 14, and 15 at Boston Center for the Arts


Once upon a time, in 2072, rising temps and sea levels threaten to turn Boston into New England's own Venice. But some things in Boston never change: the population doubles in September, the Yankees suck, and nobody speaks to one another—they yell. City Communications Director Martha Morgan needs to chart a course that keeps Bostonians above water, but a Single-Minded Mayor, Arrogant Architect, and a history of segregation stand in her way. And on top of all that, a talking turtle is begging Martha to save its last egg...and its entire species. If Martha hopes save all of Boston's citizens, both human and otherwise, she better hope a rising tide lifts all votes.



Please Note:

This play is still in progress and this is a workshop presentation, not a fully staged production. Parts of the text will be read script-in-hand, and while there will be some use of movement and design elements (costumes, props, etc.), you won't see all of the traditional production elements of a fully realized production. This is an exciting opportunity for our audience to see a play in the earliest stages and have a hand in our developmental journey. We'll be gathering thoughts from our audiences and collaborators throughout the workshop process as we look toward the next draft of the play and hope you will join us to participate in Fresh Ink's first-ever commissioned work!

The performance runs approximately two hours with a 10 minute intermission.


Cast and Production Team

Martha Lee Morgan - Blyss Cleveland
Chelonia Mydas - Maria Hendricks
Dr. Cassandra Byrnes and others - Louise Hamill
Yzobel and others - Lourdes Martinez
Rudy Walsh and others - Phil Thompson
Damian Argus and others - Matt Ryan
Zara and others - Lynn Wilcott
Raquela and others - Adriana Zuniga
Guilherme "Gee" Puissant and others - Nick Osborne
Duc Nguyen and others - Quentin Nguyen-duy


Playwright - John J King
Director - Stephanie LeBolt
Dramaturg - Jessie Baxter
Stage Manager - Benjamin Janey
Movement and Choreography - Misha Shields
Composer and Instrumentalist - Geraldine Barney
Scenic Design - Kenny Burt
Sound Design - Andrew Duncan Will
Lighting Design - Iman Louis-Jeune

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Blyss Cleveland's (Martha Lee Morgan) recent credits include an ensemble member in Wit (Hub Theatre Company of Boston); Iris and a female chorus member in The Love of the Nightingale (Hub Theatre Company of Boston); Kate in Good People (Hovey Players); the Lady in Gold in for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (Pariah Theatre Company); and an ensemble member in Fires in the Mirror (Tufts University Department of Drama and Dance). She extends a very special thanks to the cast and crew, and to Sam for the pre-rehearsal dinners, conversations, and encouragement.

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Maria Hendricks (Chelonia Mydas) is excited to collaborate with Fresh Ink once again. Recent favorite credits include Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (NH); Matilde in The Clean House (ME) & originating the role of La Llorona in the premiere performance of La Llorona with Fresh Ink last Spring! Maria enjoys being a Playback Theatre artist with the troupe Red Sage Stories (Boston) and y’all can also catch her on the Smithsonian Network as Tituba in a new docu-series entitled Salem’s Secrets, which will air in 2019.

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Louise Hamill (Dr. Cassandra Byrnes and others) was recently seen in Birds with Sleeping Weazel, Don’t Give Up the Ship, It’s Not About My Mother, and Distant Neighbors with Fresh Ink Theatre Company, Shiver: a Fairytale of Anxious Proportions and How May I Connect You? with Project: Project, and the Boston Theatre Marathon. She has also worked with The One-Minute Play Festival, Happy Medium Theatre, Heart and Dagger Productions, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Mill 6 Collaborative, among others. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Fresh Ink Theatre Company, which focuses on developing and producing new work with New England area playwrights, and the co-founder of Project: Project, a troupe producing ensemble-created, original stories that combine scripted material with improvisation. Louise has a BA in Theatre from Connecticut College and studied at the British American Drama Academy.


