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SPRING 2012-2013

SPOTLIGHT ASTRID REIKEN

GREAT PLAYS BEGIN WITH GREAT STORIES

Teagle F. Bougere in Invisible Man.

INVISIBLE MAN P.2 A RAISIN IN THE SUN P.6 “M” P.10 RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN P.14 2013 SPOTLIGHT SPECTACULAR P.22 HUNTINGTON NEWS P.26 PERFORMANCE CALENDARS P.27


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“Theatrical brilliance! A must-see!”

“I am an invisible man.” An idealistic young African-American man searches for identity and his place in the world in this epic journey through 1930s America. Ellison’s landmark American novel about race, power, freedom, and liberty comes to life in this gripping theatrical adaptation.

“Ravishing!”

– THE WASHINGTON POST

“STUNNING! Teagle F. Bougere gives a tour de force performance!” – BROADWAYWORLD.COM


“This blazingly theatrical adaptation of one of the most important books of the 20th century confronts us with a blistering perspective on race in America.” – PETER DUBOIS

Ralph Ellison

Oren Jacoby

INTEGRATING IMAGINATION:

STAGING INVISIBLE MAN

When Ralph Ellison insisted that no adaptation of his iconic novel Invisible Man be made until after his death, he wasn’t merely being possessive. “Ralph was a stickler and a perfectionist and he was not persuaded it could be done,” explained his friend and literary executor, John Callahan. A panoramic tale of race in America told through one man’s experiences, Invisible Man is as monumental in length as it is in stature, an instant classic continuously in print for sixty years. While its author’s censure, its narrative scope, and its legendary status might seem daunting to the adaptor, Invisible Man is a work primed for performance. “Ellison was completely theatrical in his language,” adaptor Oren Jacoby explains. “The book is poetic, dramatic, rhetorical.” Jacoby’s text uses only the words of the novel, realized through director Christopher McElroen’s striking imagery and the voices of a ten-member ensemble. By bringing Ellison’s language to the stage, Jacoby continues the project that the novel began — recognizing the voice of a young black American as the collective voice of his nation. Though written as a monologue, Invisible Man is rife with voices. In re-conceptualizing the American novel, Ellison captured the polyphonies of American speech. “Compared with the rich babel of idiomatic expression around me,” he wrote, the language of modern fiction “was embarrassingly austere.” In the South and in Harlem, Ellison heard people speaking “a mixture of the folk, the Biblical, the scientific, and the political. Slangy in one instance, academic in another, loaded poetically with imagery at one moment, mathematically bare of imagery in the next.” He transcribed this rich chaos in Invisible Man, a profusion that allows the novel’s narrator to become the myriad voices of an ensemble. By embracing the contradictions of the vernacular, Ellison altered the scope of his tale. It became grander and more intimate, tuned to both magic and the mundane. Much as Jacoby’s adaptation combines the

literary and the performative, Ellison wanted to “take advantage of the novel’s capacity for telling the truth while actually telling a ‘lie,’ which is the Afro-American folk term for an improvised story.” Though Ellison’s meticulous writing was hardly “improvised,” he was profoundly aware of signifying, that self-aware reshuffling of meaning that is a vital feature of black culture. Reviewing Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The Signifying Monkey, John Wideman defines signifying as “serious play that serves as instruction, entertainment, mental exercise, preparation for interacting with friend and foe in the social arena” — a description that also expresses theatre’s role in society. Wideman further explains that signifying “is a sign that words cannot be trusted, that even the most literal utterance allows room for interpretation, that language is both carnival and minefield.” For Ellison, linguistic flexibility was not only fundamentally black — it was also fundamentally American. “America is the land of masking jokers,” he wrote. “We wear the mask for purposes of aggression as well as for defense, when we are projecting the future and preserving the past.” Black experience is American experience; and American experience is performance. “When American life is most American it is apt to be most theatrical,” Ellison stated — a compelling argument for realizing this nation’s creative visions on the stage. In Ellison’s introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of his novel, he wrote, “human imagination is integrative.” It seeks to combine disparate parts in the search for a higher meaning. The United States, which Ellison loved as fiercely as he critiqued, idealizes this same quest for synthesis. So does the theatre, in which a range of creative impulses must be brought into harmony. By linking the power of Ellison’s words to actors’ voices and the visual imaginations of director and designers, Oren Jacoby’s Invisible Man embarks on the same journey. - SAM LASMAN

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/invisibleman to listen to an NPR interview with Oren Jacoby and Christopher McElroen, watch video from the world premiere production, read reviews of this production. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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THE ENDURANCE OF INVISIBLE MAN On the 60th anniversary of its publication, Ralph Ellison’s landmark novel remains as compelling and provocative as on its first publication, treasured by scholars and casual readers alike. Several scholars reflect on why Invisible Man has remained a touchstone of American literary culture. “Few writers in any tradition create a metaphor that accounts for the political condition of a group of people as well as the human condition. And he created this truly universal novel by delving deeply — deeper than anybody before him — into the fullest range of African-American culture: music, art, folklore, storytelling traditions, signifying humor. It’s an encyclopedia of black culture.” — CRITIC AND SCHOLAR HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

“It’s probably the first post-modern American novel. It’s probably the most influential novel in the second half of the 20th century. It influenced two or three generations of writers, black and white, and the reason is because Ellison raised the artistic and intellectual standards of the American novel.” — NOVELIST AND CRITIC CHARLES JOHNSON

“Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man encapsulates so much of modern American history and literature that it counts for several books at once. The deathbed advice of the protagonist’s grandfather — ‘affirm the principle’ — seems to signal Ellison’s own refusal to reject the potential of American democracy, despite the nation’s failure to live up to its stated ideals of liberty and equality.” — SCHOLAR JAMES KLOPPENBERG

“The Invisible Man…takes on the world, body and soul. And at the novel’s end, he only wants to last, as Hemingway put it, and to get his work done: to tell his story truer than the facts.” — ELLISON SCHOLAR ROBERT G. O’MEALLY

“The novel’s power to compel others to see their reality through the prism of African-American experience follows from Ellison’s fidelity to ‘a whole unrecorded history’ whose variable, vernacular richness equaled the range of spoken idioms Shakespeare heard in the streets and inns of Elizabethan England.” — ELLISON’S LITERARY EXECUTOR JOHN F. CALLAHAN ASTRID REIKEN

From top, Teagle F. Bougere and Deidra LaWan Starnes; the cast; Teagle F. Bougere and Johnny Lee Davenport in Invisible Man.

