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FALL 2013-2014

SPOTLIGHT GREAT THEATRE – PRODUCED BY YOU

2013 TONY

AWARD RECIPIENT

THE JUNGLE BOOK P.4 THE POWER OF DUFF P.8 THE COCKTAIL HOUR P.12 THE LEGACY SOCIETY P.18 HUNTINGTON NEWS P.22 PERFORMANCE CALENDARS P.23 Akash Chopra and Kevin Carolan in The Jungle Book/LIZ LAUREN

“Our 2013-2014 Season builds on the recent triumphs that earned us the 2013 Regional Tony Award. The returns of Nicholas Martin, Kate Burton, Maria Aitken, Mary Zimmerman, Boston playwrights Melinda Lopez and Lydia R. Diamond, and more promise the collection of world-class productions with local roots that will illuminate our common humanity.” – PETER DUBOIS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

JOIN US FOR OUR 2013-2014 SEASON RAVISHING NEW MUSICAL

THE JUNGLE BOOK SEPT. 7 - OCT. 20 MOVING NEW DRAMA

THE POWER OF DUFF OCT. 11 - NOV. 19 COMEDY ON THE ROCKS

THE COCKTAIL HOUR NOV. 15 - DEC. 15 SEXY NEW COMEY

VENUS IN FUR JAN. 3 - FEB. 2 PASSIONATE CLASSIC

THE SEAGULL MAR. 7 - APR. 6 STIRRING NEW DRAMA

BECOMING CUBA MAR. 28 - APR. 26 SHARP NEW COMEDY

SMART PEOPLE MAY 23 - JUNE 21 2

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THIS IS THE YEAR TOBESTSUBSCRIBE! VALUE: 7-PLAY PACKAGES START AT JUST $126 Next season promises to be one of our most extraordinary seasons ever with seven breathtaking productions of exciting new works and classics made current. Subscribing is easy — join us for the entire season as a 7-play subscriber and get our best value package OR choose between 4 shows at our Broadway-style mainstage, the BU Theatre or 3 shows at the Wimberly Theatre, the Huntington’s home for new work. Plus, only Huntington subscribers get access to the best seats at the best prices, free and easy ticket exchanges, missed performance insurance, and much more. Still not satisfied? Then build your own personal subscription packaging with one of our sales reps by calling our Box Office at 617 266 0800.

WE’RE SAVING GREAT SEATS JUST FOR SUBSCRIBERS — SUBSCRIBE TODAY! HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG/SUBSCRIBE 617 266 0800

THE HUNTINGTON RECEIVES THE 2013 REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD On Sunday, June 9, the Huntington Theatre Company was presented with the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award. One of the most prestigious and coveted honors in the entertainment industry, this Award recognizes a regional theatre company for displaying a continuous level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theatre nationally. Members of the Huntington’s Board of Trustees, leadership, and staff traveled to New York City for the nationally-televised ceremony at the historic Radio City Music Hall. Managing Director Michael Maso and Artistic Director Peter DuBois delivered a passionate acceptance speech about how the award celebrates YOU, our extraordinary audience, and puts wind in our sails at a time of exceptional artistic success. Watch Michael Maso and Peter DuBois accept the Tony Award at huntingtontheatre.org/about/tony.

PETER LAU PETER LAU JUSTIN SEWARD

PETER LAU

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Staff and board at the Huntington’s Tony Awards After Party.

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“INVENTIVE & VISUALLY STUNNING!”

“ENTIRELY FRESH, EVER-SURPRISING & WINNINGLY WHIMSICAL!” – CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Braille

From the imagination of Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman (Candide) comes a captivating new musical adaptation of a timeless favorite. The jungle springs to life in a kaleidoscopic song-anddance-filled production that chronicles young Mowgli’s adventures growing up in the animal kingdom. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timehonored tales and featuring music from the classic Disney film (including “I Wanna Be Like You” and “The Bare Necessities”), this ravishing world premiere will enchant audiences of all ages.

LIZ LAUREN

“I heard Mary Zimmerman and her creative team’s take on The Jungle Book music while in Chicago. I was immediately reminded of what I love about Mary and what she brings to The Jungle Book — her big heart, sophisticated mind, and a playful imagination. In this latest creation, she brilliantly interweaves Kipling’s evocative prose with the story of the classic film and marries traditional Indian instruments to its jazzy, instantly recognizable tunes. It’s a dream!” – PETER DUBOIS Music Director and Orchestrator Doug Peck and members of The Jungle Book orchestra

THE MUSIC OF THE JUNGLE BOOK Songwriter Richard Sherman and his brother Robert had not read The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, when they were called into a meeting by Walt Disney to contribute to the development of a movie of the same name. Neither had any of the other animators and writers brought in, it turns out. When Disney asked who of his team was familiar with the stories, not a person in the room raised his hand. “It was like a bunch of guys in school that hadn’t done their homework,” Richard Sherman remembers. Disney’s response? “Well, that’s good.” His reaction was genuine, as he wanted to create a film that discarded the dark, heavy mood of Kipling’s stories and instead embraced the delight that could be wrought from a medley of animal characters. The joy that infused the movie’s score with a playful spirit is one of the key elements adapter and director Mary Zimmerman strove to maintain in her new musical production. The show, produced in association with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, features seven songs from the Disney film including “The Bare Necessities” by Terry Gilkyson, never-before-heard songs by the award-winning Sherman Brothers, and more. “It’s going to be wonderful for the audience because they’ve never heard these songs before,” Sherman says. Music Director and Orchestrator Doug Peck has incorporated Indian sounds and underscoring based on themes from the film, as well as Indian ragas and dance music. Peck believes that the music will prove even more powerful onstage than in the movie, especially as the production includes onstage

