March 25, 2010

Props Please!

It's nice to see our staff get the recognition they deserve. This week it was our own Props Master Kristine Holmes who was featured in the Globe's Sunday South section.

(Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff) 

Congrats Kris!

March 17, 2010

35Below Rock and Rolls

35 Below is the Huntington Theatre Company's exclusive club for the culturally curious aged 35 & under. 35 Below patrons are invited to special parties and receive news about special events, exclusive contests, and backstage gossip. And best all, tickets to any Huntington performance are just $25 through our 35 Below program. The program was first implemented in 2007 - and we sold just under 300 tickets. This year we have surpassed 3000. It is great to see our audiences begin to reflect the greater diversity that is the city of Boston.

Enjoy these photos from our March 5 Becky Shaw wrap party titled Leave with the Wrong Girl.
A Guest stakes his claim on "Susan" played by Maureen Anderman 

Guests and Dress Forms picked their favorite character from the show to identify their own personalities 

Miss Fairchild rocks all night long

35 Below Guest and Staff danced to Miss Fairchild
35Below tickets are available for every performance, and our next Event, One Kiss Changes Everything, will be on Friday May 21, 2010

Contributed by M. Bevin O'Gara

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Tickets for the Huntington Theatre Company's 35Below patrons can be purchased online 24/7 or by visiting or calling our box office at 264 Huntington Ave Boston MA 02115 617 266-0800. Proper ID required at ticket pick up.

March 15, 2010

Stick Fly update

News came this morning that, as of 9AM, there were only 25 unsold tickets remaining for the run of Stick Fly (through March 28th). The show has been very popular and we wish we were able to add more performances! Tickets are extremely limited but you are interested in catching the show please give our box office a call at 617 266-0800. Subscribers who are unable to use their tickets should call us and release their seats.

In other news - we are still looking to sell off the SUB ZERO refridgerator from the set on behalf of our friends at Arena Stage. More info here.

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond is playing February 19 through March 28, 2010 at our second space, the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St Boston MA 02116. Online tickets and information available 24/7 or call our Box Office (click for hours this week) at 617 266-0800.

Becky Shaw opening Night

Contributed by Lisa McColgan (photo left)

 The Lane-Comley Studio 210 at the BU Theatre complex was transformed into a festive event space for the Opening Night pre-performance dinner of Becky Shaw this past Wednesday night.

Huntington Trustees, Overseers, Opening Night sponsors and members of the Huntington Circle and other VIPs joined Becky Shaw playwright Gina Gionfriddo and Artistic Director Peter DuBois for this special celebration.

Opening Night dinners are a chance for our Board members, donors and Production Sponsors to gather prior to curtain, have a relaxing dinner and drinks, network with friends old and new, and get to know some of the talented artists and staff members behind-the-scenes. Often, guests are given a little “inside baseball” regarding the production they’re about to see: something in the script or on the set to be on the lookout for, or interesting insight into the creation of the production, the artistic process or one of the cast members.

Artistic Director Peter DuBois addressed the eighty or so guests talking about his relationship with Becky Shaw playwright Gina Gionfriddo (photo right). The pair first met as grad students at Brown University and have worked on the play together since 2008 when it had it's premiere at the Humana Festival. “We’ll talk about what’s going on in our personal lives or with friends and their dating lives, and she’ll have a read on situations where it’s like, Whoa! That actually sounds correct - and terrifying!’’ said DuBois  “She’ll come up with a psychological read that always astonishes me in its brutal honesty. Gina sees the darker motivations of human behavior very clearly, and then she puts it in the mouths of the characters.’’

The food was provided by Max Ultimate Food and the Salmon was delicious!

For more information about attending the Huntington’s Opening Night dinners, or to join the Huntington Circle, our most generous donors, or for production sponsorship opportunities, please contact Meg White, Director of Major Gifts, at 617 273-1596 or

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The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo directed by the Huntington's Artistic Director Peter DuBois is playing at the Huntington's mainstage The Boston University Theatre at 264 Huntington Ave Boston MA 02115 now thru April 4th. Tickets available online 24/7 and by visiting or calling our box office locations. 

March 12, 2010

Becky Shaw Reviews

The Becky Shaw reviews are in and it seems we have yet another hit this Season. It's great that so many people have engaged with our work this year!

