New theater company opens in JP

April 25, 2014
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Jamaica Plain theater enthusiasts are set to have a new option to go to as the Open Theatre Project (OTP) is hosting a series of events at St. John’s Episcopal Church, kicking off with the “Henry and Vanessa Unbound.”

The play, which starts today, April 25, is written by former JP resident Howard Zilber. He said that the play is loosely based on his wife and himself and takes place in JP. The couple in the play decides to invite over an extreme left-wing person and an extreme right-wing person to see what happens.

Zilber said that by the end of the play, the couple is questioning their relationship and asking themselves what type of people they are.

“I want it to be a deeply rewarding experience. I want them to be entertained. It’s a very funny piece,” he said about what he hopes attendees get from the play.

The play will be directed by 26-year-old Dustin Bell, who first started a theater group in Ithaca, N.Y. before bringing that experience to Boston, where he founded OTP with Zilber.

“I’ve always prided myself on my ability to put the pieces together, solve problems and create a collaborative environment for those around me,” Bell said in an email to the Gazette. “That lead me to focus my ‘jack-of-all-trades’ skill set on directing and founding OTP.”

He said that OTP’s motto is “Art for the purpose of community.” OTP plans to produce two plays and a musical revue this year and “establish our root in Jamaica Plain and try always to listen to those around us,” said Bell.

“That will build our foundation for the future and keep us evolving, something that can never stop,” he said.

For more information, visit theopentheatre.com.

Dustin Bell (left) and Howard Zilber, founders of the Open Theatre Project. (Photo by Gina Manning Photography)

Dustin Bell (left) and Howard Zilber, founders of the Open Theatre Project. (Photo by Gina Manning Photography)