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MOST 30TH BIRTHDAY PARTIES LAST A NIGHT. OURS RUNS ALL SEASON LONG. GOD OF CARNAGE P.4 MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM P.8 THE LUCK OF THE IRISH P.12 PRIVATE LIVES P.16 CELEBRATING NEW VOICES IN AMERICAN THEATRE P.20 MEET THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS P.23 PERFORMANCE CALENDARS P.27


Night and Day (1982-1983)

Plenty (1983-1984) Twelfth Night (1984-1985)

Tartuffe (1991-1992)

Long Day’s Journey into Night (1992-1993)

Bang the Drum Slowly (1993-1994)

Arcadia (1996-1997) The Woman Warrior (1994-1995)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1995-1996)

The Last Hurrah (1999-2000) The Game of Love and Chance (1997-1998)

The Sisters Rosensweig (2005-2006)

Dead End (2000-2001)

The Mikado (1998-1999)

Well (2006-2007)

She Loves Me (2007-2008)

WE WANT YOUR HUNTINGTON STORIES! Help us celebrate our anniversary by sharing your Huntington memories with us. What is your favorite production? Who introduced you to the Huntington? Do you have a ritual for each time you come? Visit huntingtontheatre.org/30 or email tickets@huntingtontheatre.org with your written or video recollection or with a request for us to help record it.

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The Piano Lesson (1987-1988)

Saint Joan (1985-1986)

Heartbreak House (1986-1987)

Candide (1988-1989)

Boesman and Lena (1989-1990)

Aristocrats (1990-1991)

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF TIMELESS THEATRE HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG/30 Each of our 30 years is represented here. To see a slideshow of all 181 Huntington productions to date and to read recollections and memories from Huntington patrons, visit huntingtontheatre.org/30. Test your memory: name these actors from the Huntington’s history. Check your answers on page 23.

Marty (2002-2003)

Butley (2003-2004)

Sonia Flew (2004-2005)

James Joyce’s The Dead (2001-2002)

Boleros for the Disenchanted (2008-2009)

All My Sons (2009-2010)

Ruined (2010-2011)

Captors (2011-2012)


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“Hilarious!” — ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Gleefully nasty fun!” — NEW YORK POST

“90 minutes of laughter that comes from the gut.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning international sensation by the author of Art comes to the Huntington! Two sets of parents meet for the first time to settle their sons’ nasty schoolyard tangle. But all attempts at civilized discussion quickly devolve into childlike behavior in this fast, furious, and very funny comedy of bad manners.


Yasmina Reza

GOD OF CARNAGE:

THE REFLECTIVE CANVAS

“Yasmina Reza’s play is witty, biting, ferocious, and unbelievably funny. It’s for smart audiences to laugh with their neighbors — just right for a cold winter night in Boston.” – PETER DUBOIS Sometimes the best comedy comes from a place that is uncomfortably close. As Yasmina Reza dives headfirst into the lives of two families, we see four practical parents. A playground altercation between their two children sets the stage for a levelheaded mediation — or so we think. What starts as a civilized meeting over coffee and clafouti, ends in a barbaric eruption of anxiety and accusations. Annette and Alan, parents of the alleged culprit, leave neither their outside lives nor their resentment at the door to Michael and Veronica’s. Annette, a posh “wealth manager,” and Alan, a preoccupied lawyer, want to keep the confrontation short and sweet. Michael, an overworked hardware salesman, and his humanitarian wife, Veronica, instead demand the four compose an extensive peace treaty. Both parties begin by standing behind their own child’s actions, but enemy lines quickly muddle, and slinging criticisms turn personal between partners. Allies become enemies and a cluster of pointed assaults, pent-up aggression, and spewing bodily functions leave a literal and metaphorical mess for the audience to mop up. At first glance, Yasmina Reza’s plays seem simple: one set, a handful of characters, one conversation. Her award-winning play Art follows four friends discussing a white canvas, The Unexpected Man illustrates an internal monologue between a pair in a train car, and God of Carnage follows a conversation between two families. On the surface, her stories are spare. However, the meat of the work is within her characters. She populates her stories with extreme characters, surprising in their likeability, that are polar

opposites. Leaving the design elements relatively simple, she has created a canvas where her characters can explode. Like any good satirist, Reza tricks us into laughing. In God of Carnage, Annette gets so exasperated with her husband’s incessant interrupting phone calls that she becomes physically ill. Not only is the bile outlandish on multiple fronts, it allows us to laugh at the absurdity to follow. As we find comfort in the laughter, Reza reveals a harsher criticism of ourselves. Annette lashes out, “That cell phone makes mincemeat of our lives!” Unearthing the truth, Reza notes, “My plays have always been described as comedy but I think they’re tragedy. They are funny tragedy, but they are tragedy. Maybe it’s a new genre.” Reza uses farce to accomplish the goal of comedy — getting us to laugh at ourselves. She emphasizes her characters’ shadows to paint a portrait as grotesque as it is enthralling. Seeing four grownups scuffle with the same behavior akin to their children is cathartic. John Lahr of The New Yorker points out, “As Freud tells us in ‘Civilization and Its Discontents,’ we have to repress our infantile aggression in order for civilization to survive. But it’s worth paying top dollar to see those feelings acted out.” As audience members, we can sit back and point out the flaws in the people being portrayed. However with Reza there is a twist. She hands us a red pen for one hand, but a mirror for the other.

- REBECCA BRADSHAW

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit the Learn & Explore section of huntingtontheatre.org/carnage to read an article on playwright Yasmina Reza and translator Christopher Hampton, see images of the set model, and more.

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

God of Carnage Director Daniel Goldstein previously directed the Huntington’s productions of Falsettos (left, 2005) and The Cry of the Reed with Darren Pettie and Lisa Birnbaum (2008).

ONE MANHATTAN PARENT AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR DANIEL GOLDSTEIN When we hired you to direct God of Carnage you were single and childless. Now you’re a married man with a six-week old child, not to mention you’ve directed Godspell, which opened on Broadway in November. So, what’s that been like for you? It’s crazy circumstances. We had a baby a week away from tech for my first Broadway show. I left work on a Saturday and I came back on a Tuesday and I had a kid. All of a sudden I was a different person. It is funny, who plans these things?

Part of the comedy of this play rests on the kind of competition and judgment parents are subject to. Have you felt any of that yet? Daniel Goldstein

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Oh, completely. Even before you have a kid, you have to decide what kind of birth experience you want to have and that is fraught with judgment. Then you think you’re going to be a parent who, say, believes in public education. But once the baby is born, you’re worrying about filing an application to get her into the right preschool that will get her into the right private school that will get her into the right college. It’s easy to get sucked in.


CURTAIN CALLS NAME ROLE HOMETOWN

BROOKS ASHMANSKAS ALAN RALEIGH PORTLAND, OREGON

HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS ON THE PLAYGROUND? Weeping. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HUNTINGTON MEMORY? I have very fond memories of playing Georg Nowak in She Loves Me there years ago, but I always have a great time working in Boston.