Here's a sample of what the critics are saying:

"A comedy so sharp you don’t even notice the blade slipping until it’s pierced you to the bone. A comedy of manners for moderns. It’s clear why Becky Shaw was up for the Pulitzer. It’s smart and really, really funny."  The Boston Herald

"I loved the way Gionfriddo brings the play to the edge! So rich and real it may leave you rethinking your beliefs about relationships and love". The Patriot Ledger

"Irresistible! Laugh, and often! Director Peter DuBois brings a polished production that shows off the play’s pointed humor". - The Boston Globe

"Outrageously and brilliantly funny! A tour de force masterfully handled by a killer cast. We leapt to our feet at curtain, me with the thought of when, and how soon I could see it again!" Joyce Kulhawik

"Entertainment as it should be: original, intelligent, and humorously disconcerting. DuBois’ direction is masterful and humorously elegant." Berkshire Fine Arts

"You know upon meeting Becky Shaw that you're in the presence of a smart, snappy writer. A polished Boston premiere" Boston Phoenix

"Hugely enjoyable! Engrossing and ceaselessly funny! Hail Becky Shaw’s wit and enormous insight by a playwright with a most welcome voice".
EDGE Boston

I called Literary Associate Charles Haugland, who hosts many of our post show conversations, and asked what our audiences have been talking about. Here's his reply:

At the post-show conversations for BECKY SHAW, audiences have been having discussions as sharp as the play about what makes us laugh and why. 

When people talk to each other about the play, they quickly discover that Gina Gionfriddo has written a comedy that reflects things we didn't know back to ourselves.  In the play, the reactions of the other characters listening to Suzanna’s “Bubbla” story tells us a lot about who they are - Max thinks it's hilarious, Andrew thinks it's callous.  The same is true for us watching BECKY SHAW; what we laugh at says a lot about who we are.  Who do we empathize with?  Whose feelings can we shut out?

Gina and director Peter DuBois don’t take sides.  They have carefully calibrated a world where all the characters - Suzanna, Max, Becky, Andrew, and Susan - have valid perspectives on the situation.  But, odds are that we think someone's right and someone's wrong - it's human nature, and in just the first few conversations, I've heard from lots of people about what Max did, what Becky didn't do, etc. - and when we laugh, we subtly reveal whose side we are taking at any one moment. 

So, what made you laugh the most?  If you haven't seen the show yet, stick around when you do and tell us about it.
" - Charles

Click here to share your thoughts and comments

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo directed by the Huntington's Artistic Director Peter DuBois is playing at the Huntington's mainstage The Boston University Theatre at 264 Huntington Ave Boston MA 02115 now thru April 4th. Tickets available online 24/7 and by visiting or calling our box office locations.

March 11, 2010

Becky Shaw Photos

Seth Fisher (as Max Garrett) and Keira Naughton (as Suzanna Slater)

Eli James (as Andrew Porter) and Keira Naughton (as Suzanna Slater)

Wendy Hoopes (as Becky Shaw)

Seth Fisher (as Max Garrett)

Wendy Hoopes (as Becky Shaw)

The company of Becky Shaw; Maureen Anderman, Seth Fisher, Wendy Hoopes, Eli James, Keira Naughton

Photos by T. Charles Erickson

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo directed by the Huntington's Artistic Director Peter DuBois is playing at the Huntington's mainstage The Boston University Theatre at 264 Huntington Ave Boston MA 02115 now thru April 4th. Tickets available online 24/7 and by visiting or calling our box office locations.

March 6, 2010

Gov. Patrick attends Stick Fly

It was an exciting night for the Huntington last night. Becky Shaw began previews at the BU Theatre tonight with huge audience of over 600, followed by the well attended "Leave with the Wrong Girl" 35Below Wrap Party up in Studio 210. Photos sure to come.

Over at the Calderwood Pavilion Stick Fly played to a full house with special guests Governor Deval Patrick and Mrs. Diane Patrick in attendance.

Governor Deval Patrick, Diane Patrick, Playwright Lydia R. Diamond (back row, 4th), Huntington Theatre Company Board of Trustees President Bill McQuillan (far right) join the cast of Stick Fly back stage.

 Students from the Winchester chapter of A Better Chance (ABC) with Governor Deval Patrick (an ABC alumnus).

