June 16–July 3

By Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett Directed by Rick Lombardo** Featuring Benjamin Evett*

“An adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner that references Freud and Margaret Thatcher? In the ever-confident hands of actor and co-adapter Benjamin Evett, … Albatross is much more than a postmodern parlor trick.” Boston Globe
Long before The Perfect Storm there was Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, Rime of The Ancient Mariner. In a bravura performance that garnered two Elliot Norton awards, Benjamin Evett brings Coleridge’s tortured seaman into the present day to recount one man’s doomed journey on the open sea. Rick Lombardo directs. Genre dramatic, modern day adaptation of classic Who it’s for fans of the classics; fans of Ben Evett; fishermen, and water lovers; fans of poetry and heightened language. Parental advisory: mature language

Photo: Andrew Brilliant

Benjamin Evett (Mariner/Playwright) is a well-known actor, director, and producer in the Boston area. Before joining the Poets’ Theatre in June of 2014, he was the Founding Artistic Director of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, which he shepherded from a small start-up to a mainstay of the regional theatre scene during his tenure from 2004 to 2009. He produced 22 productions and helped grow the company into a 1.2 million dollar organization. For that company he played Hamlet, Coriolanus, Petruchio, Edmund, Calliban, Cassius, and others. Previous to ASP, he was a member of the Resident Acting Company at the American Repertory Theatre from 1993 to 2003, appearing in more than fifty productions and worked with some of the greatest creative minds of the era, including Julie Taymor, Anne Bogart, Robert Wilson, and Dario Fo.

A writer and actor, Ben created, produced, co-wrote and directed Blood Rose Rising, a cutting edge multimedia serial ghost drama. Ben has taught acting and directing at Emerson College, The Boston Conservatory, The American Repertory Theatre Institute, as well as numerous master classes on audition technique, Shakespeare, and scene study.

He has performed with the Arizona Theatre Company and San Jose Repertory Theatre in Freud’s Last Session (C.S. Lewis) and God of Carnage (Alan) and with the Missouri Rep, Virginia Stage Company, Alley Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Repertory Theatre, Taiwan National Theatre, and Moscow Art Theatre. Ben Evett is a graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Classics. After graduation, he joined the pilot class of ART Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and performed with the company. Ben began acting when he was 10 years old at the Cleveland Playhouse and “never looked back.”

Ben is married to Kelli Edwards. They have two boys, Dashiell and Spencer and a dog, named Spike. In addition to his creative work, Ben enjoys cooking (and cooking shows), playing tennis, science, technology and current events. He is an avid sailor and loves the sea. Ben notes that Matt Spangler is “a dream to work with – such a good collaborator.”


Matthew Spangler (Playwright) is a playwright, director, and professor of performance studies based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays have appeared at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse (staged reading), New Repertory Theatre (Boston), Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Brighton Festival, the National Steinbeck Center, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Avignon Theatre Festival, among other theatres and festivals. His adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner received five San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards: Best Original Script, Best Overall Production for a 300+ seat theatre, as well as awards for Lighting Design, Scenic Design, and Sound Design (produced by the San Jose Repertory Theatre; directed by David Ira Goldstein). The play has also been nominated for and received a number of other awards.

His other plays include one-person shows of James Joyce’s Dubliners and Finnegans Wake; A Paradise It Seems, an adaptation of John Cheever’s short stories; Mozart!, a musical theatre adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s letters; as well as stage adaptations of John Steinbeck’s fiction; Ernest Hemingway’s short stories; Thomas Wolfe’s The Lost Boy; Clyde Edgerton’s Where Trouble Sleeps; and T.C. Boyle’sTortilla Curtain (recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and finalist for the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play).

Some of Matthew’s recent directing credits include an adaptation of T.C. Boyle’s short story “Killing Babies” for Word for Word Performing Arts Company at the Z Space in San Francisco; Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West for Wordshed Productions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmorefor San José State University; Judy’s Veramendi’s The Empty Chalices, a play based on the writing of Uruguayan poet Delmira Augustini, which he co-directed at the Next Theatre in Evanston, Illinois; and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross for the San Jose Stage Company.

He has also written articles on the adaptation of literature for the stage, Irish theatre, and intercultural theatre that have appeared in a number of journals and books, some of which include: Theatre Journal, The James Joyce Quarterly, The New Hibernia Review, SIAR: The Journal of the Western Institute of Irish Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly, The South Atlantic Review, Nineteenth Century Literature, The Biographical Dictionary of Southern Writers, The Art of Elizabeth Bishop, and Performing the Crossroads: Critical Essays in Performance Studies and Irish Culture.

His book Staging Intercultural Ireland: New Plays and Practitioner Perspectives (co-edited with Charlotte McIvor) was published by Cork University Press in 2014.

Matthew is a Professor of Performance Studies at San José State University in California. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D. Performance Studies), Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (M.Phil. Theatre), and Northwestern University (B.S. Performance Studies).

He is represented by Mark Orsisi at Bret Adams Ltd. in New York.


