This summer, Lee Roscoe's plays received two important awards. The Mooncusser's Tale was the recipient of a Silver Award from the National Audio Theater Festival. The Water Spirits' Colloquy received an award from the Blue Water Institute.
Pandora Peoples of WOMR interviewed Lee Roscoe and producer Janet Murphy Robertson in September 2019 about Lee's terrific and timely new play HERE!
"Important and powerful," "Impressive," "Extraordinary," Multi-layered and broad in
scope" —Praise for Roscoe's body of work from Michael Kahn, David Hare, Judith Malina, Steve Capra, Sean David Bennett, Howard Zinn, and others.
Roscoe's HERE! was read on the main stage of Cotuit Center for the Arts on January 9, 2019 and presented again in a staged reading at the Cape Cod Museum of Art on May 2, 2019. Both performances garnered enthusiastic reviews.
"It stunned me. It was like an Our Town for today." John Bangert, No Place For Hate
"Great job, so prescient, funny and disturbing." Kathy Clobridge, political organizer
"I thoroughly enjoyed it! The reading was excellent. It moved along at a great pace ! Your dialogue and scenes were terrific. I enjoyed everyone, I definitely can see this as a produced play. Fingers crossed! Scary, funny and poignant. Congratulations!" Judith Partelow, playwright, actress
"What a fabulous, scary, funny reading tonight; so prescient. Thanks for such an entertaining evening. Brilliant! " Lee Bartell, alternative fashion store owner, activist, New York and Provincetown
“This excellent play about an imaginary Fascist regime in Washington D.C. (absurd I know) and its impact on simple folk..is simultaneously prescient, funny, scary and tearful--a great combination.” Neil Silberblatt, founder Voices of Poetry (8000 members)
The Cape Cod Museum of Art production included a stellar group of actors, including Cleo Zani, Anna Botsford, Dennis Cunningham, Kevin Kenneally, Garry Mitchell, Geoff Newton, and Neil Silberblatt. HERE! is directed by Lee Roscoe and produced by Janet Murphy Robertson of ArtistsAndMusicians.org.
More about HERE!
Following are Additional Reviews and Audience Response to Lee Roscoe's Plays:
The Mooncusser's Tale
"We feel so privileged to have heard The Mooncusser's Tale tonight on WOMR. Exciting, lyrical, spooky, tragic, profound -- and so Cape Cod. The characters were real and well-drawn, the writing beautiful, the actors excellent. Also the pacing and sound effects perfect." June Hager, organizer of Wellfleet Open University, Michael Hager, international lawyer
"Great job! The characters and language were so authentic.The history fascinating. It took me back to another time." Jeff Bumby, retired Wisconsin CEO
"Intelligence, clarity, literacy, integrity..." Bruce Henry, Jesuit archivist, Ottawa
"Last night was so enjoyable, gathering by the radio listening to listen to your play. A great way to spend a Halloween evening. I thought it was very poetic and really captured so much of historical Cape Cod. Everyone sounded real and authentic." Bill Salem, actor. NYC and Provincetown
"A play which keeps me wanting to know what happens next, characters which interest me, and a story which is new!" Ed Maroney, newspaper editor retired
"Terrific! We were spellbound." Larry Minear, author, activist and Beth Minear, weaver
“Bravo! Outstanding work!” Jill Putnam, education expert
“An amazing piece of work!” Bonnie Hiller, best selling children’s author, NYC
“Fabulous.” Kathy Clobridge, political organizer
“Beautifully written, so poetic” Elysse MaGuire, designer, NYC and Chatham
“A brilliant historical Cape Cod mystery seeped in sand and sea. Accompanied by fabulous evocative sound effects” Bethia Brehmer, artist, Wellfleet
“I hadn’t listened to a play on the radio in my life. However,I had listened to baseball games on the radio and enjoyed it so much that I continued that practice from time to time long after tv was in virtually every home in America. My hope was that your play would stimulate my imagination and invoke memories the way the ballgames had. It did that, but to a much grander degree than a simple ball game could. I could see the pictures you were painting of people and community and nature as vividly as I would have walking the pathways of the Cape in those long ago times. In fact, many of the long ago pictures are still very much with us on the Cape to this day. Sitting in our place in Florida where the temperature reached the mid 80s today, it was so nice to be transported back to the Cape in such a wonderful way." Tim Barnicle, retired Government Executive, Florida
"Wonderfully written (I loved the deft language), beautifully acted, and well produced radio play." Neil Silberblatt, founder Voices of Poetry (8,000 members). Neil's review of The Mooncusser's Tale.
