Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Two veterans go to war over a parking space in No Parking by Ray Arsenault, Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s entry in the Boston Theater Marathon, directed by Benny Sato Ambush and featuring Will Lyman and Grant MacDermott. The Boston Theater Marathon XII, which includes 50 ten-minute plays by 50 New England playwrights presented by 50 New England theatre companies in 10 hours, takes place on May 22-23, 2010 at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 527 Tremont Street, Boston. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. To purchase tickets, please visit or call 617.933.8600.

A short play inspired by author Ray Arsenault’s experiences evaluating veterans potentially suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, No Parking features two men: Tony, a Vietnam veteran, and Brad, a younger veteran just home from Iraq. Brad has just moved into the neighborhood, and is looking for a parking spot on a snowy winter night when he spots a space in front of Tony’s house. As an argument ensues over the space, one of the men realizes they are arguing about much more than a parking space.

No Parking is directed by Emerson College’s Benny Sato Ambush, who directed Black Pearl Sings! at Merrimack Rep earlier this season. Ambush says, “I was drawn to this play because of its humanity: one human being who has been through it seeing another human being in trouble and daring to care enough to help. Also, the implied message that the living wounded are casualties of war, too. War stinks and the price of it takes a tremendous toll on not just the soldiers (men and women) but their families and others around them. Living collateral damage. It has always been thus with war and we, the human family, can’t seem to learn another way to share the planet and resolve conflict.”

Playwright Ray Arsenault is part of the Greater Newburyport theatre community. He is a clinical psychologist in Andover and frequently provides services to veterans. In the five years that he has been writing plays, his works have appeared at the Firehouse Center for the Arts and The Actor’s Studio in Newburyport, as well as at the Waterfront Playhouse in Key West. His duet, Coming Clean and The Mediator, took first place in the 2009 NE Fringe Festival. He thanks his fellow artists from Group, where No Parking was workshopped. It will be part of their June production Group Alchemy at the Actor’s Studio of Newburyport. “I am delighted that Merrimack Rep is involved with the production of No Parking at the Boston Theater Marathon. MRT is special to me. My first theatre date with my now wife was at MRT, and we have been subscribers for over 15 years.”

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2010-2011 season is sponsored by Lowell Cooperative Bank. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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