Set model of the God of Carnage by set designer Dana Laffrey.

NAME ROLE HOMETOWN

STEPHEN BOGARDUS MICHAEL NOVAK RIVERSIDE, CONNECTICUT

IF I COULD ACT LIKE A CHILD FOR A DAY I WOULD... flirt with the prettiest girl in the classroom.

TO ANOTHER: HUNTINGTON DIRECTOR OF NEW WORK LISA TIMMEL,

WHO SPLITS HER TIME BETWEEN BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY, RECENTLY CHATTED WITH DANIEL GOLDSTEIN, THE DIRECTOR

HOW ARE YOU LIKE OR NOT LIKE YOUR CHARACTER? My character owns a wholesale company and sells household goods. My hobby is carpentry and construction. I renovated my own apartment and built my kitchen from scratch. To me, spending an entire day in Home Depot is bliss.

NAME ROLE HOMETOWN

OF GOD OF CARNAGE, ABOUT LIFE AS A NEW PARENT.

JOHANNA DAY VERONICA NOVAK SPERRYVILLE, VIRGINIA, IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

IF I COULD ACT LIKE A CHILD FOR A DAY I WOULD... be the oldest, as I am the youngest of 9 children.

The parents in God of Carnage are awfully infantile. Michael whines that “Children consume our lives and then destroy them ... When you see those laughing couples casting off into the sea of matrimony, you say to yourself, they have no idea, poor things.” Do you feel you were sufficiently warned by your friends on the other side of the parenting divide? The one thing that annoyed me was the jerks that would smugly say “Just you wait. Get your sleep now. It’s gonna change your life for ever. Just you wait. You don’t even know.” I hate those people. I hate them with a vengeance. We all know the kids are going to change our lives. That’s why you have a kid — to change your life. It’s hard, but Michael’s looking at it the wrong way. I was getting four hours of sleep a night in the middle of the craziness with Godspell. I could say that it’s a problem, or I could say I get to go do a Broadway show and now I get to go home to my daughter, to the person I’m doing it all for. It’s a matter of perspective.

HOW ARE YOU LIKE OR NOT LIKE YOUR CHARACTER? I have been to Africa. I have never written a book. I do attempt to keep the peace. My character is probably much smarter than I am, although I fake it pretty well!

NAME ROLE HOMETOWN

CHRISTY PUSZ ANNETTE RALEIGH SHEEPSHEAD BAY, BROOKLYN, NY

HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS ON THE PLAYGROUND? I was a big playground kid. My friends and I rode our bikes in a pack through the streets and would play for hours. There were a lot of daring and dangerous games involving tire swings and monkey bars. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACTING ROLE? I loved working on the independent film Almost in Love. The director, Sam Neave, wrote an outline of the script and had the actors improv it in their own words. We filmed the movie in two continuous 45-minute takes — so it was almost like being in a play.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/carnage for expanded interviews with the cast.

SEE PAGE 27 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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“Extraordinary! Ma Rainey rides on the exultant notes of the blues.” - NEWSWEEK

Legendary 1920s blues singer Ma Rainey and her musicians gather in a run-down Chicago studio to record new sides of old favorites when generational and racial tensions suddenly explode. The Huntington completes Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner August Wilson’s Century Cycle with this searing drama, Wilson’s first Broadway hit. Featuring a stellar cast including Yvette Freeman (TV’s “ER”) as Ma Rainey and local favorites Jason Bowen, Thomas Derrah, and Will LeBow.


“Ma Rainey was a tremendous figure. She wouldn’t have to sing any words; she would moan, and the audience would moan with her. She had them in the palm of her hand. … Ma really knew these people; she was a person of the folk; she was very simple and direct.” - STERLING BROWN (1901-1989), POET

Ma Rainey and her band.

THE MUSIC OF MA RAINEY “Completing August Wilson’s magnificent Century Cycle closes such a meaningful chapter in the Huntington’s history. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom exemplifies his true jazz-poet genius.” – PETER DUBOIS Ma Rainey, like the blues, was a product of the late 19th century South that reached full flower in the early 20th century. Born Gertrude Pridgett on April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, she began performing around age 14 in the local talent show and at church. At 18, she married William “Pa” Rainey, and they toured an act together in minstrel, circus, and vaudeville shows throughout the South. No records survive of their act, but music historians surmise it was a mix of rural folk music, minstrelsy, and comedy. During her touring years, she spent winters in New Orleans where she met the best emerging blues and jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Joe “King” Oliver, and Bessie Smith (who she is presumed to have mentored if only by example). Ma Rainey’s performances were unforgettable to those who saw them; her talent is not fully captured by her recordings. In Understanding August Wilson, critic Mary L. Bogumil describes the live experience: “A flamboyant songstress, adorned by her own spectacular creations, jewels and costumes, she paraded onto the stage with her band and situated herself in front of equally magnificent backdrops she also created, such as an enormous cut-out of a gramophone, which gave the appearance of Ma emerging right from the speaker, issuing from and manifesting the music itself.” Ma acted the part of entertainment royalty with relish, every inch a queen. It wasn’t just the shows that were big. Ma had a powerful voice and charismatic phrasing she delivered in a moaning style. Her material consisted of a variety of songs drawn from Southern traditions, unblushing in their treatment of human sexuality and unselfconsciously rural in their allusions to fortunetellers, boll weevils, and chain gangs. Legendary blues pianist Champion Jack Dupree describes her performance this way: “She was really an ugly woman, but when she opened her mouth — that was it! You forgot everything. She knew how to sing those blues, and she got right into your heart. What a personality she had. One of the greatest of all singers.”

came the blues and Ma Rainey. Touring in performance for 23 years before ever recording a single song, she laid down over 100 tracks between 1923 and 1928, all for Paramount, a Chicago label specializing in what was then known as “race” music. Fortunately these recordings captured the unique style of 1920s blues as the form changed dramatically at the end of the decade. At the moment we meet Ma Rainey in August Wilson’s play, blues performers are feeling the pressure from more modern movements in music like jazz and swing. The importance of Ma Rainey’s musical style in American culture is hard to overstate. Endlessly elastic, the blues “are all things to all men of the race” according to historian Derrick Stewart-Baker (Ma Rainey and Classic Blues Singers). He writes, “The blues are a state of mind. … [They] reflect the cry of the forgotten man and woman, the shout for freedom, the boast of the virile man, the wrath of the frustrated, and the ironical chuckle of the fatalist; … they also reflect the agony of insecurity, the poverty and the hunger of the workless, the despair of the bereaved and the cryptic humor of the cynic.” Blues also came to encompass the national African-American experience, rather than simply a regional one. As August Wilson notes in his introduction to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, “Whether this music came from Alabama or Mississippi or other parts of the South doesn’t matter anymore. The men and women who make this music have learned it from the narrow crooked streets of East St. Louis, or the streets of the city’s Southside, and the Alabama or Mississippi roots have been strangled by the Northern manners and customs of free men....” It’s no accident that Wilson’s first play of note concerns blues musicians. The blues is a form of music — much like Wilson’s Century Cycle — that is both entertainment and a historical record. As Ma Rainey says in his play, “You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life.” That ethos informs this play and all the rest.