musicians who will be encouraged to improvise throughout the run. “In the theatre, you are in the same acoustic space and can sometimes see the player or players creating the underscoring,” he says. “You are inherently more aware of the music, which can sometimes function on a more unconscious level on film. In some ways, I function both as arranger/orchestrator and editor: helping players maintain a consistency that the cast can dance to, but also a freedom to explore their improvs from show to show.” The instrumentation consists of traditional western instruments such as a piano and drum set, as well as Indian snake trumpets, Carnatic violin, sitar, veena, tablas, ghattam, dholak, dhol, and other Indian percussion. Much of the Indian essence that Peck has infused into the score derives from trips the creative team took to India. The songs from the movie invite this added flavor, as each already has its own unique musical style that corresponds to the various species of animals. For instance, King Louie the Orangutan was conceived as a jazzman, so his number, “I Wan’na Be Like You,” naturally fit as a swing piece. The Sherman Brothers incorporated elements of Kipling’s stories and introduced whimsy and lightness to them, as per Disney’s instructions. Hathi, leader of the elephants, became Colonel Hathi, an officer in the British Raj who leads the militaristic “Colonel Hathi’s March.” The song plays with elephants’ natural galumph. As Sherman says, “It was all borne out of Walt’s desire for us to have fun.” - ALI LESKOWITZ

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/junglebook to watch a video about director Mary Zimmerman and the inspiration behind her re-imagination of The Jungle Book, watch a behind-the-scenes clip from the workshop, and listen to a radio interview with legendary Disney composer Richard Sherman. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF INDIA:

REIMAGINING THE JUNGLE BOOK

CHIANG/OSTLING

From left: Lighting Designer TJ Gerckens, Scenic Designer Daniel Ostling, Director Mary Zimmerman, Costume Designer Mara Blumenfeld, and Music Director and Orchestrator Doug Peck.

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LIZ LAUREN

LIZ LAUREN

André De Shields and Akash Chopra

Nikka Graff Lanzarone

When Disney Theatrical Group conceived of a stage version of the classic 1967 film The Jungle Book, they easily could have set out to create a replica of the movie that for decades has captivated generations of children with its celebratory music and lovable characters. Instead, they tapped Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman, one of theatre’s most innovative directors, to reimagine their hit as a wholly original new work to be felt and experienced live at the theatre. The Jungle Book has many of the hallmarks of a Mary Zimmerman adaptation. But this production posed additional complexity for the adaptation, as it draws from not one but two sources — both the 1894 Rudyard Kipling stories and the 1967 Disney animated film. Tonally, Kipling’s stories are poetic and his jungle’s at times dark and violent, while in contrast, the Disney movie, set to the jubilant sounds of American swing and jazz, is fun and celebratory. In the process of exploring how to balance the divergent elements of her two sources, Zimmerman found inspiration in Kipling’s personal biography: he was born in Bombay to English parents and lived in India until he was six years old when his parents sent him back in England. There, they left him in the care of a woman who ran a school out of her home, and, unbeknownst to them, physically and emotionally abused him until he left at age 10. Years later, when Kipling was a newly-married adult living in Vermont, he wrote the stories of The Jungle Book. “There is an almost desperate energy behind the creation of this world that was psychologically necessary for him,” Zimmerman said. “The romanticization and exoticism of India that he’s come to be criticized for, he’s come about in a well-earned way: he was born there and he lost it. He lost India as a child, and a child about the age of Mowgli.” Zimmerman drew from the stark contrast between Kipling’s happy early childhood in India and his fraught later years in England to establish the emotional tenor of the production. “I want the audience to experience the joy of that

CURTAIN CALLS NAME Kevin Carolan ROLE Baloo HOMETOWN Born in Bronx, NY / Raised in Wanaque, NJ WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT WHILE PERFORMING THE JUNGLE BOOK? My favorite moment is when I sing Baloo’s Blues, a song written and recorded for The Jungle Book film but not used in the feature. Premiering a “new” Sherman Brothers song is an incredible honor! LIZ LAUREN

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER FROM THE JUNGLE BOOK? My favorite character is Baloo. I always looked up to that great “papa bear,” as it reminded me of my relationship with my dad. And now to have the chance to BE Baloo? It fills me with great joy.

Monique Haley, Akash Chopra, Ed Kross, Anjali Bhimani, and the Colonel Hathi’s elephant army

music and of living in a world where you are one with nature and the animals — even with all its dangers and its troubles. And also the recognition that you can’t stay there.” In order to create her living jungle, Zimmerman and her team plunged into their design process, which is research heavy, immersive, and highly collaborative. She almost always works with the same design team — set designer Daniel Ostling, costume designer Mara Blumenfeld, and lighting designer T.J. Gerckens. When creating The Jungle Book, Zimmerman immediately recognized the need to honor its setting through design. “My very first impulse when this idea came up was to take the forms of Indian representation — visual and musical — seriously within the aesthetic of doing the show.” In order to capture the sights and sounds of Kipling’s India, the team spent two and a half weeks traversing the country — visiting 10 cities in one trip — listening to music on the streets, gathering textiles at markets, interacting with indigenous animals, and taking “thousands and thousands” of photographs. The world that appears on stage will be infused with the spirit of its setting as filtered through the eyes of the design team. “We’re not hoping to create a museum-like replication, because it’s a work of intense imagination — almost florid imagination — on both Kipling’s and Disney’s part,” Zimmerman said. “We’re going for inspiration in forms, colors, pattern, shape, and volume of things — it penetrates the design at every level and in every scene.” And though The Jungle Book sprang out of a familiar film with iconic animation and music, this new version promises its own unforgettable experience, alive with the spirit of its inspiration and saturated with the sights and sounds of India. - LESLEY GIBSON

