HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2009-2010 SEASON:
ARTISTS VOGEL, GIONFRIDDO, DIAMOND, LEON, AND MCGOVERN ALL IN RESIDENCE; AUGUST WILSON’S VOICE RETURNS
(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company announces today its 2009-2010 Season. The bold, diverse, and entertaining lineup includes the return of August Wilson’s voice to his artistic home at the Huntington with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award- winning Fences. It will be coupled with a spring production of Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond's groundbreaking new play Stick Fly, uniting the great African-American voice of the Huntington and American theatre's past with a thrilling and incisive new voice.
The season also includes a new American Christmas musical celebration from Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel that will engage the Greater Boston community; a world premiere musical exploration of the music and moments of the Baby Boomer generation starring Broadway performer and Grammy Award-winning pop icon Maureen McGovern; and the regional premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's critically acclaimed Becky Shaw, helmed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois direct from its smash hit Off Broadway run, commencing a multi-year Huntington celebration of American comedy.
THE 2009-2010 SEASON LINEUP
“FENCES,” the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner by August Wilson, directed by Kenny Leon, September 11 – October 11, 2009 at the Huntington’s main stage, the Boston University Theatre
Maureen McGovern in “A LONG AND WINDING ROAD,” a world premiere one-woman musical memoir co-conceived by Maureen McGovern and Philip Himburg, directed by Philip Himburg, presented in cooperation with Arena Stage, October 9 – November 15, 2009 at the Huntington’s Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
“A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION,” a distinctly American holiday event by Paula Vogel with music supervised, arranged, and orchestrated by Daryl Waters, November 13 – December 13, 2009 at the B.U. Theatre
“BECKY SHAW,” the regional premiere of Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois’ smash hit production of Gina Gionfriddo’s comedy, January 8 – February 7, 2010 at the B.U. Theatre
TBA, March 5 – April 4, 2010 at the B.U. Theatre
“STICK FLY,” a New England premiere by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Kenny Leon, presented in cooperation with Arena Stage, March 26 – May 1, 2010 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
TBA, May 14 – June 13, 2010 at the B.U. Theatre
Huntington Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter DuBois has composed a lineup that celebrates the diversity of the theatrical art form as well as the diversity of Boston. DuBois says, “This upcoming season offers Boston audiences a collection of bold, entertaining, and extraordinary theatrical events: masterful contemporary classics and new works; sharp, insightful comedies that use humor to illuminate our shared human experience; powerful evenings of music that transport and entertain us; and the birth of a new tradition – an intelligent and distinctly American holiday play with music that will draw upon and celebrate the artistic riches that our local community has to offer – all created by some of our country’s and our city’s most gifted established and emerging writers, directors, and performers.
“I am particularly thrilled to embark on two projects that will engage our audience in conversations extending beyond a single night at our theatre,” DuBois continues. “Through two plays, we will explore issues of class in the lives of African-American families, led by acclaimed director Kenny Leon. I know our audience will welcome Kenny back to the Huntington and respond to the themes that August Wilson and Lydia R. Diamond illuminate with such beautiful language and vivid characters in Wilson’s magnificent Fences and Huntington Playwriting Fellow Diamond’s pioneering Stick Fly.
“This season we kick off a multi-year series of American comedy. First up will be my production of Gina Gionfriddo’s comedy Becky Shaw, which I am bringing from New York to my artistic home at the Huntington. Gina’s play will be the start of an ongoing festival about the history and future of American comedy, which we will continue to explore in subsequent seasons through dialogues with artists, readings, and full productions at both the Boston University and Wimberly Theaters.
“In my first season, our audience told me that as they travel between our homes at the Boston University Theatre and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, they value the terrific variety of theatrical experiences that only the Huntington can bring to Boston, and that is what we will deliver in 2009-2010.”
Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso says, “In his second season, Peter will build on the artistry, vision and passion he brought to his first. For over a quarter-century, the Huntington has served as Boston’s flagship theatre, and with Peter’s dynamic and diverse artistic programming for the next season, we will continue to bring great theatrical work to Boston, New England, and the nation.”
MORE ON THE SHOWS
“FENCES” is the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning sixth chapter in August Wilson’s groundbreaking ten-play cycle of the 20th century African-American experience and tells the story of a man whose dreams were stalled by racial prejudice and his son who instead sees a world of opportunity. It will be helmed by acclaimed Wilson collaborator and interpreter Kenny Leon, artistic director of the Kennedy Center’s recent month-long celebration of Wilson’s cycle. DuBois says, “The Huntington provided August with an artistic home throughout his career and Kenny has been such an important part of that special relationship, directing Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf here and on Broadway in recent years. Our audience has told me that they’re eager to reconnect with August’s work. Fences is one of only two plays from his magnificent opus that we have not yet produced, and I’m thrilled that in the coming season we will take one step closer to completing his cycle with one of his greatest.”
“STICK FLY” is a smart, moving, and funny portrait of a complicated family by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond. Sparks fly and long-hidden secrets are revealed when the LeVay brothers bring their new girlfriends – one white and one black -- to Martha’s Vineyard to meet their upper class African-American parents. Kenny Leon directs. DuBois says, “We’re thrilled to present Lydia’s powerful, new, voice to Boston with this trailblazing play. The conversation August started last century now continues in the 21st. Lydia will be in residence for the season, continuing to shape Stick Fly and developing ideas for future projects here in her home town.”
Diamond says, “Starting with my acceptance into the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program, every part of the Huntington has extended itself to me. It’s an especially wonderful artistic home because I live in Boston. I’ve worked with few theatres that have so made good in production with regard to their voiced dedication to new work. I know that the Huntington will give Stick Fly a wonderful production.”
“A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS,” by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) is set on Christmas Eve 1864 and weaves the stories of the President and Mrs. Lincoln, a young rebel soldier, an escaped slave, and more into a moving tapestry of collective American experience. DuBois says, “Paula is one of our strongest contemporary American voices. Her writing is consistently innovative and intellectually rich. With A Civil War Christmas, she’s given a great gift to us all: a new American Christmas celebration. Paula and I have known each other since I was a student at Brown University, and I’m honored to offer her a creative home at the Huntington.” In the spirit of the play’s expansive and inclusive story, the Huntington will bring various Greater Boston communities together for the production, including Boston artists and local choirs who will perform Christmas carols prior to performances.
Vogel says, “I am thrilled to join the Huntington Theatre Company and Peter DuBois this coming season with my newest work. The play itself begins with the writing of ‘I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day,’ penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow just across the river from the Huntington. It's wonderful to produce the work in Boston, a place that was so actively involved in the Union effort during the Civil War, and wonderful, too, to produce the work in a theatre that has enriched the city and American theatre for decades. I am excited about working on the piece where friends and younger members of my family reside, for this work was written especially for the children in our family. I hope to become as involved as I can with the community during our production of A Civil War Christmas. I am particularly proud and happy to work with Peter, an artist I have long admired – many hopes come to fruition in this alignment at the Huntington, and I am lucky and grateful to work there.”
“A LONG AND WINDING ROAD” is Broadway performer and Grammy Award-winning pop icon Maureen McGovern’s moving one-woman musical memoir that celebrates the moments that define the Baby Boomer Generation. It includes songs by Bob Dylan, Carole King, Randy Newman, and others. “Maureen is an amazing performer and truly warm human being,” says DuBois. “We have been helping her develop this personal piece about the music that has inspired her throughout her career. In this disorienting time of uncertainty and change in our country, revisiting the great American songs that inspired a generation with hope and purpose is cathartic and inspiring."
“Peter's invaluable guidance helped greatly in the development of A Long and Winding Road,” says McGovern, “and I am so grateful to him and the Huntington Theatre Company for providing a nurturing workshop environment with invited audiences this spring. I'm looking forward to returning to the Huntington with the piece in the fall."
“BECKY SHAW” is a wickedly funny comedy of bad manners by “Law & Order” writer/producer Gina Gionfriddo about a newly married couple that fix up two romantically challenged friends on a blind date that goes bad. Artistic Director Peter DuBois brings the original production of his latest New York smash hit to Boston. “Gina has written a smart and sophisticated comedy that skillfully examines human behavior and personal relationships while making us laugh,” says DuBois. “This is exactly what great comedy should do. Gina now has a home here at the Huntington and we look forward to a long and rich collaboration together.” “Peter and I have been friends and collaborators for over a decade,” says Gionfriddo. “He's been with this play since the first draft -- asking me all the right questions and pushing me to fully realize these characters and ideas. I'm thrilled he's bringing Becky Shaw to his artistic home, the Huntington.
Two additional titles will be announced in the coming weeks, including a classic. “There are two world-class artists with whom we’re eager to work next year, and we’re just ironing out the scheduling details at this time,” explains DuBois.
SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW
The Huntington’s 2009-2010 subscriptions, on sale now, are more flexible than ever, available in 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-play packages. Prices remain the same as last year, and subscribers save up to 50 percent on full-price tickets to individual shows.
Subscriptions may be renewed or purchased online at huntingtontheatre.org or by calling the Huntington Box Office at 617 266-0800. Groups of 10 or more can place orders at 617 273-1665. Individual tickets for all shows will go on sale in August.
Learn more at www.huntingtontheatre.org.