During the great migration from 1910-1930, six million African-Americans relocated from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West, and with them

- LISA TIMMEL

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit the Learn & Explore section of huntingtontheatre.org/rainey to listen to recordings by Ma Rainey, watch a slide show about August Wilson’s work, and more.

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

GERRY GOODSTEIN

20004 - 2005

John Earl Jelks, Phylicia Rashad, and LisaGay Hamilton in Gem of the Ocean.

Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

1986 - 1987

“I have a long and valued relationship with the Huntington. They have contributed enormously to my development as a playwright, and I guard that relationship jealously.” – AUGUST WILSON (IN 2004)

COMPLETING THE CENTURY CYCLE AUGUST WILSON HAD A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HUNTINGTON, AS EIGHT OF HIS PLAYS WERE PRODUCED HERE BEFORE THEY WENT ON TO NEW YORK (7 TO BROADWAY, AND ONE OFF BROADWAY). OUR AUDIENCES AND STAFF ALIKE HAVE WONDERFUL MEMORIES OF ENCOUNTERS WITH MR. WILSON, AND HE FELT A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH THE THEATRE AS WELL. WITH MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, THE HUNTINGTON WILL COMPLETE ALL TEN PLAYS OF WILSON’S CENTURY CYCLE.

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

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RICHARD FELDMAN

1990 - 1991

Chuck Patterson, Al White, and Jonathan Earl Peck in Two Trains Running.

Russell Hornsby and Michole Briana White in Jitney.

Tony Todd and Ella Joyce in King Hedley II.

1998 - 1999

1999 - 2000


JOAN MARCUS

Keith David and Viola Davis in Seven Guitars.

1995 - 1996

1900s: In Gem of the Ocean (2004-2005 season), Aunt Ester, 285 years old,

ERIC ANTONIOU

MARK MORELLI

1987 - 1988

Boy Willie and Rocky Carroll in The Piano Lesson.

2009-- 2010

John Beasley in Fences.

1960s: In Two Trains Running (1990-1991 season), Memphis Lee’s lunch counter faces destruction, while Sterling Johnson tries to put his life back together after serving time. There are two trains running every day: which one will get you where you’re going?

redeems and cleanses the souls passing through her door.

1910s: In Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1986-1987 season), at Seth and Bertha Holly’s boardinghouse, a variety of characters look for people and families they’ve lost.

1970s: Jitney (1998-1999 season) chronicles unlicensed black cab drivers — jitneys — who serve the Hill District of Pittsburgh where most cabs refuse to go.

1920s: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2011-2012 Season) Ma Rainey visits a recording studio to lay down new tracks of old favorites when racial tensions explode.

1980s: King and Mister, children of characters from Seven Guitars, sell stolen refrigerators in King Hedley II (1999-2000 season). Revelations about King’s past and Aunt Ester’s death make King’s future unbearably bleak.

1930s: In The Piano Lesson (1987-1988 season), Boy Willie wants to sell the family piano and buy the land their ancestors worked as slaves. His sister Bernice refuses because it is carved with their entire family history.

1990s: In Radio Golf (2006-2007 season) the last play of the Century Cycle

1940s: Floyd Barton just needs a bus ticket to Chicago so he can cut some

and of Wilson’s life, Aunt Ester’s house hangs in the balance when developer Harmond Wilks slates it for destruction.

records in Seven Guitars (1995-1996 season). Short of options, he turns to theft and meets an untimely end.

1950s: Thwarted baseball player Troy Maxson works as a garbage man in SEE PAGE 27 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS

Fences (2009-2010 season). His stubbornness, envy, and fear cause him to sabotage his son’s burgeoning athletic career.

AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION August Wilson’s 10-play cycle lives on nationwide through the August Wilson Monologue Competition, conceived and run by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. Now in its second year, the Huntington’s Department of Education and Community Programs will collaborate with ten public high schools on the Boston component of this competition.

ERIC ANTONIOU

2006 - 2007

Hassan El-Aming and James A. Williams in Radio Golf.

Since October, Huntington teaching artists have been visiting participating schools to introduce the students to Wilson’s life and work and to support script analysis and character development as they prepare their monologues. All school-wide winners will move on to the Boston competition (which is open to the public) on Saturday, February 4 at the BU Theatre. Boston’s top three winners will compete at the national level in May in New York City at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre. To see video of the 2011 Boston winners and news about the 2012 competition, visit huntingtontheatre.org/awmc

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“Kirsten Greenidge is a writer of rare lyricism and dramatic punch.” - LOS ANGELES TIMES

When an upwardly mobile African-American family wants to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of 1950s Boston, they pay a struggling Irish family to act as their front. Fifty years later, the Irish family asks for “their” house back. Moving across the two eras, this intimate new play explores personal stories of integration and the conflict of calling any place your home.


Kirsten Greenidge

UNTOLD STORIES: A NOTE FROM PLAYWRIGHT KIRSTEN GREENIDGE “Kirsten Greenidge’s compelling play tells an extremely personal story while revealing a hidden part of Boston’s history. As we celebrate our history, we look to our future by producing new work by our talented Playwriting Fellows.” – PETER DUBOIS I decided to become a playwright after seeing August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. I was twelve. I sat in the balcony of the Huntington during that school matinee performance, and looked down onto that proscenium stage and saw, for the first time, an African-American story that simultaneously challenged and affirmed what I knew about how black people fit into the cultural landscape that is America. Previously I had wanted to write novels. But I wasn’t sure how to do that. In the fog that hung over my junior high school years, I had somehow concluded that in order to be published, a story could not include only black people unless they were Southern (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) or had been hurt and damaged in some way (To Kill a Mockingbird), or existed as a joke (I had fallen utterly in love with Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire by this point, but couldn’t forgive or forget Blanche Dubois telling her sister they could play at one of them being “the boy” when Blanche explains she’ll pour the drinks). But these notions of how black characters fit into American literature melted quickly into the gilt that surrounds the Huntington’s main stage when I sat in that theatre on a gray and rainy day quite some time ago. For the first time in my life I saw black people on stage who were there to tell stories. Complicated stories. Rhythmical stories. Stories that were at once proud, true, painful, and funny. The dilemma, to me, lay in how I could, like August Wilson, write these stories, too. It took six years and a college class by an actual living breathing female writer to reverse my thinking. What I learned in Darrah Cloud’s class at Wesleyan (I took it as many times as I could) was that I am capable of fulfilling the ideas I had experienced in that school matinee in seventh grade. I am capable of creating black characters in a landscape that does not expect them, but certainly should contain them. It’s fitting that The Luck of the Irish has found itself at the Huntington. For although it is inherently a Boston story, it is also, in my thinking, cousin (perhaps distant, but that’s okay as long as I’m at the dinner table somehow)

