Bob Boulrice likes to wear hats, and he’s a man who wears many hats at the same time.
The Chelsea City Treasurer in his past time is an avid gardner and a voracious reader, but yet another hat he wears is that of aspiring playwright. His talents as a writer for the theatre will be fully on display at the Apollinaire Theatre this coming weekend, June 13 and 14, during the annual Chelsea Art Walk – which will take place at 10 venues across the city that are all connected via shuttle bus.
Boulrice will premiere a one-hour reading of his play ‘Bach, Schweitzer and the Wives’ at 4 p.m. in the Theatre both days. It is the sixth year he has had an original work read during the Art Walk.
Being a guy who works with numbers and financing all day long, many do a double take when learning that the City’s budget guru has a talent for the pen. The two sides of the brain rarely work together in unison.
“As far as what goes on in the two sides of my brain, I can’t account for that,” he said this week, with a laugh. “I tell you, I’m weird. I’m right handed, but write with my left hand. I play tennis left handed and serve with my right hand. All my professional life, I’ve been the finance guy, but in my personal life people have always said to me that I should write more. I guess it’s because I write funny e-mails. People always tell me to write. With this play, I saw a performance years ago and told the woman it should be a play. She told me to write the script, and that’s what I’ve done.”
The birth of Boulrice’s very unique script came many years ago, he said. The organist who played at he and his wife, Margaret Carsley’s, wedding invited them to a strange performance. At the show, there was a performance of Bach’s cantatas while Lisa Kraus did a public reading of Albert Schweitzer’s memoirs.
“Margaret slept through it and I was overstimulated to the max,” said Boulrice. “The relationship between Bach and Schweitzer is profound. After it was over, I went up to Lisa and told her it should be a play. She told me that I should write it. So, I did write it and it was the first play I ever did. In my play, as interesting as the men are as historic figures, I’m more interested in the women. It addresses the question of what kind of women marry guys like these? That’s what we find out.”
Boulrice’s play is being directed by Danny Gidron, a well known theatre figure around Boston. Members of the cast include Steve Barkhimer (Bach), Alexander Cook (Schweitzer), Stephanie Clayman (Helene Breslau), Aimee Doherty (Anna Magdalena), Jason McCool, Louis Wheeler and Brenna Fitzgerald.
“I’m just as happy as I can be that Danny Gidron, who I’ve worked with in the past, has put together such an extremely strong cast,” he said. “I’m extremely fortunate to have him help me with this play. For a playwright trying to write a full-length play, this is a critical moment. This is how plays end up on stage.”
Boulrice said he is grateful to his wife, Margaret, to the Apollinaire Theatre for allowing use of the space and to his co-workers at City Hall. Previously, he has worked with the Central Square Theatre and is the president of the Board of the Gloucester Stage Company. He was also quite involved in the professional theatre when he was in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah.
“I fully recommend that people go to the Mystic Brewery around 2:30 p.m., have a couple of beverages or so and then make it over to my play by 4 p.m.,” he said with a laugh. “That’s what the playwright recommends.”
The Chelsea Art Walk will go from noon to 6 p.m. on both days, June 13 and 14.
There will be 10 venues, including the following:
- Pearl Street Gallery, contemporary paintings by Arnie Casavant and Richard Pawlak, with fine arts photography by John Kennard, Joe Greene and Eric Giuliano.
- Chelsea Community Garden, the gardeners will have their annual scarecrow contest and all work will be on display. From 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, join the Michael Limberakis Drum Circle.
- Gallery @ Spencer Lofts, photography, painting, sculpture and multi-media by resident artists Ron Pownall, Darlene DaVita, Domenic Chavez, Martha Bourne, Cindy Sherman Bishop, Paul McMahan, Donna Delone, Silvia Lopez-Chavez, Sophie Truong, Nick Dubrule, Maryellen Cahill, Richard Persche and Victor Bailey.
- Bellingham-Cary House, a collection of low art tiles and photography by Darlene DaVita will be on display.
- The Gallery @Chelsea City, explore new works from painter, printmaker and mixed media artist Amy K. Lewis, abstract paintings by Mike Lynch and award-winning abstract paintings and illustrations by KvKHAI.
- One North, photography by Arnie Jarmak, paintings by Chuck Guest, portraits by Chad Edward, mosaic lanterns by Duffy Design.
- Residence Inn, student art – the best of this year’s Chelsea student art, ages K-12, from Chelsea Public Schools and Bishop Fenwick High School.
- Apollinaire Theatre, ‘Bach, Schweitzer and the Wives’ by Bob Boulrice, 4 p.m both days. A collection of Lisa Santagate’s 20th Century African art will be on display.
- Mystic Brewery, paintings, photographs, sign painting pieces, found objects and wood carvings by Kenji Nakayama, Justin Santolucito, Script, and Alphabet Soupe.
- PORT Park, Short Film Festival – documentary, narrative and animated selections include “Sensorium” by the late Karen Aqua and “The Honey Man” by Thomas Harkey. Also, see the story about how salt arrives from South America to Chelsea. A live sculpture demonstration will also be on site with sculptor Sholeh Regna.
Parking is strongly suggested at the PORT Park, with free shuttles courtesy of Pre-Flight circling to all of the various venues. Picnics at the PORT Park are also encouraged.