Tall Tales from Blackburn Tavern

by John Minigan
Grand Horizons - Poster

Made Possible in Part by:
Susanna Natti & Alan Willsky



World Premiere by John Minigan

Directed by BRYN BOICE

A world premiere of epic proportions, this play brings to life the infamous Gloucester Sea Serpent, the unheard-of Ghost Army fought off by Ebenezer Babson, and the secrets from the Witches of Dogtown. Employing projections and puppetry to tell these larger-than-life fish tales, audiences will revel in the magic of Gloucester’s oral history. Ages 13+

In celebration of Gloucester’s 400+ Celebration, Gloucester Stage has commissioned local playwright John Minigan (Sleepy Hollow, Queen of Sad Mischance, Noir Hamlet) to write TALL TALES FROM BLACKBURN TAVERN, based on folklore from Gloucester’s 400-year history. Directed by award-winning director, educator, actor, and producer Bryn Boice, this production runs from September 1 – 24.

Performances are Wednesday & Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm, and matinees Saturday & Sunday at 3:00pm indoors at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester MA.


Grand Horizons - Calendar


7:30 pm, WED + THU
8:00 pm, FRI + SAT
3:00 pm, SAT + SUN

Preview Performances

September 1 + 2

Talk Backs

September 10 + 17

Champagne Opening

Sunday, September 3

Run Time

90 minutes, no intermission

Critical Praise for Playwright John Minigan

“Captures both the thrill of the spooky story and its moral… with finesse”

The Boston Globe

“Highly recommend… very, very clever… wicked fun”

Jared Bowen, WGBH

“Compelling… One of the finest plays you’ll see at Fringe this season.”


Meet the Creative Team

Bess Wohl - headshot

John Minigan / Playwright

John Minigan is a recent Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing and New Repertory Theatre Playwriting Fellow. His solo adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow premiered at Greater Boston Stage Company in 2022 and will have its West Coast premiere in 2023. His Queen of Sad Mischance won the 2022 Judith Royer Award from Kennedy Center/ATHE, and his Noir Hamlet was an EDGE Media Best of Boston Theater 2018 selection and a 2019 Elliot Norton Outstanding New Script nominee. He has developed new work with Urban Stages, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Portland Stage Company, Utah Shakespearean Festival, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and his work is included in the Best American Short Plays, Best Ten-Minute Short Plays, and other anthologies. John is affiliate faculty in Theater Education at Emerson College and serves as Dramatists Guild Ambassador for the Boston area. johnminigan.com

Bryn Boice Headshot

Bryn Boice / Director

Bryn Boice is an award-winning director, educator, actor, and producer. Recent area credits include: Gloria (Gloucester Stage);The Sound Inside (Speakeasy Stage); The Half-Life of Marie Curie (Central Square); Admissions (The Gamm Theatre); The Children (Speakeasy Stage); Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle & Here We Go – two Caryl Churchill one-acts (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director–Large Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company/CSC; and an all-female production of Julius Caesar for Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Bryn is the Associate Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Director of the CSC Academy. She teaches Dramatic Theory & Criticism, Acting III, Directing I, et al, at Salem State University. MFA Acting (FSU’s Asolo Conservatory) and MFA Directing (Boston University). www.brynboice.com

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
ºMember of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC)
† Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE
TALL TALES FROM BLACKBURN TAVERN is a commission by Gloucester Stage Company and presented by special arrangement with the Playwright.