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SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS


CURTAIN CALLS NAME Teagle F. Bougere ROLE Invisible Man HOMETOWN Smoke Bend, LA WHEN HAVE YOU FELT THAT YOU WERE INVISIBLE? Being dismissed and stereotyped are forms of invisibility that I experience to varying degrees everyday. They are insidious forms that occur in stores, museums, and even in the park when I go for a run. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANTED TO DO WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER BUT NOT NOW? WHAT CHANGED? I wanted to be many different things when I was a younger (airline pilot, broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants, travel with the circus etc.). Becoming an actor struck me as a way of doing everything for a time. NAME De’Lon Grant ROLE Ralston, Tod Clifton, Ensemble HOMETOWN Born in Providence, RI / Raised in Duluth, MN WHEN HAVE YOU FELT THAT YOU WERE INVISIBLE? Performing in the show has made me acutely aware of moments in life when I am forced into invisibility as opposed to those in when I make myself invisible. As a tall, broad man, who can be courteous to his own detriment, I try and make myself invisible on public transportation. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANTED TO DO WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER BUT NOT NOW? WHAT CHANGED? I really liked being in charge of things, so at a young age I thought I wanted to teach, but I do not have the patience that teaching requires.

NAME Edward James Hyland ROLE Mr. Norton, Brother Hambro, Ensemble HOMETOWN Staten Island, NY PREVIOUS HUNTINGTON ROLE Boss Mangan in Heartbreak House WHAT IS ONE UNIVERSAL THEME OR MESSAGE PRESENTED BY THE PLAY? Self-awareness is a quality that we all strive to attain, and the Invisible Man demonstrates throughout that striving should be a constant in our lives. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANTED TO DO WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER BUT NOT NOW? WHAT CHANGED? As a young man I tried my hand in many different professions but was never satisfied until I found the theatre. It was there that I felt not only at home but fulfilled by being able to reach out and touch people in a way that I had never before experienced. NAME Deidra LaWan Starnes ROLE Singer, Kate, Mary Rambo, Ensemble HOMETOWN Washington, DC WHAT IS ONE UNIVERSAL THEME OR MESSAGE PRESENTED BY THE PLAY? Invisibility is perpetuated by allowing others to define and determine who you are. I think that one must have a clear understanding of self so that what others think, say, or feel about you does not end up affecting you. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANTED TO DO WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER BUT NOT NOW? WHAT CHANGED? I used to want to be an elementary school teacher, but I know I don’t have all of the necessary qualities to be a highly effective classroom teacher. But yet I still love to teach!

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

JEFF WALL

The inspiration for the set of Invisible Man came from the Jeff Wall photo After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue.

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– THE NEW YORK TIMES

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“A play that changed American theatre forever.”

In a crowded apartment in Chicago’s South Side, each member of a struggling AfricanAmerican family yearns for a different version of a better life. An impending and sizeable insurance payment could be the key. Hansberry’s groundbreaking 1959 classic drama is an inspiring and fiercely moving portrait of people whose dreams are constantly deferred.

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“With Ruined and her fresh approach to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Director Liesl Tommy created two of the most artistically exciting productions of recent memory at the Huntington. Now she brings her perspective to one of the greatest American plays ever written.” – PETER DUBOIS Lorraine Hansberry; the program cover of the 1959 production of A Raisin in the Sun.

A DREAM REALIZED:

HANSBERRY’S A RAISIN IN THE SUN Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun charts the quests for success and happiness in the Younger family as they seek to buy a house in a restricted neighborhood. Their naiveté and ambition as they pursue a place in America are as universal as that of the Lomans in Death of a Salesman or the Ricardos in I Love Lucy. In tragedy, in comedy, and in drama, these fictional, mid-twentieth century families represent for us the touchstone of our cultural legacy: striving to achieve the American dream. There is one notable difference, however. While the Lomans and the Ricardos essentially function in environments dominated by the white worldview, the Youngers provide a rarely seen glimpse into the aspirations and struggles of African-Americans. Hansberry delved into her own family’s dreams to write her stark depiction of the Younger family’s travails. Born in Chicago in May 1930 to Carl and Nannie Hansberry, her real estate broker-father moved the family to the white-dominated Washington Park neighborhood in 1938, defying a restrictive real estate covenant that prohibited African-Americans from living there. Carl fought the contract all the way to the Supreme Court where a landmark decision allowed for contestation of such covenants. Hansberry found inspiration in both the incident and the lack of suitable representations of African-Americans in the art of the time. Aiming to depict African-Americans as they were, Hansberry used vernacular speech and brought to light the challenges they often encountered — as well as the dignity and strength they possessed. “The intimacy of knowledge which the Negro may culturally have of white Americans does not exist in the reverse,” she said. This window into black life reinforced for largely white audiences that perhaps the differences between races were not as sharp as they presumed.

“The play is honest. She has told the inner as well as the outer truth about a Negro family in the south-side of Chicago at the present time,” wrote Brooks Atkinson in his New York Times review of the original production. “A Raisin in the Sun has vigor as well as veracity and is likely to destroy the complacency of any one who sees it.” Because the author of this masterful portrait of American life was young, black, and female, producer Phillip Rose toiled to find enough financing for the production. Once Raisin had opened, it garnered almost immediate success despite the tepid audience at its last preview performance. The first play to debut on Broadway that was either written by a black woman or directed by a black director (Lloyd Richards), Raisin earned four Tony Award nominations, including Best Play. It won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, making Hansberry the first African-American to do so. Raisin’s success is met only by its prescience. “The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun,” DJR Bruckner wrote in a 1986 review in the New York Times. “It is as if history is conspiring to ensure [sic] that the play will be a classic.” The play foretold both the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s, uncannily presenting stories that would later speak to these revolutionary pushes for advancement. Hansberry compelled New York audiences to confront issues that were hardly discussed in private, let alone in a public forum, and that would soon absorb the country. Langston Hughes anticipated such an uprising in his poem, just as Hansberry illustrated the effects of a dream deferred by the Youngers. Raisin answers the incisive — and incendiary — last line of Hughes’ poem: “Or does it explode?” Indeed it did, and Raisin became a beacon for a changing nation. - ALI LESKOWITZ

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/raisin to watch a mini-documentary about playwright Lorraine Hansberry and read the New York Times review of the 1959 Broadway production and article about the play’s journey to Broadway and its legacy. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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A DREAM DEFERRED

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore — And then run?

