In Shakespeare’s time, all the world was a stage, but only men were actors. The play “ Men on Boats,” which is a comedic take on the real-life 1869 expedition led by John Wesley Powell to chart the Colorado River, flips that script with a story of determined male explorers performed by a cast of multi-gendered actors. The play has received plenty of attention for its inventive casting, its contemporary language and printed commentary, and it has received critical acclaim from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Boston's SpeakEasy Stage is currently producing "Men on Boats" at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. We speak to SpeakEasy Stage's director of the play, the playwright and our arts contributor about the inventive performance and what gender-nonconforming casts mean for the future of theater.


"Men on Boats" is onstage at the Calderwood Pavillion through October 7. For more details, visit SpeakEasy Stage.

Want to hear more words of wisdom from playwright Jaclyn Backhaus? Harvard University is hosting a writing workshop and conversation with Jaclyn Backhaus this month!