Performance Schedule:
Friday, April 13th at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 14th at 2:00pm
Saturday, April 14th at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 15th at 2:00pm
Thursday, April 19th at 7:30pm
Friday, April 20th at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 21st at 2:00pm
**no Saturday evening performance**
Sunday, April 22nd at 7:30pm
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THE STORY: Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. MEN ON BOATS is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River.

MEN ON BOATS tells the story of Captain John Wesley Powell (played by Jennifer Whitcomb Oliva) and his famous exploration down the Green and Colorado Rivers. Based loosely on Powell’s journals, this grand adventure of manifest destiny is brought thrillingly to life by a diverse cast.

Badass MOBPlaywright Jaclyn Backhaus stipulates that while the characters in the play were historically cisgender white males, the cast should be made up entirely of people who are not.

“It’s interesting for me to take that idea of male conquest, give it to someone who usually doesn’t have that right, and put that into the roles themselves. It begs the question of what histories are we lacking,” Backhaus explains.

Directed by Vanderbilt University Theatre Department Chair Leah Lowe, MEN ON BOATS cast includes professional actors Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva and Lila Toshiko rowing alongside Belmont BFA Performance majors Reilly O’Connell, EmElise Knapp, Lucy Buchanan, Sofia Tosches, Althea Baldwin, Jack Tanzi, Alex Nichols and Storm Sloan.

The production team for MEN ON BOATS is Ray Kennedy (scenic design), Richard K. Davis, LC, MIEC and Abby Mackay (lighting design), Colleen Garatoni and Kandler Oldham (costume design), Kaitlin Barnett (sound design)  Em Craig (dramaturgy), with stage management by Maggie Jackson. Melissa Carlson is assistant director. The play is produced by Paul Gatrell and Vali Forrister.

The ABE 22nd season will continue with Act Like a GRRRL, June 21-23 at Belmont’s Black Box Theater.

Venue Information:

Belmont Black Box Theater
1575 Compton Ave (just off Belmont Blvd)
Nashville, TN 37212

Ticket Prices:

General Admission – $25 in advance; $30 at the door

Ticketing Site:

Parking Information:

Free parking is available in the lot behind the theater on Compton Ave.

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright of Punjabi, German, and botanical descent. Recent New York productions include MEN ON BOATS (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks, The Kilroys’ 2015 List), PEOPLE DOING MATH LIVE! (Under The Radar Festival’s INCOMING! Series), THE INCREDIBLE FOX SISTERS (Live Source, The New Ohio). As Founding Resident Playwright for TRE: YOU ON THE MOORS NOW (HERE Arts Center), SET IN THE LIVING ROOM OF A SMALL TOWN AMERICAN PLAY (Walker Space), and THREE SEAGULLS, OR MASHAMASHAMASHA! (HERE Arts Center). She is the recipient of the Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman Commission for Emerging Playwrights from Playwrights Horizons & an Ars Nova commission for BULL’S HOLLOW with composer Mike Brun & director Andrew Neisler. She is co-founder/creative director of Fresh Ground Pepper, an incubator for new work established in 2009. Her work has been seen at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Playwrights Horizons, The Ice Factory Festival, (not just) 3 New Plays, Joe’s Pub, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, & Ars Nova’s ANTFest. Jaclyn is the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb. She lives in Ridgewood, Queens with her husband, theater director Andrew Scoville.