Patrick Gabridge, The Mount Auburn Plays

Through a series of site-specific original plays, Mount Auburn Artist-in-Residence (2018-19) Patrick Gabridge celebrates the cultural and natural history of America’s first landscaped Cemetery.

Mount Auburn Residency

During his residency, playwright Patrick Gabridge wrote two series of plays inspired by Mount Auburn. In June 2019, we produced the Nature Plays, a series of five one-act plays that explored the rich natural environment of Mount Auburn Cemetery. The plays touched on topics such as spotted salamanders in Consecration Dell, birders at Auburn Lake, and historic debates between naturalists who are buried at the Cemetery. Audiences experienced the performances at various spots across the grounds, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the natural world. In September, we presented The America Plays. Mount Auburn was founded in 1831, during the post-Colonial era that would help define America’s identity. This series of five short plays, staged at sites across the landscape, brought to life the drama, philosophies, and struggles shared by Mount Auburn founders Jacob Bigelow, by sculptors Edmonia Lewis and Martin Milmore, and by strong women like Harriot Kezia Hunt and Charlotte Cushman who sought new opportunities beyond the social norms of the time. The journey through the American experience concluded with an immigrant story, featuring some of Mount Auburn’s Armenian residents. Audiences experienced the personalities and drama that lie at the heart of America’s first large-scale designed landscape open to the public.

Publicity & Press

From Mount Auburn Cemetery
Highlighting Mount Auburn’s Rich, Natural Environment Through Theatre by Patrick Gabridge [August 30, 2018]

The Mount Auburn Plays: A Playwright’s Inspiration Comes to Life [October 3, 2018]

America Plays by Robin Hazard Ray [Sweet Auburn, 2020, Vol 1]

A Playwright Chooses Some Characters by Patrick Gabridge [Sweet Auburn, 2019, Vol 2]

The Role of the Artist in Interpreting Difficult History by Peter Schlaht [Sweet Auburn, 2019, Vol 1]

Playwriting in the Cemetery: Introducing Artist-in-Residence Patrick Gabridge by Anna Moir [Sweet Auburn, 2018, Vol 2]


Download the program books for The Mount Auburn Plays:

Book & More

Since concluding his residency, Gabridge has published The Mount Auburn Plays as a book, allowing readers to experience Mount Auburn landscape, its “residents,” and its many stories.

To learn more about Patrick’s other projects and upcoming plays, visit his website .


Support for The Mount Auburn Plays was generously provided by the following:

Bob Jolly Charitable Trust
Mass Humanities
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Mary Lee T. & Peter C. Aldrich
Eliza & Michael Anderson
Jenny Gilbert
Patricia B. & John Jacoby
William F. Mann* & Virginia J. Brady
Jeanne & Joel Mooney
Caroline Mortimer

Additional support provided by:

Atlantic Exterminating, Inc.
Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation
Cuisine Chez Vous
Halvorson Design Partnership
Keefe Funeral Home
Morgan & Morgan, PC
R.P. Marzilli & Co., Inc.
Rachel Lucas PR
Vicki Lee’s Bakeshop