KEVIN BERNE

What happens to a dream deferred? Carla Duren and Pascale Armand in Ruined directed by Liesl Tommy (2011).

LIESL TOMMY A FEROCIOUS STORYTELLER

Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? - LANGSTON HUGHES

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Liesl Tommy

In 1995, Liesl Tommy auditioned for a role in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of A Raisin in the Sun. Fast forward 17 years, and she is now the director behind the casting table auditioning actors for the same role. Huntington audiences know Tommy from her insightful direction of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined (2011) and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2012).

Tommy was born in Cape Town, South Africa under apartheid. She lived in a colored township outside of the city until she was 15 years old when her family moved to Newton, Massachusetts. An early lover of theatre, Liesl would explore the plays on her dad’s bookshelf and coerce her brother into reading the most dramatic scenes from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Glass Menagerie. She was active in theatre at Newton North High School, and after graduation she studied acting at a conservatory in London and at a joint program at Brown University and Trinity Repertory Company. At Trinity, her teachers noticed and encouraged Tommy’s instincts for directing. Tommy slowly made the transition and now directs both new plays and classics worldwide. Tommy isn’t intimated by the task of re-envisioning a classic. “Part of the fun of doing a play like this is that the definitive production has already been done,” Tommy said of working on Mamet’s American Buffalo at Baltimore’s CenterStage. “I get to be an artist with it. There’s freedom and that’s wonderful…I can let my imagination take flight.” When developing her own take on a masterpiece such as the production of Hamlet she recently directed at California Shakespeare Theater, Tommy follows the advice of a former college professor: find the story born from her personal experience and perspective, rather than seek to create a definitive production.


CATCHING UP WITH CLYBOURNE

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Yvette Freeman and Corey Allen in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom directed by Liesl Tommy (2012).

Tommy’s aesthetic is visceral and physical. “I’m interested in the violence of being a human being,” says Tommy, “and sometimes that is with actual physical violence onstage, and sometimes it’s just the thing that pulsates underneath every exchange.” In order to achieve the “muscularly-performed” productions she is known for, Tommy starts with the metaphor of the play. She rarely sculpts a play to drive a point or agenda, but strives to keep the metaphor alive “so that people can have the experience of the story. I rarely want things to be just realism. I’m not all that excited by it. You always want that feeling that there’s a larger life in the back somehow.” Her training as an actor at Brown/Trinity Rep informed how she runs her rehearsals. Tommy does not like seeing hyper-sculpted theatre where the director’s hand is clearly noticeable. She believes that the actors should drive the piece so that the audience can see people being free onstage. In the first week of rehearsals, she asks questions of her actors to gather their perspectives and impressions of the piece. She rarely wants to adhere to a big concept that has no relation to the actors on stage. First and foremost, Tommy strives to “tell the story with as much clarity and ferocity as possible.” With an emotionally engaging story such as Ruined, which follows a group of Congolese women surviving in the crossfire of civil war, Tommy didn’t give the actors any easy outs during rehearsals, instead immersing them in the details of the conflict. “It was imperative that [the actors] felt the full depth of their characters, that they understood every facet of who they were,” she explains. When working on a play, Tommy asks “What is the set in real life, and how do I take it up a few notches? How do these people interact and how do I make it more? I want to see people using language vigorously, smacking out those consonants, getting in each other’s face, and I want to feel like I’m smelling sweat.” We can expect nothing less with A Raisin in the Sun.

Nearly fifty years after the Younger family moved to Chicago’s fictional white Clybourne Park neighborhood in A Raisin in the Sun, another Chicagoan did a bit of seminal neighborhood integration himself. It was in this climate of Barack Obama becoming the first African-American President of the United States and moving into the White House that Bruce Norris premiered his 2010 play Clybourne Park, a companion of sorts to Raisin. In its first act, Clybourne Park follows the white couple that has agreed to sell their home to the Younger family. Neighborhood representative Karl Lindner — the only character to appear in both Raisin and Clybourne — tries to convince them not to sell. The second act fast-forwards fifty years to the present, as a different white family tries to buy and tear down that same house in a now black-dominated neighborhood. Norris realized that his generation represented the children of the fictional Lindner. “That’s a lesson that sticks with you, the lesson that you are, essentially the villain in someone else’s story,” he told The New York Times in August 2011. “Many years later, I thought, what if we turned the story around and told it from the opposite angle, the angle of people like my family, the villains, the ones who wanted to keep them out?” The play debuted on Broadway in April 2012 and garnered numerous awards: the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2011 Olivier Award for Best New Play, and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. It makes its Boston premiere at the SpeakEasy Stage Company in March 2013 with a production directed by M. Bevin O’Gara, the Huntington’s associate producer. In concert, the two plays explore various facets and eras of racism. Other playwrights, too, are grappling with the ideas Hansberry addresses in her play: Kirsten Greenidge’s The Luck of the Irish and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Beneatha’s Place both take inspiration from Raisin, delving into further studies of race, American culture, and the search for home. Hansberry predicted that racial tension would soon boil over. As Frank Rich wrote in New York Magazine, “Explode it did, in the years after Hansberry’s final curtain, and Norris’s play is most of all an effort to sort through the ensuing wreckage.” - ALI LESKOWITZ

- VICKI SCHAIRER

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

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“With Ryan Landry, perversity and hilarity go skipping along hand in hand.”