Rick Lombardo** (Director/Sound Designer) is a stage director, artistic director, adapter and educator. He was the Artistic Director at San Jose Repertory Theatre (LORT B) for six seasons from 2008 – 2014, where his work included world premieres of both plays and musicals, as well as significant revivals.  Noteworthy among these were the world premiere of the musical The Snow Queen (New York Musical Theatre Festival Outstanding Production and Publishing Awards) which he also co-wrote, along with the new play Game On by Tony Taccone and Dan Hoyle, (Theatre Bay Area Award Best New Play 2014), and Love in American Times by Philip Kan Gotanda.  Other San Jose Rep productions include The Death of the NovelDisconnectGod of CarnageA Christmas CarolSpring Awakening The DresserBlack Pearl Sings!The Weir, and As You Like It. For 13 years he was the Producing Artistic Director of Greater Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, overseeing its development into one of New England’s leading mid-size theaters. He was awarded the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence from the Boston Theatre Critics Association for his body of work there. At New Rep his award-winning productions included The Clean House, Sweeney Todd, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ragtime, Waiting for Godot and The Weir. His world premiere of Bill W. and Dr. Bob enjoyed an extended run off-Broadway at New World Stages. His work has also been seen at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, New York City’s Town Hall, Opera Boston, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, The Actors Shakespeare Project, Porthouse Theater, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival, among others. He is currently the Chair and Artistic Director of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University in metro Atlanta. He was previously Co-Director of the Theatre Program at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center. He has served on the Executive Board of The Society of Stage Directors, the board of NNPN, The National New Play Network, and is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum.  He was honored to serve for ten years as the President of NEAT, the Association of New England Area Theaters, as well as serving on the boards of both StageSource and ArtsBoston.

Garrett Herzig (Lighting and Projection Designer) Garrett is excited to work at Gloucester Stage Company for the first time.  He has designed projections locally for the Lyric Stage Company (Fast Company, Dear ElizabethChinglish), New Repertory Theatre (The Snow Queen), Speakeasy Stage Company (Tribes), Huntington Theatre Company (Ryan Landry’s M), and ArtsEmerson (Sugar).  He works as the Lighting and Projection Supervisor for the Office of the Arts at Emerson College.  garrettherzig.com

Frances Nelson McSherry† (Costume Design) is delighted to be working on Albatross with Ben Evett and Rick Lombardo again.  She designed costumes for Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Gloucester Stage Company in 2009. She has also designed for New Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company,  and Stoneham Theatre Company.  Ms.  McSherry currently teaches theater design and fashion history at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.

Taylor Ness (Associate Lighting and Projection Designer)

Leslie Sears * (Stage Manager) GSC: Driving Miss Daisy.  Off-Broadway: Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theatre Company).  Regional (select): Albatross (The Poets’ Theatre), The Four of Us (The Old Globe); A Raisin in the Sun, Invisible Man, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sons of the Prophet, Ruined, Vengeance is the Lord’s, Prelude to a Kiss, All My Sons, A Civil War Christmas, Fences, The Miracle at Naples, The Corn is Green and How Shakespeare Won the West (Huntington Theatre Company); Freud’s Last Session, The Testament of Mary, The Snow Queen, Assassins, The Whipping Man, Amadeus and Race (New Repertory Theatre).  Opera credits include Boston Lyric Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston Early Music Festival, Connecticut Opera Association, and Boston Midsummer Opera.  Ms. Sears is a graduate of Boston University where she teaches stage management.

Cristina Todesco† (Scenic Designer) Recent designs include Dogfight (Speakeasy Stage Company), Freud’s Last Session (New Repertory Theatre), Oh God (Israeli Stage), Milk Like Sugar (Huntington Theatre Company), Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Nights Dream (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Theater companies include Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Company One, ART Institute, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage Company, Boston Conservatory, Boston Playwrights, Olney Theater Center, Orfeo Group, Poet’s Theater, Stoneham Theater, Harbor Stage, Wheelock Family Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Summer Play Festival, Opera Boston.  She is the recipient of four Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Design: The Clean House (New Repertory Theatre), Twelfth Night (Actor’s Shakespeare Project), The Aliens and The Flick (Company One) and one IRNE award: Appropriate (Speakeasy Stage). She earned a BFA in painting from BU’s School of Visual Arts, and an MFA in scenic design from BU’s School of Theatre Arts, where she currently teaches.

“Benjamin Evett is a New England treasure…an actor of immense dedication and great gifts that owns this work…” -Peter Gross, Examiner
“The key to this play is Evett’s mesmerizing performance as the mariner…Together, Evett and director Rick Lombardo succeed in creating a theatrical experience that combines the best of ancient and modern storytelling…”- Mark Sardella, Wakefield Daily Item
“Evett is powerful and mesmerizing…Put this show on your must see list…”- Sally Applegate, Wicked Local
“…’Albatross’ has undoubtedly brought good fortune to Evett. The acclaim he has received is richly deserved, certainly for his and Spangler’s accessible adaptation, but especially for his tour de force performance.”- Nancy Grossman, BroadwayWorld.com
“Albatross,” the stage adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lyrical ballad of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” represents that breathtaking alchemy that can only happen in the theater.”-  ‘Albatross’ Sets Sail, Terry Byrne, The Boston Globe
“This smart and funny adaptation wrenches the images out of Coleridge’s epic poem and makes them as vivid as any modern tale of survival.”-Peter Gross, Examiner
“It’s a little different each time — some parts taken out, some new parts added. I’m a little different too, with a new understanding of it. I feel like I’m more in command, and I’m looking forward to sharing it.” (Benjamin Evett)- Keith Powers, Wicked Local

Reviews From The Poets Theatre Production

Spellbinding… The narrative is jocular and dramatic, scintillating and vernacular by turns.”- WBUR, Boston

Captivating… Albatross is a bold new adaption of one of the greatest poems ever written.”- The Boston Globe

“A strikingly dramatic text… exhilarating language… impressive and dazzling.”- The Arts Fuse, Boston

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) **Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society † Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of IATSE  
June 16–July 3 7:30PM Wed thru Sat 2PM Sat and Sun
TALK BACK June 26 following the 2pm performance

Show Sponsor

Kathe & Allan Cohen