This article originally appeared in Goodman Theatre’s OnStage publication. To read an extended version with additional information regarding Zimmerman’s adaptation process, visit us online at huntingtontheatre.org/junglebook

NAME Akash Chopra ROLE Mowgli HOMETOWN New York City, NY WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT WHILE PERFORMING THE JUNGLE BOOK? Opening night was magical, I will never forget it. HOW ARE YOU LIKE YOUR CHARACTER? Mowgli is exciting and likes adventure. He tries different things, and I think I am the same. NAME Tommy Derrah ROLE Kaa and others HOMETOWN Born in Portland, ME / Raised in Cape Elizabeth, ME WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT WHILE PERFORMING THE JUNGLE BOOK? At the end of Act 1 André De Shields performs “I Wanna Be Like You” while most of us play monkeys. The number ends frantically and the audience erupts with applause. The lights come up and we’re all lying on the floor panting, sweating, and usually laughing! WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER FROM THE JUNGLE BOOK? I have to say Kaa, because I’m playing him, but I love Bagheera because he’s patient and smart, and Mowgli, because I think we can all identify with his plight; trying to find where he belongs. NAME André De Shields ROLE Akela and King Louie HOMETOWN Baltimore, MD HOW ARE YOU LIKE YOUR CHARACTER? I am like my character of Akela in terms of his stoicism, inherent skills of leadership, and craving of solitude. On the flip side, I match my character of King Louie in exuberance, elegance, extravagance, and swank swag. DO YOU HAVE A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF WATCHING THE JUNGLE BOOK? My childhood memory of watching The Jungle Book is not of the Disney animated film, but rather the 1942 Technicolor feature, directed by Zoltan Korda and featuring the East Indian child star, Sabu Dagastir, as Mowgli the Man-Cub.

SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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“Riveting, thrillingly paced, and effervescent with wit and intelligence. Urgent & unmissable!” – THE TIMES OF LONDON

Braille

When burnt-out local TV newscaster Charlie Duff suddenly begins offering a prayer at the end of his nightly broadcasts, he instantly becomes a popular and controversial figure to an expanding audience. But even as his prayers inspire millions, Charlie struggles with his own beliefs and his inability to connect with his estranged son.

“Uniquely comic and unabashedly theatrical, The Power of Duff also pulses with incredible emotional clarity. It tells the transformative story of one man waking up to life, just as it seemed he was too lost and it was too late.” – PETER DUBOIS

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THE POWER OF DUFF AND THE POWER OF PRAYER Anthropologist T.M. Luhrman noted in The New York Times that “These days we Americans live not only with political schismogenesis, but also religious schismogenesis.” Schismogenesis describes “mirroring reactions,” such as when you are in an argument and everything the opposing side says just makes you dig your heels in deeper. Basically, every argument on the internet ever. She points out that lately the extremes — pro-religion vs. atheists — have been entrenched in a battle that doesn’t reflect the reality of American belief. With The Power of Duff, playwright Stephen Belber has stepped gently into one of those areas of American life that doesn’t garner headlines or fallacious comparison in the comment section. He’s written a heartfelt drama dealing with, among other things, the quiet, inexplicability of our spiritual life and how it plays out in our relationship with others. Belber was inspired by a Time magazine article about religion in America reporting that 95% of Americas believe in God. While not surprised by the statistic, it made him consider writing a character who accesses the public’s faith in an unlikely way. The Power of Duff tells the story of Charles Duff, an aging, cynical news anchor in Rochester, New York, who has lost his ambition and his family. One night, on impulse, he closes his broadcast with a brief, sincere prayer. He continues to offer prayers, to the objection of his colleagues, when he learns that the local community is comforted

and mobilized to acts of charity by his statements. The community effect of Charles’ prayer is central to Belber’s concept of the play: “I was indeed interested in the idea of prayer being answered by a community rather than a “higher power.” ... I simply like the idea of [considering] what is possible if those 19 out of 20 Americans who believe in God actually put their spirituality to work.” The percentage of believers in the United Sates has been remarkably steady over time, but more and more Americans eschew organized religion altogether (12%). Close to 70% of that group profess a belief in God, and one in five say they pray daily. Charlie Duff falls neatly into this group of the religiously unaffiliated who nonetheless express religious or spiritual feeling, even down to his use of an unlikely platform. Or as Charlie puts it, “I guess I’ve always been suspicious. [Of] Some sort of...force. To be reckoned with.” Perhaps Charlie Duff’s brush with prayer is best characterized by philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s formulation: “The function of prayer is not to influence God but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Charlie’s sudden spiritual and emotional openness doesn’t just change the city of Rochester; it also changes him. It doesn’t perfect him, but reaching out to others and being reached out to in turn, gives him the courage to attempt a reconciliation, to reach for wholeness. - LISA TIMMEL

