BLIGHT

FULL-LENGTH: 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. Their new house, however, was recently the home of a teenaged mass shooter and his single mother. 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...
FULL-LENGTH: 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. Their new house, however, was recently the home of a teenaged mass shooter and his single mother. 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
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BLIGHT

Recommended by

  • Nelson Diaz-Marcano:
    22 Oct. 2017
    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 smguve a stronger perspective on what makes something haunted.
  • Britt A Willis:
    18 Feb. 2017
    An engaging play with an incredible premise, BLIGHT asks questions I'd never considered previously - namely, what happens to the former property of people who've committed atrocities? Who decides? Is that property (whether a house or a personal item) irreparably tied to its previous owner's evil acts?

Character Information

  • Silvia Henson
    30s or 40s,
    person of color
    ,
    Female
    A woman of color in her late 30s/early 40s. Married to Cat. She’s stubborn, tough, family-focused, and a little bit butch.
  • Cat Henson
    30s or 40s,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    A woman in her late 30s/early 40s, any race. Married to Silvia. She’s warm, gentle, and simultaneously conflict averse and highly political.
  • Fanny Atwood
    20s or 30s,
    African American
    ,
    Female
    An African-American woman in her late 20s/early 30s. She’s a straightforward/brusque professional who’s deeply enmeshed in her community but also distrustful and disdainful of it.
  • Dave Sullivan
    Middle Aged,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    A middle-aged man, any race. He’s good at his job, practical, and has seen it all before—and ‘it’ is pretty horrific. Despite all that, he’s alarmingly casual, warm, and open to connection.
  • Lisa Rogers
    20s or 30s,
    Any (but probably white)
    ,
    Female
    A woman in her 20s or 30s, any race. She’s the head of the town’s Democratic club. Carries her soapbox with her everywhere she goes. She is passionate about her causes—often at the expense of politeness.
  • Craig Cappetta
    Middle Aged,
    Any (but probably white)
    ,
    Male
    A middle-aged man, any race. He leads a local chapter of a national pro-life organization, but isn’t extreme or rabid in his views. He’s charming and values optics and perceptions over direct political action.
  • Tracy Roberts
    Any,
    Any (but probably white)
    ,
    Female
    A woman of any age and any race. As mayor, she believes that anything standing in the way of moving on and forward progress should be obliterated—including, if not especially, the past.
  • Loretta
    Middle Aged,
    White
    ,
    Female
    A middle-aged white woman. As an unexpectedly single mother, she does the best she can, but she’s understandably stressed. She’s been reluctant to put her entire life on hold for 18 years, even before her husband leaves the picture.
  • Kristofer
    Teenager,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A teenage boy. Loretta’s son. He’s sensitive, perceptive, and withdrawn—although not by choice. He loves his parents deeply, and seeks to fill the father-shaped hole in his life by falling deeper and deeper into fundamentalist Christianity.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    5th Wall Productions
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    The Landing Theater Company, Houston, TX
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Playwrights' Round Table
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    5th Wall Productions
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Playwrights’ Round Table
    ,
    2018

Awards

Winner
,
Premiere Series 2018
,
Playwrights' Round Table
,
2018
Finalist
,
Top 20 Full-Length Plays
,
Source Festival
,
2017
Winner
,
New American Voices Play Reading Series
,
The Landing Theatre Company
,
2017
Semi-Finalist
,
Phoenix Theatre Festival
,
Phoenix Theatre
,
2017
Semi-Finalist
,
Promising Playwright Contest
,
The Colonial Players
,
2017