December 30, 2011

Huntington Theatre Company tops honors lists for 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, we're thrilled and honored to see Huntington productions staged here and elsewhere recognized:

The Boston Globe - Don Aucoin
#1: Ruined
#2: Candide
#5: Richard III

The Boston Phoenix - Carolyn Clay
#2: Candide
"Obie-winning director Mary Zimmerman returned to Voltaire's 1759 novella to devise a new book for the Leonard Bernstein satiric operetta based on Candide. The result was a witty and imaginative production with shape as well as irony that fielded, in Lauren Molina, a daffily narcissistic Cunégonde glittering and being gay in a bathtub."


Zainab Jah, Carla Duren, and Pascale
Armand in Ruined. Photo: Kevin Berne
 #3: Ruined
"Even if it did not ride piggyback on the mighty shoulders of Bertolt Brecht, Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer winner, Ruined, would stand tall. Inspired by Mother Courage and set amid civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the play vividly depicts the way in which women's bodies serve as battlefields in war. Liesl Tommy's production for the Huntington Theatre Company was exotic, chaotic, and controlled, with an earthy, steely turn by Tonye Patano as equal-opportunity profiteer Mama Nadi." 

December 22, 2011

GOD OF CARNAGE in Rehearsal

We're now 10 days into rehearsals for God of Carnage.

In the room: Director Daniel Goldstein and a team of top-notch actors. Brooks Ashmanskas (a.k.a. Brooksy) and Christy Pusz play the visiting couple, Alan and Annette Raleigh. Stephen Bogardus (a.k.a. Bogie) and Johanna Day are the home team couple, Michael and Veronica Novak. There’s also Stage Manager Kevin Fitzpatrick, Assistant Stage Manager Amy Spalletta, and Production Assistants Kevin Schlagle and Jessica Wolf. Brooks jokes that there is one person on the stage management team for every actor. And then there’s me, Emily Ranii, I’m Danny’s assistant.


We’ve been working through about 10 pages of the script per day and then reviewing all that we have done so far at the end of rehearsal. Yesterday afternoon, we completed 100% of the script! (Kevin is very specific and likes to calculate -- as of Tuesday, we'd completed 84.4%.) It was very exciting to see it all put together!

We work in the rehearsal hall upstairs at 254 Huntington Ave. while the set is being loaded into the theatre downstairs at 264. We peaked our head into the theatre yesterday just as the carpenters were installing the stairscase of the Novak home. Designed by Dane Laffrey, the space is modern with high-rise ceilings and exposed staircases -- rich with chic industrial architecture. The inspiration for the yellow glass paneling was the cage for the Novak children’s deceased hamster, Nibbles. Indeed, the offstage children of God of Carnage control their pets as well as their parents.


After tomorrow, we'll be taking a three-day break for Christmas, but I'll be back next week with more news from inside the rehearsal room.

Emily Ranii is the assistant to the director for God of Carnage. She is a graduate student in directing at Boston University.


December 8, 2011

POETRY OUT LOUD Registration Continues through Dec. 23

Registration for Massachusetts’ seventh annual Poetry Out Loud is open through December 23. All Massachusetts high schools are invited to participate. To register or learn more about how to bring POL to your school, visit huntingtontheatre.org/pol.




Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students’ literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. The Huntington Theatre Company supports high schools as they stage classroom and school-wide competitions, and then hosts semi-final and state final competitions for the winners. In 2010-2011, a record 19,000 students from high schools in 78 towns participated. The Massachusetts winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC next spring to compete in the national finals. The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts competition with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Since its inception seven years ago, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry.

November 30, 2011

Desire and Transformation at the Museum of Fine Arts

by Rebecca Bradshow, Stone Artistic Producing Intern


Audiences at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston have been admiring one of the most intriguing and powerful goddesses of the ancient world. “Aphrodite and the Gods of Love” features exquisite sculptures, mosaics, and paintings from the ancient world. In collaboration with the MFA, the Huntington has created an additional interactive element in experiencing such beauty.


Working in collaboration between Christine Kondoleon (Senior Curator of Greek and Roman Art for the MFA) and M. Bevin O’Gara (the Huntington's Associate Producer), the two institutions have crafted an audio tour incorporating dramatic readings from texts by Ancient Greek philosophers and poets. Each piece of audio is paired with one of the many vases or sculptures to tell a story or reveal an emotion, allowing for a deeper artistic connection to the work as visitors walk through the exhibit. By molding visual storytelling with its audio counterpart, the exhibit comes alive.


On top of the audio tour, the culmination of a larger collaboration will occur tonight. Alongside fringe theater company, Whistler in the Dark, the Huntington has created a theatrical event focusing on love’s many manipulations entitled, “Desire and Transformation: An Evening in Greece”. The evening highlights the text of Ovid with pieces from Whistler’s IRNE Award-winning production, “Tales from Ovid”, as well as readings from Ovid’s collection of love letters. This special performance invites a modern interpretation to the texts while seducing its audience with Ovid’s captivating voice.


