Paper Chairs Presents 'Mast'

Jul 21, 2015

Mast, the current show from paper chairs, is a brand-new, world-premiere production. It's also a story that's been with playwright Elizabeth Doss for most of her life. Doss's grandmother, grandfather, and uncle all died before she was born; she never knew any of these people, but she's always been fascinated by them. "There were lots of things that happened in their family that were really peculiar and mysterious that have haunted my imagination since I was a kid," she says.

Her grandparents' story includes, among other events, meeting on an Texas army base during World War II, getting pregnant unexpectedly, and moving to the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo dictatorship. Those family stories eventually formed the basis of the play, though Mast takes liberties with the actual events to better fit the narrative created by Doss, who says she's "fascinated by family history and myth and lore, and how people assemble their identity through their past, through their relatives."

Director Diana Lynn Small was drawn to the script by its liveliness and sense of adventure; she says she likes its marriage of "totally playful, unreasonable, passionate action with deep, tragic undertones." The play features original music by Mark Stewart and stars Katie Bender, Jesse Bertron, Noel Gaulin, Tiffany Nicely-Williams, and Sean Moran.

Mast is onstage at Salvage Vanguard Theater through August 8.