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A cemetery welcomes a playwright

Patrick GabridgeCorinne Elicone

While residencies where playwrights can develop ideas into scripts are not uncommon, few are situated at graveyards.

But then there’s nothing common about Cambridge’s storied Mount Auburn Cemetery, where Medford dramatist Patrick Gabridge has been appointed artist-in-residence. Gabridge, the author of the historical dramas “Blood on the Snow’’ and “Cato & Dolly,’’ is the first playwright named to the post since the artist-in-residency program was created at Mount Auburn in 2014.

During his two-year residency, Gabridge will write “site-specific plays’’ inspired by the landscape and history of the cemetery, where the likes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Winslow Homer, and Oliver Wendell Holmes are buried. The one-act plays will premiere next June through September at locales within the cemetery.


“The beauty of Mount Auburn and the site’s rich history are ripe for story-telling through theater; selecting just a few to feature is a daunting task!’’ Gabridge said in a statement. “I hope visitors will gain a new understanding and connection through these plays, while experiencing the beautiful landscape in a truly unique way.’’

Added Jenny Gilbert, the cemetery’s director of institutional advancement: “Since its inception Mount Auburn has been a place of inspiration, and theater is a powerful way to bring our stories to life. Patrick’s plays will not only educate visitors on the natural wonders here, but will give life to the living, breathing people that once called Boston home and chose Mount Auburn as their final resting place.’’