On behalf of the Huntington, Marie Polizzano and Dennis Staroselsky will be performing this evening alongside Whistler members Jennifer O’Connor, Aimee Rose Ranger , and Mac Young.


Tonight’s performance will begin at 7:30pm after a reception in and throughout the exhibit. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit huntingtontheatre.org/ovid.

November 18, 2011

What Audiences Are Saying About Captors

Have you seen Captors yet?
Please share your comments with us!




  • How did you feel watching Eichmann get captured for the second time? Was this Nazi war criminal a sympathetic character, or are his actions still irredeemable?

  • Captors is a dramatization of actual historical events that hopefully illuminates the story in a new and unfamiliar light. Even Peter Malkin himself struggled to remember the exact details of his time in Buenos Aires. Did this story affect or change your perception of world history? Did parts of the the play surprise you, even if you already knew the history behind it and how the story would end?

  • Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?


Join the Conversation!



The Huntington Theatre Company's production of CAPTORS plays now through November 13, 2011  at the Boston University Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

November 16, 2011

Adolf Eichmann: the Man, the Myth, the Monster

Part of the excitement about producing a show like CAPTORS is the opportunity to learn something new. "But wait," you say, "The story of Captors isn't new — it happened 50 years ago!" And you'd be right to say that. But for some of our audience — and admittedly (embarrassingly) for much of our staff, up until this script came to our attention — the details of Adolf Eichmann's capture were not common knowledge. We spoke with playwright Evan M. Wiener, director Peter DuBois, and the (well-researched!) actors playing Eichmann and Malkin, Michael Cristofer and Louis Cancelmi, and put this video together exploring the complex psyche of the "Architect of the Holocaust."



The Huntington Theatre Company's production of CAPTORS plays now through November 13, 2011  at the Boston University Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

November 14, 2011

Lydia Diamond on Finding Artistic Home in Boston

We recently had an opportunity to sit down with STICK FLY playwright (and Huntington Playwriting Fellow!) Lydia R. Diamond to discuss her experience with the Huntington Playwriting Fellow program, her artistic life in Boston — and of course, the excitement of seeing STICK FLY on Broadway, once again under the watchful direction of one Kenny Leon, and produced by Alicia Keys.

November 12, 2011

CAPTORS Video - Huntington Theatre Company


Director Peter DuBois, playwright Evan M. Wiener, and the cast rehearse and discuss Captors. 

The Huntington Theatre Company's production of CAPTORS plays now through November 13, 2011  at the Boston University Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.



November 4, 2011

In search of a reason to email Oprah? We've got one!

Many of you remember Oberon K.A. Adjepong, the fabulous actor who played Christian, the traveling salesman and admirer of Mama Nadi, in our production of Ruined last January. 


Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Christian) and Tonye Patano (Mama Nadi) in Ruined


Critics and audiences praised our production, which received the 2011 Elliot Norton Award for Best Production (Large Theatre).

We recently received an email from him asking for help from the Huntington audience. As you may know, Oprah Winfrey is producing a film version of Ruined in which Oprah herself will play Mama Nadi

As of yet, the role of Christian has not been cast. Oberon would very much like reprise that role -- but first he must be granted an audition. He and his agent are working the standard channels, but he's trying some non-tradtional techniques, as well. Oberon is asking his fans, friends, and family to launch a letter-writing campaign in support of his recent work with Ruined and to recommend him for the opportunity to audition for the role. This is where you come in!


It's pretty simple: write a letter to Oprah via her website. Tell her that you saw Oberon in the Huntington's 2011 production of Ruined (You can also mention that he played the role at La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep). Tell Ms. Winfrey how much you liked (or loved!) Oberon's work as Christian. Be specific if you can. And ask her to consider casting him in the role of Christian for her film.

As you know, the theatre world is very small, and the West Coast arm of this campaign is already being spearheaded by our friends at Berkeley Rep. Let's help to make this a national effort and extend some East Coast support to Oberon!

November 3, 2011

Join us for the 35 Below Fall Crawl — Monday, November 14

It's been nearly two months since our last (totally awesome!) 35 Below Wrap Party for Candide (actually 53 days, 6 hours, and 47 minutes, but who's counting? What? Oh. Right), and quite frankly, I think we're all starting to feel a little antsy for another rockin' shindig, am I right? Of course I am. Unfortunately, our next big party's not for another 2 months (January 6, to be exact, to celebrate the first preview performance of God of Carnage). I know, I know. Bummer, right? I hear ya.

But fear not, True Believers! Your prayers have been answered! Join us next Monday, November 14 for our first inaugural 35 BELOW FALL CRAWL! We've been looking for new ways to keep the 35 Below energy going between and beyond our events, and as our pea coats and scarves start to make their way out of storage, we thought we'd offer you some solace from the coming cold. What better way than a tour through some of our favorite Boston hot spots for a night of drinks, mingling, and general merriment?

