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Plays - Huntington, Boston Lyric, Company One, CHUANG stage

Art block parties in the sixth borough of NYC this weekend:
B·O·N·D in Your City, December 10-11th, 2022!

As part of the B·O·N·D International Virtual Performance Festival, we are excited to invite international artists nourished by lands of different continents, especially indigenous, immigrant and womxn artists, to bring their unique experience of “land and body” to geographic communities. Throughout the event, there are live performances, multimedia talks, community-creative circles about body, sound, food, and memory.

Check out the lineup of the in-person event and sign up via Eventbrite below!

All in-person events will take place at Accent Sisters Bookstore, an indie womxn literature space in the sixth borough of NYC. Address: 1st Street and Provost Street, Art 150, Studio 206, Jersey City, NJ)

 

>> Dec 10, 2022 (Saturday) <<

2:00-3:45 pm Live Performance+talkback: azem 賽夏族語 (靈魂)by Szu Shihmin

4:00-5:30 pm Co-creative circling – 踏步以成為地方 by Szu Shihmin

7:00-10:00 pm Live Performance + Screening + Multi-city talkback: Chronicles from The Down Below — The diaries of two female bodies carrying Death by Valerie Sabbah and Lydia Jialu Li

10:00 pm-12:00 am Co-creative circling – How do we carry death within our living bodies? by Valerie Sabbah

 

>> Dec 11, 2022 (Sunday) <<

2:00-3:00 pm Live Performance: TAHARA by Valerie Sabbah

4:00-5:00 pm azem 賽夏族語 (靈魂)by Szu Shihmin

6:00-7:00 pm Screening: Colonial Feelings by Verónica Díaz-Muñíz Live Performance: Sand by Olga Rabetskaya

7:00-9:00 pm Multi-city Closing Conversation

9:00-9:30 pm Closing ceremony

B·O·N·D in Your City Full Schedule
SaySiyat azem 賽夏・靈魂 | Szu Shihmin 絲釋民 (taboeh a ’oebay tataysi’)
taboeh a ’oebay tataysi’ is the name of SaySiyat.

As a child of a SaySiyat father and an Pangcah mother, Shihmin explores the connection of his body with indigenous culture and cosmology.

靈魂、信仰、tatini’(祖先)

關係著某種跳動,某種擴張的律動,強烈意義上的、意向的律動。遠處銅鈴開始響起,向天湖祭場,月光下擺盪著臀鈴聲響,彷彿連結著來自世間萬物的問候。 遠遠地,用那無法割捨的目光望著,直入靈魂深處,而那是無法承受的,他跳了出去,原來那是通往永恆的世界。

就在那裡,若即若離、擴張、折疊、攤開、彎曲、發出迴響。是一種迫切感的身體,一種身體的思想。回到舞蹈的最原初,那是身體的記憶,是土地與信仰的交織。

 
TICKET: SaySiyat azem 賽夏・靈魂
Guerrilla’s Song (Screening) | Lydia Jialu Li 黎珈璐
How did the COVID-19 pandemic begin for you?

Guerrilla’s Song is the beginning for Lydia and many of their friends.

As an urgent response to the outbreak of SARS-nCoV-2 in China and the lockdown of Wuhan, Lydia Jialu Li and Changting Lu started a weekly public performance every Thursday Gallery Night at CalArts, with the goal to stand with Wuhan until the day it unlocks.

 
TICKET: Chronicles from The Down Below
TAHARA: The Diary of An Assassinated Birthday Girl | Valerie Sabbah
Interwoven with highly sensory ambiences and crudely surreal imagery, Valerie Sabbah shares with you the entries of her intimate notebook that has tracked an 8-year-long hunt for the land of her pre-rape body. You will be guided by the strange and pink and sad and lonely Birthday Girl, who relentlessly accompanies her on this solo search party. Despite her many birthday party trials, her pre-rape body is never found, and, ultimately, it is The Birthday Girl that is Declared Dead. For her final Notebook Entry, The TAHARA, you are invited to her silver-disco funeral party, a party that unveils the untold tale of living while dead in the afterlife of rape.
 
TICKET: The Diary of An Assassinated Birthday Girl
Colonial Feelings (Screening) | Verónica Díaz-Muñíz
“Colonial Feelings” is a sonic improvisation based on Heriberto Yépez’s poem “A Song from and to the Native Informant” (Transnational Battlefield) and Bad Bunny's song "Andrea". Through vocal performance, sampling and live looping, this improvisation explores the concept of repetition and the creative possibilities that allow it when it comes to thinking of the ongoing colonial structures across Latin America. 
Sand | Olga Rabetskaya
We are all different. We have distinct views, opinions and idols. “Sand” is a work-in-progress which explores how individuals from different cultures and worlds get along and find peace with each other and harmony within themselves. How beliefs can be unsteady like sand.
 
TICKET: Colonial Feelings & Sand
2022 B·O·N·D Festival is produced by CHUANG Stage
in partnership with Accent Society.

BRITY SERIES HOSTS WINTER’S HOTTEST WEEK OF DANCE


Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland’s “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner”

January 14 @ 8 PM & January 15 @ 3 PM


 LaTasha Barnes’ “The Jazz Continuum”

January 19, 20 and 21 @ 8 PM


Week’s activities include performances at NEC’s Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre and community events led by contemporary dance’s red-hot choreographers. 


BOSTON – (Dec. 6, 2022) – Celebrity Series of Boston hosts two intimate and wildly divergent dance performances that tackle big ideas in January, showcasing the work of two acclaimed companies led by award-winning and sought-after women choreographers of color. Company SBB//Stefanie Batten Bland’s evocative and thought-provoking “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” takes inspiration from the similarly titled 1967 Stanley Kramer film. LaTasha Barnes’ “The Jazz Continuum” brings her ecstatic celebration of jazz music and Black American social dance styles. Both performances are at the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre at New England Conservatory.


“LOOK WHO’S COMING TO DINNER”

This work by Batten Bland (r. photo by Christaan Felber) fits the category of dance theater, evidenced by the show’s main narrative: a series of solo, duo and full ensemble segments suggest relationships among a gathered group at a festive event, where a visitor arrives to claim space at the party’s literal and figurative tables. The tables, set for dinner guests, morph to become walls, doors, screens, containers and, at one point, a mode of transportation. The company’s seven dancers are similarly flexible: their characters embody movements that are joyful, sorrowful, attacked, imprisoned, emphatic and resigned. 


The piece leans on the film’s themes of race and family politics and the search for commonality. Snippets of dialogue set the tone and provide comment on some scenes. The piece is set to music by Paul Damian Hogan, a mix of soft and beat-filled ambient, synthesized instrumental, and piano music. Choreographed, directed and designed by Batten Bland, the piece is a moving and absorbing expression of social, political and racial issues. Performances of “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” are followed by opportunities for attendees and performers to gather and discuss the work over refreshments in the Plimpton Shattuck lobby. Saturday evening’s performance also features a post-show, onstage discussion with Batten Bland and company artists.


A global artist and the child of a jazz composer/producer father and writer mother, Batten Bland says she has a unique blend of “African American flamboyance and European sensibility.” She describes her work as living at the intersection of dance-theater, film and installation, with emotional content that’s accessible and messages that are visceral. Her Company SBB was established in France in 2008. She received stateside support from Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, where she is a resident artist. Batten Bland danced with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Tanztheater Wüppertal Pina Bausch, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, and many others. Batten Bland’s work has been seen around the world including The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard from where she received a Bessie Schönberg Fellowship. She is also the recipient of a 2021 grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project.


Production photos for “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” are available here.


“THE JAZZ CONTINUUM”

Barnes’ (r., photo by Steve Pisano) exuberant show (which she calls an "offering to the continuum") conjures a different kind of party – one a century in the making – where dance and music from generations past meets the vibrant contemporary styles that developed from them. The energy is high with more than a dozen dancers and musicians (and an occasional crossover between the disciplines) exploring the growth and development of uniquely American jazz and Black American social dance styles.  


