August 31, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Casting

Once again - Playbill has the casting news:

"Manoel Felciano, who was nominated for a 2006 Tony Award for his work in the actor-musician revival of Sweeney Todd, will play rock and roll obsessed Czech graduate student Jan in American Conservatory Theater's upcoming production of Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll.

Photo credit Michael Cerveris, Patti LuPone, Manoel Felciano,
and Donna Lynne Champlin in Sweeney Todd
(Photo © Paul Kolnik)

Directed by A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff, the West Coast premiere of Stoppard's acclaimed play will begin previews at the San Francisco venue Sept. 11 and continue through Oct. 12"

It will then run at the Huntington November 7th through December 7th

click here to read the entire Playbill article

click here to read the cast bios

We'll have nearly the same cast. Four of the ensemble - who are students at ACT - will stay in San Fran and their understudies will take on the roles here in Boston. It's going to be a hot ticket.

Rock 'n' Roll is loading into the Geary this week and they begin tech next weekend.

In box

In lieu of actually writing something I'll give you a few links:

Peter DuBois in BayWindows

"Peter DuBois has a novel way of ending an interview. "Do you want to meet my dog?" he suddenly asks as our conversation winds down."

Adam Pascal is coming to the Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion for four performances only - click here.

"A friend at his former high school, who at the time was dating fellow Syosset graduate Idina Menzel, mentioned Rent to him. On a whim, he auditioned for the role of Roger in Rent and was cast. His performance in Rent earned him a Tony nomination, a Theater World award, and an Obie Award. He left the show on November 2nd, 1997, but went on to play Roger when Rent went to London"

Carrie Fisher will appear at the B.U. Theatre in October - more info here

"This ironic look at her life gives no more than a nod to her friend’s recent death, but includes a survey of her often bizarre childhood as the daughter of Ms. Reynolds and the singer Eddie Fisher, details about her brief marriage to Paul Simon and her travels through addiction and struggle with mental illness. There’s some juicy stuff about making out with the actor Harrison Ford and her relationship with a man who later declared himself gay (Billie’s father, the agent Bryan Lourd).

In the show she sums all this up in the painfully deadpan observation: “If my life weren’t funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable.” read the rest of this article in the New York Times

And last - but not least - our Managing Director Michael Maso tells us the "truth" about Huntington's subscribers.

There will be more video coming this season - I just wrapped filming on a backstage tour of our stage, shops, and treasure troves (storage).

I suspect another "truth" is that there is good reason that some of us work BEHIND the scenes.

August 15, 2008

"How Shakespeare Won the West" - Casting

I could copy and paste the press release - but it's even easier to point you towards Playbill to read the news... click here

Ilana Brownstein recognized for Playwriting Fellows program

this news in from the wire:

At its recent annual conference, The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) recognized the extraordinary achievement of dramaturg Ilana Brownstein. For her work at the Huntington Theatre Company, developing the new Huntington Playwrights Fellowship, Brownstein was named the recipient of the tenth annual LMDA Prize in Dramaturgy: The Elliott Hayes Award. The Award was announced at the celebration concluding the conference, held this year in San Diego, California, from June 26–29.

The LMDA Prize in Dramaturgy is named in honor of Elliott Hayes, the late literary manager and dramaturg at The Stratford Festival in Canada. The Elliott Hayes Award, which is accompanied by a $500 prize, is presented annually in recognition of dramaturgical contributions to the conception, development, and / or production of specific theatre projects; for recent writing or other publications about dramaturgy or theatre in general; for contributions to an institution or theatre season; for significant accomplishments in advocacy for the field of dramaturgy; or for exemplary educational projects.

This year the Award honors dramaturg Ilana Brownstein and the Playwrights Fellowship program she initiated at Boston’s Huntington Theatre. The three-judge panel reviewing the 2008 Elliott Hayes nominees consisted of Tanya Palmer, John Baker, and Maureen Labonté.

