by Elizabeth Heffron
directed by Paul Budraitis
originally produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre,
October 18, 2013
through November 17, 2013
(Pictured: Hannah Mootz. Photo by Nate Watters)
Life’s not easy for Bo-Nita. It never is for a 13-year old, but especially one who winds up with a dead, semi-ex-stepfather on her bedroom floor. With humor, pathos, and a dash of Midwest magic realism, Bo-Nita follows the resourceful exploits of a working class mother-daughter duo determined to stay together – and out of jail. Elizabeth Heffron is a local playwright and alumna of the Rep’s Writers Group. Under her skillful hand, Bo-Nita is a theatrical coming-of-age tale that is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
I am often asked at the top of each season which project jazzes me the most. Usually I demure and respond that I’m excited about all of them. In quieter, less public settings I’ll name the two or three plays that are my favorites. This year I have to admit that Elizabeth Heffron’s Bo-Nita is among my top picks.
Start with the very simple fact that the quality of writing is superb. Ms. Heffron has written a fantastic script. The characters are complicated, hilarious, infuriating, and endearing. The narrative is beautifully crafted with finely wrought storytelling. The tone, setting, and atmosphere are at once semi-exotic and completely familiar.
I’m also excited about this production because it is a brand new play. Ms. Heffron is an important figure in the Seattle theatre community, and it is a privilege to produce her newest work.
In addition, the play introduces two newcomers to Seattle Rep. Director Paul Budraitis is well known among Seattle fringe theatre mavens. His keen sense of design and his reputation as an “actor’s director” are perfect for this play.
And then there is the actor playing the eponymous role, Hannah Mootz. Ms. Mootz is a recent graduate of Cornish College of the Arts (where she was a student of both Mr. Budraitis and Ms. Heffron). Every once in a while the casting director in me will be energized by encountering an exceptional young artist just entering the field. It is my honor to introduce Hannah Mootz to Rep audiences.
-Jerry Manning, Artistic Director, Seattle Repertory Theatre
The Edgerton Foundation New American Plays award enabled us to extend rehearsal and tech time and enhance the video design of Bo-Nita.
Director: Paul Budraitis
Set Design: Jennifer Zeyl
Lighting Design: Robert J. Aguilar
Sound Design: Matt Starritt
Costume Design: Harmony Arnold
Cast: Video Designer: Leo Mayberry
Dialect/Voice Coach: Judith Shahn
Understudy to Bo-Nita: Kayla Lian