Solos, duets, quartets and full-group dance numbers show a throughline from Jazz & Lindy Hop, to House Dance, Waacking, Hip-Hop and much more. The ensemble creates a convivial vibe, encouraging each other from the perimeter of the performance space, sharing powerful movements in a circle then opening  to the audience, which Barnes describes as “both an acknowledgement and an invitation to give back to the continuum.” The musicians play similarly – jazz is a musical conversation between the artists and their instruments, after all. Barnes calls out the “mind-bending artistry” of an onstage DJ/turntablist who helps sculpt the soundscape with scratching and beat layering with doses of Soul, House, Hip-Hop and more. Like the music form for which it’s named, “The Jazz Continuum” centers improvisation; it evolves from show to show, iterative and responsive to the communities where it is presented and their audiences.


The Bessie Award-winning, New York Times-lauded dance “Breakout Star of 2021” LaTasha Barnes is an internationally awarded and celebrated dance artist, educator (Assistant Professor of Dance at Arizona State University), highly decorated U.S. Army Veteran (where she was a SFC/ SATCOM Engineer), and tradition-bearer of Black American Social Dance. Barnes’ parents say she was “dancing before she was breathing,” and recall memories of pre-natal LaTasha grooving in her mother’s womb while she sat next to speakers at parties where her father was a DJ. From this early love and education, her expansive artistic, competitive and performative skills flourished, making her a frequent collaborator with prominent artists and arts organizations around the world. Barnes says she is “deeply honored to be in service” to her culture across social, academic and performative spaces – something she shared on NBC’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna and in her July 2022 cover profile in DANCE Magazine. After receiving support for and previewing “The Jazz Continuum” in a commissioned debut with the Works & Process program – part of The Guggenheim’s Creative Bubble Residencies program, it was presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2021. After receiving a 2022 NEFA National Dance Project grant the work was presented at The Joyce Theater in 2022.

 

Production photos for “The Jazz Continuum” are available here.


“Stefanie and LaTasha are powerhouse talents with unique visions, unbeatable resumes and undeniable talent,” says Celebrity Series President and Executive Director Gary Dunning. “But in back-to-back performances in January, they form what I’m certain will be the most exciting dance week Boston has seen in a long time. ‘Look Who’s Coming to Dinner’ is unlike anything we’ve ever served to our audiences. ‘The Jazz Continuum’ is infectiously fun and incredibly smart. These two productions further Celebrity Series’ commitment to present stories from diverse artists. We’re proud to partner with these two brilliant creators and we know that their works will speak - in so many different ways - to audience members from many communities.”


In addition to their performances, Batten Bland and Barnes will lead community events in Boston. A US Army veteran, Barnes will visit and hold a workshop for veterans in the city, along with community workshops to engage the Swing and Street Dance communities in Boston and Cambridge through a multi-day residency at the Dance Complex.


PERFORMANCES and TICKETS

“Look Who’s Coming to Dinner” plays at NEC’s Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre for two shows only: Sat., January 14, 2023 @ 8 PM and Sun., January 15, 2023 @ 3 PM.  Tickets are $75, and available online at celebrityseries.org or by phone at 617-482-2595. 


“The Jazz Continuum” plays three performances at NEC’s Plimpton Shattuck Black Box: Thu, January 19 @ 8 PM; Fri., January 20 @ 8 PM; and Sat., January 21 @ 8 PM. Tickets are $75, and available online at celebrityseries.org or by phone at 617-482-2595.


NOTE: Due to the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box layout there is no late seating.


FUNDING and SPONSORSHIP

Celebrity Series of Boston’s 2022/23 Dance Series is sponsored by Leslie & Howard Appleby, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Cynthia & John S. Reed Foundation, and Royal Little Family Foundation.

 

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to its 2022/23 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose support helps fulfill their mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich the community. Individual and institutional supporters include Jill & David Altshuler, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Julia Byers & Steven Holtzman, Deloitte, D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., Foley & Lardner LLP, Kathleen & Chris Gaffney, Harriet and David Griesinger, Klarman Family Foundation, Peter & Anna Kolchinsky, George & Lizbeth Krupp, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, Stephen C. Perry & Oliver Radford, The Rabb Family Foundations, Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, The Reopen Creative Boston Fund, administered by the Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Reuben Reynolds, Sally S. Seaver, PhD, Stifler Family Foundation, Belinda Termeer, Susan & Michael Thonis, Dorothy & Stephen Weber, Yawkey Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Anonymous (3), and many others.

---------------------------------


CALENDAR LISTINGCompany SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner”


WHAT Celebrity Series of Boston presents Company SBB // Stefanie Bland Batten’s “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner,” an evocative dance-theater performance inspired by the similarly named 1967 Sydney Poitier film about love, race and finding commonality. The piece explores who is welcomed at society’s actual and metaphorical tables, who is excluded, and why.

WHEN Sat., January 14, 2023 @ 8 PM and Sun., January 15, 2023 @ 3 PM

WHERE Plimpton Stattuck Black Box Theatre at New England Conservatory, 255 St Botolph Street in Boston

TICKETS $75 at celebrityseries.org or 617-482-2595


CALENDAR LISTING – LaTasha Barnes’ “The Jazz Continuum”


WHAT Celebrity Series of Boston presents LaTasha Barnes’ “The Jazz Continuum,” an exuberant heart-lifting performance that traces the parallel histories of uniquely American jazz music and the Black American social dance styles that developed across generations, from Lindy Hop to Hip-hop and beyond.

WHEN Thu-Sat., January 19-21, 2023 @ 8 PM

WHERE Plimpton Stattuck Black Box Theatre at New England Conservatory, 255 St Botolph Street in Boston

TICKETS $75 at celebrityseries.org or 617-482-2595

Art block parties in the sixth borough of NYC this weekend:
B·O·N·D in Your City, December 10-11th, 2022!

As part of the B·O·N·D International Virtual Performance Festival, we are excited to invite international artists nourished by lands of different continents, especially indigenous, immigrant and womxn artists, to bring their unique experience of “land and body” to geographic communities. Throughout the event, there are live performances, multimedia talks, community-creative circles about body, sound, food, and memory.

Check out the lineup of the in-person event and sign up via Eventbrite below!

All in-person events will take place at Accent Sisters Bookstore, an indie womxn literature space in the sixth borough of NYC. Address: 1st Street and Provost Street, Art 150, Studio 206, Jersey City, NJ)

 

>> Dec 10, 2022 (Saturday) <<

2:00-3:45 pm Live Performance+talkback: azem 賽夏族語 (靈魂)by Szu Shihmin

4:00-5:30 pm Co-creative circling – 踏步以成為地方 by Szu Shihmin

7:00-10:00 pm Live Performance + Screening + Multi-city talkback: Chronicles from The Down Below — The diaries of two female bodies carrying Death by Valerie Sabbah and Lydia Jialu Li

10:00 pm-12:00 am Co-creative circling – How do we carry death within our living bodies? by Valerie Sabbah

 

>> Dec 11, 2022 (Sunday) <<

2:00-3:00 pm Live Performance: TAHARA by Valerie Sabbah

4:00-5:00 pm azem 賽夏族語 (靈魂)by Szu Shihmin

6:00-7:00 pm Screening: Colonial Feelings by Verónica Díaz-Muñíz Live Performance: Sand by Olga Rabetskaya

7:00-9:00 pm Multi-city Closing Conversation

9:00-9:30 pm Closing ceremony

B·O·N·D in Your City Full Schedule
SaySiyat azem 賽夏・靈魂 | Szu Shihmin 絲釋民 (taboeh a ’oebay tataysi’)
taboeh a ’oebay tataysi’ is the name of SaySiyat.

As a child of a SaySiyat father and an Pangcah mother, Shihmin explores the connection of his body with indigenous culture and cosmology.

靈魂、信仰、tatini’(祖先)

關係著某種跳動,某種擴張的律動,強烈意義上的、意向的律動。遠處銅鈴開始響起,向天湖祭場,月光下擺盪著臀鈴聲響,彷彿連結著來自世間萬物的問候。 遠遠地,用那無法割捨的目光望著,直入靈魂深處,而那是無法承受的,他跳了出去,原來那是通往永恆的世界。

就在那裡,若即若離、擴張、折疊、攤開、彎曲、發出迴響。是一種迫切感的身體,一種身體的思想。回到舞蹈的最原初,那是身體的記憶,是土地與信仰的交織。

 
TICKET: SaySiyat azem 賽夏・靈魂
Guerrilla’s Song (Screening) | Lydia Jialu Li 黎珈璐
How did the COVID-19 pandemic begin for you?

Guerrilla’s Song is the beginning for Lydia and many of their friends.