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Johanna Day and Ana Reeder in Carol Mulroney (2005)

STAGING CONNECTIONS:

STEPHEN BELBER ON THE POWER OF DUFF STEPHEN BELBER IS AN ACCLAIMED PLAYWRIGHT, SCREENWRITER, AND FILM DIRECTOR. HIS PLAYS INCLUDE HIS BREAKOUT HIT TAPE STARRING ROBERT SEAN LEONARD AND ETHAN HAWKE, HIS BROADWAY DEBUT MATCH DIRECTED BY THE HUNTINGTON’S FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR NICHOLAS MARTIN AND STARRING FRANK LANGELLA, THE HUNTINGTON PREMIERE CAROL MULRONEY, AND OTHERS. OVER THE SUMMER, HE CORRESPONDED WITH DRAMATURG CHARLES HAUGLAND ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF HIS LATEST PLAY AND THE CHALLENGES OF STAGING A STORY ABOUT FAITH.

Stephen Belber

When did you start writing The Power of Duff? What was the spark? I first wrote this piece as a screenplay in about 2006. The initial impulse came after reading a Time magazine article (in an issue dedicated to religion in America), which stated that 19 out of 20 Americans believe in God. And while that didn’t necessarily surprise me, it was somewhat eye-opening the more I thought about it. And so then I thought: This is something that should be written about if done in a non-obvious way, because here we have the vast majority of an enormous nation believing, at the very least, in the legitimacy of a true spiritual force, and wouldn’t it be interesting to create a character that taps into or in some way comes to harness that power in a simple but surprising and unique way. Additionally, I thought, what if this character stumbles into this situation accidentally and honestly, and what if he or she was deeply flawed and susceptible to non-saintly impulses. Have you written about faith or prayer before? What attracted you to this theme? (And why are there so few plays on that subject?) No. And even though one would think this an obvious topic on which to write, there’s probably a slight taboo around it due to

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GOING OFF SCRIPT: PUBLIC FIGURES AND UNPLANNED WORDS T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Ken Parker and Ana Reeder in Carol Mulroney (2005)

its being difficult to come at in a way that’s profound but subtle. With The Power of Duff, I’ve simply tried to ask questions that most humans ask at one point or another: how can I feel more connected, what’s the best way to be human, faith in what? I’m under no illusion of having answers, I’ve simply asked in as honest (and theatrical) a way as I know how, trying to place my character in complicated situations with no easy solutions, and in so doing hopefully dramatizing simple questions of faith. Many of the plays you are best known for have small-casts and are tense and concentrated. What attracted you to telling this story that plays on a broader canvas across a larger ensemble? To begin with, I had for some time been wanting to write a more sprawling play; that, combined with the fact that this story began as a screenplay, encouraged me to expand the size of the cast to fit the scope of the story. Faith is a big topic, but so is the idea of connection, and I was intrigued by the idea of a wholly disconnected individual alone on an enormous and barren stage, and then, to juxtapose that with the same character surrounded by a multitude of people — and yet still unable to connect. This latter stage picture seemed to me an apt representation of “society” in many ways: We are sometimes most alone when plopped down amidst the world. What drew you to set the play within the stinging (and often very funny) politics of a newsroom? I think I was looking for a character that could be very palpably stuck, and somehow the idea of an anchor at a mid-sized city’s local news desk fit the bill. Not that it’s an unfulfilling job, but Charlie Duff, at this juncture in his life, has hit a complete dead end — he is someone who never made it national, who is no longer inspired by journalistic glory or integrity, is successful but in a severely limited way. His is a road of seductive mediocrity that leads to either pompous self-regard or extreme yearning and existential woe.

In Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff, newscaster Charlie Duff delivers a polished, send-off nightly: “Have a safe and happy night.” Like Edward R. Murrow’s “Good night and good luck” or Walter Cronkite’s “And that’s the way it is,” Charlie’s final phrase reassures his Walter Cronkite audience that, even if the news of the day is disasterous, they can depend on some things staying the same. But, one night after his father dies, Charlie ad-libs a spontaneous prayer instead, sending his boss, his co-workers, and his audience into a range of responses from outraged to affirmed. The strength of the reaction grows out of the expectation that public life is commonly scripted and rehearsed — from the nightly news to a presidential address to a commencement speech — and when someone deviates from this norm, the novelty, directness, or honesty of that action becomes news itself. The clip is replayed over and over, while commentators speculate whether a remark was planned or actually “rogue.” Thanks to YouTube, these moments are archived and can be played back over and over. Russell Brand’s castigation of the “Morning Joe” crew at MSNBC for asking him frivolous questions went viral earlier this year and was ultimately seen by far more people than watched the original broadcast. Of course, one of the most popular of these clips plays more like America’s Funniest Home Videos than a call to arms. A compilation of news anchors flubbing — everything from saying bad words to walking headlong into a light post — has nearly 100 million views. But some stories of famous figures speaking off the cuff persist because the moment becomes historic. Clarence Jones, a close confidante of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., claimed that Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was extemporaneous. Reportedly, he stayed up late the night before writing a different speech, but when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted out, “Tell them about the dream,” he dropped his notes and responded with the phrase that would become the most famous words he ever spoke. Clarence Jones told POLITICO, “It was completely extemporaneous — of the moment. I read his body language, then I turned to the person next to me and said, ‘These people don’t know it, but they’re about ready to go to church.’” - CHARLES HAUGLAND

SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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“Funny & moving!” – THE NEW YORKER

The pre-dinner cocktail is a revered ritual in John’s parents’ elegant home, but when he returns to announce that he has written a play about them, their calm demeanor dissolves. As the martinis flow, so do the revelations and recriminations, both funny and poignant, in this heartfelt comedy about the ties that bind.