to the works Mr. Wilson was able to develop here decades ago. When I set out to write The Luck of the Irish, I had two objectives: to collect the original commission check for it (from South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California) quickly so I would not have to take any teaching jobs so soon after having my daughter, and to write a play about my grandmother, who had died about a month before. The more I wrote, the more “Boston” the play became, for the Boston I grew up in, and the Boston my parents and grandparents talked of, was not a melting pot. Or, if it was, someone long ago neglected to turn on the stove. Who your parents were predicted who you could become. Where you and these parents all lived predicted what other places you were or were not allowed to call home, or, in some instances, visit. I remember one St. Patrick’s Day asking my mother when were we heading to the parade “in Boston”— not knowing we were the only group of people decidedly not considered Irish for the day and also not knowing what “Southie” meant—and she looked at me with both horror and sadness. “We can’t go there,” was all she said. In many ways The Luck of the Irish explores why, so far up above the Mason Dixon line, this might be. And so I began to explore not only my grandparents’ move from the black South End to the suburbs, but also the ambiguousness of being “other” in a town that your people have called home for over half a century. As I raise my daughter (and now son, too), it’s becoming clear to me that the racially stratified world I was taught about from my family has changed. So the play also explores this as well: how do we live as neighbors when we may not have been taught how or expected to do so openly and with the compassion and understanding good neighbors are supposed to exercise. The most I can say about this upcoming venture is that because of sitting in that balcony however many years ago, the Huntington has felt like home and working on The Luck of the Irish in that home feels just as true as those words that flew up and into me when I was twelve. - KIRSTEN GREENIDGE

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit the Learn & Explore section of huntingtontheatre.org/irish to explore a timeline of the NAACP’s Boston chapter including information about the city’s history of segregation, and more. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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What attracted you to The Luck of the Irish? Kirsten’s writing has an immediacy and emotional energy about it, while also being lyrical. When I first read the play I couldn’t put it down: it felt fast and funny and amazingly moving. Exactly what you want to find in a script. Kirsten writes real people with real challenges and gives them an importance that elevates them and their quandaries to an almost mythic place. It is also, for me, a play that speaks deeply to an issue I think many of us find familiar: needing to feel at home in the world, and feeling that one has earned that place and belongs in it. The characters are all a little displaced, either because of race or class or the simple fact that they don’t fit solidly into the mainstream culture of their moment. T. CHARLES ERICKSON

The Luck of the Irish director Melia Bensussen previously directed the Huntington’s production of Circle Mirror Transformation (2010).

What, if any, local resources are you tapping to develop this play? Living in this city is a resource. It’s a town of neighborhoods where community is often defined geographically. Knowing that and experiencing it first hand is helpful. At Emerson College, where I teach, I am also in the midst of working on a project about the 1970s in Boston and the forced school busing. I am steeping myself in the history of the interplay of races, communities, housing, and neighborhoods in this area. It’s rich, painful, and fascinating material — and there are so many conversations to be had with folks who’ve lived through various iterations of this struggle in this area.

ATA CONVERSATION HOME INWITHTHEMELIAWORLD: BENSUSSEN How will directing Luck differ from your experience with Circle Mirror Transformation? Completely different! Annie Baker’s writing in Circle Mirror Transformation is much more contained, and the goal in our rehearsal room was to find stillness and meaning in the silences. Kirsten’s writing in The Luck of the Irish is expansive: she is crossing races, generations, neighborhoods, cultures, years! The Luck of the Irish has an epic feel to me. It’s about reaching across as much as it is about searching within. It leads to a different energy in the rehearsal room and in the theatre. KIRK J. MILLER

Kirsten Greenidge and Melia Bensussen

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How does directing a world premiere differ from directing an established work (say, Shakespeare)? Actually a new play and Shakespeare have more in common for me than an established contemporary work that has already had several successful productions. For me, both new play work and Shakespeare require you to think through every moment verbally, visually, emotionally. You don’t know what the gift of the moment can be: if one thread in a play is brought out more than others, you have an entirely different production and an audience takes away a different play. It’s a fascinating journey.


ON ROBERT FROST’S POEM “MENDING WALL” AND KIRSTEN GREENIDGE’S PLAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH HANNAH, THE CENTRAL CHARACTER IN KIRSTEN GREENIDGE’S NEW PLAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH, LIVES IN A SUBURB NORTH OF BOSTON IN THE HOUSE HER GRANDPARENTS BOUGHT. IT’S A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD WITH GOOD SCHOOLS. HANNAH’S RIGHT TO LIVE IN THE HOUSE IS CHALLENGED AND SHE BECOMES A LITTLE BIT OBSESSED WITH NOTIONS OF BELONGING AND WITH ROBERT FROST’S ICONIC POEM, “MENDING WALL.”

Over the 45 deceptively simple lines of Frost’s poem, he questions the use of the wall he and his neighbor repair each year. Every spring they “meet to walk the line/And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go.” Unwilling to question the status quo, his neighbor simply asserts, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The poem makes a gentle and quiet argument against building and rebuilding walls, especially since nature and hunters seem so badly to want them down. He cites the cost of rebuilding the wall: “We wear our fingers rough with handling them.” The Luck of the Irish works similarly to the poem, accumulatively. Both look at one moment and see it as a result of many years of choices. And just as a dry stone wall is built stone by stone, layered one on top of the other, the play and poem build their arguments by layering digressive images one over the other. In the poem, Frost is defeated by the neighbor’s unwillingness to “go behind his father’s saying,” but in the play Hannah has to breach the wall she has built around herself. - LISA TIMMEL

New Kids in the Neighborhood by Norman Rockwell, 1967

“MENDING WALL” Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

What I was walling in or walling out,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”

And to whom I was like to give offence.

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

The work of hunters is another thing:

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

I have come after them and made repair

One on a side. It comes to little more:

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He said it for himself. I see him there

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

My apple trees will never get across

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

And he likes having thought of it so well

And on a day we meet to walk the line

If I could put a notion in his head:

And set the wall between us once again.

“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

We keep the wall between us as we go.

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

- ROBERT FROST

SEE PAGE 27 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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“One of the funniest comedies of the 20th century!” - THE NEW YORK TIMES

Divorcés Amanda and Elyot meet again by accident on their second honeymoons with brand-new spouses in tow. Fireworks fly as they discover how quickly romance — and rivalry — can be rekindled in Noël Coward’s stylish, savvy comedy about the people we can’t live with . . . or without.


Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in Private Lives; Noël Coward

A HASTY KIND OF GENIUS: NOËL COWARD’S PRIVATE LIVES

“Noël Coward’s signature wit and keen eye for human behavior make his plays vibrate emotionally. It’s thrilling to have Maria Aitken, one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Coward, here to bring his work to life.” – PETER DUBOIS On the decks of the S. S. Tonkin, traveling from Hong Kong to Hanoi in February 1930, Noël Coward composed a letter to an old friend: “Well, old cock,” he wrote, “we stayed two weeks in Shanghai and I wrote a light comedy for Gertie and me in the Autumn. It’s completely trivial except for one or two slaps but it will be fun to play.” All through his East Asia journey, Coward had been trying to come up with a vehicle for himself and actress Gertrude Lawrence. Nothing clicked until he arrived at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo where, Coward wrote in his autobiography, “The moment I switched out the lights, Gertie appeared in a white Molyneux dress on a terrace in the South of France and refused to go again until 4am, by which time Private Lives, title and all, had constructed itself.” A few weeks later, as he recovered from a bout of flu in Shanghai, Coward committed the play to paper. The writing took four days — about average for the then 30-year-old playwright. Little wonder that upon meeting him, T. E. Lawrence wrote that Coward was “a hasty kind of genius.” The vision in the white dress became Amanda, a woman on her second honeymoon. While on the terrace, she encounters her first husband, also on his second honeymoon, and they decide to run away together. As the two lounge around Amanda’s Paris flat, they embody what The New Yorker critic John Lahr calls, “the Coward myth of chic dressing-gowns and bitchy dressing downs.” The pajamas-clad Elyot and Amanda are masters of verbal swordplay. They parry and riposte with élan, displaying wits that are not only quick but also

succinct. Stinging one-liners litter the play (“Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs,” “Don’t quibble, Sybil,”) bearing out critic Kenneth Tynan’s assertion that Coward “took the fat off English comic dialogue.” As in all of Coward’s best-loved “comedies of bad manners” (Hay Fever, Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter), the characters are brisk and breezy, totally lacking in material concerns. They are determinedly superficial: “You musn’t be serious, my dear one,” Elyot warns Amanda. “It’s just what they want.” But the determined flippancy of the characters doesn’t translate into a shallow play. As Lahr points out, “Only when Coward is frivolous does he become in any sense profound.” The underpinnings of the play consist of ever changing, ever repeating relationships. Critics have bemoaned the highly topical nature of Coward’s plays, but the forces that push Elyot and Amanda together and then tear them apart again and again are universal. Their diametrically opposed love and hate are reflections of emotions that exist, in varying degrees, in every relationship. This universality perhaps explains the countless revivals of Coward’s plays. As Edward Albee wrote in his introduction to a collection of Coward’s work, “Mr. Coward’s subjects — the ways we kid ourselves that we do and do not exist with each other and with ourselves — have not, unless my mind has been turned inward too long, gone out of date.” - RACHEL CARPMAN

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit the Learn & Explore section of huntingtontheatre.org/privatelives to watch a clip from the 1931 film version of Private Lives and an interview with playwright Noël Coward, and more. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Jane Pfitsch and Andrew Long in Educating Rita (2011)

DIRECTOR MARIA AITKEN:

INSPIRED INTERPRETER OF COWARD’S COMEDY

Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards in Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (2007)

“The comedy of manners is not prancing about with fans or being brittle,” Maria Aitken explains. “Things don’t work unless you warm them up from underneath. I’ve been in lots of serious plays, but I don’t see it as my forte. Comedy is a very serious matter.” Aitken is sought as a teacher and director for her expertise in high comedies such as Noël Coward’s Private Lives. “High comedies are not bloodless, refined, wordy plays,” says Aitken during a session of the BBC Acting Series. “Their themes are sex, money, and social advancement. They contain a splendid contradiction: wit and elegance at the service of man’s basest drives.” Maria Aitken learned “on the boards.” Though she was a student at the renowned Oxford University, she spent more time on professional stages than in the classroom. Her first professional acting credit was while she was still in school in the mid-sixties. Aitken was cast in a small role in Richard Burton’s production of Faustus. She hid in the theatre and watched Burton and his wife Elizabeth Taylor as they rehearsed. American audiences may also remember Aitken from the 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda. Over the course of her acting career, Aitken has played more Coward leading women on West End stages than any other actress to date including Blithe Spirit (1976), Private Lives (1980), Design for Living (1982), Private Lives again (1984, star and director), The Vortex with Rupert Everett (1989), and Hay Fever (1992). “My career has been very predicated on Noël Coward,” Aitken admits. “I’ve played all his great roles, either at the National or in the West End.” After many years of acting, Aitken began directing when she was forced to turn down a role in Giles Cooper’s play Happy Families only to be asked to helm the production. Huntington audiences have seen her work in popular productions of Educating Rita last season, and

Maria Aitken

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COWARD AT THE HUNTINGTON Noël Coward’s Design for Living, the story of a trio of artistic characters and their complicated three-way relationship, was produced by the Huntington in 1983 as part of our second season.

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Arnie Burton, Cliff Saunders, and Charles Edwards in Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (2007)

Her skill as an interpreter of Noël Coward comes from the integration of her experiences as an actress with her intuition and instincts as a director. Aitken distills the intricacies of Coward to find the wit. She believes an actor must understand a character’s thought process completely to fully employ the linguistic devices of high comedy and execute it seemingly effortlessly. “The effort involved must be imperceptible,” Aitken writes in her book Style: Acting in High Comedy. “One has to acquire the cleverness, the articulacy, the febrility of the characters — and then make the whole laborious exercise seem like swimming through silk.”

GERRY GOODSTEIN

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, which had its American premiere at the Huntington and then went on to play three years on and off Broadway. She now prefers directing to acting, but continued to do both for a time. Aitken has worked with more than fifty directors over the course of her career and tends to “pinch the good things from some of those [she] liked.”

In 2007, the Huntington revisited Coward with Present Laughter, starring Victor Garber as the successful and self-obsessed matinee idol Garry Essendine. This production went on to Broadway in 2010.

The characters in Private Lives may seem distant to the modern American, but Maria Aitken disagrees. “The whole reason that high comedy has proved such a durable form is that it reveals the truth about human nature, warts and all, but does so with glorious pyrotechnics of language and behavior. It uses society’s most sophisticated social accomplishments, intellect and wit, to mock society itself; the glitter reveals the grubbiness.” - VICKI SCHAIRER

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

SEE PAGE 27 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS

(From top) Richard Council, Katherine Ferrand, and Kenneth Meseroll in Design for Living (1983); Lisa Barnes and Victor Garber in Present Laughter (2007)

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T. CHARLES ERICKSON

CELEBRATING IN AMERICAN THE HUNTINGTON IS A NATIONAL LEADER WE’RE THRILLED TO BE PART OF NOT ONE, First, we recently concluded two successful world premiere productions: Evan M. Wiener’s Captors about the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann, the “architect of the Holocaust,” and Huntington Playwriting Fellow (and longtime Cambridge resident) Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro’s Before I Leave You, a moving comedy about lifelong friends and second chances.