As an urgent response to the outbreak of SARS-nCoV-2 in China and the lockdown of Wuhan, Lydia Jialu Li and Changting Lu started a weekly public performance every Thursday Gallery Night at CalArts, with the goal to stand with Wuhan until the day it unlocks.

 
TICKET: Chronicles from The Down Below
TAHARA: The Diary of An Assassinated Birthday Girl | Valerie Sabbah
Interwoven with highly sensory ambiences and crudely surreal imagery, Valerie Sabbah shares with you the entries of her intimate notebook that has tracked an 8-year-long hunt for the land of her pre-rape body. You will be guided by the strange and pink and sad and lonely Birthday Girl, who relentlessly accompanies her on this solo search party. Despite her many birthday party trials, her pre-rape body is never found, and, ultimately, it is The Birthday Girl that is Declared Dead. For her final Notebook Entry, The TAHARA, you are invited to her silver-disco funeral party, a party that unveils the untold tale of living while dead in the afterlife of rape.
 
TICKET: The Diary of An Assassinated Birthday Girl
Colonial Feelings (Screening) | Verónica Díaz-Muñíz
“Colonial Feelings” is a sonic improvisation based on Heriberto Yépez’s poem “A Song from and to the Native Informant” (Transnational Battlefield) and Bad Bunny's song "Andrea". Through vocal performance, sampling and live looping, this improvisation explores the concept of repetition and the creative possibilities that allow it when it comes to thinking of the ongoing colonial structures across Latin America. 
Sand | Olga Rabetskaya
We are all different. We have distinct views, opinions and idols. “Sand” is a work-in-progress which explores how individuals from different cultures and worlds get along and find peace with each other and harmony within themselves. How beliefs can be unsteady like sand.
 
TICKET: Colonial Feelings & Sand
2022 B·O·N·D Festival is produced by CHUANG Stage
in partnership with Accent Society.

Announcing: 
3rd B·O·N·D International Live Performance Festival
Land · Body
, in December 2022!

In 2022, the theme of B·O·N·D Festival is Land · Body. During the first year of the post-pandemic era, adverse health effects and deaths are slowing down, while displacement, separation and deprivation persisted in communities across the world. People were forced to leave their homeland because of warfare. Urbanites under tyranny are deprived of freedom and open access to all. Womxn bodies and lives are under oppression and systemic brutality. Near the exact time, humans started their fantastical exploration in both the universe and the metaverse. What are lands and bodies in these new dimensions? The land and the body that we once took for granted–what do they mean now? How do we define its relationship and connection with us?

This year, we are excited to invite international artists nourished by lands of different continents, especially indigenous, immigrant and womxn artists, to share their unique experience of “land and body”.

The digital screening starts from December 3-25, 2022. Meanwhile, we expand “B·O·N·D in Your City”, a series of artist-led, world-touring in-person live events, to more cities and countries in the world. On December 10th and 11th, multi-space live performances, artistic dialogues, and community-creative circles will be hosted concurrently in New York (US)Montreal (Canada) and Santiago (Chile)

2022年B·O·N·D Festival对主题是“地·体”。这一年,疫病造成的死亡逐渐减少,但“流离”、“割裂”、“剥夺”却并未停止蔓延。因为战争,人们被迫离开故土;因为专制,城市失去了自由和自然;因为压迫,女性的身体与生命被斩断。当习以为常对生活被打破,我们不再拥有自由地站在阳光下对权利,不再有回到家乡那片土地的可能,“体”和“地”变得陌生,某种连接被切断。但伤口虽痛,人类的有机体仍然在奋力新生。打破空间,人们冲向宇宙;展开维度,人们向赛博世界求索。在那里,“地”和“体”又意味着什么?是怎样的关系?

地体一词,是一个地质学概念,代表地壳物质的碎块,从一个板块上断裂而后增生到另一个板块之上。这时地体仍保有它自己独特的地史,但它所附着的地壳之间的缝合线通常是一个断层。本届演出展邀请被世界各大洲土地滋养的原住民、移民和女性艺术家们,用他们的作品诠释“地”与“体”和生命的感知。
Learn More About B·O·N·D 2022
Featuring Amanda Card, Verónica Díaz-Muñiz, Kim Giyoung, Deniz Khateri, Lydia Jialu Li, Olga Rabetskaya, Valerie Sabbah, and Shihmin Sih.
B·O·N·D International Virtual Performance Festival starts from December 3 to December 25, 2022. Artists from different continents, regions and cultures are presenting their work to all global audiences.

Virtual AccessEnter the BOND Festival Youtube channel at any time between December 3-25 to explore virtual programming.

B·O·N·D in Your City 2022 is a two-day multi-site live event happening on December 10th and 11th in New York (US)Montreal (Canada) and Santiago (Chile). Throughout the event, there are live performances, multimedia talks, community-creative circles about body, sound, food, and memory. 

Check out the full lineup of in-person events and sign up now via the button below! Ticket quantity is limited, so act fast to reserve your spot.


US Events LocationAccent Sisters Bookstore (1st Street and Provost Street, Art 150, Studio 206, Jersey City, NJ)
B·O·N·D in Your City Event Schedule
2022 B·O·N·D Festival is produced by CHUANG Stage
in partnership with Accent Society.

2022/23 MID-SEASON CASTING and TICKET ANNOUNCEMENT


RYAN McKINNY STARS IN A NEW PRODUCTION OF BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE FROM DIRECTOR ANNE BOGART

Premiere production runs March 22-26, 2023


JAMEZ MCCORKLE BRINGS HIS ACCLAIMED LEAD PERFORMANCE

TO BOSTON IN RHIANNON GIDDENS AND MICHAEL ABEL’S OMAR

Critically lauded BLO co-commission runs May 4-7, 2023


TICKETS FOR BLUEBEARD AND OMAR ON SALE DEC 1.


BOSTON – Dec. 1 2022 – Casting and production announcements for Boston Lyric Opera’s spring 2023 performances are being released today, including performers in BLO’s premiere production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs in March 2023 and the New England premiere of Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ new opera, Omar in May 2023. Public tickets for both performances are on sale December 1.

 

BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE/FOUR SONGS

Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny (above, l., photo by Jiyang Chen) stars as the fictional, fairytale character Bluebeard in Béla Bartók’s one-act psychological thriller Bluebeard’s Castle that will be paired with the dramatic song cycle Four Songs (Vier Lieder) by composer Alma Mahler (wife of Gustav). The highly anticipated production is directed by Anne Bogart, whose 2019 version of The Handmaid’s Tale for BLO received universal acclaim and was one of BLO’s best-selling shows. Naomi Louisa O’Connell sings the role of Judith, the bride who realizes she’s gotten herself into a much different post-nuptial situation than she envisioned. O’Connell also performs Mahler’s “Four Songs.” BLO Music Director David Angus conducts. Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs will play March 22-26, 2023 in an immersive, multi-genre experience that includes a salon-like atmosphere, dance and more installed at The Terminal @ Flynn Cruiseport in South Boston.

 

A full list of the Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs artistic and production team is available here.

OMAR 

Tenor Jamez McCorkle (page 1, r., photo by Leigh Webber) stars in Omar, the title role he premiered at the Spoleto Festival last spring and brought to LA Opera this fall. Omar is the story of Omar Ibn Said, a prominent scholar of the Islamic faith and many other subjects, who was born to a wealthy West African family. Enslaved in South Carolina at 37 years old, Ibn Said escaped his first place of enslavement and headed to North Carolina where he lived as a slave until his death in 1864. His is the only known autobiographical essay written in Arabic by a Muslim man enslaved in America. 

 

Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens wrote the libretto and composed the music in partnership with film and orchestral composer Michael Abels for a production conceived by Kaneza Schaal. Classical Voice San Francisco called the production “a profoundly moving spectacle,” and lauded McCorkle’s performance as “a career-defining role.” Michael Ellis Ingram conducts the BLO Orchestra and Chorus.

 

Additional casting announced for Omar includes Cierra Byrd in the role of Fatima, Omar’s Mother and Daniel Okulitch playing the dual roles of enslavers James Owen / Johnson. BLO Emerging Artists (current and alumni) in principal roles include: Neal Ferreira as Auctioneer / Taylor; Emma Sorenson as Eliza, Little Daughter; Nicholas LaGesse as Abdul, Omar’s Brother / Abe; and Fred C. VanNess Jr. as Amadou-Renty. Catherine Daniel plays Katie Ellen/The Caller. Omar plays May 4-7, 2023 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater.

