We sat down with Spiro to learn more about why he chose to direct The Roommate this season!
Why this play? Jen Silverman is an amazing writer and this play seemed right for us. I also get to work with some of the wealth of women actors (of a certain age) here in Boston.
Why the Lyric Stage? It’s my home and I love it when I can open the doors on a new play.
Why now? In a world filled with stories about men, here we have a play written by a woman, telling the story of two specific women faced with the need to change, to rethink their lives, and hopefully, to find companionship. And it’s a comedy – how can you go wrong?
About The Roommate
Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, welcomes a roommate into her Iowa home: Robyn, a free-spirited, mysterious lesbian slam poet from the Bronx who’s looking to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life.
It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.
“Deeply satisfying” – Boston Globe
“Tugs at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone.” – Louisville.com
What Lyric Stage shows have you appeared in before? Adrianne Krstansky: Barbecue and November. Paula Plum: Too many to count, starting in 1975 when I was still in college and in one of the first Lyric Stage shows. And of course, many directed by Spiro: Death of a Salesman, Sideman, 33 Variations, Blythe Spirit.
What excites you about The Roommate? AK: I’m very excited to work with Spiro for the first time. And I’m really excited to be in a play about middle-aged women where I’m not the wife or the mom. PP: I always love Spiro’s take on gritty plays and I’m blessed to be working with Adrianne as my scene partner.
What challenges do you find in the script? AK: Robyn is challenging because she does not actually reveal anything about herself until about halfway through the play. I have to figure out how to stay open and available without being duplicitous at the same time. PP: Sharon is challenging because she seems like an open book but her intentions are hard to figure out and she’s hard to decipher. Is she naïve or is she a con?
Throughout the play, Robyn and Sharon make many discoveries about the other that change who they are. How has a roommate helped you to change? AK: I had a roommate who was the queen of the party circuit and every weekend we would have about 30-50 people in our apartment. At these parties, I would pick one or two people who I thought were cool and take them up to a crawl space in the attic. What I learned how to do as a result of that is how to become the cool, quiet person at the party.
PP: My college roommate Eve — we were roommates 4 – 5 times — helped me renew my interest in meditation. And she eats healthier. She was a good influence. I’m not sure Sharon and Robyn are necessarily a good influence on each other.
What do you and your character from The Roommate have in common? AK: I think we’re both quiet thrill seekers. We’re both unassuming enough that no one would ever suspect us of much. I would be a great spy because no one would ever suspect me of anything other than being a nice, unassuming person. PP: Iowa! My father was from there and I spent 14 summers there. And I think I’m impulsive. I am. And experimental.
What is something you hope the audience will look out for? AK: I think we tend to label relationships that we are in (love, parental, marriages, etc.) and what this play exposes is that there are relationships in our lives that are beyond definition — and that our instincts to label and put these interactions in a box actually can keep us separated from each other. PP: I hope that they’re drawn in to the mystery of this relationship. Because it’s unique — it’s about two women who really need each other.
How do you feel about working with each other? AK: I love working with Paula Plum. Working with Paula is like coming home. PP: Adrianne is so deep, real, and honest. There’s not an ounce of performance in her performance. You can always count on the truth from her.
The Roommate opens October 19th. Get your tickets today here or 617.585.5678!
The cast just got a first look at the set of The Roommate. Enjoy this sneak preview! Scenic design by Jenna McFarland Lord.
The Roommate opens October 19th
Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life completely. It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.
A brief guide to everything you might want to know about The Roommate.
by Sivan Amir & Alzi Kenney, Artistic Assistants
Approximate Run Time: 100 minutes
Playwright: Jen Silverman
Cast Size: 2
Lyric Actors You May Remember: Paula Plum (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Light Up the Sky, Death of a Salesman, 33 Variations, Three Tall Women), Adrianne Krstansky (Barbecue, November)
Director: Spiro Veloudos
Description: Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life completely. It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.
The Playwright Says: “So I really wanted to write a play for badass women in their 50s. I sort of thought that, like, there is a kind of energy, a kind of concentration that happens when they are the two players on that stage and they have all that agency and all that power.”
The Lyric Stage Company of Boston and City Stage Co. have announced a new collaboration, along with their plan to merge this season. This union will bring together two companies with decades of experience in theatre and theatre-based education. Working together, more youth and families in the City of Boston will have access to their programs.
101 – Kiss of the Spider Woman with Rachel Bertone Lyric Off Stage
00:00 / 13:53
Join Kiss of the Spider Woman director and choreographer Rachel Bertone as she brings us behind the scenes into her planning, preparation, and vision for this production of Kander and Ebb’s smash musical in our very first episode of our new podcast, Lyric Off Stage!
You can also listen to this podcast on
About Kiss of the Spider Woman
Fantasy and reality become tangled in a dark web in this smash musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriting team that penned Chicago and Cabaret. Kiss of the Spider Woman revamps a harrowing tale of persecution into a dazzling spectacle that juxtaposes gritty realities with liberating fantasies. Cellmates in a Latin American prison, Valentin is a tough Argentine revolutionary and Molina is an unapologetic homosexual serving eight years for deviant behavior. Molina escapes from the terrifying reality of prison life by sharing his fantasies about a mysterious 1940s movie star who takes on the role of a Spider Woman who can kill with a kiss.