(Insert obligatory reminder that $25 tickets are available for patrons 35 and under at any and all productions and performances, even those without an awesome post-party, including but not limited to such wonderful Huntington productions as Before I Leave You and Captors AHEM)

So here's the deal: join us after work (or instead of work if you work evenings, although we do not condone skipping work without informing your supervisor ahead of time) for snacks and drink specials, as well as trivia (trivia!), free giveaways (free!), and lots of good times (LOTS!). Did I mention there's going to be a scavenger hunt? Because there's going to be a SCVNGR hunt, with lots of slick swag for the winner(s).

We'll be hitting up a few different gin joints over the course of the evening, so if you can't join us right at 5pm, not to worry. Here's the plan, starting off in the South End at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA:
  • 5pm — Masa (439 Tremont Street). Right around the corner from the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, Masa is known for its classy margaritas (Habanero Watermelon! Ooh!) and tasty tapas -- both of which you'll be able to sample.

  • 6pm — Tremont 647 (647 Tremont Street, natch). Just down the street from the Calderwood. Human Resources Coordinator Michael Comey is known for holding court here at Sunday brunch (occasionally, his concept of "brunch" also includes dinner, as well as dessert)

  • From there, we'll head down towards Mass Ave and the BU Theatre / Avenue of the Arts:

  • 7pm — Parish Cafe II (493 Massachusetts Avenue, corner of Tremont Street). A popular Huntington staff hangout, due in large part to their enormous selection of over 100 beers. Plus, if you manage to drink all 100 beers in under six months, you'll be inducted into their Mug Club (along with several members of the 35 Below team)

  • 8pm —Symphony8 (8 Westland Avenue). Another great pub close to the BU Theatre, Symphony8 has also been gracious enough to host us for some of our fantastic opening night parties (not to mention, provide us with some great food for our 35 Below parties).


Join us at one stop, or stick around for the whole night. The choice is yours! Got friends? Bring 'em! Don't have friends? I'm sorry to hear that, but there'll be plenty of potential new friends for you to meet! Along the way, mingle with our 35Below club members, creative team, and Huntington staff.

One more time, that's Monday, November 14. Put it in your Google Calendar. Share it on Facebook (and scope out all the other hotties who will be there! The 35 Below Team is not above Facebook stalking. It's cool, man, we all do it). Tweet it up. Check in on FourSquare, or +1 it (does anyone else actually Google+ besides me? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?).

Whatever you do, we'll see you there!



Thom Dunn
Web & New Media Manager


(PS: Oh, and don't forget — you might want to bring a coat. I know, I know, it's hard for me to accept, too. But I do look pretty hip in this new pea coat!)


October 26, 2011

What Audiences Are Saying about Before I Leave You

Audiences young and old are loving BEFORE I LEAVE YOU!




Have you seen the show yet? Share your comments with us below!

  • Whose story did you resonate with the most? The least? Why?


  • What do you think happened to each of the characters after the curtain went down?


  • Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?


  • Join the conversation!
     
The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Before I Leave You plays now through November 13, 2011 only at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.
     

BEFORE I LEAVE YOU: By the Numbers

Before I Leave You officially opens tonight. In case you missed The Boston Globe's fantastic cover story on October 14, here it is.


The cover of The Boston Globe's 'g' section Friday, October 14
 The Huntington Theatre Company's production of Before I Leave You plays now through November 13, 2011 only at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

October 24, 2011

Students Connect with CANDIDE

Contributed by Harry Hobbs, Professional Education Intern


It's been about a month since I've begun my journey as a Professional Education Intern here at the Huntington and one of the most pleasurable parts of my work is to visit schools and prep students who come see our shows as part of our Student Matinee program.

Student Matinees give middle and high school students across the greater Boston area a chance to see live theatre, if not for the first time. For almost every play in our season we have a 10AM matinee performance for student's and their teachers to attend. We reach a wide range of schools to invite to our Student Matinees, and so far I've spoken to classrooms that vary significantly in age, background and exposure to theater; but they all seemed to connect with the themes of Candide, the play they saw Thursday, October 10th, which was sold out. Among the schools I visited were Swampscott High, Snowden International School, LARE Training Center, and North Quincy High.


October 16, 2011

CANDIDE Closes - Audience Refuses to Leave

Sunday, October 16, 2011. The Candide cast, orchestra and crew had given a stellar closing performance. They had taken their bows, the house lights were on, the actors had gone down to their dressing rooms, and I had turned off the camera, having recorded the show for our archives. But the audience wasn't done. They continued to stand, they continued to applaud, they continued to holler, they wanted more! I turned the camera back on - see for yourself - it was an amazing thing!