 

Additional casting for Omar and a list of the original production creative team is available here. Omar is co-commissioned by Spoleto Festival USA, Carolina Performing Arts, L.A. Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. It is inspired by Dr. Ala Alryyes’s translation of Omar Ibn Said’s autobiography in his book A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said.

 

TICKETS ON SALE

Individual tickets for BLO’s Spring 2023 performances of Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs and Omar are on sale December 1. Two-show subscriptions, also available now, offer a 10% discount over individual tickets.

 

Subscriptions and individual tickets can be purchased online at blo.org, by phone at 617.542.6772 or by email at boxoffice@blo.org


IN BRITTEN’S BIBLE STORY OPERA “THE PRODIGAL SON,”

A DIRECTOR SEES RECONCILIATION PARABLE THAT OFFERS PATH TO MEND MODERN SOCIAL DIVIDE


Performances Oct 21-22, 2022 @ 7pm in Boston’s Cathedral Church of Saint Paul


Director Kirsten Cairns: “We must be the people who stand by those in need.” 


BOSTON -- September 28, 2022 -- The Boston- and U.K.-based Enigma Chamber Opera continues its exploration of chamber works by Benjamin Britten with two performances of the English composer’s biblically inspired 1968 opera “The Prodigal Son.” The work is the third of Britten's three Parables for Church Performance; Enigma mounted the first, “Curlew River,” to critical acclaim last fall. This new production is directed by Artistic Director Kirsten Z. Cairns, who finds in the universal story of parent/child reconciliation and forgiveness a balm for an often bitterly divided society. Perfs are Oct. 21 and 22 @ 7pm at Boston’s Cathedral Church of St. Paul.


This production will be available for streaming on the Enigma Chamber Opera YouTube page for one week starting Oct. 28 at 7 pm.


“The Prodigal Son” libretto is by William Plomer, based on a Christian parable told by Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of Luke 15. Its story centers on two sons of a farmer – the older a hard-working laborer who tends to the family business and the younger, whose reckless ways see him leaving with then squandering his inheritance in a far-off city. Destitute and defeated, the younger son returns home, begging his father to take him back.


Cairns says the familial reconciliation in the opera resonated for her but not in the typical way. “Often with this story we are meant to identify with the Younger Son or the Elder Son,” Cairn says. “I found myself wondering if we ought to identify with the Father. I am struck by the biblical line, ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.’”


Last year, in Curlew River we explored the idea that even in your darkest, most desperate days, you will find people who will walk with you, or stand by you; there will be comfort,” Cairns continues. “This year our story seems to tell us we must be the people who stand by those in need. Don’t wait for them to come to you; run out to greet them and throw your arms around them – that is the love we need to embody in this world.”


PRODUCTION CONCEPT


As in Enigma’s mounting of “Curlew River” last fall, “The Prodigal Son” is framed as a spontaneous performance by members of a fraternal community. Cairns leaves the circumstances of the performers’ all-male gathering purposefully vague (is it a church group, a recovery meeting, or something else?), but says the concept was inspired by the welcoming and forgiveness that people can find in a church or other supportive community.


Britten’s work has been central to Enigma’s nascent production history. Cairns directed the company’s debut production -- a highly regarded production of Britten’s supernatural opera “The Turn of the Screw” -- in January 2020. Her direction in November 2021 of “Curlew River” drew capacity audiences as well as critical raves for “uniformly superb” voices, “astonishingly precise” playing, a “powerful” and “transcendent” production and “the best opera production I saw last year.” Enigma will complete the Britten trilogy with a production of “Burning Fiery Furnace” in October 2023.


CAST AND ARTISTIC TEAM


“Curlew River” features seven male singers portraying the gathered men who bookend the main story and characters in that story.  Performers are Omar Najmi as The Tempter/Abbott, Aaron Engebreth as The Father, David McFerrin as the Elder Son, Matthew DiBattista as the Younger Son. Paul Soper, Tom Oesterling and Daniel Fridley are chorus members playing servants, beggars and other characters. The performance also features the voices of a small children’s choir.


Kirsten Z. Cairns is Stage Director. Music Director Edward Elwyn Jones (also Music Director of Harvard Memorial Church) leads the eight-piece orchestra and plays organ. Lighting design is by Paul Marr; Rebecca Shannon Butler is costume designer; projection design is by Peter Torpey.


The orchestra includes: flute, Aimee Toner; trumpet, Ryan Noe; horn, Emma Staudacher; viola, Emily Rome; double bass, Daniel Gorn; harp, Angelina Savoia; and percussion, Mike Williams.


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PHOTO THIS PAGE: (l.-r.) Prodigal Son players Matthew DiBattista, Aaron Engebreth and David McFerrin in Enigma’s 2021 production of Curlew River. Photo by Ashlee Rose Scott.

TICKETS


General admission tickets for “The Prodigal Son” are $30; $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are available Fri., Oct. 1 via EnigmaChamberOpera.org or EventBrite.


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CALENDAR LISTING

 

WHAT: Enigma Chamber Opera presents “The Prodigal Son,” Benjamin Britten’s musical retelling of the biblical parable about two brothers – one loyal to the family business and the other tempted into squandering his inheritance, and their forgiving father.

WHEN: October 21 and 22, 2022 at 7:00 pm

WHERE: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, 138 Tremont St. in Downtown Boston

TICKETS: $20-30, available via EnigmaChamberOpera.org and at the door.



THE HUNTINGTON REOPENS THE NEWLY RENOVATED HUNTINGTON THEATRE WITH AUGUST WILSON’S MASTERPIECE JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE

 

The Huntington celebrates Wilson’s legacy and its longstanding relationship with the playwright by dedicating the lobby of the renovated theatre in his name

 

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the casting and creative team for the highly anticipated revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, directed by Lili-Anne Brown. Wilson’s masterpiece serves as the inaugural production of the newly renovated Huntington Theatre and runs from October 14 – November 13, 2022, with digital access to the filmed performance available until November 27, 2022.

 

The Huntington has had a deeply special relationship with playwright August Wilson and his work, having produced all ten of his American Century Cycle plays that chronicle the African American experience in the 20th century (seven prior to their Broadway runs), and his autobiographical one-man show How I Learned What I Learned.

 

This major revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is particularly meaningful to The Huntington – not only will it reopen the Huntington Theatre after being closed the past two and a half years for the pandemic and its transformational renovation, but it was the first Wilson play that the Huntington ever produced and the start of a fruitful collaboration that lasted until the playwright’s death in 2005. The Huntington partnered with the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1986 for the pre-Broadway production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone that featured soon-to-be-stars Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo, and went on to produce all of Wilson’s major works.

 

“August Wilson is undoubtedly one of the giants of the American theatre,” says Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso. “Few moments in my career have had more meaning than the one where we agreed to produce the original Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. It was 1986, the start of The Huntington’s fifth season and of our 19-year collaboration with August, as we worked closely with him in residence on seven of his iconic plays until his untimely death in 2005. With this new production in our newly renovated theatre, we honor the icon who was August Wilson, but we remember our friend. May his spirit inspire generations of artists and audiences alike.”

 

August Wilson himself said in a 2004 recorded interview, “I have a long and valued relationship with the Huntington Theatre, and I guard that relationship jealously.” Wilson left an indelible mark on American theatre, and The Huntington will celebrate his legacy by naming the lobby of the newly renovated Huntington Theatre the August Wilson Lobby. Wilson’s widow and estate executor, the Tony Award nominated costume designer Constanza Romero, will attend the opening night performance of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone on October 19 and unveil the plaque in his honor.

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

 

Joe Turner's Come and Gone is set in a boarding house in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1911, where owners Seth and Bertha Holly play host to a makeshift community of African Americans, many who have left the farms of the South to come to the cities of the North. Newcomer Herald Loomis arrives with his daughter in tow, in search of his lost wife after having spent 7 years of forced labor working for Joe Turner – but first he must regain a sense of his own heritage and identity.

 

Director Lili-Anne Brown says her approach to this production is to “Be reverent and uplift this work, but also approach it with fresh eyes.” She notes that the characters in the play are experiencing the Great Migration and a period of upheaval, and wants to explore what it means to stage this production after the pandemic as another period of tremendous social change. “Some of these characters are one generation out from slavery,” she continues. “They are all asking, where is home, how does one find it, and find oneself.”