Do you have your tickets yet? We have good availability on Sunday Evenings, and the week of March 23-28. If you can't find tickets for the performance you want call our Box Office at 617 266-0800 and ask about STANDBY SEATING.

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The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond is playing February 19 through March 28, 2010 at our second space, the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St Boston MA 02116. Online tickets and information available 24/7 or call our Box Office (click for hours this week) at 617 266-0800.

March 5, 2010

The Huntington Staff plans to Leave with the Wrong Girl

Contributed by M. Bevin O'Gara,  Artistic Associate (Photo left)

Over at the Boston University Theatre this past week the Huntington’s Production and Artistic Departments have been busily putting together our next production Becky Shaw, starting performances tonight.

But across the street in the Admin offices young staff members from all departments are pooling their resources for our first 35 Below Wrap Party, which will take place in Studio 210 following tonight's performance, titled Leave with the Wrong Girl.

It’s shaping up to be quite an event: lights are being hung, funky couches being pulled from prop storage, even a special cocktail, “The Wrong Girl,” is being concocted. All these efforts, and the less sexy sounding ones too, will help turn the black box theatre into a hip lounge-y nightspot. A stage space is being set up for local band MISS FAIRCHILD.

A couple of the committee members had a great meeting yesterday with our reps at SYMPHONY 8 who will be providing the catering spread for this event. Lots of easy to eat finger foods and for any one who hasn’t tried executive chef, Josh Davis’ skewers you’re in for a treat!

Patrons will be greeted by a red carpet photo shoot, entered in a raffle, and decked out with the snazzy nametags you’ve ever seen before being encouraged to mingle and enjoy the music, food, and drink. Guests will be able to meet some of the actors and designers who are bringing Becky Shaw to life, as well as actors from Stick Fly, another Huntington production playing across town at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

Young Huntington staff members will be out in droves and able to share insights about their work for the Huntington. A great number of folks have already purchased tickets for the event, the food and band are all lined up, but there are still a few last minute details to take care of to make sure that tonight is completely awesome. So I’m signing off to go move some couches.

- Bevin

If you joined us for the event, make sure to tell us what you thought. Missed it? Check back here and on the Huntington’s FACEBOOK PAGE to see pictures of the event. And be sure to visit us HERE for information about our next 35Below event.  Comment on this post

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo directed by the Huntington's Artistic Director Peter DuBois is playing at the Huntington's mainstage The Boston University Theatre at 264 Huntington Ave Boston MA 02115 now thru April 4th. Tickets available online 24/7 and by visiting or calling our box office locations.

Poetry Out Loud - Semifinals this weekend!

"Workers need poetry more than bread.
They need that their life should be a poem."
~ Simone Weil

Contributed by Lynne Johnson, Associate Director of Education (photo left)

Hi Friends!

I'm inviting you to share in the success of our 5th Annual Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest!

If you love poetry, historic buildings, supporting our theatre company's mission, education, teenagers, talent, music, poets, culture, literature or the education department, please join us to experience this worthwhile event as an audience member. Come for the day, come for a few hours, come for a few minutes, but please come share the experience with us.

We promise that you will experience something truly amazing. We'd love to have you support us in this tremendous and highly positive event for our theatre. You won't believe the talent and insight of these young minds, and we promise you won't regret it.

Here are some of the Huntington's employees, board members and friends who are either judging, tabulating or helping out this year: Michael Maso, Michael Brahce, BTF, Kieth Mascoll - actor, Karen Holmes Ward, Diane Daily (MCC), Barbara Boger, Latoya Bosworth - poet, Jamele Adams - poet, Mwalim- poet, teacher, performing artist, writer musician, Melvin Miller, Sherry Cohen, Vawyna Nichols, Noel McCoy, Mary Ellen Reardon, Connie Bennett, Meg White, Charles Haugland, Joie LeMaitre, Noel McKoy, Cecilia Rappaport, Mary Lauvre, Mary O'Donnell, Mark Slavin, Carol Alkins and The Education Department.