Famous for irreverently funny adaptations of classics, Ryan Landry (Death of a Saleslady, The Little Pricks) sets his sights on Fritz Lang’s early film noir masterpiece, “M,” about a child killer who is hunted down and brought to justice by the criminal underworld. This provocative yet surprisingly hilarious premiere features Boston favorite Karen MacDonald (All My Sons).

– BOSTON.COM


KELLY DAVIDSON

“Ryan’s genre-breaking, genderbending brand of theatre unites puppets, cross dressing, and a classic suspense film. It won’t be for the faint of heart, but it will be an amazing collaboration between two Boston theatre legends. I am as excited as anyone to see what happens.” – PETER DUBOIS

Fritz Lang; The M 1931 movie poster; Ryan Landry as Willy Wanker in Willy Wanker and the Hershey Highway.

“M” IS AMONG US

Fritz Lang and Ryan Landry are men of unique vision. But whereas the stark, single-minded intensity of Lang’s oeuvre defined the German Expressionist movement, Landry’s creativity rejects monomaniacal auteurship in favor of an aesthetic that scavenges, remixes, and re-imagines with a fierce audacity. The results, though, are every bit as singular.

Accommodating the visions of both men in a single project is a daunting task. Lang called M his greatest work, and critics have echoed his judgment throughout the eight decades since the film’s release. The tale of a city panicked by an elusive child-killer is certainly macabre enough to grip the imagination of any age, as evidenced by the numerous films, books, and other adaptations that have taken up the theme. Each, however, has fallen inevitably under the shadow of Lang’s masterpiece. For Landry, a simple reiteration of the story’s events would be a doubly hopeless endeavor. Those who ape Lang inevitably find themselves losing by comparison. More importantly, though, repeating the grim cycle of the tale — murder, pursuit, judgment — leaves audience and actors alike trapped in the gloom of an eternal 1931 with no means of escape. To provide a means of escape, Landry introduces a plucky ingénue (“Woman”) and a bold theatergoer (“Man”) whose madcap love affair provides a counterpoint to the haunted main plot. Drawing on vintage romantic comedies and the cabaret glitz of Weimar Berlin, the couple initiates a parallel manhunt, chased by those who would restore the proceedings to “the story as rehearsed.” Landry’s theatre company, The Gold Dust Orphans, are known for embracing the turbulence of mainstream culture while simultaneously undermining it through classic techniques of theatrical subversion

— drag, parody, and satire. In doing so, their work draws on the aesthetic developed by Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company in the 1970s and ’80s, whose manifesto urged theatrical adaptors to, “treat the material in a madly farcical manner without losing the seriousness of the theme.” If anyone can find a way to express the terror of M while simultaneously offering release from its grip, it is Landry, whose work The Phoenix has praised for its “uncanny if slightly unhinged faithfulness.”

The Orphans’ adaptations can certainly inspire purist outrage alongside adulation. But such transgression is key to the history of M, which was seen as dangerously corrupting even while it was lauded. The Nazis denounced it as degenerate, and critics were both fascinated and appalled. “Things get really evil only when raw and uncivilized sentiments are mixed with the most refined and highly civilized ability!” Gabriele Tergit proclaimed in a 1931 review, in a judgment that encapsulates exactly the qualities that Landry seeks to emulate. The original M’s mix of sophistication and corruption represents the basis of noir, perhaps the only fictional genre that owes its existence entirely to the cinema. In turn, the Orphans’ trademark fusion of genres demands recognition of our complicity — as an audience and as individuals — in both the perversity of pop culture and the inability to free ourselves of traditional strictures in performance, attitude, and adaptation. Applied to M, this approach deepens our understanding of what it means to hunt for the source of our fears, in the theatre as well as in the wider world. The tale of a society’s search for the demon hidden in its heart will remain current as long as we suspect — prompted by Lang, Landry, and the rest — that the killer is indeed among us. - SAM LASMAN

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/m to watch a clip from Fritz Lang’s 1931 film, read a Criterian article about the film, watch examples of Ryan Landry’s work, and more.

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The Gold Dust Orphan’s Phantom of the Oprah.

LOOKING FOR THE NEXT FRONTIER:

RYAN LANDRY’S PLAYWRITING CAREER

P.J. McWhiskers and Penny Champayne in Ryan Landry’s The Gulls.

How did Ryan Landry — the playwright-performer-impresario famous for irreverent takes on the classics — end up onstage at the Huntington — an established regional theatre whose interpretations of the classics lean toward the reverent? The pairing, unlikely as it is dynamic, has its roots in a combination of Landry’s own constantly evolving aesthetic and the local focus of the Huntington’s new work activities. Across his decades-long career, Landry has constantly pushed himself as a writer. His earliest writings were sketches for nightclubs when he worked as a promoter. The first piece he recalls was a short work called “Here Lies Lucy.” “The ghost of Lucille Ball came back from the grave as a talking skull,” Landry tells. “Lucy wanted to get into the Clarks Elementary School production of Hamlet because Tallulah Bankhead was in it.” After acting in another company’s lackluster production, Landry dared himself to write his own fulllength plays, often with a similar pop-culture focus — How Mrs. Grinchley Swiped Christmas, Charlie’s Angels, The Ebonic Woman. Landry’s company the Gold Dust Orphans became one of the most successful theatre companies in Boston, regularly selling out whatever space they performed in – from the small converted screening room where the company started to their current longtime home in the basement of the Fenway nightclub Machine. As the Gold Dust Orphans became more established, Landry looked for new challenges for himself as a writer. “I started loving the plays of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller,” Landry says. “I’d been putting pop culture things through the filter of my brain, but now I wanted to tackle these beautiful plays and give them a different take. Who’s to say that Arthur Miller is any different than I Dream of

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FROM AUDIENCE MEMBER TO AUTEUR: THE RIDICULOUS BEGINNINGS OF RYAN LANDRY T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Jonathan Popp and Larry Coen in Ryan Landry’s Psyched at the Huntington (2011).