– PETER DUBOIS

GERRY GOODSTEIN

“This play captures a slice of New England life that our audience will undoubtedly recognize. We have been talking about a revival of A.R. Gurney’s American comedy of manners for a few years now, and when we knew Maria Aitken was available to direct it, the cocktail was complete!”

The cast of The Dining Room (1982)

A.R. Gurney

REAL LIFE ONSTAGE: THE COCKTAIL HOUR AND MORE Playwrights who try to adhere to the adage, “Write what you know,” have always walked a fine line between verisimilitude and offense. Those like A.R. Gurney, who hail from elite bastions where privacy is a sacred value, face an especially difficult balancing act. The Cocktail Hour is doubly autobiographical — a play about a frustrated publisher named John who returns home brandishing a play he has written about his family to confront their resistance to being dramatized. John is clearly fashioned in the image of Gurney himself, and his upper-class clan bears more than a passing resemblance to the playwright’s own. “I don’t want to be on some stage. I don’t want to have some actor imitating me,” John’s father Bradley declares, expressing a typically aristocratic disdain for public disclosure. On his own website, Gurney writes that The Cocktail Hour “is probably the most personal thing I had written up to this time.” Describing the play as “an exploration,” Gurney claims that even he was wary of seeing the finished product — and definitively advised his parents to avoid it. His fears were warranted by past experience. When his Scenes from American Life was staged in his hometown of Buffalo, Gurney rewrote sections specifically to avoid offending his parents’ society friends with satirical reflections of their prejudice and provincialism. Despite these efforts, his father was so affronted by the performance that he refused to speak with his son afterwards. Gurney’s mother, Marian Goodyear, proved only slightly more sympathetic. “He says he has to write what he knows about,” she told People magazine in 1989. “You just never know what’s coming out next.”

In light of this precedent, Gurney promised that The Cocktail Hour would never be produced in Buffalo until after both his parents had died. “I personally don’t feel that it’s terribly tough on either one of them,” he mused, “but the world I grew up in treasures its personal privacy and doesn’t enjoy being displayed on stage.” Other playwrights have found themselves forced into similar dilemmas. Neil Simon recounted in his autobiography, Rewrites, that he feared his father’s reaction to Come Blow Your Horn, his first Broadway play. But as in life, Simon allowed himself to delve deeper into his past. In the last play of his “Eugene trilogy,” Broadway Bound, a young writer confronts the lies behind his parents’ marriage. “Broadway Bound comes closest to being really autobiographical,” Simon recounted in a 1992 interview with The Paris Review. “I didn’t pull any punches with that one. My mother and father were gone when I wrote it, so I did tell about the fights and what it was like for me as a kid hearing them.” Despite the pitfalls of disgruntled relatives and threatened relationships, playwrights continue to turn to autobiographical material. Regarding The Cocktail Hour, Gurney suggests a reason: “Personal and quasi-autobiographical it may be,” he writes, “but its wide success may illustrate the point that the more specific you get in your writing, the more general the implications can turn out to be.” - SAM LASMAN

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The set model for The Cocktail Hour by scenic designer Allen Moyer.

E. Digby Balzell

John Cheever

THE WASP LIFE “Think much, speak little, write less,” read plaques on display in the homes of Isabella Stewart Gardner and J.P. Morgan. While the prepschooled scions of the old-money elite controlled America’s political, business, and military establishment for decades, they remained chronically underrepresented in the arts — and happy to remain that way. However, as their influence slipped away in the later decades of the 20th century, it fell to the outcast artists among them to counter — or embrace — the stereotypes that had come to define the “WASP.” The family that A.R. Gurney conjures in The Cocktail Hour exemplifies the paradox of this situation. In privileged circles, an aversion to creative careers may represent simple professional disdain. Tad Friend, author of Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of WASP Splendor, notes that in his family, writing was not considered “man’s work” in contrast to traditions of public service or executive leadership. Alternately, the personal and confessional aspects of the arts may have proved an insurmountable obstacle. In a culture based on privacy and stoicism, the disclosure of feelings was considered both a sign of personal weakness and a vulgar plea for attention — in The Cocktail Hour, John’s father Bradley is at least as disdainful of his son’s psychiatrist as he is of his playwriting career. Given these obstacles, it was only the discontents and outsiders from elite families who took up the pen. F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Cheever are quintessential examples — brilliant, tortured, at once