Saturday, March 6
       Springfield Museums, Great Hall, 220 State St. Springfield,MA
       Cultural Center of Cape Cod (Yarmouth)
        307 Old Main St, South Yarmouth - 
        1:00 - 4p
Sunday, March 7
       Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont St. Boston
        9:30a - 2:30p
       Masonic Temple, 404 Concord Rd., Framingham 
        9:30a - 2:30p
Sunday, March 14
      Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St.,  Boston 
       9:30a -3:30p

Join us if you can, we'd love to have you! - Lynne

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March 3, 2010

Student Matinee to Huntington Playwriting Fellow: Kirsten Greenidge

Recently, we completed a grant for the NEA New Play Development Program seeking development support of Kirsten Greenidge's wonderful play, THE LUCK OF THE IRISH.  As part of the process, she wrote the following statement and it was so moving that I wanted to share with all of you.   - Lisa Timmel, Director of New Work

I decided to become a playwright after seeing August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. I was twelve. I sat in the balcony of the Huntington during that school matinee performance, and looked down onto that proscenium stage and saw, for the first time, an African American story that simultaneously challenged and affirmed what I knew about how black people fit into the cultural landscape that is America. Previously I had wanted to write novels. But I wasn’t sure how to do that. In the fog that hung over my junior high school years I had somehow concluded that in order to be published a story could not include only black people unless they were southern (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings) or had been hurt and damaged in some way (To Kill A Mockingbird), or existed as a joke (I had fallen utterly in love with Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire by this point but couldn’t forgive or forget Blanche Dubois telling her sister they could play at one of them being “the boy” when Blanche explains she’ll pour the drinks).

But these notions of how black characters fit into American literature melted quickly into the gilt that surrounds the Huntington’s main stage when I sat in that theatre on a gray and rainy day quite some time ago. For the first time in my life I saw black people on stage who were there to tell stories. Complicated stories. Rhythmical stories. Stories that were at once proud, true, painful, and funny. The dilemma, to me, lay in how I could, like August Wilson, write these stories, too. Despite the slightly feminist upbringing I received from my mother and the overtly feminist environment I experienced at my Quaker-slash-hippie grammar and middle school, I just didn’t believe girls could really be writers. I didn’t think black people really could either. Like the real kind, the kind that people took seriously, not the kind that sold their own books on subway platforms along with incense and sunglasses. So it took six years and a college class by an actual living breathing female writer to reverse my thinking. What I learned in Darrah Cloud’s class at Wesleyan (I took it as many times as I could) was that I am capable of fulfilling the ideas I had experienced in that school matinee in seventh grade. I am capable of creating black characters in a landscape that does not expect them but certainly should contain them. I am capable of creating characters who do not need to be southern, or conventionally hurt and damaged, or merely an afterthought of a joke. I love the process of writing for the stage (the research and the drafting and the polishing and the opening night wine receptions with kinds of cheese I don’t keep for myself in my own house). And truth be told I might be able to easily give it up if I needed to, say, get an office job. With benefits. Since I have two kids now. And while there are days, sometimes weeks, where I am tempted, my mind often reels back to that matinee in the late eighties, and I just can’t. While each play I have written may not be perfect—in fact, they may be far from that—I can be honest and say that I know each play I have written places characters into the Amlit landscape that need to be there, that call to be there, that deserve to be there.

It’s fitting that one of my current works in progress The Luck of the Irish has found itself at the Huntington. For although it is inherently a Boston story, it is also, in my thinking, cousin (perhaps distant, but that’s okay as long as I’m at the dinner table somehow) to the works Mr. Wilson was able to develop here decades ago. When I set out to write The Luck of the Irish, I had two objectives: to collect the original commission check for it (from South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, California) quickly so I would not have to take any teaching jobs so soon after having my daughter, and to write a play about my grandmother, who had died about a month before. The more I wrote, the more “Boston” the play became, for the Boston I grew up in, and the Boston my parents and grandparents talked of, was not a melting pot. Or, if it was, someone long ago neglected to turn on the stove. Who your parents were predicted who you could become. Where you and these parents all lived predicted what other places you were or were not allowed to call home, or, in some instances, visit. I remember one St. Patrick’s Day asking my mother when were we heading to the parade “in Boston”—not knowing we were the only group of people decidedly not considered Irish for the day and also not knowing what “Southie” meant—and she looked at me with both horror and sadness. “We can’t go there”, was all she said. In many ways The Luck of the Irish explores why, so far up above the Mason Dixon line, this might be. And so I began to explore not only my grandparents’ move from the black South End to the suburbs, but also the ambiguousness of being “other” in a town that your people have called home for over half a century. As I raise my daughter (and now son, too), it’s becoming clear to me that the racially stratified world I was taught about from my family has changed. So the play also explores this as well: how do we live as neighbors when we may not have been taught how or expected to do so openly and with the compassion and understanding good neighbors are supposed to exercise.