PAUL MAROTTA

The second story features two New York transfers of recent Huntington productions. Peter DuBois’ world premiere production of Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet was recently remounted Off Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company where it received rave reviews. The New York Times declared Sons, “…Explosively funny and absolutely wonderful. The first important new play of the fall season,” and its run was extended thru January 1. The critically acclaimed Stick Fly by former Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond, which had its New England premiere at the Huntington in 2010, opened on Broadway at the Cort Theatre in December 2011 (after this edition was printed).

SCOTT SUCHMAN

Since 2003, the Huntington Playwriting Fellows (HPF) Program has helped 19 local playwrights develop their work through regular writers collectives with our literary staff. This season includes two new plays by HPFs: Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro’s aforementioned Before I Leave You, and the upcoming The Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge. We also welcome three new Fellows to the program this fall — John Oluwole ADEkoje, Eleanor Burgess, and David Valdes Greenwood. Read more about our newest HPF members on page 26. As with so many of the Huntington’s endeavors, our cultivation of new plays is made possible by supporters like you. You help us nurture local talent and shape the next generation of great playwrights. Please join our celebration of exciting new voices in American theatre by supporting us today. See the next page for information on how you can triple your gift with our Chairman’s Challenge.

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

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The cast from the world premiere of Before I Leave You; Joanna Gleason in Sons of the Prophet; Nikkole Salter, Jason Dirden, Billy Eugene Jones, and Rosie Benton in Stick Fly; Louis Cancelmi and Michael Cristofer in Captors.


NEW VOICES THEATRE T. CHARLES ERICKSON

IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PLAYS AND BUT THREE RECENT SUCCESS STORIES. THE CHAIRMAN’S CHALLENGE: TURNING $1 INTO $3 In honor of our 30th Anniversary Season, Carol G. Deane, the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, generously created the Chairman’s Challenge which will match all new and increased annual fund gifts — regardless of their amount — two for one. For example, if you have previously supported the Huntington’s annual fund, for every dollar you increase your gift this year, Carol will contribute an additional two dollars. If you gave $100 last year and give $150 this year, Carol will give $100 to increase your gift impact to $250. Never donated before? Make a gift of $100, and it will be matched with $200 from the Chairman’s Challenge, increasing its value to $300. Please consider supporting us now to magnify your impact.

3 EASY WAYS TO DONATE: 1. MAKE YOUR GIFT ONLINE: huntingtontheatre.org/support

2. SEND A CHECK TO: Huntington Theatre Company 264 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 Attn: Development Department

3. CONTRIBUTE VIA PHONE: Call the Development Office at 617 273 1546.

The cast of Candide.

INSURE THE LEGACY OF WORLD-CLASS THEATRE If you are one of the 28,000 people who experienced our magical production of Candide, you know how powerful theatre can be. It took 148 production personnel, 19 actors, 14 musicians, 200 costumes, and the theatre’s entire electrical capacity to perform Candide each time. Our audience members marvel at the artistic vision and technical craftsmanship behind our world-class productions. Sometimes, our supporters ask how they could do more to secure the future of our work on our stages and in the community while on a fixed income or managing other financial priorities at this point in time. There is a simple option to sustain all the work we do for the future: become a member of the Huntington Legacy Fund by naming the Huntington Theatre Company as a beneficiary in your will or living trust. The Huntington does not give financial or estate planning advice, but your attorney and personal financial advisor can help you. If you have already included the Huntington in your estate plans, please let us know so that we may thank you for your future support.

For additional information about the Huntington Legacy Fund, please contact Meg White at 617 273 1596 or mwhite@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

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PAUL MAROTTA

A collage of photos from Candide Opening Night.

CANDIDE OPENING NIGHT:

THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE CELEBRATIONS The Huntington celebrated the kickoff of its 30th Anniversary Season on September 21 with the Opening Night of the glorious musical Candide. It was truly an evening to remember with record attendance at our Opening Night dinner, a full house for the performance, and a post-show party where the Candide cast and opening night guests mingled and danced late into the evening. Candide Director Mary Zimmerman spoke at the pre-show dinner about the intricacies and challenges of adapting the classic musical, and Managing Director Michael Maso told guests of our exciting upcoming season and shared memories of long-time Trustee and friend of the Huntington, Susan Spooner, to whom the production of Candide was dedicated.

SAVE THE DATE: 2012 SPOTLIGHT SPECTACULAR

MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012 THE BOSTON PARK PLAZA HOTEL & TOWERS Join us for a fantastic evening! Proceeds support the Huntington’s programs, including our award-winning youth, education, and community initiatives. To sponsor a table, reserve tickets, or for more information contact Shaine Belli, 617 273 1536 or sbelli@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu. LAURA WULF

huntingtontheatre.org/spectacular


Department of Education and Community Programs Team: Naheem Garcia, Meg Wieder, and Donna Glick.

MEET THE HUNTINGTON’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS THE HUNTINGTON’S EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS TEAM — DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION DONNA GLICK, EDUCATION MANAGER MEG WIEDER, AND EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ASSOCIATE NAHEEM GARCIA — DISCUSS WHY THEY ENDED UP IN THE THEATRE EDUCATION FIELD AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES DURING THEIR TIME WITH THE HUNTINGTON.

DONNA GLICK I arrived in Boston as an MFA student in acting at Boston University. I was an actress for about 10 years and was a founding member of New Repertory Theatre. Throughout this time of my life, I was always teaching, always looking for ways to share my love for theatre with people of all ages. I became a theatre teacher in Weston for two years and during that time learned that the Huntington was beginning an Education Department and hiring an assistant director. Twenty-two years later, as they say, the rest is history. Working at the Huntington has exercised all of my interests in theatre. Besides teaching and directing, I have enjoyed creating education programming — taking an idea, cultivating it, and working hard to make something happen that ultimately goes beyond the original aspirations.

MEG WIEDER The Huntington’s Education Department has always been known as one of the best in the country. With anywhere between 10 and 15 programs and events scheduled in a season, it is our collaborative work with Youth & Police in Partnership (Know the Law!) and our collaboration with the Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester that are groundbreaking models for arts education, and I am incredibly proud to be a part of each.

In a time when the value of arts education is being challenged and questioned, it is imperative that we continue our interaction with these students who are not frequently given any other creative outlet in which to express themselves. Over 1,200 students came to see our record-breaking run of Candide, including 125 Deaf students. It’s those opportunities that make our work invaluable, and those moments of learning that prove to me the arts in education simply cannot end.

NAHEEM GARCIA One of the most memorable moments I’ve had at the Huntington was at English High School performing Know the Law! During the post-show discussion, a woman stood up and said her son was dead because he snitched, and she was happy that we told the story of Know the Law! She thanked us and cried and said how much it was needed. This inspired folks to open up and share. Students were telling their stories, and I felt like I had found my calling. At that point, Know the Law! became a story that helped people resolve, explore, and heal from the pain that comes from tragedy.

