‘The Bakelite Masterpiece:’ Dynamic and compelling play debates beauty, faith, memory and reconstruction of a country

theatre KAPOW reads Kate Cayley’s The Bakelite Masterpiece at the Currier Museum of Art January 13, 2019.

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theatre KAPOW’s ARTiculate Playreading Series at the Currier Museum of Art. Photo/Matthew Lomanno.

MANCHESTER, NH – theatre KAPOW continues the ARTiculate Playreading Series in partnership with the Currier Museum of Art on Sunday, January 13 at 2 p.m. The Bakelite Masterpiece by Kate Cayley will be read in relation to several paintings in the museum’s collection by Dutch Masters.

The end of World War II. Holland is in chaos. Artist Han van Meegeren sits in a prison cell accused of selling a long-lost painting by the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer to the Nazis, a crime tantamount to treason. Van Meegeren contends that the painting was a forgery, which he skillfully produced and aged with a special treatment of the plastic known as Bakelite. Now he must create another masterpiece in front of his jailer, art historian Geert Piller, to save his life. The Bakelite Masterpiece is a dynamic and compelling play that debates beauty, faith, memory and the reconstruction of a country.

The Bakelite Masterpiece was performed by Theater WAM and the Berkshire Theater Group, in Stockbridge, MA, in fall 2016, and at the New Rep Theatre, Watertown, MA, in spring 2018. This reading is the first time this play has been heard in New Hampshire, and features Wayne Asbury and Carey cahoon and is directed by Matt Cahoon. A discussion afterward will be led by Dr. Landis K. Magnuson, Professor of Theater at Saint Anselm College.

Admission to the readings and participation in the discussions is free with museum admission ($15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 for students). Passes for reduced admission to the museum may be checked out from more than 90 public libraries across the state. Students, faculty and staff from nine area schools and colleges receive free admission to the museum.


About Kate Cayley

Kate Cayley is a fiction writer and poet as well as a playwright. She has written a short story collection, How You Were Born, which won the 2015 Trillium Book Award, a collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, which won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has co-created, directed and written eight plays with the company; her work with Stranger Theatre has been seen in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Istanbul. She has been a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre since 2009, and has written two plays for Tarragon, After Akhmatova and The Bakelite Masterpiece. She was recently named the 2018-2019 Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence at McMaster University..She lives in Toronto with her partner and their three children.


About theatre KAPOW

theatre KAPOW (www.tkapow.com) develops ensemble productions of great dramatic literature to explore the human experience and inspire and challenge both artist and audience.   tKAPOW places emphasis on the importance of rigorous formal training to develop an ensemble of skilled and dedicated theatre artists.

Now in its eleventh season, tKAPOW has established a reputation for presenting important dramatic literature including productions by August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Sarah Ruhl, and Tony Kushner. In 2017, tKAPOW won the NH Theatre Award for Best Production of a Play for year’s Exit the King. In 2014 and 2015, tKAPOW won Best Production of a Play for Penelope by Enda Walsh and Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies. tKAPOW also devised and created new works of theatre such as Raining Aluminum and A Story that Cuts Like a Knife. Visit www.tkapow.com to learn more.