This in from Ilana Brownstein, who's leaving us for a teaching post at BU before the summer ends. We'll miss her energy and enthusiasm, and I hope that we will continue to bring success to the programs she began here at the Huntingon:
It's time for Huntington Playwriting Fellows (HPF) general news, and for another update on the adventures of our very own Huntington Playwriting Fellows. They've been busy!
First, the general news. The creation and leadership of Huntington Playwriting Fellows program was honored in June by Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas with the Elliott Hayes Award, a national prize for dramaturgical excellence. I was glad to have Huntington Artistic Associate Bevin O'Gara and HPF Kate Snodgrass on hand in San Deigo to help me celebrate, and I am proud to report that the terrific writers who are a part of the HPF program are receiving greater attention than ever.
Now for the writerly adventures...
Ken Urban’s play, "The Happy Sad," had an extended run at New York’s Flea Theatre this past spring, and on July 14th had a one-night-only reading with the Flea cast as part of Harvard University's summer programming. His short play "Tecmessa (a footnote on envy)" played California's Rude Guerrilla Theater in July. Ken was recently awarded a 2008 MacDowell Colony residency; he'll spend three weeks at the retreat in September. Upcoming productions include "The Secret Lives of Eskimos" at Chicago’s Stage Left Theatre (produced by The Mill) in Jan 09, and "Nibbler" at L.A.’s Theatre of NOTE in Nov 08. Ken is currently working on a commission for the museum at Ellis Island.
Joyce Van Dyke had a reading of her play "The Oil Thief" at New Rep in February; it will be produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre this fall with Melinda Lopez and Will Lyman in the leads, Judy Braha directing, and I'll serve as dramaturg. Her play "Aurora" (a working title) will receive a developmental workshop this winter through the B.U. School of Theatre New Play Initiative - Joyce has been creating this piece in collaboration with director Judy Braha and an ensemble of actors over the past year.
Kirsten Greenidge has had a busy summer, with one residency at the Aspen Festival of Ideas to work on a commission from La Jolla Playhouse and Theatre Masters, and another residency at the Sundance Theatre Institute Lab with her play "Bossa Nova." She was also a featured speaker at the Black New England Conference held at the University of New Hampshire, where she delivered a talk called "Lifting the Veil" about how she creates stories and African American characters for the stage.
Jacqui Parker has spent much of her summer so far taking Boston youth up to her Theatre Intensive Camp on Social Justice and Leadership, based at Goddard College in Vermont. She is also currently playing the mother of a Central African dictator (opposite Oscar nominee Lindsay Crouse) in Lee Blessing's "Going to St. Ives" at Gloucester Stage. Catch it until Aug 3, and come September, you can see her singing and dancing in the Lyric's production of "Follies."
Rebekah Maggor was featured this last week as a guest on WBUR's new show Radio Boston, where she talked about Boston accents (or are they dialects?), and gave a shout-out to fellow HPF John Shea. Listen to the show here: http://www.radioboston.org/?p=901
Rebekah is also a recent recipient of the first Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT commission – she is co-writing a play with Harvard astrophysicist James Battat. It was a lengthy application process, so congrats Rebekah!
Lydia Diamond was invited to The Orchard Project’s annual retreat, run by Ari Edelson (Artistic Director of New York's The Exchange), to work on an adaptation of Roya Hakakian's novel "Journey to the Land of No." "Stick Fly" was part of the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in July (CATF has a history of producing HPF and Breaking Ground plays), and will be published this fall by Northwestern University Press. "Stage Black" was recently published by Dramatic Publishing, and is being produced by MPAACT theatre company in Chicago this winter.
John Shea’s "Claire Silva" (Breaking Ground 2007) was read at Williamstown this summer as part of the Fridays at 3pm series , directed by former HTC Artistic Associate Justin Waldman. John also recently turned in a first draft of his Huntington commission, a play called "Junkie." Stay tuned for more news on that in the coming months, for sure.
Kate Snodgrass’ IRNE Award-winning play "The Glider" was produced this summer in Denver at the And Toto Too Theatre. She is currently working on a commission for the Northwest Theatre Alliance - she and a group of other writers are adapting Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel "Herland" (Kate's responsible for chapter 10). Plus, she continues to support her fellow HPFs - in her role as Artistic Director of Boston Playwrights' Theatre, she's producing Joyce Van Dyke's "The Oil Thief" this fall.
John Kuntz’s hilarious "After School Special" is running at Company One in the BCA through Aug 8. John calls it "Charles Busch meets Irma Vep meets Scooby Doo" - if you go, watch for a guest appearance by Melinda Lopez! This fall, Johnny's "Hotel Nepenthe" will be read in New York by Square Peg Productions. He has recently been commissioned with Rick Park by the Phoenix Theatre (formerly known as Way Theatre Artists) to write "The Superheroine Monologues"; it will be performed at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in the spring. Boston Playwrights' Theatre has also tentatively scheduled Johnny's new play "The Salt Girl" for the fall of 2009. As for Johnny's acting gigs, watch for him over the next few months in "The Communist Dracula Pageant" by Anne Washburn at ART, "Cabaret" at New Rep, and "Irma Vep" at the Lyric.
Melinda Lopez’s "Alexandros" (Breaking Ground 2007) ran at the Laguna Playhouse in the early summer, and she can be seen in fellow HPF Joyce Van Dyke's play "The Oil Thief" at Boston Playwrights' Theatre this October.
Ronan Noone has been keeping good company this summer. His newest play, "Little Black Dress," will be featured in New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre summer readings festival (Aug 1-3), along with new plays by John Patrick Shanley and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, among others. (Powerhouse is also home this summer to "Fault Lines," a new work by HTC alum Stephen Belber!) "The Atheist" enjoyed a run at Williamstown, with Campbell Scott once again in the role of Augustine Early and Justin Waldman directing, and "The Blowin of Baile Gall" ran at L.A.’s Lyric Theatre.
And Sinan Unel is currently resting up after the awesome run of "The Cry of the Reed" earlier this spring. More news from him, anon.
Well, that's the sum total of it for the moment. Congrats to all the HPFs on their fabulous work!