SEE PAGE 24 FOR EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY CALENDAR LISTINGS

Photos pages 2 and 3: Caroline Lagerfelt and Jack Ryland in Night and Day, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Claude-Albert Saucier, Julianne Moore, Cynthia Mace, and Katharine Manning in Plenty, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Members of the cast of Twelfth Night, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Maryann Plunkett in Saint Joan, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Members of the cast of Heartbreak House, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Members of the cast of The Piano Lesson, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Members of the cast of Candide, photo: Gerry Goodstein; Lou Ferguson in Boesman and Lena, photo: Richard Feldman; Kate Burton and John Christopher Jones in Aristocrats, photo: Richard Feldman; Members of the cast of Tartuffe, photo: Richard Feldman; Robert Sean Leonard, Jonathan Walker, Patricia Conolly, and Jack Aranson in Long Day’s Journey into Night, photo: Richard Feldman; David New and Paul Sandberg in Bang the Drum Slowly, photo: Richard Feldman; Members of the cast of The Woman Warrior, photo: Richard Feldman; Jack Willis, Danny Johnson, and Tom Stechschulte in To Kill a Mockingbird, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Gretchen Cleevely and Terrence Caza in Arcadia, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Francesca Faridany and Paul Anthony Stewart in The Game of Love and Chance, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Members of the cast of The Mikado, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Michael Ball in The Last Hurrah, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Members of the cast of Dead End, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Members of the cast of James’s Joyce’s The Dead, photo: T. Charles Erickson; John C. Reilly and Robert Montano in Marty, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Nathan Lane in Butley, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Will LeBow and Carmen Roman in Sonia Flew, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Deborah Offner, Maureen Anderman, and Mimi Lieber in The Sisters Rosensweig, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Mary Pat Gleason and Lisa Kron in Well, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Members of the cast of She Loves Me, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Monica Raymund and Socorro Santiago in Boleros for the Disenchanted, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Karen MacDonald and Will Lyman in All My Sons, photo: T. Charles Erickson; Zainab Jah, Carla Duren, and Pascale Armand in Ruined, photo: Kevin Berne; Michael Cristofer in Captors, photo: T. Charles Erickson.

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SPRING CALENDAR OF EVENTS – JOIN US! AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION Regional Finals: February 4 at 9am. BU Theatre, Boston. National Finals: May 7. Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, New York City.

SHEPPARD FERGUSON

KNOW THE LAW! Performances will be held at the Kroc Center, located on the border of Dorchester and Roxbury. June 21 at 7pm • June 22 at 11am and 7pm • June 23 at 2pm and 7pm

POETRY OUT LOUD State Semi-finals (for school-wide winners): March 3 and 4. Times and locations TBA. Massachusetts State Finals: Sunday, March 11 at 9:30am. Old South Meeting House, Boston. National Competition: April 2012. Washington, DC.

POETRY OUT LOUD 2012: REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS DEC. 23, 2011! Don’t forget: the deadline to register your school for Poetry Out Loud is Friday, December 23. Poetry Out Loud is a free national competition that the Huntington has run in Massachusetts since its inception in 2004. Last year, over 19,000 students from 74 high schools participated. This year’s classroom competitions will begin soon, followed by school and state-wide competitions. Mark your calendars for the State Finals on Sunday, March 11 at 9:30am at the Old South Meeting House in Boston. For video and more information visit huntingtontheatre.org/pol. KALMAN ZABARSKY

STUDENT MATINEE SERIES: MAKE THE HUNTINGTON PART OF YOUR SCHOOL’S EXPERIENCE THIS YEAR! OUR CANDIDE STUDENT MATINEE SOLD OUT. DON’T DELAY, RESERVE SEATS FOR YOUR STUDENTS TODAY! All student matinee performances begin at 10am and include a pre-show visit from our education staff and a lively post-show Actors Forum with members of the cast. Student groups are also welcome at regularly scheduled performances. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: March 29 (ASL-interpreted) and April 5, 2012. Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre. The Luck of the Irish: April 13 and April 26, 2012. South End/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Private Lives: June 7, 2012. Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre. TICKETS: $15 per student. For more information or to reserve tickets, please contact Meg Wieder at 617 273 1558 or mwieder@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

SHEPPARD FERGUSON

From top: 2011 Massachusetts participants in the August Wilson Monologue Competition; 2011 Massachusetts participant in Poetry Out Loud; Candide Student Matinee audience.

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huntingtontheatre.org/education EDUCATION AND ACCESS PARTNER:


HUNTINGTON NEWS MEET THE HUNTINGTON MEMBERS OF THE HUNTINGTON STAFF SHARE THEIR FAVORITE PRODUCTION OR HUNTINGTON MEMORY FROM THE PAST 30 YEARS: KAT ALIX (CALDERWOOD PAVILION HOUSE MANAGER): My favorite Huntington production has to be Ruined (2011). It was a powerful piece that brought attention to the atrocities women face every day in other parts of the world. I was very proud to see something so amazing on the Huntington’s stage. LAURA CASAVANT (ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE): All My Sons (2010) and Candide (2011). When I saw both of these productions I got this feeling of, “I need to see this again.” MICHAEL COMEY (HUMAN RESOURCES COORDINATOR): Dead End (2000) directed by Nicholas Martin. It was my first show at the Huntington as a staff member. Tenement buildings rose to the heavens, a cast of hundreds filled the stage, and as if that was not enough, then the actors from the cast started to jump in the orchestra pit filled with water, the East River. It was a truly magical experience that changed what I thought was possible in theatre and at the Huntington. FROM THE COSTUME SHOP: “Very tall actor in Roman armour bounding though the trap room, clocks himself on a low door way (of concrete). Ambulance is called for his bloody head wound and mild concussion. The EMTs are not sure what to make of this outfit and sword on the unconscious actor and the other armed actor by his side....” ANITA CANZIAN (HEAD DRAPER): HMS Pinafore (1990), The Woman Warrior (1994), and Journey to the West (1996); VIRGINIA EMERSON (ASSISTANT COSTUME DIRECTOR): Gem of the Ocean (2004) and She Loves Me (2008); RACHEL HARMON (COSTUMES PROFESSIONAL INTERN): Candide (2011); BECKY HYLTON (FIRST HAND): Gem of the Ocean (2004), She Loves Me (2008), and James Joyce’s The Dead (2001); MICHELLE ROSS (DRAPER): Two Men of Florence (2009); JESS RODRIGES (FIRST HAND): Gem of the Ocean (2004) and Burn This (2004). LARRY DERSCH (MASTER CARPENTER): Karen McDonald’s scream at the end of All My Sons (2010) still gives me chills! Production-wise, one of the most uniquely memorable pieces I’ve built was the forcedperspective “City of Damascus” background for The Blue Demon (2003). TEMPLE GILL (DIRECTOR OF MARKETING): Brooks Ashmanskas dropping to his knees in joy singing the title song of She Loves Me (2008), Crystal Fox as Rose in Fences (2009) telling her husband that she’s been right there beside him all those years, Joanna Gleason hilariously pretending to answer her dead cell phone in Sons of the Prophet (2011), the protean cast of The 39 Steps (2007) simulating a