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THE HISTORY OF THE MARTINI When John’s mother Ann orders her drink — “a very dry martini, with plenty of ice... and a small twist of lemon” — her patrician credentials are on full display. The martini is the beverage par excellence of America’s much-dwindled leisure class. Eschewing flashy colors and overpowering mixers, it relies instead on a refined balance amongst a few ingredients: ice, dry vermouth, a twist of lemon or an odd number of olives, and gin. It is an acquired taste, unapologetically strong, and rooted in tradition.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Isabella Stewart Gardner

disdainful of their privileged past while longing for its comforts. Listing these and other exemplars, Tad Friend writes that “the best books about Wasps are written by those ambivalent about the legacy, or striving to be accepted within its cozy confines, or fed up with the whole thing.” “The whole thing” is that familiar suite of cultural artifacts — summer houses, polo shirts worn for actual polo games, and nicknames like Biff and Corkie that bear no resemblance to the properly heirloom appellations of their owners. It is a universe that E. Digby Baltzell labeled for eternity in 1964, lifting an obscure colloquial term into the national discourse with his book, The Protestant Establishment, and its description of “an increasingly caste-like White-Anglo SaxonProtestant (WASP) upper class.” Despite its title, Baltzell’s work was in fact a warning bell, foretelling how societal currents and the arrogant exclusivity of the aristocracy would bring about its downfall. The world that A.R. Gurney depicts, with part-time help replacing lifelong servants, family members dispersing across the nation, and classic values losing their worth, attests to the accuracy of Baltzell’s prophecy.

Besides these philosophical affinities, the link between the martini and the subculture that it came to symbolize is as elusive as the drink’s history. The most that anyone can say is that the martini emerged sometime in the late 19th century, and that its earliest incarnations were substantially sweeter: gin-vermouth ratios of 2:1, or even 1:1, were common. By the 1930s, it was the picked poison of writers, business elites, and politicians. E.B. White, FDR, Noël Coward, and Winston Churchill all partook, contributing recipes, bon mots, and fierce opinions over the merits of shaken or stirred. Along the way, the proportion of vermouth dropped drastically, helped by wartime shortages and celebrity tastes. (Churchill is variously reported to have whispered ‘vermouth’ to a glass of gin before drinking; bowed across the Channel towards the continental sources of the beverage; or simply glanced at a bottle of vermouth before pouring.) By the late 1970s, the period of The Cocktail Hour, changing tastes for fruity cocktails and exotic spirits displaced the martini from the mainstream. So too did public debate disparaging the “three martini lunch” of pampered executives. Not until the late 1990s, as retro became a style choice, did the martini brush aside its apple-tinged imitators and return to the world stage — or, rather, bar. - SAM LASMAN

“I’m trapped in this old medium,” laments John in The Cocktail Hour. “It’s artificial, it’s archaic, it’s restrictive beyond belief. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with contemporary American life.” He may be speaking of his drive to write plays, but his cri de coeur also resonates with his subject, a class whose values and pastimes may seem like living fossils in the modern cultural environment. His self-expression, however maligned, becomes a way to preserve an endangered society. John’s family may have its suspicions about the theatre, but they are closer to it than they might think — and, Gurney’s play subtly suggests, their fates may be inextricably linked. - SAM LASMAN

SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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SPOTLIGHT SPECTACULAR RAISES MORE THAN $1 MILLION

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Raising over $1,013,000, the 2013 Spotlight Spectacular shattered all of the Huntington’s previous gala fundraising records! The April 22 celebration honored longtime supporters Judith and Douglas Krupp and David Cromer, visionary director of Our Town, with the Wimberly Award, the Huntington’s highest honor. The Krupps played a leading role in bringing Cromer’s landmark production to Boston with their “Make Our Town Your Town” Challenge. The phenomenally successful event was led by Spotlight Spectacular Chair Susan B. Kaplan and Leadership Committee Chairs Lizbeth & George Krupp and Nancy & Mark Belsky, all close friends and family of Judi and Douglas. More than 500 guests celebrated at the Boston Park Plaza Castle where they were entertained by Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana (the title character and the prince

from Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), cast members from the Huntington production of Our Town, and a rousing sneak peek performance of “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book. Huntington Overseer Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events designed the event, and Trustee Neal Balkowitsch’s MAX Ultimate Foods catered. Overseer Deborah Lewis chaired the live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the Spotlight Spectacular support the Huntington’s award-winning education and community programs, which reach over 33,000 annually through our Student Matinee Series, Poetry Out Loud and August Wilson Monologue Competition programs, and more. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/education to see an inspiring video about the impact of these programs.

A collage of photos from the 2013 Spotlight Spectacular/PAUL MAROTTA

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SHARON AND BRAD MALT:

A LEGACY FOR THE HUNTINGTON & FOR THEIR FAMILY “Our participation is not only a legacy we leave for the Huntington, it’s a legacy we leave our family as well. We want them to think about the mark they will leave on society and culture.”

HUNTINGTON TRUSTEE SHARON MALT AND HER HUSBAND BRAD HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO THE HUNTINGTON FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS AND RECENTLY BECAME FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE HUNTINGTON LEGACY SOCIETY. THEY RECENTLY SHARED WITH US WHY THEY MADE SUCH A LASTING COMMITMENT TO THE THEATRE THEY CARE SO MUCH ABOUT.

What first drew you to the Huntington? I (Sharon) was drama major in college and a lifelong theatregoer. We were hooked from our first production, and we became subscribers right away. What first motivated you to support the Huntington? Friends first made us aware of what the Huntington was all about — the great work you were doing onstage and in the community. We became very excited about the prospect of what the Calderwood Pavilion would mean for the Huntington and for the community. When our kids went to college, we decided to get more involved. What really sealed the deal was taking the backstage tour and seeing what makes Huntington productions possible. What a thrill to see the actual production knowing all that it takes to realize the playwright’s and director’s vision onstage. What about the Huntington experience do you value most? Coming to the Huntington is like being with family, and we feel so connected artistically, culturally, and philanthropically. There are so many opportunities to connect: conversations after the performances, special events, and trips with Peter [DuBois] and Michael [Maso]. We’ve gotten to know so many people who share our passion for the theatre, not to mention playwrights, directors, designers, and other artists.

