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An Education in Prudence - How Prudence Broke Through aka How I met Dustin and OTP Pt. 2


After that first, critical meeting with Beth , I plunged into writing what would eventually become An Education in Prudence.

With a day job and three young children, I woke at 5, and worked until one of them tumbled downstairs. Those early days, I was excited, hopeful, optimistic – the way I always am beginning a new project.


That October, I organized a reading at the Playwrights’ Platform – a tough love group that doesn’t hesitate to say what’s working and what isn’t. It was sobering. Though Beth was simply ecstatic. I left encouraged just enough, and with ideas to improve the script. By December, I’d finished a draft, and started submitting to theatres and festivals – a dozen by February, two dozen by May, three by August.

Over the next three years, the responses trickled in. All rejections. Discouraging, dispiriting stuff - with two notable exceptions: In November, 2014, Charlestown Working Theatre hosted a reading (with Theatre on Fire). Then, in February, the Massachusetts Cultural Council named me an Artist Fellow.


Though neither led to production. The “no’s” kept coming – over 80 in all. By June, 2016, I was depressed, and wondering if it was time to cut losses and move on.

But then, I went to the Boston Playwright’s Theatre for the Playwrights’ Platform’s festival of new plays. As I entered, I spotted George Smart, the group’s former President, and went up to say hi. George was talking to someone I didn’t know. He introduced me. “This is Dustin Bell,” George said, “founder of Open Theatre Project. By the way, are you still working on that play?”


photo taken the actual NIGHT that Dustin & Stefan met. Boston Plawrights' Theatre - Playwrights Platform Festival

I said, I was. Dustin asked to hear more. And then, he asked if I’d be willing to share the script.

And then, weeks later, Dustin (and George) wrote me with words I’d never stopped hoping for, but had long since ceased to expect:

“We’d like to produce this,” they said.

Up next in this 3 part series, PT. 3 - How I learned whose play this is coming this weekend...

Don't forget to get your TICKETS NOW for OTP's An Education in Prudence - February 9-24 at St. John's Church, Jamaica Plain

#AnEducationinPrudence #OpenTheatreProject #StefanLanfer #JamaicaPlain #NewPlays #OTPSeries4

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