Candide - featuring Larry Yando, Geoff Packard, Lauren Molina, Erik Lochtefeld, McCaela Donovan, Travis Turner, Emma Rosenthal, Joey Stone, Alexander Elisa, Evan Harrington, Abby Mueller, Jeff Parker, Cheryl Stern, Jesse J. Perez, Timothy John Smith, Tempe Thomas, Spencer Curnutt, Rebecca Finnegan, Tom Aulino

Addendum (10/22/11): Many people have asked to see the closing night finale of Candide and the curtain call that took place before the above video was taken. Click to view an excerpt of  "Make our Garden Grow". Enjoy!

October 15, 2011

BEFORE I LEAVE YOU: Feedback

Ross Bickell and Kippy Goldfarb in Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro's BEFORE I LEAVE YOU. Now through November 13 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Have you seen Before I Leave You? Please share your comments with us.

Whose story did you resonate with the most? The least? Why?

What do you think happened to each of the characters after the curtain went down?

Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?


The Huntington Theatre Company's presentation of Before I Leave You plays now through November 13, 2011 only at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.






October 11, 2011

Painting It Red: A Sheep on the Town

Let me tell you, ever since I arrived in Boston at the end of August to start preparing for my upcoming theatrical debut in Candide, I’ve been so busy. You’d think oh, being a sheep shouldn’t be so hard, right? Uh, wrong. There is so much to learn from our wonderful director Mary Zimmerman and all of the cast and crew. I wasn’t just typecast here; it’s a lot of work to truly embody such a unique and exotic character, and of course, I always want to give my best performance.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to squeeze a little bit of fun in alongside all my hard work. While the Huntington staff opened their doors for their 30th anniversary Open House, I decided to spend my Columbus Day wandering around this great city of yours and taking in the sights and history. Anna Kohansky, the Company Manager here at the Huntington, made me take a few bodyguards along on my trip, seeing as my star status has sky rocketed ever since I landed this role. (You know how those paparazzo can get!) Luckily we had a camera and documented our Boston adventure. Check it out!

Ahhh I love escalators!

October 3, 2011

Education at the Huntington: Attracting New Schools

contributed by Lynne Johnson, Associate Director of Education


A few people were asking about what was going on in Education last night from 4 - 6, so Donna thought it would be a good idea to let you know about it.

We are always recruiting new schools for all of our programs, but last night we were highlighting Student Matinees and Poetry Out Loud. We did some networking and invited school teachers to come to an informational meeting covering both of these programs.

We also had a guest poet, Dr. Daniel Thomas Moran who is also an Assistant Professor at Boston University's School of Dentistry (yes a dentist AND a poet), share his love of poetry with 22 high school English teachers and librarians. He read two of his poems and is very excited about being involved with Poetry Out Loud. He signed copies of his book for our department, and if you're interested in poetry, any one of us would be happy to lend it out.

Our Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Michaela Murray also beautifully delivered two of poems for a very captive audience. She is riveting and will be joining us for the Open House if you'd like to see her perform.
We covered the nuts and bolts of both programs and offered our friendly educational services to all in attendance. A majority of them also attended Candide last night after the meeting.

All in all, we had a very successful meeting, and welcomed some new teachers on board for both of these programs.

That's all on the Education front for today anyway...

Learn more about our Student Matinees.

September 29, 2011

5 Ways To Be a Theatre Locavore

contributed by Lisa Timmel, Director of New Work

Picture a playwright. If the person you picture is dead, white, and male, I have news for you. Playwrights walk among us, living, breathing, and creating. One may be sitting next to you right now. (Generally speaking, they tend to love theatre) Unlike actors, they can be hard to spot, but if you look carefully, you can find them in warm hospitable places — mostly small, black box theatres — where these rare creatures grow. A few tips for exploring your own theatrical backyard:
    1. Bring your sense of adventure. The uncertainty of what you will find when you get to the theatre is half the fun. The next new play you see will not be exactly like one by Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, or even Lydia Diamond. The playwright may throw Aristotle out the window and start a whole new form. Surely, some plays won't suit your taste; however a play written and developed in your own community is likely to speak to truths of your own life. Occasionally, a homegrown play or company makes good in another city — the Huntington's Stick Fly and Sons of the Prophet have New York productions this fall — and it gives you one more reason to be proud of the Boston theatre scene.
    2. Go on a new play binge. Local theatre festivals and reading series are great ways to accumulate a lot of knowledge about the local theatre scene very quickly. The Boston Theater Marathon is a great place to start. The Marathon stages 50 ten-minute plays in one day. Nearly the entire theatre community participates. Just like samples at the farmer's market, the festival is a good way to learn what suits your palate. This year's Marathon will be May 19 and 20 here at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
    3. Forage through the internets. I recommend Twitter. Playwrights like Huntington Playwriting Fellow Patrick Gabridge (@patrickgabridge) tend to be "in the know" about where to go. You can also follow theatres like the Huntington (@huntington) to get the latest updates on readings and new play productions. If you, like many people, are horrified by the idea of going on Twitter, you can sign up for mailing lists. The websites for Central Square Theatre, The Factory Theatre, and Company One are good places to visit. Visit the StageSource website and sign up for StagePage, a quarterly listing of area productions that highlights work by local playwrights.
    can4. Follow the youths. Hordes of talented young people move to the Boston area to study and many of them stay and start new theatre companies. I am really curious about Fresh Ink Theatre (@FreshInkTheatre), a company whose mission is to develop new work with emerging theatre artists in the New England area. Their premiere production opens this December.
    5. Join us! Do you have a story to tell? There are lots of places to start. The "great granddaddy" of local playwright organizations is Playwrights Platform. Anyone can become a member and receive readings, feedback, and other support. The Huntington Playwriting Fellows has implemented an open application process every spring. StageSource is a local theatre networking organization that sponsors writing workshops. A new kid on the local cultivation block is Playwrights' Commons. They aim to provide retreats and other kinds of support to local writers.
Bon chance!

