ABCD — Play @ BSC



Barrington Stage Company (30 Union St., Pittsfield, MA 01201, Pittsfield MA)

Barrington Stage presents a world premiere play by May Treuhaft-Ali, as two very different public schools in the same city face pressure to perform well on standardized tests, driving students and teachers to compromise their integrity.

In an underserved public school on the verge of shutdown, a teacher erases wrong answers from his students’ exams and fills in correct ones, hoping higher scores will keep the school open. In an elite magnet school nearby, a student texts 140 classmates the answers for a physics test. ABCD weaves these stories together to interrogate how the U.S. public school system measures success.

When the joys and challenges of learning are reduced to a multiple-choice test, who runs out of options? And when you’re in a system that was never built to benefit you, are you justified in breaking its rules?

May Treuhaft-Ali is a playwright, director and dramaturg and a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group and the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab. She is an alumna of Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group and The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship.

She is a recipient of the 2022 Elizabeth George Commission at South Coast Repertory, the Constitution Commission at Clubbed Thumb, and the 2021 Visionary Playwright Award at Theater Masters. She recently served as Associate Director on SHHHH by Clare Barron at Atlantic Theater Company, and she is the Literary and Community Engagement Assistant at Playwrights Horizons.

After graduating from Wesleyan University, she completed an M.Phil in Theatre and Performance Studies at Trinity College Dublin on a George J. Mitchell Scholarship, and her plays have been produced at the Dublin Scene+Heard Festival, the Wild Project, Young Playwrights Inc., the Blank Theatre Company, and the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. As a director, she specializes in site-specific performance. She has worked as a dramaturg at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Haven Theatre and Ars Nova ANT Fest.

The play will run from July 1 to 23 at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center at 36 Linden St., Pittsfield.

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