Lourdes Martinez (Yzobel and others) is a Boston based actress. Recent credits include Rachel in Baltimore (New Repertory Theatre), Daughter in I am Lear (Actor Shakespeare Project), and Juliet in V-Day ShakeUp (Bridge Repertory Theater). She recently graduated from Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Arts.

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Phil Thompson (Rudy Walsh and others) was last seen in The Lyons with the Titanic Theatre Company.  Other recent credits: Winter Solstice and The Visit  at Apollinaire Theatre Co, The Unexpected Guest, Stage 284, The Return To Morality at Titanic Theatre Co. at Central Square Theatre, Barefoot in the Park (Victor) at Moonbox Productions, To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus) at Firehouse Theatre, The Weaver of Ravelo (Squire Cass) at Club Oberon, A Man for all Seasons (Cromwell), Goodly Creatures (John Winthrop) at Hub Theatre Co, Party Time (Douglas) at Theatre on Fire, Of Mice and Men (The Boss) at Moonbox Productions.  Phil is involved with the PERCS program at Boston’s Children Hospital, a program that utilizes improvisation to train health care professionals.

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Matt Ryan (Damian Argus and others) is delighted to be a part of Martha's (b)Rainstorm. Los Angeles credits include I Kicked Luis Guzman in the Face (film) and Point Break LIVE (stage.) Boston credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead & Clybourne Park (The Longwood Players), as well as Blood on the Snow (The Bostonian Society.) Thanks to Erin for always reminding me to choose joy.

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Lynn Wilcott (Zara and others) is an actor, singer, and special effects designer in Boston, having recently worked with the One Minute Play Festival, MIT G&SP, Fresh Ink Theatre, the Outside the Box Festival, Company One, and HUB Theatre Company of Boston. When not near anything remotely close to a stage, she is a member of the Transplant team at MGH and is a volunteer HAZMAT First Responder. She gives love to her amazing friends and family, and XXXX to the Secondary Human.

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Adriana Zuniga (Raquela and others) is thrilled to make her Boston debut with Fresh Ink Theatre Company. She is a recent graduate of the BA Theatre program at Suffolk University. She is a playwright, actress, and director who is dedicated in sharing the underrepresented stories in society through her artistry.


Nick Osborne (Guilherme "Gee" Puissant and others) is excited to make his debut with Fresh Ink. Recent credits: Frankie in Parade (The Umbrella), Guildenstern in Hamlet (Brown Box Theatre Project), Vinticelli II in Amadeus (Moonbox Productions), Ernie Lally in A Man of No Importance (Bad Habit Productions), Billy Boy Bill in Urinetown (Longwood Players), Aegeus in Medea & Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show (Salem Theatre). Nick trained at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and currently works for the Boston Globe.

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Quentin Jun Nguyen-duy (Duc Nguyen and others) is a second-year Theatre Arts major at the Boston University School of Theatre.  Current theatre credits include: Ralph Chun, American Hwangap (Interlochen Summer Shakespeare Festival) Orsino, Twelfth Night (Oberlin College), and Russell Henderson/Andy Paris in Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (Interlochen Arts Academy).  Film credits include: Jack in The Menhir (Colter Fellows), Demon, The Month of August (John Chigas), and has interned for HBO Producer Jake DeVito in Los Angeles (2015).  In addition to acting, Quentin writes for the Oberlin Grape newspaper, the Oberlin Review and is currently pursuing an NSCA certification in Personal Training.  




John J King (Playwright) is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur, and lives in Boston where he makes plays, music, & art. He has a B.A. in Theatre & English from SUNY Boondocks, and an accent from his mama. Plays includeBlueshift (O'Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights' Conference Finalist, 2016); From Denmark With Love (IRNE nomination: Best New Play); and an adapted libretto for the German Gothic opera Der Vampyr. His work has been produced locally by Vaquero Playground, SpeakEasy Stage, New Exhibition Room, and Company One Theatre. He is a proud alum of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows.