September 21, 2011

CANDIDE: Audience Comments


Lauren Molina (Cunegonde) and Geoff Packard (Candide)
Have you seen Candide? Please share your comments with us.


What do you make of the philosophies put forth in Candide -- that everything happens for the best as Dr. Pangloss teaches, or for the worst, as Martin believes?

Have you seen other productions of Candide? How did this one differ?

Were any storytelling techniques director/adaptor Mary Zimmerman utilized in her script or staging particularly memorable for you?

Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?

The Huntington Theatre Company's presentation of Candide plays now through October, 16, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

September 19, 2011

An Interview with playwright Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro

contributed by Charles Haugland:

I recently interviewed playwright Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro to write a note for the program of her upcoming show, BEFORE I LEAVE YOU. Parts of the interview were excerpted, so we are offering the whole, uncut interview here on the blog. Enjoy!


Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Charles Haugland: What was your first play about?  Why did you write it?
Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro: My first play was Behind Enemy Lines about the Japanese American internment camps.  It was an angry political play that followed the Toda family from the horse stalls in the assembly center to the tarpaper barracks in the camps and the segregation center.
CH: Tell me two big turning points in your career?
RA: Before Behind Enemy Lines (which I wrote in my late 30’s) I had published many short stories and a handful of poems.  I was enchanted when stage characters became flesh and blood.  I was utterly fascinated by the interaction of director, actors, and audience. It was a case of love at first sight, and I never wrote another short story.
The other big turning point in my career was this year when at 72 I became a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, received a MCC Artist Fellowship, and was given a slot in the 2011-2012 Huntington Theatre Season.  My son Pablo said, “It sounds like the beginning of a brilliant career.”

'Candide' at the Huntington: Then and Now

contributed by Charles Haugland


Candide is one of three shows we have done twice at the Huntington – along with Heartbreak House (1986 and 2001) and As You Like It (1994 and 2003). Candide was seen on the B.U.T. stage in 1989. At the post-show conversations, people have been asking what was different about that production. So, I did some digging in the archive! Here's a few things I learned. 
 
What was different? A few major differences:
  • Larry Carpenter directed the 1989 version. Mary Zimmerman, of course, directs the current adaptation.
  • The 1989 production was the 1982 “Opera House” version. The book was by Hugh Wheeler. Unlike the 1973 Broadway version, it was in two acts. For the new production, Mary Zimmerman went back to the Voltaire, restructed the musical, and rewrote some major sections.
  • In the 1989 version, Maxmillian, Cunegonde’s brother, ends up in the New World with Paquette, the maid from their home in Westphalia. The Governor’s song “My Love” is sung to him, not Cunegonde, while he is in drag.
  • The song “Bon Voyage” was also sung by the Governor after he swindled Candide out of his riches, as there was no character of Mrs. Vanderdender in that version.
  • Voltaire was a character, double cast with the actor who played Dr. Pangloss.
  • Peter Altman was artistic director of the Huntington, and the theatre was closing its seventh season.
1989 production of 'Candide' at the Huntington
 
What’s stayed the same?
  • Most of the major songs were in that version: “The Best of Possible Worlds,” “Oh Happy We,” “Make Our Garden Grow,” “Auto da Fe,” and “I Am Easily Assimilated”
  • Daniel Pelzig was the choreographer for both productions.
  • Michael Maso was the Managing Director, and current Huntington costume shop staffers Denise Wallace and Anita Canzian were also on duty already. We are now opening our thirtieth season.


2011 production of 'Candide' at the Huntington
 
Long-time subscribers: Did you see the 1989 production? We’d love to hear about it. Post about your experience below.


The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.





September 18, 2011

Huntington Audiences donate to flooded Weston Playhouse

Cast member Tom Aulino, Production Manager Todd Williams, and the cast of CANDIDE collected over $3800 in donations to benefit the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company Flood Relief Fund at CANDIDE performances on Thursday and Friday evenings of this week. To learn more about the damage to the Weston Playhouse visit facebook  or westonplayhouse.org. Here's a letter from  Producing Director Mal Ewen:

9/15/11 

Todd and Tom, 

On behalf of the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, please express our heartfelt thanks to you both, the company of CANDIDE, Michael Maso and the staff of the Huntington Theatre Company for their generosity in soliciting audience contributions following your previews the next two nights. 

