October 7, 2007

In Box - Writers Update

Ilana Brownstein sent this update to the company last Friday. It's news worth sharing!

HPF= Huntington Playwriting Fellows, BPT=Boston Playwrights' Theatre:

It's time for an update on some of the Huntington's favorite writers.

Lydia Diamond has been busy of late, with a production of "Stick Fly" at the McCarter (playing through Oct 14), starring Radio Golf alum Michole Briana White. Variety dubbed it a "well-cut jewel of a play," and noted that "Diamond displays a rare gift for narrative flow and character development." As if that weren't enough to keep her busy, she's been promoted to a full time teaching position in the BU School of Theatre, *and* has enrolled in the first ever class of MFA playwriting candidates through the BU/BPT collaboration.

John Shea's play "Comp" will go up at BPT this November. John has been working on the script diligently as part of the HPF program, and fellow HPF Kate Snodgrass was so taken with it, she's programmed it at her theatre. It opens on Nov 3, and I'll be serving as guest dramaturg.

Melinda Lopez continues to be swept up in a whirlwind of theatrical activity. Her play "Gary," which she began in her HPF days, received a workshop production at the Steppenwolf in August. It was terrific, and she's now refining the script. It will get another outing at the Lark Play Development Center in NY, as part of their annual Playwrights Week - "Gary" will show on Oct 4 at 1p. Furthermore, "Gary" will go into production at BPT in the spring; it will be directed by Huntington alum Bevin O'Gara, and I'll serve as guest dramaturg. Melinda's play "Alexandros," which was featured in last season's Breaking Ground Festival, will premiere at Laguna Playhouse in the spring.

As you already know, Ronan Noone, Sinan Unel, and Rebekah Maggor are being kept busy by us this season with productions at the Calderwood.

John Kuntz is walking the balance beam between his writing and acting endeavors. His play Jump/Rope (which, fyi, was first produced by Justin Waldman's company Next Stages, several years ago) got its New York debut this past summer, and starred both John and local favorite Bill Mootos. You can catch Johnny in January at the ART in a production of "Copenhagen," also starring Will Lebow and Karen MacDonald. What a cast!

Kate Snodgrass is, as you can discern from the previous few paragraphs, quite busy fostering the work of her fellow HPFs John Shea and Melinda Lopez. Her own play, "Parallelogram" (from last season's Breaking Ground), is still in development.

Our next class of Playwriting Fellows will be announced soon, and I guarantee that it's going to be an excellent group. Commissions are coming along as well, and you can expect to hear more from the Artistic Department on that front sometime later this fall. As for commissions from the last round, we're expecting delivery of scripts quite soon from Mat Smart, Danny Goldstein/Michael Friedman, Mark Bennett, and Naomi Iizuka (a co-commission with Yale Rep). Keep your eyes peeled for at least one or two of those to turn up in Breaking Ground this year.

Finally, I'd like to direct your attention to two staggering statistics: by the end of this season, the Huntington will have produced or presented 5 plays by Playwriting Fellows, and 8 plays that have come through the Breaking Ground Festival. Not to mention that we can celebrate "Mauritius" as the first play to go through our development process and progress to Broadway. There aren't many other theatres in this country with that kind of total track record, so it's definitely something we as a whole company can be proud of.

Happy Friday!

No comments: