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The Play

Simple Machine presents the New England premiere of rogerandtom, a play about a play within a play.

Penny is expecting an average night of family drama and excruciating theatre at her brother Tom's new play. But when the fourth wall isn't as solid as it seems, she starts to question everything she thought she knew. What's real? What is theatre? And who are all these people watching?

rogerandtom's puzzle-box conceit and wicked comedy have earned comparisons to Stoppard and Pirandello. Developed with Personal Space Theatrics, it has run in New York, Los Angeles, and had a critically-acclaimed production in the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.



The Details

Performing at the Davis Square Theatre located under Foundry on Elm at 255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA

Tickets are $15 and are available here or cash at the door.

March 30 @ 7:30 pm
March 31@ 7:30 pm
April 1 @ 3:00 pm talkback with the artists hosted by Veronica Barron
April 2 @ 7:30 pm pay what you can
April 5 @ 7:30 pm
April 6 @ 7:30 pm
April 7 @ 7:30 pm

Run time: Approximately 80 minutes. There will be no late seating.

Dinner and a Show at Foundry

We are pleased to offer a special discount to ticketholders for rogerandtom. Present proof of your purchase at Foundry (upstairs from the Davis Square Theatre) before or after the performance and receive 10% off your food order.



The Press

Check out our Press page for photos from the production. >>

Download Press Release>>

New England Theatre Geek review>>

Somerville Scout review>>

Edge review>>

“Julien Schwab’s latest play takes theatre in new directions. . . Lots of intelligent sight gags, often relying on a well-designed yet deliberately bare set, call to mind the Marx Brothers and make sure that even a child wouldn’t be left un-entertained, and the self-referential joshing is never an intellectual burden.”

– Tanjil Rashid, EdFringe Review

“It demands audience engagement and encourages them to consider the nature of their action as spectators as well as the nature of theatre and performance… I cannot recommend rogerandtom highly enough”

– Ellen Marsh, EdFringe Review

“Comedic yet thought provoking, rogerandtom is an intriguing work of drama which challenges the audience to think inside the black box, rather than attempting to escape it.”

– Asya Anderso, LA Splash



The Artists


Anna WaldronStephen RadochiaAndrew Rhodes

Penny: Anna Waldron
Will/Rich: Stephen Radochia
Roger: Andrew Rhodes

Production Team

Director: Stephen Libby
Lighting Designer: Samantha LeDoyt
Sound Designer: Kelsey Jarboe
Costume Coordinator: Emily Woods Hogue

Stage Manager: Nicole Smith
Assistant Stage Manager: Veera Farhan




Simple Machine presents: rogerandtom from Veronica Barron on Vimeo.


A note from the author, Julien Schwab

rogerandtom is about theater. A play for people who love plays. Its origins, however, are in places far, far away from theater.

I’ve heard comparisons to Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search of an Author. I’ve also heard Ionessco’s Bald Soprano. These are certainly fair. But I tend to think more of my first true love: science fiction. I think of films like The Sixth Sense and The Truman Show. To be honest, (and I’m only a little ashamed to admit this) rogerandtom’s direct ancestor can be found in B sci-fi television. Specifically, The Big Goodbye, which to this day stands as my father’s single favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and placed a respectable third in my family’s ‘Best Of Next Gen-athon’, New Year’s Day 1994).

Even intrepid space explorers need to relax. Doing so aboard the USS Enterprise meant either drinking Romulan ale served by Whoopi Goldberg or visiting the Holodeck. The Holodeck was a room roughly the size of two squash courts that produced vividly real, fully interactive holograms. Feeling a little space fever? Raft down the Colorado River in the middle of winter. Stressed out over a pending battle with the Borg? Watch the 2001 World Series live…except this time, you are Derek Jeter. All without fear of injury or need to consider the holograms. After all, they were fully programma-ble, without any awareness of the outside world. All the Holodeck was a stage and the holograms merely characters.

Until, that is, a malfunction trapped Captain Picard inside without the ability to end the program. The safeties were damaged and the holograms, for the first time, became self-aware. They came to see the real world outside the only one they’d ever known. To understand their own hologram-ness.

The captain escaped, as he invariably did. And when he finally turned off the Holodeck, an act he had performed count-less times before without second thought, it was with a twinge of compassion for those left behind; the characters who could do no better than realize their own helplessness.

I initially intended rogerandtom to be not much more than that, a mind-bending episode of sci-fi pulp theater. But over the last eleven years of life and drafts, it’s become so much more.