– SHARON AND BRAD MALT

Brad and Sharon Malt

What are your hopes for the future of the Huntington? That it continues to thrive and continues on the path of promoting new work and supporting new playwrights and musicals, which we know require great resources. We are tremendously proud of the

WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS On May 20, the Huntington’s Board of Trustees elected seven new members to the Council of Overseers: Suzanne Chapman, Elliott Hillback, Gretchen Long, Tracie Longman, Thalia Meehan, Pamela Tucker, and Veronica Wiseman. We are thrilled to welcome each of these highlyqualified individuals to the Huntington’s Board family and look forward to their leadership, insight, and involvement.

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Huntington’s work with schools and promoting diversity in our audiences through programs like Community Membership and 35 Below. There seems to be such a growing crescendo of great work and recognition with Peter at the artistic helm. I (Sharon) was lucky enough to attend the Tony Awards in June, and to see such recognition of the Huntington on a national platform was immensely gratifying. It feels like a springboard for what is yet to come.

PETER LAU

Why have you included the Huntington in your estate plan? We knew it was time to think about the Huntington’s future as we thought about our own. Legacy giving reflects a continuation of our lifetime charitable philosophy, and it’s a comfort to know our philanthropic support for the institutions we love will extend beyond us. Family and philanthropy are really important to us. Our participation is not only a legacy we leave for the Huntington — it’s a legacy we leave our family, as well. We want them to think about the mark they will leave on society and culture.

Steve and Ann Cucchiaro, Sharon Malt, and Carol Deane at the Tony Awards.

BUILDING A LEGACY OF GREAT THEATRE: THE HUNTINGTON LEGACY SOCIETY Members of the newly inaugurated Huntington Legacy Society play a lasting role in securing the Huntington’s strong, successful future beyond their lifetime by making a bequest or other planned gift. No amount is too small. Members enjoy benefits and recognition today for their future gift, including: • Acknowledgement in Huntington program books • Invitations to Huntington Legacy Society events • Private backstage tours upon request Huntington supporters who inform us of their bequest during the 2013-2014 season are invited to become Founding Members of the Huntington Legacy Society. If you have already included the Huntington as part of your will or estate plan, or if you wish to discuss how you can participate this year as a Founding Member of the Huntington Legacy Society, please contact David Dalena, Senior Director of External Relations, at 617 273 1547 or ddalena@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

MONTHLY GIFT GIVING IS EASY Did you know that you can make your gift to the Huntington a monthly, ongoing gift? Automatic monthly giving is easy, secure, provides the Huntington with steady support throughout the year to create world-class productions, and ensures that your gift makes its maximum impact.

BECOME A SUSTAINING DONOR: • Decide what amount you would like to give each month. • Your monthly gift will be charged to your credit card of choice. • Modify or suspend your monthly gift at any time. • Receive a tax receipt each January for all donations you made during the previous calendar year. To become a Sustaining Donor, contact Lisa McColgan, Annual Fund Coordinator, at 617 273 1546 or huntingtontheatre.org/donate.

Thank you for your support!

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ANNOUNCING OUR 2013-2014 STUDENT MATINEE SEASON ALL STUDENT MATINEE TICKETS ARE JUST $15! Performances start at 10am and are followed by lively Actors Forums with members of the cast. Student groups are also welcome at regularly scheduled performances. For more information and to reserve tickets, please contact Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or mobrien@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu. Seats fill quickly, reserve today!

THE JUNGLE BOOK

Braille

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10 - LIMITED AVAILABILITY

THE POWER OF DUFF FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

THE SEAGULL THURSDAY, APRIL 3 SHEPPERD FERGUSON

BECOMING CUBA WFRIDAY, MARCH 11 THURSDAY, MARCH 17

SMART PEOPLE FRIDAY, JUNE 6

Braille

Our online Curriculum Guide is available for use in the classroom and includes historical information, interesting facts about the production, and lesson plans, at no extra cost.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/studentmatinee 20

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The Huntington’s nationally recognized Department of Education and Community Programs serves over 29,000 young people each year through a variety of programs including:

POETRY OUT LOUD 2014, REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL TODAY! Last year, 21,000 students from more than 80 Massachusetts schools participated in Poetry Out Loud, ranking the Commonwealth 2nd in the nation for number of schools and 3rd in the nation for number of students participating! Nationally run by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud engaged more than 375,000 students from more than 2,400 schools across the country. The 2013 Massachusetts State Champion, Courtney Stewart (Springfield Central High School), competed at the National Finals in Washington, DC in May, and the Huntington was proud and honored to support him on his journey. Enroll now for the 9th annual Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. This free program is open to all high schools (grades 9-12) in Massachusetts. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/pol for more information and to register your school today (grades 9-12 only). Questions? Contact Director of Education Donna Glick at djglick@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu or 617 273 1548. Supported by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION This past season marked the Huntington’s third year as a participant in the August Wilson Monologue Competition, run nationally by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Antonio Stroud (Boston Day & Evening Academy), Iliana Mendez (Brighton High School), and Derek Lindesay (Codman Academy Charter Public School) took the top three awards from an original group of more than 500 Boston Public School students from eleven schools. Representing Boston, the students traveled to New York City to compete with finalists from across the country at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. “I’ve realized that I must work harder in order to make my dreams a reality because for me, the sky really is the limit. When I’m on stage I try to perform in a way that makes sure that everyone remembers my name. In life I must achieve enough success to guarantee they hear it again.” - DEREK LINDESAY “The fact that my father got a glimpse of what I expect my future to look like was absolutely one of the most important things to happen.” - ILIANA MENDEZ “My mom got to see me perform on a Broadway stage and that’s a win for me. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I’ll never forget it.” - ANTONIO STROUD The Huntington will continue our participation for a fourth year beginning in October, working with eleven schools in Boston, introducing students to the life of August Wilson, and his 20th Century Cycle. Classroom instruction will include introductions on monologues, character development, as well as coaching for the students, who will each compete for the title of school winner. One winner from each school will compete in the Boston Regional Finals at the Huntington Theatre Company in February 2014. Supported by BPS Arts Expansion Initiative at EdVestors.

