Can a home be haunted by the actions of its owners? In BLIGHT, Silvia and Cat Henson have just moved from a tiny apartment in Washington, DC, into their sprawling dream home in the small, affluent town of Greenville, Delaware. But the house only happens to be in their price range because it was most recently the home of a teenaged mass shooter and his single mother. Within days of moving in, they’re confronted by a mayor who wants to erase their house from the map, a neighbor who’s on a mission to turn it into a memorial, and an alarmingly chipper consultant who specializes in the macabre. Is this the right time and place for Silvia and Cat to bring a new baby into the world, or will the house create an irreparable rift between them and their new community?
“That’s a load of work for a two hour play to carry, but Bavoso and his cast make it work by installing their characters with complexity and depth. These are human beings, prone to error and capable of greatness, just like us, and so sympathetic and even sacred.” — DC Theatre Scene
“Aside from its laughs, which are scattered but sharp, at its core John Bavoso’s Blight is an engagingly original exploration of one of women’s most fraught choices in their childbearing years. Written from an implicitly women’s point of view, it has been imagined with insight and empathy by someone wombless.” — DC Metro Theater Arts
"Is it wrong to be so enamored of a play called 'Blight?' Written by John Bavoso, it is a show that has solid writing, some really funny lines, and an assortment of characters that ring true—they are recognizable in their humanity and in their inhumanity... it’s also a really well-done show with an erudite script, and a powerful emotional wallop." — MD Theatre Guide
"One of the fascinating aspects of theater is how it makes you ask yourself questions you have never considered: Would I live in a house where a mass murderer lived? That’s the thought writer John Bavoso plants in the audience’s mind at the start of 'Blight'... In 'Blight,' the word 'monster' gets thrown in every direction. But this play reminds us that it’s easy to label people and then dismiss them as enemies. Looking for our common humanity is much harder." — Orlando Sentinel
2 hours with one intermission
• Playwrights' Round Table, Orlando, FL, April 2018
• Pinky Swear Productions, Washington, DC, October 2018
• 5th Wall Productions (Workshop Production), Charleston, SC, February 2019
Development History and Awards/Recognition
• Semi-Finalist, National Playwrights Conference, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, 2018 (withdrawn from further consideration in March 2018 due to production status)
• Finalist, Queer Village Reading Series, National Queer Theater, August 2018
• Rough Draft Reading Series, 5th Wall Productions, Charleston, SC, November 2018
• Premiere Series Staged Reading, Playwrights' Round Table, Orlando, FL, December 2017
• The Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival (Reading), Pinky Swear Productions, Washington, DC, September 2017
• New American Voices Play Reading Series, The Landing Theatre Company, Houston, TX, April 2017
• Named one of the Top 20 Full-Length Play Finalists for the Source Festival 2017
• Hothouse New Play Development Series v5.0 (Workshop), Theater Alliance of Washington, DC, October 2016
Read the latest draft of the script on the New Play Exchange.
Listen to a themed playlist on Spotify.
Photo Credit: Pauline Lamb, Rachel Manteuffel, Hilary Kelly, Brian Crane, Rebecca Dreyfuss, and Thomas Shuman in the Pinky Swear Productions production, courtesy of C. Stanley Photography