Jeannie?” Productions like The Plexiglass Menagerie, Who’s Afraid of the Virgin Mary?, and Death of a Saleslady were major turning points for Landry, as he developed his craft and intermingled his trademark comedy with increasingly dark and serious themes. “I remember how men and women sobbed in the audience during Saleslady,” Landry says. “I was so happy to hear them crying.” Landry became a Huntington Playwriting Fellow in 2008 (one of Peter DuBois’ first invitations to the program when he arrived as artistic director), and speculation about a potential collaboration quickly began. When Landry revived his daringly cinematic riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, reporter Joel Brown wrote in The Boston Globe, “It’s boggling to imagine what the cheerfully brazen theatrical mind behind The Gulls could do with a big stage and the resources of a company like the Huntington.” DuBois agreed. The Huntington/Orphans first collaboration was a one-day-only production of Landry’s Psyched, a parodic prequel to Psycho from the perspective of Norman Bates’ mother, performed in 2012. After Psyched, DuBois asked Landry what else he was working on, hoping to find a next project to mount together, and Landry replied, almost reflexively, that he wanted to do an adaptation of Fritz Lang’s M with Boston actress Karen MacDonald in the Peter Lorre role. “I said what I thought would be the most far-fetched thing I could suggest, but Peter thought it was a good idea,” Landry says. Landry’s new frontier has been marrying his irreverent brand of comedy to the most serious of topics. “With M, I knew I was dealing with child murder. I can’t make fun of it, nor do I think it’s funny,” Landry says. “M is the furthest I’ve traveled outside the original in any of my adaptations.” - CHARLES HAUGLAND

SEE PAGE 23 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS

Playwright Ryan Landry remembers the moment he knew where he belonged as an artist. He had just moved from a trailer park in Wallingford, Connecticut to New York and started art school to study painting. One night, a friend invited him to Le Bourgeois Avant Garde at the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in the West Village. “I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about,” Landry says. “I couldn’t even understand ‘bourgeois,’ let alone ‘avant garde.’” Ludlam’s play mashed up the Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme with a satire on the middle class embrace of avant garde charlatans (the main character, Foufas, is patron of artists so far out in left field they are called “avant derriere”). Visiting the Ridiculous on a lark was a lifechanging event for Landry. “I went, and I never left after that,” Landry says. “I went every night — eventually they didn’t charge me, they just let me in. I completely understood where I was supposed to be.” For Landry, Ludlam’s aesthetic — bold, gender-bent, genrebreaking, simultaneously heady and bawdy — was a revelation. Landry worked with the company for a brief period after Ludlam’s death. During this period, he also began performing original drag sketches. (“Not because I thought I looked like a woman,” he says, “but because there was money in it.”) Landry performed in contests, and intuited that the way to win was not to have the glitziest performance but the most inventive one. “I would build sets and props out of cardboard and paint them,” Landry recalls of these early performances. “Some girl would dress as Batgirl and I would be Catwoman. I’d sing ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,’ and I would saw the girl’s face off.” Landry spent his summers on Cape Cod — “I grew up in Provincetown,” he says, “even though I was eighteen when I got there.” After a particularly ugly breakup, friend and collaborator James P. Byrne encouraged him to put up a play himself. On the front porch of the big gothic house where Landry lived, they staged a version of Ludlam’s Medea. On opening night, the ex-boyfriend showed up. “I caught his eye — I couldn’t believe this, he was there with the guy he was dating,” Landry remembers. “This bolt of lightning went KERCRASH just as I caught his eye. And I shouted, ‘WOMEN OF CORINTH!,’ and the whole audience screamed! I knew I had them from that moment forward. I remember the power I felt. It was a marker, ‘This is what I should be doing.’” Soon after, Landry began writing his own original plays, owing a debt to the Ridiculous work that Ludlam pioneered but also firmly Landry’s own delirious vision. - CHARLES HAUGLAND

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“An intensely smart, immensely funny new play!”

After grad school, Catherine pursued a career as a rockstar feminist academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, each friend covets the other’s life. With searing insight and trademark wit, this new comedy takes a deep look at family, career, romance, and the decisions that define a life.

– THE NEW YORK TIMES


“Gina is a dear friend and has been an artistic partner since we were in graduate school. This sharp, smart comedy, set in a small New England college town will connect deeply with our audiences here in Boston. What the play has to say about marriage, feminism and parenthood — from the 20-something, 40-something, and 70-something perspective — is savagely funny and deeply human.” – PETER DUBOIS Gina Gionfriddo

EVERY THING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT POST-POST FEMINISM BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK “Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.” - DANTE’S INFERNO

began in the same place as Cathy, but chose another path, dropping out of school to be a stay-at-home-mother. Both women wonder what life would be like on the path not taken.

“I guess the grass is always greener. It’s just...It’s what you said, right? It’s that forty-something thing where you start thinking about the life not lived.” - GWEN, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN

Life meets theory when Catherine convinces Don to let her teach a summer seminar on her topic: “The Fall of American Civilization.” In an awkward twist, only two students enroll in the class has just two students: Gwen, and her erstwhile twenty-something babysitter, Avery. Cathy’s mother Alice is along for the ride, joining the women at the end of their sessions with martinis and yet another perspective.

A popular assumption about feminists — not just among certain right-wing personalities — is that they are ugly, sexless, humorless harpies that no man wants (unless women advocate for access to birth control, then they are common sluts). In Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gina Gionfriddo grapples with the realities of women’s lives and pulls off a popular comedy about feminism. Fortune favors the bold and, as noted by Variety, “Gionfriddo’s some kind of genius.” Originally, Gionfriddo tried to write a play about the possible psychological and sociological effects of internet pornography. As she told Playwrights Horizons’ artistic director Tim Sanford in an interview, “I was a child of the ’70s; when we wanted information about sex, it was extremely hard to get. We would try to steal a Playboy Magazine or find a dirty book in the library. Now it’s just like Sodom and Gomorrah at the click of a mouse. And I am fixated by the idea that there has to be some hideous psychological trickle-down from that.” She sketched out a character, an academic who would lecture on the topic, but lectures, she realized, are lousy theatre. Shifting gears, she developed plot ideas that would allow the character to confront her area of academic expertise in her life. Gionfriddo says, “From there, the play evolved into a story less about porn than the state of male/ female relationships at this particular time in America.” The protagonist, Catherine, disenchanted with her life as a hotshot public intellectual, latches onto her mother’s recent heart attack as an excuse to return home. Home includes her friends from graduate school, specifically her ex-lover Don who jilted her for Gwen. Gwen,