 

“I can think of no better way to welcome our community home than with August Wilson’s masterwork,” says Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “I’m especially thrilled to do so with the astounding Lili-Anne Brown at the helm and a cast that boasts so mightily of Boston artistry.”

 

The cast of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone includes notable actors from the Boston area and around the country. They are, in order of appearance:

 

  • Maurice Emmanuel Parent as Seth Holly, the hardworking and practical owner of the boarding house he runs with his wife Bertha. Credits include Common Ground Revisited, Sweat, Merrily We Roll Along, Skeleton Crew and more at The Huntington, Co-Producing Artistic Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective.

 

  • Shannon Lamb as Bertha Holly who runs the boarding house with her husband Seth, making biscuits and acting as peacemaker. Credits include Common Ground Revisited at The Huntington, Letters to Kamala (WAM), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (UMASS Theater), It Happened in Little Rock, and Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theatre).

 

  • Robert Cornelius as Bynum Walker, a resident of the boarding house, a spiritual man who practices folk magic and has a talent for binding people together. Credits include Her Honor Jane Byrne (Lookingglass Theatre), Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre), and Hamlet (Gift Theatre).

 

  • Lewis D. Wheeler as Rutherford Selig, a traveling salesman who describes himself as a “people finder,” and who sells raw materials to Seth then buys back the pans and wares Seth makes. Credits include No Man’s Land (ART), Pass Over (SpeakEasy Stage), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (New Repertory Theatre)and Book of Will (Lyric Stage).

 

  • Stewart Evan Smith as Jeremy Furlow, a cheerful young man and boarder, looking for a good job and some female companionship. Credits include Black Superhero Magic Mama (Company One), Vanity Fair (Underground Railway Theatre), The Crucible (Bedlam/The Nora Theatre Company), and The Three Musketeers (Greater Boston Stage Company).

 

  • James Ricardo Milord as Herald Loomis, a newcomer to Pittsburgh, searching for his lost wife and trying to put his life back together after 7 years of forced labor. Credits include Common Ground Revisited at The Huntington, Paradise Blue (Gloucester Stage) and the premiere of Young Nerds of Color (Central Square Theater).

 

  • Young actors Gray Flaherty and Alana Ross alternate as Zonia Loomis, Herald Loomis’ daughter. Gray is an 8th grader at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and Alana is a 5th grader at the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School in Cambridge.

 

  • Al-nisa Petty playing Mattie Campbell, a hopeful young woman looking for the lover who recently left her. Credits include Kin (WP Theater), Twelfth Night (The Acting Company), and School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Berkeley Rep).

 

  • Eli Lapaix and Joshua McKenna alternate as Reuben Mercer, a neighborhood boy who befriends Zonia.  Eli is a 7th grader at Waring School in Beverly. Joshua has appeared in A Christmas Carol (2021-22) and The Bodyguard (2019) at North Shore Music Theatre.

 

  • Dela Meskienyar as Molly Cunningham, a happily single, independent young woman who flirts with Jeremy. Credits include The Beginning Days of True Jubilation at the New Ohio Theater.

 

  • Patrese D. McClain as Martha Pentecost, Herald Loomis’ wife and Zonia’s mother, who has come to Pittsburgh in search of a new life. Credits include Jitney (Broadway tour), Twilight (Syracuse Stage), Pipeline and Skeleton Crew (Actors Theatre).

 

  • Understudies include Kadahj Bennett, Kelsey Fonise, David Kelly, Melanie Loren, and Damon Singletary.

 

 

The creative team for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone includes scenic design by Arnel Sancianco (Once on this Island at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ain’t No Mo’ at Woolly Mammoth), lighting design by Jason Lynch (You Are Here: An Evening with Solea Pfeiffer Off Broadway), costume design by Samantha C. Jones (Black Odyssey at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, King James at Steppenwolf), and sound design by Aubrey Dube (The Bluest Eye at The Huntington, Trayf and Good at New Rep). Hair, wig, and makeup design is by Earon D. NealeySandy Alexandre is the dramaturg, Ted Hewlett is the fight choreographer, Jermaine Hill is the music consultant, Kurt Douglas is the movement consultant, Gregory Geffrard is the intimacy consultant, and Carla McDonough is the young person coordinator. The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Ashley Pitchford.

 

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

 

August Wilson (Playwright) (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the 20thcentury. His plays have been produced at The Huntington, at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show How I Learned What I Learned.  

 

His works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcom X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bert and the Sacred Hills

 

Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in playwrighting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, and a 1999 National Humanities Medal given by the President of the United States, and numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007.

 

Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA and lived in Seattle, WA at the time of his death. He was survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero. 

 

Lili-Anne Brown (Director), a Chicago South Side native, works as a director, actor and educator, and has performed in, directed and produced many award-winning shows in Chicago and nationally.  She is the former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she focused programming on Chicago-premiere musicals and new play development with resident playwrights.  Recent directing credits include School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play and the world premieres of Ike Holter’s I Hate It Here and Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre), Ain’t No Mo’ (Woolly Mammoth), The Color Purple (The Muny), Once on This Island (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Acoustic Rooster...(Kennedy Center), Spunk (Roundabout Theatre virtual), Put Your House in Order (La Jolla Playhouse). She is a member of SDC, AEA, and SAG-AFTRA, and represented by William Morris Endeavor.  lilbrownchicago.com 

 

WHEN

In-person performances: October 14 – November 13, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.

Digital: Available October 31 until November 27, 2022

 

WEEKNIGHT CURTAIN TIME CHANGE:

Please note that the Tues, Wed, and Thurs performances of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone will begin at 7pm (as they are school nights for our youngest cast members).

 

Anticipated running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, including one intermission

 

Press Opening: Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 6:45pm (please note special curtain time!) Please RSVP here for press night or other available performances.

 

 

WHERE

The newly renovated Huntington Theatre

264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

 

 

TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances and to a digital recording of the performance start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org
  • by phone at 617-266-0800;
  • or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston; or the Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, starting October 10

 

Select discounts apply:

  • $10 off: season ticket holders
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

 

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

 

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, November 4 at 8pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

 

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, November 8 at 7pm. The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play.

 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, November 12 at 2pm. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.  Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility for information.

 

Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.

 

 

DIGITAL INSURANCE

If patrons ever feel as if they would rather not see Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in person – for any reason – they can easily exchange their tickets into a specially recorded version of this play. OR, they can purchase tickets to the digital version of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in advance.

 

The digital recording of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone will be available October 31 until November 27, 2022.

 

 

JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE MASK POLICY:

 

Masked Matinees: Masks covering patrons’ mouth and nose will be required for everyone in the building during matinee performances and must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking concessions, available for purchase during intermission. Mask requirements will be enforced by front of house staff.

Masks encouraged evening performances: All patrons are encouraged to wear a mask, except when actively eating or drinking concessions, for everyone’s comfort and safety. Mask wearing is not required and will not be enforced. Huntington staff will continue to wear masks.

 

Any patron interested in attending a different performance will be able to exchange their tickets by contacting The Huntington’s ticketing services staff. The Huntington asks that any patron experiencing COVID symptoms stay home and contact ticketing services for more information about exchanges.

 

ABOUT THE SHOW ART:

 

The show art for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone was created by Boston artist Ekua Holmes and commissioned by The Huntington especially for this production. Holmes is a Roxbury-based artist, illustrator, and arts administrator, known for her vibrant collages that depict urban life. Selections of Holmes’ artwork will be on display in the renovated Huntington Theatre’s newly created 2nd floor arcade gallery during the run of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

 


 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

 

Celebrating 40 years of outstanding theatre, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Managing Director Michael Maso, The Huntington is reopening the historic Huntington Theatre this fall after its transformational renovation. A storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

KAIROS DANCE THEATER’S HUSK/VESSEL MARKS RETURN OF

DANCE LEGEND PAULA JOSA-JONES FOR COLLABORATION WITH ACCLAIMED REGIONAL COMPANY

Fall Premiere Performances Run Oct. 14 – 15 at Boston University Dance Theater

Photos available here.