What excites me about working with the Huntington is that I will get a chance to workshop a play that is self consciously set in Boston in a theatre that makes its home in Boston. It is not work that is new to me, as I have worked on pieces with CompanyOne and the Huntington that use Boston as their locale. But what I hope the Huntington and I will be able to do with The Luck of the Irish is use our being in Boston to inform the rewrites that I am doing on the play by consulting not only with researchers and scholars in the Boston area but also with people who may remember how Boston real estate practices influenced post World War Two life here. To do this, I am looking forward to the Huntington possibly hosting a series of discussions that invite those researchers and scholars and members of the community to discuss what they know. It’s my hope these discussions can help as I refine what I have already written. I am also looking forward to having research support from the Huntington, as often I must choose between research and writing the dang thing, and writing always wins that particular battle.

In addition to how the process will interact with the community, this collaboration with the Huntington is also exciting to me because artistically Lisa Timmel, Peter DuBois, Charles Haugland and I have talked not only about the histories that the play presents on stage, but also how the play itself is rendered. My writing is easily poetic and cyclical, but in our initial discussions about my upcoming rewrites, the four of us were able to discuss how I might restructure the piece so that I am making the best use of conventional structure in ways that will strengthen the play. And while it may seem a small thing, it is in fact (for a writer who often wags her finger at conventional structure and dramaturgy) not. Delving back into the script in this way is both challenging and affirming, and I look forward to continuing to do so.

The most I can say about this upcoming venture is that because of sitting in that balcony however many years ago the Huntington has felt like home and working on The Luck of the Irish in that home feels just as true as those words that flew up and into me when I was twelve.

- Kirsten Greenidge

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March 2, 2010

The Huntington: In the Classroom

Today we welcome guest blogger Danny Bryck, who is one of our Professional Interns and works with our Education Department.

One of the most interesting things I get to do is visit classes at different schools around the area before they come to see a student matinee. We have what we call a “pre-show visit,” which is basically to acquaint the students with the play, give them some background information and context so they’ll fully appreciate it, and remind them not to chew gum or send text messages during the play… all that good stuff.

It’s great to be able to visit so many schools, and meet students from all sorts of backgrounds, and to see how each class responds to the material in their own unique way. Teaching a different group every time definitely keeps things fresh. But what’s even better, for me, is establishing a relationship with a particular school that I get to visit again and again throughout the season.

One of the schools I visit is McKinley South End Academy. Their mission is to work with students who benefit from extra support due to emotional and/or learning struggles that have affected their prior academic success.

Usually the first question I ask when I go to do a visit is, “who here has seen live theatre before?” For the kids at McKinley, that question would be taken as an insult. Of course they’ve seen live theatre before! The walls of the classroom are plastered with posters of all the Huntington plays they’ve attended.

I’ve been there three times now, but not for pre-show visits, like we usually do. The teacher, Warren Pemsler, along with fellow teachers Chris Busch, Katrice Paulding and Joe Norris, is so enthusiastic about the Huntington’s student matinees, and so committed to integrating the plays he brings his students to see into his curriculum, that he could probably go around to other schools teaching pre-show visits himself.

I get to stop by after his students have seen the play, and have a really great, informed discussion. I tell them a few things they didn’t know about the play; the life of the playwright or the historical context. But mostly I let them talk. They’ve got good thoughts and passionate convictions about the relevance of each play’s themes to their own lives, the moral issues brought into question by the actions of the characters, and even how the different plays they’ve seen are in dialogue with each other.

Each time I visit McKinley I am reminded of why the Huntington Theatre Company has student matinees - to help create a new generation of theatregoers who are not only aware of and interested in live theatre, but who can experience and process it on an intellectual and an emotional level, and who can think about what they see and take it with them into their lives.Just like these students do.

- Danny Bryck

Click for more information about our Student Matinee series 

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