The Huntington Open House staff

chase on the top of a train, and most recently, the gorgeously sung a cappella portion of “Make Our Garden Grow,” the finale of Candide (2011). These are all moments that moved me, made me laugh, made me think — moments I’ll always remember. SONDRA KATZ (GENERAL MANAGER): She Loves Me (2008). Musical theatre is my favorite art form and while I was familiar with some individual songs, I had never seen the show or heard it in its entirety. The Huntington production was flawless and I loved it. (Of course Candide (2011) ranks pretty high too!) LISA McCOLGAN (ANNUAL FUND COORDINATOR): The Woman Warrior (1994) was such a visually stunning production. I loved standing in the back during the student matinee performance of Shining City (2008) and watching the kids scream and giggle at the appearance of the “ghost” at the very end. I also really enjoyed being backstage for the last Open House, and seeing our subscribers stop for a second, shocked, as they first walked into our Scene Shop (I lost count of how many people commented, “I had no idea this was all back here!”). DAN OLESKY (ASSISTANT TECHNICAL DIRECTOR): One of my favorite show related experiences occurred while working on Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2006). It was an enormous set with vast staircases that went 30+ feet in the air. The reason this show is particularly memorable is that I had to install a lot of those high up railings. You don’t normally think about who puts in railings on high up places until you are the one doing it. It definitely gave me a new respect for what we do and what others do outside of our industry. More Huntington News on page 26!

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HUNTINGTON NEWS continued

INTRODUCING THE 2011 HUNTINGTON PLAYWRITING FELLOWS The Huntington recently announced the 2011 class of Huntington Playwriting Fellows: John Oluwole ADEkoje, Eleanor Burgess, and David Valdes Greenwood. This artistically diverse group of writers will be in residence at the theatre for two years, during which time they will participate in a writer’ collective with the Huntington’s artistic staff, are eligible for readings and workshops, and receive a modest grant. They follow in the footsteps of past Huntington Fellows Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly), Melinda Lopez (Sonia Flew), Ronan Noone (The Atheist, Brendan), Sinan Ünel (The Cry of the Reed), Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro (Before I Leave You), and Kirsten Greenidge (The Luck of the Irish). John Oluwole ADEkoje’s is a National Award winner of The Kennedy Center ACTF-Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting for his play Street Hawker, as well as the winner of the National Triennial New Play Competition. He is currently a playwright in residence at Company One and UMASS Boston and a faculty member in the theatre department at Boston Arts Academy.

A Boston native, Eleanor Burgess received her undergraduate degree in history from Yale University. She was a member of the 2009 Writers’ Group at the Arcola Theatre in London and has had readings in London, New York, and Los Angeles. Since graduating from college, she has taught English, film, creative writing, and history at schools in Boston, London, and New Haven. David Valdes Greenwood is the author of a dozen plays produced across the US and UK. He is a Brother Thomas Fellow, a two-time Sloan Commission recipient, and a finalist for both the National New Play Network Smith Prize and a Massachusetts Culture Council Artist Grant. As a prose writer, he is the author of three books and a Huffington Post blogger. He teaches at Tufts University. This program is supported by the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays and the Harry Kondoleon Playwriting Fund.

THE HUNTINGTON CONTINUES SCRIPT CLUB Hosted by Artistic Director Peter DuBois, the Huntington Script Club is a special opportunity for donors of at least $250 or more to gain insight on one of the season’s upcoming productions in an intimate setting. These events are held midday, so bring a brown bag lunch and we’ll provide drinks, dessert, and the inside scoop on our plays before they hit the stage.

EMERGING AMERICA 2012

For additional information about upcoming Script Club sessions, contact Assistant to the Artistic Director Vicki Schrairer at vschairer@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

This summer, the Huntington will collaborate with American Repertory Theater and the Institute of Contemporary Art on the third annual Emerging America Festival. Mark your calendars for June 21 - 23, and join us for a unique festival of performance devoted to supporting and launching the American voices of tomorrow. The Huntington will again host the Join the Conversation Brunch, where you can enjoy live entertainment and mingle with other festivalgoers to talk about the weekend’s adventures and experiences. Visit huntingtontheatre.org and emergingamericafestival.org later this spring for a full line up of events!

For information about supporting the Huntington Theatre Company, contact Meg White, Director of Major Gifts, at mwhite@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

Want a Sneak Peak now? Starting in early 2012 Audio Plays inspired by the festival and written by Huntington Playwrighting Fellows will be available on our website. Just download and experience theatre anywhere.

The cost to attend each event is $10. January 9, 2012: God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza March 8, 2012: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson April 5, 2012: The Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge

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conversations with fellow audience members and Huntington staff after most every performance (except select Saturday and Sunday evenings).

(o) 35 BELOW WRAP PARTY A special evening for young professionals aged 21 – 35 complete with a post-show party. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/35below for more information.

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

(h) HUMANITIES FORUM A post-performance talk on the historical and literary context of the show featuring a leading local scholar.

(~) AUDIO-DESCRIBED For blind and low-visioned audience members.

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(•) POST-SHOW CONVERSATIONS Join us for dynamic post-show

29

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MEMORIAL DAY

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LISTED EVENTS ARE FREE WITH THE PURCHASE OF A TICKET.

members. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

W

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SOUTH END

(@) ASL-INTERPRETED For Deaf and hard-of-hearing audience

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MAY - JUNE 2012

CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA

Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

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MARCH - APRIL 2012 •7PM

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PRIVATE LIVES

THE LUCK OF THE IRISH 1

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AVENUE OF THE ARTS

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BU THEATRE

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

(p) PREVIEW (*) PRESS OPENING NIGHT TICKETS Start at $25 35 BELOW $25 for those 35 and under at every performance STUDENTS (25 AND UNDER) & MILITARY $15 GROUPS (10+) Save 20%! Behind-the-scenes access and on-site reception space available. Contact 617 273 1665 or GroupSales@huntingtontheatre.org. Subscribers receive $10 off any additional tickets purchased. Prices include a $2 per ticket Capital Enhancement fee.

CALL 617 266 0800 OR VISIT HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION US POSTAGE PAID BOSTON, MA PERMIT # 52499

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT:

MA RAINEY’S AT HIBERNIAN HALL The cast of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom takes their show on the road when they bring a reading of the play to Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. The reading is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is encouraged as seating is limited. The reading marks the continuation of a longstanding tradition of the Huntington bringing its work out of the BU Theatre and into various community settings including past events at the Strand Theatre (Breath, Boom; 2003) and Roxbury Community College (Gem of the Ocean, 2004; Radio Golf, 2006; Fences, 2009). Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Reading Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7pm Hibernian Hall, 182-186A Dudley Street, Roxbury Admission is free. Donations to Hibernian Hall are welcome. RSVP: huntingtontheatre.org/RaineyReading


Spring 2012 Spotlight