June 25, 2009

Check List

This is my last post of the season - and it's nice to see the sun trying to burn through the haze this morning as I begin to write.

I am about to embark on a nice long vacation - so writing this post means I can check a few things off my list before I go. And as for sunshine, well... you know.

I've taken my furlough over the last few weeks, and the sun didn't make much of an appearance. I am hoping there is not a correlation between my taking time off and rain. If there is I had better cancel my travel plans and start building an Ark. 40 days and nights you know...

I've never before taken off much more than two weeks in a row, and not since I became production manager in 2002 have I used all of my vacation days. That practice has left me with a hefty pile of accrued time, some dark circles under my eyes, and a strong desire to shake up my now somewhat dull routine.

So right now I'm working on a reasonably short "Todd Do" list before I leave the Huntington Theatre Company tomorrow for the next six weeks.

Here's the list for this blog post:

1) Say thank you... and I'll do that right now:

Thank you to our patrons, donors, and board members for coming to our productions, giving us your support, and sharing your lives with us in our theatres. And thank you for sharing your wisdom, praise, and criticisms with us by leaving hundreds of comments and thoughts here on the blog this season.

Thank you to my staff, co-workers and all of our visiting artists for making this such a great place to work. Even in the tough times. I'll miss you for the next few weeks!

2) Update you on our progress for next season:

The Fences team is complete and comprised of many dear friends of the Huntington; Director Kenny Leon has finished casting (marketing will give you that news in a few weeks), Scenic Designer Marjorie Kellogg (yep - that's her sketch of the set) is working on the final designs - our shop will start building in less than a month, Costume Designer Mariann Verheyen has her research all done and we'll be ready when our costume staff returns to work in early August, Dwight Andrews will provide music for us when we start rehearsing in mid August, and our lighting and sound designers Ann Wrightson and Ben Emerson, will no doubt be ready to provide their atmospherics when we begin rehearsals onstage in September.

The A Long and Winding Road team is getting to work on new designs, based on a newly revised script. Some of you saw our workshop of this production this past spring - the work is continuing to evolve and we're thrilled to have Maureen McGovern back with us come late September.

Casting (and design work) is underway for A Civil War Christmas. I will stop in on Sunday to meet director Jessica Thebus and playwright Paula Vogel before they begin a couple of days worth of local auditions. We should have prelim scenic designs from Dan Ostling by the time I get back in August - in time for us to start building as soon as we get Fences loaded into the BU Theatre. I'm looking forward to working again with costume designer Miranda Hoffman, and lighting designer TJ Gerkens.

I met All My Sons director David Esbjornson a few weeks back - had a brief chance to show him around the BU Theatre before he was whisked off to auditions. I am looking forward to working with scenic designer Scott Bradley again - he taught scenic design here at BU for several years when we were both a little younger. He last designed our 1999 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream - but you may remember his more recent set for the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's 2008 production of As You Like It.

Stick Fly
, Becky Shaw, and Prelude to a Kiss are also all in some stage of development. Were hammering out budgets and design team with our partner Arena Stage for the former, and I talked with Peter DuBois over lunch yesterday regarding the two final productions of next season.

3) Extend an invitation:

The blog doesn't get a whole lot of traffic over the summer, but we'll be looking to introduce some new voices here while I'm away - especially as we head towards our third blogiversary this coming October. So keep an eye out - we hope to get you some insider information about the plays that are coming your way starting in September.

The invitation is to you to add your voice. Please send us your questions and comments about the Huntington, and give us some ideas about what kind of information/content you would like to see more of here on the blog.

Check. Check. Check. I'm outta here... your turn. Click here to comment


A.W. said...

Have a nice break. The upcoming season looks great. I'm happy Kenny Leon is coming back to direct Fences!

Todd Williams said...

Hi A.W.

Thanks for commenting! I'm looking forward to having Kenny back here in Boston. He has a great energy and gets his company to deliver on stage. He will be back in the spring for (Huntington Playwriting Fellow) Lydia Diamond's "Stick Fly" too.