The Body’s Midnight: New Spring Play by Tira Palmquist Opens at Boston Court this April

By Hayden Dobb, Pasadena Weekly Staff Writer Apr 4, 2024

    The Body’s Midnight: New spring play opens at Boston Court this April
    “The Body’s Midnight” cast. (Makela Yepez/Submitted)

    A new play is coming to Boston Court this spring. “The Body’s Midnight,” written by playwright Tira Palmquist, is a co-production with IAMA Theatre Company. Directed by Jessica Kubzansky, “The Body’s Midnight” explores the idea of what it means to get lost in America — characters Anne and David are set to search for this meaning while they embark on their version of the perfect American road trip. With them is a map, a long list of sights to see and an itinerary that is planned to land them in St. Paul just in time for the birth of their first grandchild. Soon, however, their tidy plans are disrupted by a troubling diagnosis and the breathtaking, fleeting world around them. As the two are skewed from their initial path, they are met with an unavoidably messy and bewildering journey of their lives.

    “It’s beautiful and it’s incredibly funny,” Kubzansky said. “It’s a play about a rite of passage in some ways. It’s a play about different relationships regarding husbands and wives or parents and children. It covers the beautiful impermanence of our lives and the choices that we start to make when something in us feels threatened. I think everyone can relate to this, especially through what we all experienced with the pandemic — it’s really a play about what happens when something disrupts and limits your life.”

    The cast that will be acting out this grand story is Keliher Walsh, playing Anne; Jonathan Nichols-Navarro, playing David; Sonal Shah as Katie; and Ryan Garcia as Wolf. Before these characters were conceptualized, an acting friend of Palmquist noted that at the peak of her talent in her career, it was becoming harder for her to find roles in theater due to the lack of middle-aged and older women in plays.

    “I accepted the challenge, and know that there are things I’m really interested in as a playwright — one of those is the stories I choose to tell. I want to be mindful of the stories and represent all ages in theater, and to mostly represent women without the ties to being a mother or caregiver, showing that side of womanhood is important to me,” Palmquist said.

    Another aspect to “The Body’s Midnight” is Palmquist’s nod to the good, stable marriage that is showcased in the play, juxtaposing broken relationships that are usually told in the industry.

    From her home state of Minnesota, Palmquist also finds joy in writing stories involving the state, along with highlighting the sense of adventure shared throughout the country.

    “This intensely theatrical and wondrously strange piece leans into the visually arresting and textually rich — it’s what IAMA Theater Company and Boston Court values in new playwriting. ‘The Body’s Midnight’ shows the best and worst parts of a road trip experience, and the most interesting characters are met along the way. It’s a great performance on how vast and odd it can all be,” Kubzansky added.

    If Palmquist had to sum up “The Body’s Midnight” in three words, they would be “discovery, bravery, legacy.”

    Palmquist is known for her writing that merges the poetic, personal and political. Her most produced play, “Two Degrees,” was produced by places like the Tesseract Theater in St. Louis and Prime Productions at the Guthrie, after its premier at the Denver Center. As an established playwright, her work “The Way North” was a finalist for the O’Neill, an Honorable Mention for the 2019 Kilroys List and was featured in the 2019 Ashland New Plays Festival.

    Tickets for the preview shows from April 18 to April 26 cost between $19 to $39 as the play is honed, and tickets through opening night to the play’s close from April 27 to May 26 cost between $24 to $59. Please view the Boston Court website for ticket price details.

    With special events surrounding specific showings of “The Body’s Midnight,” guests can expect pre- and post-show illuminations following themes of the play or examining closely at how the play came to be. Special events include an art reception, playwriting conversations with Palmquist, ASL interpreted performances, Mother’s Day celebrations and more.

    For more information on show details, ticket prices and before and after show events, visit

    “The Body’s Midnight”
    WHEN: April 18 to May 26
    WHERE: Boston Court Pasadena, 70 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena
    COST: Tickets start at $19