From her position as Literary Manager and Dramaturg at the Huntington Theatre, Brownstein created a two-year residency program in which four playwrights were each offered a commission. Unlike a traditional commission, in which a playwright produces a specific piece of work for a theatre, which then retains the production rights, Brownstein’s vision was to commission the playwrights’ time and effort—but not a specific final project. She explains: “I hoped to free them of the stress and anxiety of competing against each other for a perceived shot at production at the Huntington.” The Huntington Playwrights Fellowship program was imagined as a community of writers, a safe place for playwrights to challenge themselves and explore their craft. Fellows were offered the freedom to work on anything they chose, with the artistic support of the Huntington, their fellow playwrights, and Brownstein herself.

Introducing the award at the LMDA banquet, outgoing LMDA President Brian Quirt spoke on behalf of the judges: “What the judges responded to was what Ilana offered to us, her colleagues off toiling in our own corners of the world with our own concerns about how to respond to our local artistic community. She offered us a model – a template that we can take home with us as we struggle to bridge the gap between our institutions and the communities that house them. The Fellowship program grew from four initial fellows offered a two-year residency to a group that now boasts twelve writers. She provided them with a community, a support system, an opportunity to develop and explore, and a place at the table. And in the process she also transformed the theatre where she worked, making it a place that embraced not only new work, but new work by writers from their own backyard.” Playwright and inaugural Huntington fellow Melinda Lopez described Brownstein’s influence on her writing, her life, and the Boston theatre community: “Ilana has created a scene, a vibe, a happening in Boston, and there are a dozen playwrights at least – local writers – that are on fire because of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program.”

With this award, Brownstein joins the select group of previous Elliott Hayes Award recipients: Michele Volansky and Lue Morgan Douthit (1999), Rebecca Rugg and Lynn Thomson (2000), Judith Rudakoff (2001), Megan Monaghan and Freddie Ashley (2002), Brian Quirt and Mallory Cattlett (2003), Scott Horstein (2004), Lee Devin (2005), Amy Steele and Melinda C. Finberg (2007), and Ed Sobel (2008).

August 14, 2008

I'm back!

No I have not given up blogging. I've had some time away - spent two weeks away on vacation with family in trips to Ottawa and then the Lake Winnipesaukee region in southern New Hampshire. I got back to work on Tuesday and I still have yet to get through the backlog of email. Sorry if I have not got back to you yet!

We have two shows in rehearsals now! How Shakespeare Won the West started on Tuesday here in Boston with playwright Richard Nelson and Director Jon Moscone. Rock 'n' Roll also began rehearsals on Tuesday in San Francisco. Long time Huntington friends playwright Tom Stoppard and director Carey Perloff will open this production first at ACT and then we'll ship the whole thing across country to bring to you later this fall.

I can't short change Boleros for the Disenchanted here. Alexander Dodge has been busy designing another gem for us to put into our jewel box Wimberly Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion.

Subscriptions are available NOW, and single tickets go on sale on Tuesday, August 19th. I really mean on SALE too... just $27 each for the one day only.

We also announced a couple of fun fall Huntington Presents productions. Adam Pascal will be at the Calderwood Pavilion and Carrie Fisher will bring Wishful Drinking to the BU Theatre. Playbill has the news here.

And, while I was in New Hampshire, artistic director Peter DuBois and playwright David Grimm got together on the Cape to work on The Miracle at Naples. This is an insanely funny, smart, and bawdy play - getting ready for it's world premier production here at the Huntington this coming spring - and where else but Provincetown could these two get together to spend some quality time on the play. They then got a cast together and brought the fruits of their labor back to Boston for a reading for Huntington staff and guests at the Calderwood Pavilion. The ONLY regret I have at being away for 15 days was missing that.

Get more info and ticket information about all of these shows at

And, hey, I gotta crow a little. The blog directory recently evaluated this here blog and gave us an "great" rating... putting us right up there with some of our institutional peers! They say they based their rating on "Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style". Thanks!

There's a lot going on - and a lot of excitement around having Peter DuBois in town. I'll be getting back in the blogging groove over the next several weeks letting you in on the backstage news about it all. It's going to be one heck of a year.