As you know on August 28th the lower basement level of the Weston Playhouse received flood water of almost nine feet of water in depth as a result of Hurricane Irene. The flood water destroyed our prop shop, our new orchestra pit, all our dressing rooms, the green room, our cabaret, a restaurant (separately operated) and the restaurant kitchen. Three days before the hurricane struck, we had opened our first world premiere of a musical (called SAINT-EX, based on the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of "The Little Prince"). Through a tremendous effort by our staff, actors, musicians and around 100 volunteers from the local community, we were able to reopen the show in a slightly restaged version five days after the storm. The theatre is facing losses of income and property that will likely be in the $400,000 range with only minimal insurance coverage.

The outpouring of support from the local community and from the professional theatre community across the country has made us very humble and very grateful. The response shows that live theatre does matter to a lot of people in this internet age. The fact that you are willing to raise money for our flood relief effort, even though many of you had probably never heard of the Weston Playhouse until a few weeks ago, reflects the generous spirit of theatre people.

Again, please accept our undying gratitude for your support!

Regards,

Malcolm

Malcolm Ewen
for the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company

September 16, 2011

Celebrating 30 Years of Timeless Theatre

It's our 30th Season! We want your Huntington stories. Help us celebrate our anniversary by sharing your memories with us. What is your favorite production? Who introduced you to the Huntington? Do you have a ritual for each time you come?

Click here to submit your memories online

or email your thoughts to tickets@huntingtontheatre.org
Video and Audio testimony also welcome


PS; We're having an open house an the Boston University Theatre on Monday, October 10, 2011. Come visit with us, take the stage like an actor, and explore our production shops where our award-winning designs are brought to life. More info at huntingtontheatre.org/openhouse.

September 13, 2011

CANDIDE Cast to sing at Red Sox game!

Contributed by Todd Williams

Newsflash! 

Fifteen members of the cast of the Huntington Theatre Company’s production Candide will perform the National Anthem at the 1:35pm Boston Red Sox game on Wednesday, September 14. A duck boat provided by Boston Duck Tours will transport the group from Fenway Park to the Huntington Theatre Company’s BU Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts/Huntington Avenue immediately following the Anthem for the first of the day’s two performances of Candide. The Huntington has delayed the 2pm curtain to 2:15pm to accommodate the cast’s return from this special appearance.

Cast members participating include Geoff Packard, who leads the cast as Candide, and Erik Lochtefeld (Maximilian), a native of Concord, MA. The group will be conducted by Candide music director Doug Peck.

Here's the video (added 9/15/2011)
 


The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

September 12, 2011

CANDIDE - Production Photos



Here are some photos from our production of CANDIDE. Hope to see you in the theatre.


The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

August 30, 2011

CANDIDE Meet and Greet



The CANDIDE cast and Huntington Theatre Company staff gathered this morning for a traditional Meet and Greet.

The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

August 24, 2011

A CANDIDE Conversation with Peter DuBois

Artistic Programs/Dramaturg Charles Haugland sat down recently with Artistic Director Peter DuBois in his South End home to discuss our upcoming 30th Anniversary Season. Over the course of the hour, Charles and Peter had a lively conversation about the season and their decision-making process behind each production.

Below, you'll find the first part of that conversation, in which Peter and Charles discuss the talented Mary Zimmerman and her acclaimed production of Candide, which kicks off our 30th Anniversary Season. Enjoy!




We'll be rolling out the rest of the conversation as we get closer to each production, so check back here for more of these behind-the-scenes scoops form our Artistic department!

The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

August 19, 2011

The Making of CANDIDE

Contributed by Todd Williams



Enjoy this fun video of the build, rehearsals, set install, and performance of CANDIDE from our friends at The Goodman and Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). The production was built and first produced at the Goodman, them moved to STC where they rehearsed it again and made a few adjustments. Now it's all been delivered to our production center on Huntington Ave where we've been making some alterations to the set so it fits in the smaller Boston University Theatre.

Here's what things look like as of today:




The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

August 18, 2011

Ready for CANDIDE Rehearsals


Contributed by Todd Williams

The rehearsal hall is packed with Props for Candide - it's quite a sight! Enjoy the slide show.

Over the next few days the stage management staff will work with props to get the room organized, tape out the ground plan of the set on the floor, and otherwise get ready to start rehearsing. On Tuesday next week Music Director the new members of the cast will arrive to learn the music and choreography, the following week the entire cast will re-create the show working in the new folks (including locals Timothy John Smith and MaCaela Donovan) on our slightly revised groundplan. Mary Zimmerman has some ideas about a few adjustments to the show and we'll work those in too!


The Huntington Theatre Company's CANDIDE plays September 10 thru October 16, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

August 16, 2011

STICK FLY lands on Broadway




Lydia Diamond, Kenny Leon, and producer Alicia Keys talk about Stick Fly on Broadway. Did you see the Huntington Theatre Company/Arena Stage production? Are you planning to see it in NY?


Comment here


Huntington Theatre Company Celebrating 30 Years of Timeless Theatre. Avenue of the Arts - Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115. South End - Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont St, Boston MA 02116  617 266-0800

August 10, 2011

The Huntington Theatre Company in 3D



Musings from Managing Director Michael Maso (who celebrated a birthday yesterday) on the 3D craze.

The Huntington Theatre Company - Avenue of the Arts - South End - Celebrating 30 Years of Timeless Theatre. Tickets for our 2011-2012 on sale TODAY! Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

June 3, 2011

Propeller's THE COMEDY OF ERRORS and RICHARD III: Audience Comments

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart and Richard Frame in

The Comedy of Errors. Photo: Manuel Harlan
Have you seen Propeller's The Comedy of Errors or Richard III?


How did it differ from other productions of Shakespeare's plays you've seen? Other productions of Comedy or Richard?

Did you attend a post show conversation? What comments surprised you or made you think differently about the play? Would you attend a post show conversation again? What were you thinking about on the way home from the theatre?

Have you seen both shows? If so, how was your experience impacted or enhanced by doing so?

Jon Trenchard in Richard III. Photo: Manuel Harlan
(Don't miss the experience of seeing both, by the way. In this writer's opinion, you'll more fully appreciate the actors' depth and range of talent and find interesting connections between the two plays.) 

Leave your comments here.


The Huntington Theatre Company's presentation of Propeller Theatre Company's The Comedy of Errors and Richard III plays now through June 19, 2011 only at the B.U. Theatre. Get tickets and information or call our Box Office at 617 266-0800.

June 1, 2011

The Darling Buds of...June?

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought to myself was "June? When did it suddenly become June?" Now, logic would dictate that it became June after the month of May was all said and done, but for those of us here at the Huntington, the entire month of May has been something of a blur. My internal clock still doesn't know if we closed Sons of the Prophet last week, last month, or last year. It's just been that crazy around here!

And so with that, I feel I should apologize for the apparent radio silence here on the blog. It's not that we've had nothing to talk about it; on the contrary, there's been a bit too much going on that our blogkeeping fell to the wayside. Fortunately, we're back now, and we brought t-shirts for everyone!

(Please note: we didn't actually bring t-shirts for everyone)

So what have we been doing, you ask? Well let's see...there was our annual gala, the 2011 Spotlight Spectacular!...the 2nd annual Emerging America Festival with A.R.T. and the ICA...then we welcomed Propeller Theatre Company to the B.U. Theatre, with performing Richard III and The Comedy of Errors in repertory with a fantastic all-male (all-British!) cast...the 18th annual Elliot Norton Awards...oh, I'll just show you!



Our 2011 Spotlight Spectacular! took place at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel on Monday, May 9. We're still awaiting the final fundraising numbers, but it looks like we raised a record-breaking amount of money to support our productions, as well as our award-winning youth, education, and community programming. During the evening, we presented former President of the Board of Trustees Bill McQuillan and Stick Fly playwright (you guys remember that show, right?) Lydia R. Diamond with the Wimberly Award, the Huntington's highest honor.

Also the event was hosted by some dude named Zach Braff (who, sidenote, would not armwrestle me when I presented the challenge) who thought it'd be a great idea to organize the Huntington staff into a flashmob performance of "One Day More" from Les Miséables (with a little help from Lauren Molina, who will appearing at the Huntington this fall as Cunegonde in Candide). Watch, and enjoy:


(Also, special thanks to that Zach Braff guy
for helping this video reach over 12,000 hits)

The following weekend was the 2nd annual Emerging America Festival, a joint collaboration with our friends at the American Repertory Theatre and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston featuring groundbreaking performances by American artists. The Huntington presented the world premiere of Ryan Landry's Psyched, featuring Larry Coen and Jonathan Popp (as well as Intern Ben). The untold story of Alfred Hitchock's Psycho told from the point of view of Norman Bates' mother, Norma, Psyched played to two sold-out houses and entertained audiences with that trademark twisted wit that only Mr. Landry can provide.

On Sunday morning, the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA exploded with our "Join the Conversation!" brunch, featuring live performances throughout the Calderwood lobby, and food provided by Panera Breads (thanks!). The afternoon concluded with a breathtaking performance of CollaborationTown's self-help-parody-that-may-have-inadvertently-helped The Momentum. Anyone who was there can tell you that it was indeed a tough life for a poor little bunny rabbit.


Company One's ARTiculation troupe broke out into performance in
the Calderwood lobby during the "Join the Conversation!" Brunch

We also produced a series of site-specific audio plays for the festival, written by our Huntington Playwriting Fellows and featuring the voices of some of Boston's best local talent. The plays are completely free to download, and definitely an enjoyable experience (even if you aren't able to listen to them on site), so check those out when you have the chance.