BOSTON – September 23, 2022 – Legendary contemporary choreographer and dancer Paula Josa-Jones returns to Boston next month to premiere HUSK/VESSEL with acclaimed performance company KAIROS Dance Theater. Performances run Friday, Oct. 14 @ 7:30p and Saturday Oct. 15 @ 3p and 7:30p at Boston University Dance Theater. 


HUSK/VESSEL was conceived by Josa-Jones and co-choreographed with KAIROS co-founder and executive artistic director DeAnna Pellecchia, who has danced with Josa-Jones for over 20 years. The artists’ long shared history informs the work’s collaborative creation, grounded in a visually rich and viscerally somatic style of movement. This is Josa-Jones’s first work choreographed for KAIROS.  Having focused on a robust ongoing career with her own company – exploring interspecies dance with humans and horses, and bringing solo and group performances around the country – this is the first major ensemble work Josa-Jones has created for another professional dance company in nearly 20 years.


HUSK/VESSEL was developed, set and rehearsed entirely during the pandemic, drawing on Pellecchia and Josa-Jones’s close working relationship to transcend COVID limitations. “Working with DeAnna in this way has challenged both of us, especially developing a collaborative work in separate, virtual spaces,” says Josa-Jones. “Neither of us has worked this way before. It is a real privilege to work with DeAnna and her company, which pushes the dancers to fully explore the edges of themselves.”

Josa-Jones says that in HUSK/VESSEL costume and fabric are both covering and habitat, concealing and revealing the dancers and their movement, as well as simultaneously limiting and expanding the possibilities for movement and character. The work features an all-female cast in solos, duets and groups, each inhabiting a unique garment-world of their own, exploring gradual and abrupt transformations and interactions as soloists and as an ensemble. 


“Paula’s creation process demands that each of the dancers make deep personal connections, exploring the somatic and emotional relationships with layers of fabric,” Pellecchia says. “That connection is deeply personal to me, having first met Paula when I was a dancer in her company. This work is a love letter to Paula from me. She taught me what I know, and now I teach dancers what I know. This idea of passing down knowledge and experience is sacred in this piece – something I think will really resonate with audiences.”


Josa-Jones opens the show with a new solo work for herself. CAVALLUS was created as an “offering in movement” to honor the passing of Capprichio, her beloved Andalusian stallion. Josa-Jones is renowned for an extensive body of work with an inter-species company including horses, dancers and riders. Her equine work includes live performance, film, teaching, and humanitarian work with rescued and abused animals.


TICKETS AND LOCATION DETAILS

HUSK/VESSEL tickets are $20-25 and available directly on Eventbrite here and via KAIROS Dance Theater website. Tickets also will be available for purchase at the door.  Performances take place at Boston University Dance Theater, located at 915 Commonwealth Ave. 


ABOUT KAIROS DANCE THEATER

Established in 2012, KAIROS Dance Theater creates emotionally powerful performances that promote art as a threshold for communication and social change. KAIROS aims to redefine the role of art in culture by crafting projects that speak to social issues and work towards rewriting culturally defined narratives. KAIROS’s immersive, multi-sensory performances have been featured as a "Critics’ Pick" eighteen times by the Boston Globe; and presented throughout New England, the United States and around the world at galleries, museums, theaters, site-specific landscapes, and educational spaces. Learn more at www.kairosdancetheater.org


ABOUT PAULA JOSA-JONES

Paula Josa-Jones is a dancer/actor, choreographer, writer, visual artist and movement educator known for her visually rich, emotionally charged dance theater. Her work includes dances for humans, inter-species work with horses and dancers, film and video. Josa-Jones has been called “one of the country’s leading choreographic conceptualists” by The Boston Globe, and the Village Voice describes her work as “powerful, eccentric, and surreal.” Her dances have been produced in Russia, Europe, Mexico and throughout the United States. She has taught in the dance programs at Tufts University, Boston University and at universities, colleges and dance festivals nationally and internationally. Learn more at www.paulajosajones.org


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CALENDAR LISTING FOR HUSK/VESSEL


WHAT: The KAIROS Dance Theater company premiere of HUSK/VESSEL marks a return to Boston for legendary contemporary choreographer and dancer  Paula Josa-Jones, with whom Kairos Artistic Director DeAnna Pellecchia has worked extensively. The evening-length piece conceived by Josa-Jones and co-choreographed with Pellecchia for KAIROS explores costumes and clothing as both covering and habitat, and how actual and metaphorical layers aid humans in hiding or revealing themselves. Josa-Jones opens the show with a new solo work, CAVALLUS. 

WHEN: Fri. Oct. 14, 2022, 7:30 pm; and Sat. Oct. 15, 2022, 3 pm and 7:30 pm

WHERE: Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston

TICKETS: $20-25 and available on Eventbrite here and the KAIROS Dance Theater website.

COVID: Mask-wearing is optional in the Boston University Dance Theater.

BLO BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPOINTS

BRADLEY VERNATTER

AS GENERAL DIRECTOR AND CEO


Appointment follows Vernatter’s term as Acting General and Artistic Director.

Artistic Director search will expand BLO leadership team to realize the new strategic

plan, and bring a collaborative new creative voice to the company.

 

 BOSTON – Sept 22, 2022 – The Boston Lyric Opera Board of Directors, led by Michael J. Puzo, voted this week to appoint Bradley Vernatter as the Stanford Calderwood General Director and CEO, the company’s highest leadership position. The appointment follows Vernatter’s term as Acting General and Artistic Director. At Vernatter’s suggestion to expand the company’s leadership team, the Board moved to split the previous role into two positions and open a search for a new Artistic Director.

 “There is clear enthusiasm on the board for Brad's leadership and his artistic vision during the past two seasons, which brought the company new artistic triumphs and growth while navigating unexpectedly troubled waters,” Puzo says. He noted the Board recognizes Vernatter’s accomplishments, including:

·       Stewarding company operations, fundraising, and finances to continue producing throughout the pandemic and beyond; Producing BLO’s return to live opera following the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, from Cavalleria Rusticana in fall 2021, its free performance of Romeo & Juliet on the Boston Common this summer and its upcoming production of La bohèmeExpanding the Company’s relationships with notable artists including Rhiannon Giddens, Michael Abels, Stephanie Blythe, Ellen Reid, Nico Muhly, Isabel Leonard, Talise Trevigne and others; Developing the Company’s streaming platform, operabox.tv and producing critically acclaimed films and series such as the animated film of Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, the cinematic adaptation of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba, and the genre-leading eight-part opera miniseries desert in; Launching BLO Street Stage, the Company’s mobile performance stage to bring opera to the region; Conducting an assessment of inequity and social justice at the company, and in the opera field; and Leading a planning process that resulted in a five-year Strategic Plan and revamped mission and vision statements for the Company.   “With an ambitious plan for BLO’s future in place,” Puzo says, “we look forward to expanding the leadership team and to welcoming a new Artistic Director to the company and the city.” The Artistic Director position will report to the General Director and CEO, and will be a partner with Vernatter and Music Director David Angus in planning artistic programs for the company.  Boston Lyric Opera completed its Strategic Planning process earlier this year, resulting in a comprehensive, forward-thinking plan to guide the artistic and administrative direction of the company over the next five years. The BLO Board of Directors adopted the plan, which revises the company’s mission and vision statements, and centers on: expanding the breadth of artistic programs; strengthening ties to regional and national communities; developing new leaders for the industry; and centering values of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.  “I am grateful for the leaders, artists and supporters who have contributed to BLO’s tremendous legacy and I am motivated by our new five-year plan,” says Vernatter. “We have the opportunity to put a stronger emphasis on being part of Boston’s civic and cultural fabric while producing the best of opera that inspires us and connects us.”

 

ABOUT BRADLEY VERNATTER

 

Vernatter began working with Boston Lyric Opera in 2015 and was appointed Acting Stanford Calderwood General and Artistic Director in May 2021. He previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.  Earlier, Vernatter was Director of Operations for Opera Omaha and  Associate Producer for its ONE Festival. He held artistic and management positions with Ireland’s Wexford Festival Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, the Castleton (Va.) Festival, and the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York City.  

In 2020, Vernatter was recognized by Boston Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40” rising young leaders. He is a member of the YW Boston LeadBoston 2022 cohort and serves on the Board of Advisors at Artists For Humanity, a non-profit that empowers teens through employment in the arts. In addition, Vernatter contributes to social entrepreneurship projects addressing access to basic services. 

