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OTP's Plays in Progress is Back with Everyone is Dying and so am i

Updated: Mar 10



We're so SO excited to be back in the development room with work that is once again re-defining how Open Theatre Project brings new plays to life. This year, we have the distinct pleasure to collaborate with a group of artists who we've been "Dying" to work with! It's our honor to welcome you to a behind the scenes look at this process and the team breathing life into EVERYONE IS DYING AND SO AM I by Michael John Ciszewski.... lets...


Michael John Ciszewski, our fearless leader, diva, divine goddess, playwright, alpha, & omega made his OTP premiere with 2017's Gay Shorts and from there, we've watched as his career and artistic aura has grown brighter, bolder & more focused. When he brought the script and his un-ending energy through our doors, we knew Michael John was going to take us to some brilliant new places. Enter the OTP Plays in Progress Development model, last seen in 2018's An Education in Prudence, this new play lab is custom fit to the work, the artists and the resources available... all focused on making sure the script & production model fit our mission and speak to our community. This pairing would set the course for the work ahead and help us define what exactly Michael John needed from us and a team.


Development Team : Tyler Prendergast, Michael John Ciszewski & Sarah Gazdowicz

It must be said, the way we build worlds like this would be nothing without incredible leadership & direction and we we're BLESSED to find two power-house theatre makers who's reputation precedes them in exceptional ways. Tyler Prendergast as Dramaturg & Co-Director & Sarah Gazdowicz as Movement Coach & Co-Director were tapped to bring a steady focus to a show which, until this point, had been driven exclusively by Michael John and a supportive partner who is a SUPER HERO in our books, Brian Dudley, and a group of friends and artists. Michael John was wearing a lot of hats and needed to hone in on playwright & performer.


From Michael John...


" Working with Sarah and Tyler over the last six weeks has been transformative. We generated a vast volume of new thoughts and ideas that helped grow the show and allowed older elements to fall away naturally.

At one point, the script swelled to a one-hundred minute read (roughly a half hour longer than I alone can endure onstage). I referred to this as our "magnum opus" draft, an opportunity to cram in all the brilliance and bigness we had to offer our show. We whittled and worked, on the page and on our feet, to get as keen a sense as possible of how best the show could thrive in telling its story and giving its audience its unique gift. 

This culminated in an internal reading that felt much like a funeral for the show's former lives and a celebration of birth for the future of the play! We gave the old lives their time in the spotlight and thanked them for their service in growing the piece. Now, we have another opportunity for creative renewal. Thanks to our diligent and, frankly, tireless work, we can now see our show become a most dynamic and unique version of itself as we move towards performance!  "


So here we are, in the middle of the work, our hands dirty, and we can see the shape of a brilliant piece of theatre coming together. We also have a lot of work ahead of us and we're so happy to have you all along for the ride. In the next segment of this on-going blog series, we'll be diving into the worlds of Tyler & Sarah, exploring their process and what they've done to breath new life into EVERYONE IS DYING AND SO AM I .


Here's to Dying together!







Dustin Bell

OTP Artistic Director

Don't forget to join us for the next step in this journey on SEPT 21, 7PM at ST. JOHN'S CHURCH IN JAMAICA PLAIN for a Workshop Production. Be apart of the conversation and help Michael John, Tyler & Sarah introduce EVERYONE IS DYING AND SO AM I to Boston and beyond! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS



About our Plays in Progress™ Series


OTP is all about transparency, so our development process is and "open" book... our Board of Directors & Core (artistic advisory board) pick a great script, idea or event after it's submitted to us by folks just like YOU, we find the right team & process to bring life into it, we RAISE MONEY to pay the people to do the development work, and we ask YOU what you think through on-going workshops, readings and other events that bring you into the room. Simple right? Got an idea, a story, or the spark of something brilliant, reach out today and let's get the conversation started.

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