A reconsideration of one’s life path at middle age is a near-universal experience, however, for women, the questions are fraught with political and social significance. Writing in The New York Times, Gionfriddo frames it this way: “The dream, then and now, postfeminist and post-postfeminist (or whatever we choose to call this moment) is still simple and still incredibly hard: How do men and women figure out how to negotiate their equality better? As Cathy in Rapture advises a female student in the throes of love and ambition, “My middle-aged observation is that, in a relationship between two equals, you can’t both go first.” Catherine’s existential crisis prompts her to reflect, “My mother is going to die soon, and I find myself wondering if there isn’t some... wisdom in the natural order. In creating a new family to replace the one you lose.” She ultimately gets a chance to create a new family, but not in the way that we expect. Gionfriddo wanted to create a stage picture, “which was something about women without men who are both frightened and excited by what their future holds...” Real feminists, as opposed to popular culture caricatures, never claim to be able to have it all. All human rights movements, fundamentally, are concerned with self-determination, for good or for ill, with the costs of freedom being well worth the price. - LISA TIMMEL

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/raptureblisterburn to read Gina Gionfriddo’s complete New York Times op-ed, listen to a Playwrights Horizons podcast interview with the playwright, and more.

HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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CAROL ROSEGG

T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Keira Naughton and Seth Fisher in Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw (2010).

Virginia Kull, Beth Dixon, Amy Brenneman in Playwrights Horizons production of Rapture, Blister, Burn.

IT’S GOOD TO MAKE A WRITER SQUEAMISH

“I love working with living writers, and I love the process of developing a new play from first draft to production ... I get excited by very original theatrical voices.” – PETER DUBOIS

It’s no surprise that playwright Gina Gionfriddo and director Peter DuBois are collaborating again. They’ve been trading ideas since the Clinton administration. Currently, they’re hunkered down at Playwrights Horizons, working on the world premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gionfriddo’s new play about a career woman and a homemaker who envy each other’s lives. When Playwrights Horizons commissioned her to write the piece, Gionfriddo specifically asked for DuBois. “I’m not hugely prolific,” she says. “But anything that I’ve ever written, I would have wanted him to direct. It isn’t like I think he’s only right for certain projects. He’s right for all my work.”

Their connection became clear to the rest of the world when DuBois helmed Becky Shaw, Gionfriddo’s dark comedy about contemporary romance that was the hit of the Humana Festival in 2008. It eventually became a Pulitzer Prize finalist and drew raves at Second Stage Theatre in New York and the Almeida Theatre in London. (DuBois directed those productions, too.) However, the pair met long before Becky Shaw, when they were both graduate students at Brown University in the 90s. He got an MA in theatre history and criticism, and she studied dramatic writing with Paula Vogel. (Both remember how he used to crash Vogel’s Friday night workshop sessions for her students because he was so eager to work with playwrights.) DuBois and Gionfriddo

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CAROL ROSEGG

Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, and Amy Brenneman in Playwrights Horizons production of Rapture, Blister, Burn.

bonded. He directed her graduate project. She taught writing classes for him when he served as artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Alaska. Thanks to their long friendship, they have a shorthand that has defined their process on Rapture, Blister, Burn. “It’s great because you can be less cautious with one another,” says DuBois. “You’re not tiptoeing around to make sure that you don’t hurt feelings.” For instance, DuBois suggested changes to the text that make the housewife character, who dropped out of grad school to become a wife and mother, much more manipulative. He encouraged Gionfriddo to make the unmarried academic, whose specialty is pornography, darker and more seductive. He invented bits of business that not only gave actress Beth Dixon more laughs as a septuagenarian with a fondness for martinis, but also underscore the choices forced on older generations of women. “He’s really fearless,” says Gionfriddo. “If there are places I need to go that I’m squeamish about going, he will push me there.” She is not the only playwright who has succeeded with DuBois. He’s alsodirected the world premieres of David Grimm’s The Miracle at Naples, Paul Weitz’s Trust, Zach Braff’s All New People, Bob Glaudini’s Vengeance is the Lord’s, and Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (DuBois says he and Karam have already begun storyboarding a sequel). And he’s done it all while serving as artistic director of Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company. “I love working with living writers, and I love the process of developing a new play from first draft to production,” says DuBois, who spent two years living in the Czech Republic in the 90s because he so revered its president, playwright Václav Havel. “I get excited by very original theatrical voices.” - JANICE C. SIMPSON

SEE PAGE 27 FOR SHOW PERFORMANCE CALENDAR AND EVENT LISTINGS

Peter DuBois and Gina Gionfriddo

THE GINA CHRONICLES When Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn opens in May 2013, three years will have passed since her Becky Shaw appeared on the Huntington stage. After directing Becky Shaw’s premiere, New York, and Huntington productions, Peter DuBois mounted Becky Shaw in London where it was hailed as a comedic bridge between the United States and the United Kingdom. Invoking Neil LaBute and Jane Austen in praise of Gionfriddo’s “cultivated panache,” the Guardian called the play, “astute, acerbic and richly funny.” Supported by a Playwrights Horizons Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust commission, Gionfriddo began developing a new work in which a feminist scholar voiced misgivings about the corrosive effects of pornography. However, wary that drama might veer into lecture, she expanded Rapture, Blister, Burn to include a generational cross-section of women negotiating the pitfalls of academia and relationships in modern America. In her January 2012 New York Times op-ed, Gionfriddo recounts that following a preview performance of Rapture, Wendy Wasserstein’s former assistant Jenny Lyn Bader told her that she wished Wendy had been able to see the new play, “taking up where The Heidi Chronicles left off.” The Heidi Chronicles, Wasserstein’s 1988 Pulitzer Prize winner, depicts a woman’s journey towards self-assertion as a feminist and single mother. Though Gionfriddo did not set out to respond to Wasserstein’s work, Rapture inevitably came to confront many of the same hopes and fears. Yet the link between the plays also has a personal dimension. In October 2011, Gionfriddo gave birth to a daughter, Ava. “I did not write a homage to The Heidi Chronicles, and I do not endorse that play’s ending,” she wrote in the Times, challenging that play’s paradigm of empowerment through motherhood. “But I have a play and a baby that suggest otherwise.” The ongoing search for gender equality must go beyond the prescriptive or the reductive — as the intricacies of both Gionfriddo’s work and experience suggest. - SAM LASMAN