Vernatter holds a Master of Business Administration from the IE-Brown MBA program (Madrid/Providence, R.I.) as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio and a certificate in professional fundraising from Boston University. He is an alumnus of the OPERA America Leadership Intensive, through which he has participated in the Civic Action Group and as a reviewer for grants.

AN AUGMENTED-REALITY DANCE EXPERIENCE, THE FIRST BY ARTS COLLECTIVE THE CLICK, OFFERS SITE-SPECIFIC CONTEMPORARY DANCE THAT VIEWERS WATCH ON MOBILE DEVICES 


“Emotive Land” Explores Need for Harmony Among Art, Culture, Innovation and Nature In Cambridge’s Tech-Focused Kendall Square.


Viewer-Driven Experience Launches October 1 with Free Live Performance.

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – September 7, 2022 – The newly formed arts collective The Click launches its first project – an immersive, augmented reality (“AR”) contemporary dance experience called “Emotive Land” – on Oct. 1 at 1 pm in Cambridge’s Kendall Square Canal District. “Emotive Land” engages dance, music, film and technology in an AR experience that investigates a growing need for harmony among art, culture, innovation and nature while animating the natural and built environments of the tech-focused neighborhood. A one-hour free live performance, at which live dancers will move and engage with digital content at sites along the water, celebrates the app launch. (Launch event rain date is Oct. 2 at 1 pm)


“Emotive Land” is accessed through an app that allows audience members to view virtual dance performances on smartphone screens at specific sites. The app will be accessible from The Click website wwwtheclickboston.com, as well as Apple App Store, Google Play Store and other app locations on Oct. 1. The project was conceived and co-created by The Click founding members Kristin Wagner and Lonnie Stanton with app development by James Peerless. 


Stanton choreographed the performances in the app and for the live launch event. Her native Hawaiian heritage informs the curatorial lens for the project, which centers on nature's resilience and encourages viewers to consider a relationship to the land rooted in stewardship versus hierarchical ownership. Stanton says the creative team considered how physical constraints of public spaces shape both human expression and growth, and worked to create an experience that helps viewers understand the “dynamic dance” that persists between themselves and their environment.


Through technology designed by software engineer Peerless, “Emotive Land” transforms public spaces into places to discover, access and enjoy contemporary dance. Peerless says AR technology has gained popularity among developers and in commercial uses, evidenced by the wildly popular “Pokemon Go” game that swept the globe in 2016 and its use by retailers to help customers to envision how furniture or products might look in their homes.


“The overlap of AR technology and the arts is pretty small right now, but it's growing,” Peerless says. Viewers who download the app and open it near the Kendall Square Canal District will encounter visual prompts that lead them to spots where virtual dancers appear on their screens, seeming to interact with actual locations. “It’s a way to bring the feeling of being at a live performance in an on-demand way,” Peerless says.


With no set show time and no cost, “Emotive Land” encourages more access to dance experiences. “We want people to see the power of community when engaging with this work,” Wagner says. “The pandemic made us realize we can coexist and thrive with technology; that’s why we [Click artists] chose a technological venture as our first project. Our work is heightened by the creative freedom that technology offers – audience members are free to come and go at any time.”


The app for “Emotive Land” will be available October 1 through November 30. 


Artists for “Emotive Land” include (in alpha order) dancer Angelina Benitez (Lynnfield, Mass.), dancer/choreographer/ filmmaker Olivia Blaisdell (Roslindale, Mass.), dancer/choreographer/ \

filmmaker Lindsay Caddle LaPointe (Stow, Mass.), dancer Rachel Linsky (Brighton, Mass.), dancer Alexandria Nunweiler (Malden, Mass.), app developer and tech consultant James Peerless (Newton, Mass.), dancer/choreographer Lonnie Stanton (South Boston), composer/sound designer Nate Tucker (Somerville, Mass.) and dancer Kristin Wagner (Lunenburg, Mass.).


SUPPORT AND FUNDING

“Emotive Land” is made possible in part by grants and residencies received from Boston Moving Arts Productions, The Dance Complex BLOOM Residency Program, ArtAssembled, the Somerville Arts Council through the AIR Residency Program, and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ New England Dance Fund, with support from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation and the Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation.


Emotive Land is made possible in part by grants and residencies received from: Boston Moving Arts Productions, The Dance Complex BLOOM Residency Program, ArtAssembled and the Somerville Arts Council through the AIR Residency Program, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ New England Dance Fund, with generous support from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation, and the Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation.


ABOUT THE CLICK

Developed in 2021, The Click is a collaborative dance company and creative collective in Greater Boston. Its members are dancers whose primary medium of physical expression is through contemporary dance ], but who experiment in many modes and genres of creativity. As a collective, The Click’s members are deeply invested in answering the universally complex question: who are we and what are we doing here?


The Click contributes to the consistent presence of creativity in the region in several ways: by educating pre-professional youth dancers, professional adult dancers and the dance-curious of any age; performing original creations at traditional and non-traditional venues in Massachusetts, across New England and beyond; and by investing in the curiosity of those new to dance (in Boston or in general) by maintaining an open, inclusive and accessible community. Learn more about The Click at www.theclickboston.com. 

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CALENDAR LISTING

WHAT: “Emotive Land” is an app-based augmented reality experience that engages dance, music, film and technology to investigate the need for harmony among art, culture, innovation and nature in Cambridge’s Kendall Square.  A live dance performance launches the app along the area’s waterfront.

WHEN: Sat. Oct. 1 @ 1 pm (Rain date: Sun. Oct. 2 @ 1pm). App will be available for download to view the augmented reality experience starting Oct 1 through Nov. 30, 2022

WHERE: Live performance begins at 15 Broad Canal Way in Cambridge (near PaddleBoston). It follows a walking path along the Charles River with several stops. The path is fully accessible and includes about 15 minutes of walking. 

ENTRY: The event (and the app) are free and available to the public.

COVID: Masking and social distancing is encouraged at this open-air, outdoor event.


THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES THAT CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED

NEW MUSICAL SING STREET EXTENDS THROUGH

OCTOBER 9 DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND    

(BOSTON) – The Huntington in association with Sing Street LLC announces an additional week of performances for the joyous new musical Sing Street, based on the hit 2016 indie film of the same title by John Carney (“Modern Love,” Begin Again, Once), with a book by Tony Award winner Enda Walsh (Lazarus, Once), and music and lyrics by Gary Clark (front man of Danny Wilson) and Carney, now playing at The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA through October 9, 2022.

Enthusiastic audiences have been on their feet for this critically-acclaimed new musical. The Boston Globe says Sing Street is “exuberant” and “packs a visceral punch.” GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen calls Sing Street “extraordinary. A show where hope is alive and infectious. I woke up thinking about it.” WBUR praises Sing Street’s “top-notch cast” and adds that it’s “bursting with the buoyancy of youth,” and Theatrely says it’s “transcendent theatre! Cathartic and joyous.”

The story is set in Dublin, 1982. Everyone is out of work. Thousands are seeking bluer skies across the Irish Sea. 17-year-old Conor and his schoolmates find an escape from their troubles by forming a band to impress Raphina, a mysterious girl who catches Conor’s eye. With an original score that embraces the sounds of the ‘80s, Sing Street celebrates the joy of first love and the power of music. 

Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman (Indecent on Broadway and at The Huntington) directs, and Tony Award winner & Obie Award winner Sonya Tayeh (Moulin Rouge on Broadway) choreographs.   

Sing Street features Adam BregmanCourtnee CarterBilly CarterJack DiFalcoDónal FinnAnthony Genovesi, Michael LeporeDiego LucanoElijah LyonsAlexa Xioufaridou Moster, Anne L. NathanGian PerezDee RoscioliArmand Schultz and Ben Wang, with Leigh BarrettGable Kinsman, Nael Nacer, Matthew Pantanella, Ale Philippides, and Virginia Vogel. 

The production features scenic design by seven-time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (Once, An American in Paris), costume design by Crowley and Lisa Zinni (Freestyle Love Supreme), lighting design by seven-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Frozen), sound design by Tony and Grammy Award winner & Olivier Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Moulin Rouge), video design by Luke Halls (The Lehman Trilogy) and Brad Peterson (West Side Story), and hair and makeup design by Tommy Kurzman (Mrs. Doubtfire).  Music supervision is by Peter Gordeno and Kris Kukul (Beetlejuice), Fred Lassen (Prince of Broadway) is music director, with casting by Tara Rubin Casting. Production stage manager is Karyn Meek and stage manager is Amanda Spooner.  