Stephanie LeBolt (Director) is a Boston-based director passionate about new work and movement direction. Recent credits: Sfanta (Wellesley College), La Llorona (Fresh Ink Theatre), Franklin (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical (The Umbrella Center), and That Time the House Burned Down (Fresh Ink Theatre). She is the Studio Programs Manager at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, a graduate of the Insted Israel Directors’ Lab and the Arts Administration program at the University of Virginia, and a recipient of the 2017 Mayor’s Opportunity Fund.

Jessie Baxter (Dramaturg) is a Boston-based dramaturg specializing in new work and nerdery of all kinds. She is the Literary Director and Co-Founder of Fresh Ink Theatre and the Connectivity Manager at Company One Theatre. She has done development work with playwrights all over Boston, and recent production credits include Hype Man, Revolt, She Said. Revolt Again.; That Time the House Burned Down, Dry Land, and Chalk. Jessie has had fellowships at The Playwrights Center and The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and earned a BA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College. She is the Northeast regional VP of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America.

Ben Janey (Stage Manager) - This is Ben's second show with Fresh Ink and he's thrilled to be a part of such a unique and fun project. Previously he's worked with BPT on the Boston Theatre Marathon (multiple years), the Mill 6 Collaborative, Rough and Tumble Theater Co, Shakespeare and Company, and others. He is eternally grateful for his wife Nicole for making him lunches when he's tired and their dog Willow for still recognizing him as part of the family. No Willow, you still can't take my spot in bed.

Geraldine Barney (Composer and Instrumentalist) is originally from Northwest New Mexico, the eastern part of the Navajo Nation. Geraldine’s work explores the relationship between the traditional Navajo values and beliefs she grew up with on the Navajo Reservation and contemporary city life off the reservation. Straddling two cultures is a prominent theme in her art and her music. She currently resides in Roslindale, MA. Geraldine studied printmaking at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM and at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO. Geraldine is also a singer and song writer.  She was selected by ethnomusicologists from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to be one of the artists on two CDs: “Music of New Mexico: Native American Traditions” and “Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women”, both on the Smithsonian Folkways label. She performs her music to both local and national audiences. She is currently working on a CD entitled "The Eastward Path.” Listen to an NPR excerpt.

Misha Shields' (Movement and Choreography) Off-Broadway credits include, Baghdaddy (Chita Rivera Award Nominee/St. Luke's Theater), Wonderland (Atlantic Theater), and The Orion Experience (XL Nightclub). Other credit highlights include, I Was Most Alive With You, Milk Like Sugar, Doll's House, Ripcord (Huntington), Emma! (Stageworks Media workshop), Zombies On Broadway! (RKO Theatricals workshop), Spelling Bee, Merrily We Roll Along (APAC), Company (St. Bart's Players), Bridges Of Madison County (SpeakEasy), Brawler (Boston Playwrights' Theatre/Kitchen Theatre Company), We're Gonna Die, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., Really, Hype Man (Company One), Rocky Horror (Yale), Cabaret, and Sunday... (Boston Conservatory). Love to Ben, Shea, and Tater.

Kenny Burt (Scenic Design) - This is Kenny’s first project with Fresh Ink. Currently, Kenny is the Director of Technical Theater at Beaver Country Day School, where he teaches students to design Beaver’s productions. Recent design work includes many lighting, set, sound and projection designs for Beaver, as well as the set designs for The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast for FPAC at Bridgewater State University, and Der Vampyr for OperaHub at the Boston Center for the Arts. Kenny has a B.A. in Theater Arts from Bridgewater State University.

Andrew Duncan Will (Sound Design) - Recent local sound design credits include productions with Speakeasy Stage, Hasty Pudding, A.R.T. Institute, Lyric Stage, Bad Habit Productions, Flotsam Productions, Gloucester Stage, Stoneham Theatre, Puppet Showplace Theater, New Rep, Fresh Ink, Boston Public Works, Commonwealth Shakespeare, and Company One. Andrew received an MFA in Sound Design from Boston University.