More about The Mooncusser's Tale
The Shakespeare Theater Company D.C. calls The Second Coming and CASTLE "Powerful and important theater."
The End of America in the Time of the Fireflies
Finalling it for Yale Drama Series, David Hare found this play "greatly impressive."
Sean David Bennett, playwright, Edward Albee Fellow, (now ex-pat, living in Ireland)
"The End of America is an important play about Americans tormented by a country which has lost its way. Lee’s work is honest, edgy, savage, funny and compassionate. She writes for actors; her plays are like a rich meal for a director because her characters live with us both as archetypes and as unique beings, multi-layered and broad in scope; at once real and larger than life, enveloped in wonderful language and original stagecraft. As a director, it would be a delight to explore them, to see them develop into living beings on stage. I have worked with Lee for a number of years on various projects. She is always a consummate theater professional and working with her is always an enriching experience for me as a director, actor and playwright. This is a unique and necessary voice waiting for discovery."
Political activist Gene Taylore who runs the “Conscience Films” website:
“I think her play The End of America is a masterpiece. It says it all. Getting it produced is the challenge! A powerful and excellent play. It has to hit the theaters!”
Howard Zinn: “I must tell you that I found your play POOR truly impressive. It gets inside the head of a guy who in his one mind and body carries the sickness of our society --and who expresses this in devastatingly real language, nothing artificial about it, as if those words are wrenched from the soul and hurled at us with no shield in the way.”
The late Judith Malina: "This play is brilliant.”
At The Hollow
Sean Bennett, playwright, Edward Albee Fellow: “This play reveals the pain of the human condition in failed love: like watching a flower having its petals picked off, one by one.”
Playwrights Horizons: “Compelling, beautifully rendered with sharply etched characters.”
The Men or Stalking Random Pastels
Tom Wolfson, author, actor, painter: "I really like the impressionistic quality of the piece, the dance quality you spoke of. For me the piece resonates as a depiction of the struggle the artist and many people have to be free, to allow themselves to feel and be passionate, to be the way they really are inside without internally and externally imposed restrictions and oppressions. It is a courageous and ambitious piece.”
It Can't Happen Here
Ed Maroney, long time Editor in Chief, Barnstable Patriot: “All of America should see this play!” Audiences said the same thing.
The Shame of Daniel Shays
Deborah Ullman Co-Director and Senior Editor Gestalt Press: "The Shay’s rebellion play is outstanding! I so enjoyed it and am amazed you've not gotten it into production more. I learned much from it and am wowed at how you turned historic docs into moving storyline.”
Audience member: “An excellent piece with strong relevance today.”
Howard Zinn: “Captivating, authentic, and fair.”
The Second Coming or the God Annals
Michael Kahn said of The Second Coming "Dazzling in its display of linguistic wit; marvelous theatrical sense; rich, evocative, consistently inventive…so well done and thank you! What great theatrical possibilities for a talented director and a daring troupe of actors.”
Avayar Kamari, Living Theatre actress: "It's a magnificent opus, enormously creative, and based on extraordinarily comprehensive scholarship. I see it as a mega-mystery play. It unveils the deep societal dysfunction we've been manifesting overtly since WWII. Art must reflect its time. You have done that, absolutely. I think it is too much for most playwrights, producers and actors to handle, so the usual response is deflecting the pain by retreating into triviality. I had thought to specialize in comedy, feeling that we really need to laugh now. But that's only a band-aid. We need to get the message out. There's little, if any, time. And it will be resisted. Thank you so much for creating this."
Julie Foh, Studio 42: "The passion you have as a writer and for the complex, provocative issues you tackle in this text comes through with bell-like clarity.While I would ultimately like to stretch the bounds of what our audiences can expect from us, I fear this project may be too far too soon.”
Playwrights Horizons: "Amazingly inventive!"
The New Georges: “Epic!”
Playwright Chris King: "A new genre."
Another theater-goer who saw an act at Playwrights Platform, Boston said it was the best thing they had seen there.
Steve Capra, former artistic director Living Theatre, NYC: “I’d like to recommend the playwright Lee Roscoe. I’m familiar with her work and I find it extraordinary. I was very pleased to produce a reading of Poor for The Living Theatre, and I hope I’ll be able to work with one of her plays again. Her scripts are animated and carefully crafted, and, most importantly, they reflect social responsibility. I am sure anyone who takes the time to read her plays will be greatly impressed.”
Anita Waxman, Tony award producer: “You are amazingly talented.”