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PITCH ONE: Raising the Curtain on Uncertainty

Company One ventures into the unknown with

Contact: Mason Sand —617.230.6753 —

Company One is set to produce THE OVERWHELMING as the first show of it’s eleventh season. The show, written by playwright J.T. Rogers (MADAGASCAR, WHITE PEOPLE) is set in Rwanda in 1994. Against this backdrop, Rogers engages the audience in an unpredictable and foreign world; one where passing moral judgment on characters – who’s right and who’s wrong - is all but impossible.

Unlike other popular depictions of bloody African regimes – Hotel Rwanda or The Last King of Scotland, for example – THE OVERWHELMING is more of a mysterious thriller than it is an expose or documentary; the terror in the play is almost all psychological rather than physical. “This play is really a mystery,” says Shawn LaCount, Company One Artistic Director and director of THE OVERWHELMING. “It’s a stranger-in-a-strange-land scenario where the audience is drawn in – along with the main characters – and then has to make sense of it all.”

The OVERWHELMING’s story is of an American professor who has ventured abroad in search of his Rwandan correspondent. The professor’s family accompanies him on this journey and they end up uncovering truths, some of which would be best left untold. The plot twists and turns, with the main characters getting a crash course in Rwanda’s political complexity and their own moral certitude. Alliances are formed, secrets are kept, and life-or-death decisions are made in the play, sometimes with results that are completely unforeseen.

The idea for THE OVERWHELMING came to J.T. Rogers as he tried to reconcile the various perspectives of people in Rwanda at that time in history. “I kept asking myself the following,” Rogers says in the play’s postscript: “If you were there, right now, what would you do to stay alive? What kind of person would you prove to be?”

These are the questions that Company One is seeks to highlight with its production. “The show examines the rules that many Americans try to apply to any situation, anywhere in the world. Truth, power, cultural ideals and responsibility – I think this play shows how the meaning of these ideas is not always so easy to pin down,” LaCount explains.

THE OVERWHELMING premiered in New York, played in London and, most recently, Chicago, each production receiving top reviews and sell-out crowds. Company One’s production is the premiere in Boston, where stagings of Rogers’ work are relatively rare. The show provides a fitting kick-off for the company’s 11th season, which looks at traditional stories and history from new angles. “We’re really proud to bring this show to Boston,” LaCount declares. “I think our audience will really eat it up.”

THE OVERWHELMING plays October 30 - November 21 at the Boston Center for the Arts. To arrange press coverage, including interviews, please contact Mason Sand, Director of Public Relations at 617.230.6753. For more information, including tickets, please visit

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