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2013 SPOTLIGHT SPECTACULAR SUSAN B. KAPLAN RETURNS AS CHAIR

Susan B. Kaplan, Spotlight Spectacular Chair

CAROL ROSEGG

Honoress Douglas and Judi Krupp and David Cromer

SAVE THE DATE! 2013 Spotlight Spectacular Monday, April 22, 2013 • The Park Plaza Castle Honoring Judi and Douglas Krupp, and Our Town director David Cromer Spotlight Spectacular Chair: Susan B. Kaplan Featuring a cocktail hour, silent auction, live performances, a magnificent dinner provided by Huntington Trustee Neal Balkowitsch of MAX Ultimate Foods, and gorgeous surroundings designed by legendary event planner Huntington Overseer Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events. For more information or for tickets, please contact: Alli Engelsma-Mosser at 617 273 1522 or aemosser@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu

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Eleven years ago, Huntington Trustee Susan B. Kaplan helped create a Huntington tradition. She worked with Huntington staff to create a premiere annual event that would put the Huntington on the city’s social calendar in a whole new way. The result of her creativity and hard work was the Spotlight Spectacular, a gala event that has raised millions of dollars for Huntington programs, including our renowned youth, education, and community initiatives. Susan makes an unprecedented return as the Chair of the Spotlight Spectacular, inspired by the selection of this year’s honorees, Judi and Douglas Krupp.

A PASSION FOR THEATRE: HONOREES JUDI AND DOUGLAS KRUPP Each year, the Spotlight Spectacular includes a fabulous dinner, world-class entertainment, and the presentation of the Wimberly Award, the Huntington’s highest honor, given every year to a member of the community for their outstanding support and service.

This year’s honorees, Judi and Douglas Krupp, share a long history of philanthropy throughout Greater Boston. Judi is an active member of the Huntington’s Board of Trustees, and she and her husband Douglas chaired the 2005 Spotlight Spectacular. With a passion for theatre that extends well beyond the Huntington, Judi, through her production company Burnt Umber Productions, has been involved with many New York productions, including American Idiot and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, and David Cromer’s Our Town at the Barrow Street Theater. Judi and Douglas have been instrumental in bringing Our Town to Boston, so it is fitting that David Cromer will also be honored with the Wimberly Award in recognition of his singular contributions to the American theatre. Just as our 2013 Wimberly Award honorees have inspired Susan B. Kaplan, Nancy and Mark Belsky, and Liz and George Krupp to merge their talents for this event, we all hope it will also inspire you to join us for the 2013 Spotlight Spectacular!


DAVID MARSHAL

DAVID MARSHAL

JOAN MARCUS

Viola Davis and Keith David in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars (1995); 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Out Loud winner Stephanie Igharosa; August Wilson Monologue Competition winner Tyrel Joseph.

HUNTINGTON EDUCATION PROGRAMS INSPIRE WENDELL TAYLOR’S SUPPORT Huntington Overseer Wendell Taylor, a partner in the Corporate Practice Group at WilmerHale, values the Huntington’s work in Education and the community. How did you first become involved with the Huntington Theatre Company? The first show I saw at the Huntington was August Wilson’s Seven Guitars in 1995, and I haven’t missed an August Wilson play since. I was just finishing Law School at the time and was uncertain whether Boston, with its reputation for being inhospitable to persons of color, was Wendell Taylor the right place for me. Becoming engaged in the Huntington community and learning more about the Huntington’s commitment to diversifying the arts and bringing together the city, helped me determine that Boston would provide the environment that I was then seeking. Since my first experience, I have paid close attention to the Huntington and its deep involvement in the Greater Boston community. I now fully support the Huntington and value its contributions. As an Overseer, what about the Huntington excites you? Poetry Out Loud, and the August Wilson Monologue Competition are extraordinary programs that provide kids with vital access to the arts and arts education, which is so lacking in today’s schools. As a board member, I want to help create momentum, to help these great programs, along with others, grow in visibility so people who are unaware of them or outside the Huntington community come to understand and value what it is that the Huntington does. How long have you been at WilmerHale and what kind of practice do you have there? I have been at WilmerHale for seventeen years — which is my entire legal career. I am a Partner in the Corporate Practice Group and I

have the privilege of serving on the Diversity Committee and the Hiring Committee. WilmerHale has been very exciting and rewarding for me and has given me a platform both through pro bono opportunities and service programs to engage in the community in meaningful ways. WilmerHale’s commitment to providing top notch legal services while remaining engaged in the broader community is the thing I admire most about the firm. Do you have a favorite Huntington experience so far that you’d like to share? I have had several. On one hand, I had the opportunity to attend an early rehearsal of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Of course, I adored the play when I saw it, but having seen the early part of its creation was both eye opening and exciting. In a very different realm, when I was first getting to know the Huntington, I was invited to an opening night by one of my colleagues whose wife is involved at the Huntington. Now, some years later, they have become very close friends and I too am engaged in the Huntington community. Let’s call it a win-win!

YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT THE HUNTINGTON WITH A CONTRIBUTION TO THE 2013 ANNUAL FUND: 1. DONATE 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 HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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2012-2013 STUDENT MATINEES ARE A HOT TICKET!

Our 2012-2013 Student Matinee Season (comprised of a record ten performances) kicked off this fall with a sold-out performance of David Lindsay-Abaire’s compelling Southie story Good People. It was fitting that each school in attendance was from Boston and after the show the actors and students took part in a wide-ranging post-show discussion which was followed by an informal Q&A session with the cast.

