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?
"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
"BLIGHT is [a] play that's urgently relevant to the time we live in now. I was impressed with Bavoso's scope: the house of the play fills with people from the past and the present. A terrible event lies at the center of this play and the house in it, but it's the vivid, real characters that give this play life." — Sam Mayer, The Landing Theater Company
"The selling of a home that previously belonged to a teenager who committed a mass shooting sounds like a powder keg waiting to explode, but the script by John Bavoso... show[s] the tender sides of this ultra sensitive situation... One doesn’t expect much joy or humor from the ominous and dreary description, but the show was actually quite delightful." — DC Theatre Scene
“A thrilling play that creates a unique atmosphere to discuss the themes of motherhood and beliefs. Hooking its audience from the first scene, Bavoso tangles us up in the main conflict while also giving us new takes on old ideas. This is definitely a new way of doing a haunted house story, one that is not only fresh, but that may be a stronger perspective on what makes something haunted.” — Nelson Diaz-Marcano
110 minutes with one intermission
• Playwrights' Round Table, Orlando, FL, April 2018
• Pinky Swear Productions, Washington, DC, October 2018
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, April 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: Playwrights’ Round Table