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Allston

2000

The Gene Frankel Theater
24 Bond Street
November 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 2000
Friday through Sunday, 8pm

Cast

Larry — Christopher Yustin
Jake — Mike Gilpin
Dave — Adam Heffernan
Eddie — Christopher Bujold
Mandy — Sharon Eisman
Lu — Jim Yue
Boy — Lyndon Salas
Woman — Rosa Luo
Cop — Jim Ward

Production Team

Director — Pete Boisvert
Playwright — James Comtois
Stage Manager — Sean Sterling

Producers
Pete Boisvert, Chris Bujold, James Comtois

Photos by Ben VandenBoom

Playwright’s Note

When I was living in a run-down college town in Boston, a flyer had been slid under my door. It was an advertisement for an anti-student rally trying to get college students out of Allston. We were racking up rent prices, forcing families to move out of their homes into less reputable neighborhoods, and eliminating any sense of community from Allston. After reading this I felt both guilty and hurt. Guilty because the attitude expressed from the flyer was not one in which I could disregard or dismiss, hurt because I was being told that simply my presence was considered a menace.

As students, we treated the town as a giant dorm, littering the streets with the aftermath of parties we never cleaned up, disregarding our neighbors, getting help from our parents in paying rent, thereby increasing rent prices throughout the neighborhood, and flaunting our self-centered and misanthropic attitudes without caring who would get hurt by this. However, the people up in arms about the "student problem" were not from Allston, either. They were outsiders, too, either from other towns, other countries, or other communities. Nobody was from Allston, and nobody has any automatic claim to the town as being "theirs," which was why the implicit animosity was so fierce.

I hated living in Allston, I hated being part of an ongoing problem, and I hated being told that I didn't belong in a place that had been my home for the past three years.

My intention with "Allston" was to show what happens in the college communities and so-called student ghettos. Words "gentrification," "race relations" and "town and gown rivalry" have been thrown around to describe this play, and these are themes that are used throughout. But to me "Allston" is ultimately about belonging, and struggling to belong in an unclaimed territory.

James Comtois, New York, NY

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