Many of our student matinees this season are already sold out, however student tickets are also available at regular performances. For more information please contact Meg O’Brien at 617 273 1558 or mobrien@ huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

OUR TOWN - SOLD OUT! WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9 THURSDAY, JANUARY 10

• JUST ADDED: JANUARY 25, 2013

INVISIBLE MAN - TICKETS AVAILABLE! WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 THURSDAY, JANUARY 31

A RAISIN IN THE SUN - SOLD OUT! THURSDAY, MARCH 21

Braille

FRIDAY, APRIL 5

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5

FREDERICK AND WILL JAMIESON

RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN - TICKETS AVAILABLE!

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit huntingtontheatre.org/studentmatinee 20

BOX OFFICE 617 266 0800


JOIN US FOR TWO HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMANCE COMPETITIONS! The Huntington’s nationally recognized Department of Education and Community Programs serves over 25,000 young people and underserved audience members each year. Below is a brief update on two of these events. For more information about our education and community programs, visit us at huntingtontheatre.org/education.

POETRY OUT LOUD Join the over 20,000 students from 80 high schools across Massachusetts who will immerse themselves in the worlds of poetry and the spoken word this year when they participate in this national phenomenon. Compete for a chance to advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC and win $20,000. Audiences are welcome at all of the state level competitions, so please join us an see some incredibly talented and passionate students compete for the title of Massachusetts State Champion. DAVID MARSHAL

2012 Poetry Our Loud Finalists.

POETRY OUT LOUD’S 8TH ANNUAL COMPETITION Massachusetts State Semi-Finals: March 2 & 3, 2013 Four locations throughout the state (Boston, Cape Cod, Springfield, and Framingham) Massachusetts State Finals: March 10, 2013

AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION Now in our third year, we have expanded to include eleven Boston Public Schools and an estimated 500 students in this national monologue competition founded by Kenny Leon (director of Fences in 2009 and Stick Fly in 2010). Participants will learn about August Wilson’s life and legacy and will bring his iconic characters to life on our stage in February. Our staff, along with a great team of teaching artists, are in classroom residencies from October through January, and each school will hold their own competition to determine their champion. In February, each school champion will compete for placement in the top three to advance to the National Finals in New York City to perform on stage at the August Wilson Theatre. DAVID MARSHAL

2011 August Wilson Monologue Competition Contestants.

JOIN US FOR THE BOSTON REGIONAL FINAL OF THE AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION: Saturday February 9, 2013, 9am Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

For more information about Poetry Out Loud or the August Wilson Monologue Competition, please contact Donna Glick, Director of Education at 617 273 1548 or djglick@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu. HUNTINGTONTHEATRE.ORG

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HUNTINGTON NEWS HUNTINGTON PLAYWRITING FELLOWS THE NEW CLASS

Our Town has been extended through January 26. Don’t miss David Cromer’s highly acclaimed production of Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece. Buy now for the best seats!

Walt McGough’s plays include The Farm, Priscilla Dreams the Answer, Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), Everything Freezes, Paper City Phoenix, and The Haberdasher! He has worked with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Fresh Ink, Boston Actors Theatre, Sideshow Theatre Company, The Orfeo Group, Nu Sass Productions, Chicago Dramatists and The Second City Chicago. He currently serves on the staff at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. waltmcgough.com Lenelle Moïse’s plays include Matermorphosis, Little Griot, Purple, Cornered in the Dark, and The Many Faces of Nia. Her two-act comedy, Merit, won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She also wrote, composed, and co-stars in the critically acclaimed drama, Expatriate, which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project. Her work has been published in several anthologies including Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College. lenellemoise.com This program is supported by the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays and the Harry Kondoleon Playwriting Fund.

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Lila Rose Kaplan’s plays include We All Fall Down, Home of the Brave, 100 Planes, Entangled, Wildflower, Bureau of Missing Persons, and Tink. Her plays have been produced by Second Stage Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Vic, Chalk Repertory Theatre, Perishable Theatre, The Camden Fringe Festival, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and Launchpad. She is a graduate of Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel and Sarah Ruhl. She received her MFA in Playwriting from UC San Diego. lilarose.org

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The Huntington recently announced the 2013 class of Huntington Playwriting Fellows: Lila Rose Kaplan, Walt McGough, and Lenelle Moïse. These artists 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).

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

“Cromer’s rethinking of Wilder’s masterpiece is a landmark. Arrestingly original!” - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

NEWS ABOUT OUR 2013-2014 SEASON While we have a number of terrific shows still to come this year, we are thick in the planning for our 2013-2014 Season! Subscribers: you’ll be among the first to hear about our exciting new lineup. We plan to announce the season and mail renewal packets in February, and ask that you renew your subscription by April 30 to keep your seats or request an upgrade. Stay tuned for our season announcement! And please make sure we have your email address on file so we can be in touch. Send your address to tickets@huntingtontheatre.org.


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

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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CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA

members. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

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•7:30PM

MAY - JUNE 2013

•2PM

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

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8PM

Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

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MARCH - APRIL 2013

BU THEATRE

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AVENUE OF THE ARTS

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31 EASTER

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A RAISIN IN THE SUN

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•7:30PM

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SOUTH END

CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA

(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

AR IN AIS TH IN ES UN

TWO PLAYS, ONE HOUSE: A RAISIN IN THE SUN AND CLYBOURNE PARK AT THE STRAND THEATRE Members of the casts of the Huntington’s A Raisin in the Sun and SpeakEasy Stage Company’s Clybourne Park come together at the Strand Theatre for this special event featuring scenes from each show, Q&A with artists, and the chance to win tickets to both plays. FREE and open to the public. Set in Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun depicts an AfricanAmerican family whose struggle for a better life leads them to purchase a house in a predominantly white neighborhood. Clybourne Park picks up where Raisin leaves off, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of the home to a black family, and then fast-forwards 50 years to explore the house’s legacy. Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7pm Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road, Boston Admission is free RSVP: huntingtontheatre.org/Strand


Spring 2013 Spotlight