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Patrick Gabridge

Bringing Historic Sites to Life through Site-Specific Theatre

At historic sites and museums, original site-specific theatrical productions can be a powerful tool to engage audiences with both historical people and places. In addition, a theatrical production at your site can be a useful way to expand board involvement, cultivate donors, and attract media and press attention. Using examples from his own work, playwright and producer Patrick Gabridge will walk attendees through the process of selecting a potential site and story for a theatrical production, talk about the commission and development of the scripts, building of the creative team, and how to roll out a show in a way that creates maximum visitor engagement. Patrick will discuss the fine balance between historical facts and dramatic license, and effective ways to guide audiences as they experience a space and history in a new, lively way.

Patrick’s company Plays in Place specializes in creating site-specific plays in partnership with museums and historic sites. In recent years, Plays in Place has created productions for historic Mount Auburn Cemetery—The Nature Plays, The America Plays, and Moonlight Abolitionists, as well as plays for Boston’s Old State House (Blood on the Snow, Cato & Dolly), Roosevelt-Campobello Park in New Brunswick, and upcoming projects with the National Park Service in Boston around the intersection of abolition, race, and woman suffrage (Suffrage in Black & White).

Patrick Gabridge

Patrick Gabridge is Producing Artistic Director for Plays in Place (playsinplace.com), which works in partnership with museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions to create exciting site-specific theatrical plays and presentations. In recent years, he’s returned to his site-specific explorations, writing Blood on the Snow for The Bostonian Society, which had sold out runs in 2016 and 2017, and Both/And, a play about quantum entanglement, for the Central Square Theater and the MIT Museum, which played at the MIT Museum in 2017 and 2018. Patrick wrote and produced Cato & Dolly for The Bostonian Society, which was part of their Through the Keyhole exhibit around unheard voices from American history and the door from the Hancock Mansion in 2018 and 2019. In addition, he was the artist-in-residence at the Mount Auburn Cemetery from 2018-2019, where he wrote and produced The America Plays and The Nature Plays, both produced by Plays in Place.