Almost immediately after the festival ended, we went into tech for Richard III and The Comedy of Errors, presented by the Boston University School of Theatre. The shows are being performed in repertory through June 19 by the incredibly talented Propeller Theatre Company from the UK, under the leadership of one Edward Hall (whom you may remember as the director of Two Men of Florence in 2009).


Audiences have been absolutely raving about their intensely physical and highly creative approach to Shakespeare. Chainsaws? Check. Sombreros? Check. Nuns with nunchecks? Check. I'm not even going to mention the butt sparklers, because I still can't believe that my job has actually required to use that phrase in a completely professional context.


And that's just intermission, folks!

We also had our final 35 Below event of the season on Friday, May 20, following that evening's performance of The Comedy of Errors. We had an awesome turnout at the party, including some great entertainment by Boston's premiere all-male Lady Gaga cover band, Alejandro and the Fame, featuring international pop star Cody Grey, and, well, me (not that I'm biased or anything).


Oh yeah, and then President Obama stopped by the Calderwood Pavilion and the BCA for a brief visit (Pavilion General Manager Joey Riddle even has a nice little certificate of appreciation from the Secret Service. FROM THE SECRET SERVICE!).

Last Monday night was a two-fold celebration. First, our annual end-of-the-season staff BBQ in the Huntington Avenue Scene Shop. While Richard III/The Comedy of Errors are both still running through June 19, we traditionally celebrate the end of the season after Opening Night. And this year, we totally had a bouncy castle (it was awesome).

Later that evening, members of the staff journeyed over to ArtsEmerson's newly redone Paramount Theatre for the 18th annual Elliot Norton Awards, where our production of Ruined was recognized with the award for Outstanding Production (Large Company). We would be remiss not to sing the praises of our good friends in Company One, whose production of The Aliens (part of this past fall's Shirley VT Plays Festival) was recognized for Outstanding Design for a midsize/small/fringe company (Cristina Todesco's sets, Bobby Frederick Tilley II's costumes, Aaron Mack's sound, and Benjamin Williams's lighting), Outstanding Director for a small/fringe company (Company One Artistic Director Shawn LaCount), Outstanding Actor for a small/fringe company (Alex Pollack), and Outstanding Production for a small theatre. In addition, the award for Outstanding New Script went to Huntington Playwriting Fellow John Kuntz for The Hotel Nepenthe, produced by Actors' Shakespeare Project. Congratulations to the casts and crews of Ruined and The Aliens, as well as all of the other winners that night! (and the nominees, too. You were all great!)

So what's next? Well, for starters, we just announced the final line-up of our 2011-2012 30th anniversary season. In addition to our previously announced shows, we'll be rounding out the season with the pre-New York production of Evan M. Weiner's Captors, directed by Peter DuBois, and Noël Coward's Private Lives, directed by Maria Aitken (Educating Rita and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps). Captors is based on the true story of the capture of Adolf Eichmann, "the architect of the Holocaust," in Buenos Aires in 1960 by covert Israeli agents. Private Lives is a classic Noël Coward comedy about a divorced couple whose paths cross again — on both of their second honeymoons, with new spouses in tow. Private Lives replaces the previously announced Tartuffe, which is postponed to a later season.

I think that should just about catch us up with this crazy month of May. In the meantime, be sure to check out Richard III and The Comedy of Errors, if you haven't done so already. You can also catch a free performance of Know the Law at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester on Thursday, June 2 (that's tomorrow as of this writing) at 11am and 7pm. Know The Law is a 40-minute play of interwoven dramas about teenager in trouble, designed specifically for a young urban audience as part of a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company's Education Department and Youth and Police in Partnership (YPP), a community-based program of United Methodist Urban Services that seeks to improve relationships between young people and the police. A discussion between the actors, the audience, and a Boston Police Officer follows each performance.

While things tend to stay quiet around here during the summer months (at least as far as productions go), rest assured we'll be busy preparing for our big 30th anniversary party. Meanwhile, Peter DuBois will be directing the world premiere of All New People, a new play by that same Zach Braff guy, at New York's Second Stage Theatre. If you find yourself missing the skilled handiwork of our Scene Shop artisans, they'll be helping to build that set, as well as Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's All's Well That Ends Well on the Boston Common.

Cheers!

-Thom Dunn, Web & New Media Manager, signing off from the longest blog post EVER

April 28, 2011

The Huntington Theatre Co Recieves $10 Million Endowment gift from Calderwood Charitable Foundation

 
That's a $10,000,000 check!

The Huntington Theatre Company received today a $10,000,000 donation from the Calderwood Charitable Foundation. The Calderwood contribution is intended to provide the Huntington with about $500,000 in annual operating support -- replacing the same amount the foundation has given it in each of the past three years. The gift is meant to perpetuate that funding, foundation trustee John Cornish said.

Read all about it Boston.Com

We're amazed, thankful, incredulous, and really really really excited!