PHOTO TO COME

HUNTINGTON-CODMAN SUMMER THEATRE INSTITUTE DAVID MARSHAL

The 8th Annual Codman Academy Summer Theatre Institute, an extension of the Huntington’s academic year collaboration with the Dorchester charter school, culminated in August with two performances of As You Like It at the Calderwood Pavilion. The four-week theatre boot camp not only taught theatre skills, but also provided a safe environment for the participants who come from some of Boston’s most challenging urban neighborhoods. Staff members Meg O’Brien and Solange Garcia co-directed this year’s program, supporting an incredible company of 25 students as they performed Shakespeare’s famous words: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Set in the 1950s, characters resembled famous African-American icons from that era.

From top: 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud winner Courtney Stewart; August Wilson Monologue Competition finalists Derek Lindesay, Iliana Mendez, and Antonio Stroud; Shawntell Usher-Thames in Huntington-Codman Summer Theatre Institute’s production of As You Like It.

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HUNTINGTON NEWS INTRODUCING COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP, TO REMOVE THE COST BARRIER OF ATTENDING THEATRE LEAD SUPPORT FROM SOVEREIGN|SANTANDER are otherwise too expensive to come to the plays they are interested in seeing.” The Huntington is proud to announce the Community Membership program, a new initiative designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income. The program allows members to purchase tickets to any performance without restriction for just $15. Membership is free and available through partnerships with agencies and organizations that serve limited-income populations. Formally announced in June and piloted since January 2012, the program currently has more than 1,200 members enrolled from over 100 organizations. Since its inception, nearly 3,000 tickets have been sold. “One of our fundamental priorities is to make the Huntington a reflection of the city of Boston both onstage and in our audience,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “The Community Membership program enables those who think theatre tickets

“The Community Membership program is designed so its members can develop the same sort of deep, sustained relationship with the Huntington as our subscribers,” says Managing Director Michael Maso. Sovereign Bank, a wholly owned subsidy of Santander Holdings USA, is the program’s lead supporter with a gift of $25,000 to underwrite ticket subsidies. “Live theatre and the arts are important to an individual’s cultural development and help bring communities together,” said Sonia Alleyne, Sovereign Bank Vice President of Community Relations and Foundation Manager, New England. “We are happy to join with Huntington to offer members of our community affordable access to the joy and enrichment of high quality theatre.” If you know of an organization that might be interested in this program, please contact Community Coordinator, Candelaria Silva-Collins, at 617 273 1626 or csilva@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

BOSTON PLAYWRIGHT MELINDA LOPEZ JOINS THE HUNTINGTON STAFF Huntington Playwriting Fellow and former Overseer Melinda Lopez joined the Huntington’s full-time staff July 1 as a playwright-in-residence thanks to a three-year, $245,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“To be able to work closely with Peter and the entire Huntington community in a new capacity and to be funded so I can write full time is literally a dream come true,” she says.

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Zabryna Guevera and Will LeBow in Sonia Flew (2004)

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Melinda has been a vital and celebrated member of the Huntington’s artistic community since 2003 when she was named to the first class of Huntington Playwriting Fellows, and the Huntington inaugurated the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA with a world premiere production of her play Sonia Flew. The Huntington has nurtured four of her plays through the Breaking Ground reading series. Her new play Becoming Cuba was developed during the 2012 Summer Workshop and will have a full production next spring. She is also an accomplished actress, performing at the Huntington most recently as Mrs. Gibbs in David Cromer’s acclaimed production of Our Town.

PERFORMANCE CALENDARS SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2013 THE JUNGLE BOOK S

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(d) ACTORS FORUM Participating members of the cast answer your questions following the performance.

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members. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

historical and literary context of the show featuring a leading local scholar.

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professionals aged 21 – 35 complete with a post-show party. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/35below for more information.

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(s) STUDENT MATINEE For groups of students in grades 6-12. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

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SOUTH END

TICKETS Start at $25

CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA

35 BELOW $25 for those 35 and under at every performance

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receive $10 off any additional tickets purchased. Prices include a $2 per ticket Capital Enhancement fee.

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groups have access to backstage tours, talks with artists, and space for receptions. Contact 617 273 1525 or GroupSales@huntingtontheatre.org.

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TOGETHER WE CELEBRATE!

We received the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award!

Our thanks to you, our incredible community, and congratulations!

Watch Michael Maso and Peter DuBois accept the Tony Award at huntingtontheatre.org/about/tony.


Spotlight Magazine - Fall 2013