Enhancement funding for Sing Street is provided by Barbara Broccoli, Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Orin Wolf, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, The Shubert Organization, Greta Anderson/ Nikolas Anderson, David Droga, John Gore Organization, Kimberly Steward, Caledonia Productions/ Kalin-Rubinstein, No Guarantees/Federman-Koenigberg, William Berlind/Hendel-Karmazin, Independent Presenters Network/LD Entertainment, James Trezza/Scanlan-Perakos, Zell Riley Blume/Rose-Narang, Daryl Roth/Tom Tuft, OD Company Co./Ashruf, and Sony Music Masterworks, in association with Sing Street LLC.  Executive Producers are Patrick Daly and Alecia Parker.  

TICKETS AND INFO: 

August 26 – October 9, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above. 

Run time: 2:20 including one intermission 

WHERE 

The Huntington/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston 

TICKETS 

Tickets start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

online at huntingtontheatre.org

by phone at 617-266-0800; or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston 

Select discounts apply:

$10 off: season ticket holders

$30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)

$20 student and military tickets (valid ID required) 

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR SING STREET 

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation. 

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30pm.

The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play. 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, September 24 at 2pm.

The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.  Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility for information.

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, September 30 at 8pm.

The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

 

Large print and braille programs will also be available for patrons at performances.

WITH HOPE FOR A ROBUST RETURN TO THE ARTS THIS FALL, GREATER BOSTON ARTS EXPO OFFERS THE CITY’S LARGEST-EVER LIVE SEASON PREVIEW SEPTEMBER 19


BOSTON – August 29, 2022 – Nearly 60 performing arts organizations from across the region will convene on the Rose Kennedy Greenway (Atlantic Avenue between Milk Street and High Street) next month for the Greater Boston Arts Expo (GBAX, BostonArtsExpo.com), an audience-focused celebration of the 2022-’23 performing arts season that comprises the city’s largest-ever live season preview. GBAX will feature a variety of free public performances, ticket and season discount offers, and a chance to meet artists and the people behind shows and events coming up this year. 


The Greater Boston Arts Expo takes place September 19 from 4-8 pm and is produced by arts service organizations ArtsBoston and StageSource, with support from the City of Boston, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lexus Broadway in Boston, and the Cultural Equity Incubator. The Boston Globe is lead media sponsor for the event.


The paths and sidewalks of the Greenway between Rings Fountain and Rowes Wharf Plaza will be lined with tents and tables staffed by regional artists and arts leaders. During the family-friendly event local celebrity emcees will welcome performances ranging from dance and rap to opera and Shakespeare, from drag to flamenco and classical music to musical theatre – all on a main stage provided by Boston Dance Alliance and The Wandering Stage. Pop-up performances, family activities including a “selfie station” with props from StageSource’s Props Co-Op, and arts-centered interactive games that encourage arts exploration will happen throughout the event. 


Although free, attendees are encouraged to register for the event for updates and to request special accessibility needs. GBAX will have ASL interpretation, audio description and accessibility assistance.

Trillium Brewing Company’s Garden on the Greenway will open for the evening. Food trucks (including Revelry, the winner of Boston magazine’s 2022 Best Food Truck) will offer meal options to GBAX attendees. Onsite discounts and dozens of hourly opportunities to win free tickets will be available.


Among the organizations that will be part of GBAX (in alphabetical order):

 

Actors’ Shakespeare Project

American Repertory Theater

Arts Connect International

ArtsBoston

ArtsEmerson

Back Bay Ringers

Ballroom in Boston

Beheard.world

Blue Man Group Boston

Boch Center for the Performing Arts

Boston Center for the Arts

Boston Dance Alliance

Boston Lyric Opera

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Broadway In Boston

Cappella Clausura Inc.

Celebrity Series of Boston

Central Square Theater

City Ballet of Boston

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

Company One

Coro Allegro

Cultural Equity Incubator

Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres

Emerson Colonial Theatre

Emmanuel Music

Footlight Club

Fresh Ink Theatre Company

Global Arts Live

Greater Boston Stage Company

Guerilla Opera

Handel and Haydn Society

Hub Theatre Company of Boston

The Huntington

Jewish Arts Collaborative

Liars & Believers

Longy School of Music of Bard College

Lurenzone Theatrics

Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Moonbox Productions

Mosesian Center for the Arts

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

New Repertory Theatre

OnStage Dance Company

Puppet Showplace Theater

Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

Regent Theatre

Revels, Inc.

Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare

Slate Casting

SpeakEasy Stage Company

StageSource Props Co-Op

Suffolk University Theatre Department

The Theater Offensive

Titanic Theatre Company

Wheelock Family Theatre


ArtsBoston Executive Director Catherine Peterson (she/her) says GBAX will connect Boston’s revitalized performing and visual arts sector with city residents, visitors and workers itching to get back to performances and events. “We know audience members are eager to come back to the arts; they started dipping their toes back in last season,” Peterson says. “With most arts groups back in full force this fall, and so much to see and do, we want to produce a celebratory event where arts lovers of all kinds can learn about the theater, dance, music, and visual arts coming up. At GBAX, people will be able to plan their arts calendars for the season.”


StageSource Interim Executive Director Jen Lewis (she/her) says she’s excited about the great stories and performances that will be on city stages this year. “GBAX is a rare opportunity for audiences to experience and directly interact with a wide variety of artists and organizations doing incredible creative work around the region,” Lewis says. “Performers on the GBAX stage and organizations bringing resources to the event are a cross-section of what’s happening culturally in Boston. Our emphasis is to help smaller and BIPOC-led organizations become better known among audiences this season. GBAX will be a truly inclusive and diverse event in every way – and a lot of fun!”


"Bringing audiences to the arts in Boston means supporting the shops and restaurants here, which means a real and reliable boost to the downtown economy," says Downtown Boston BID Interim Co-Director Anita Lauricella. "It's in the city's best interest that the arts thrive here and we're proud to support this effort to make that happen."


"The Greater Boston CVB is thrilled to sponsor this inaugural festival,” says Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Martha Sheridan. “The arts and cultural tourism sector must fully recover for the visitor economy as a whole to thrive.  Cultural organizations were particularly hard hit by the pandemic and we are excited to participate in events such as the Greater Boston Arts Expo that aim to reengage and reinvigorate arts audiences."


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Read more about StageSource here / Read more about ArtsBoston here.



MEDIA CONTACT: For details on the Greater Boston Arts Expo, including interviews with organizers and an up-to-date list of participants, contact John Michael Kennedy at 781-620-1761 or jmk@jmkpr.com.THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR BHANGIN’ IT: A BANGIN’ NEW MUSICAL

DUE TO MANUFACTURING DELAY FOR HUNTINGTON THEATRE RENOVATION

 

 

(BOSTON): The Huntington announces that its production of Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical has been rescheduled due to the delay of a critical electronic component required for the new automated rigging system at the newly renovated Huntington Theatre. Originally scheduled to run December 4, 2022 – January 8, 2023, The Huntington will reschedule the exuberant Bhangin’ It for summer 2023 as the final show of its 22/23 season.

 

The Huntington has made significant progress on the extensive restoration of the Huntington Theatre over the past 19 months during an extraordinarily challenging time for construction projects around the world. While The Huntington has kept the renovation project close to its original schedule, the global chip shortage and the delay with the automated rigging system means that the theatre will not be ready to meet the needs of the complex, Broadway-scale, new musical Bhangin’ It on its originally announced schedule.

 

“In spite of the supply chain challenges, we are thrilled to be able to close our season with the extraordinary new musical Bhangin’ It,” says new Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “I adore this incredible team of artists and can’t wait to share this incomparable theatrical event with the city of Boston.”

 

The Huntington’s season will still begin with the Broadway-bound musical Sing Street at the Calderwood Pavilion, with previews beginning August 26 and a press opening on September 7, and will inaugurate the renovated Huntington Theatre with a much-anticipated revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, to begin performances on October 14 as originally scheduled. With some creative problem solving, The Huntington will install a temporary, less complex rigging system that will suit the needs of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, then will install the new permanent automated rigging system in November/December. The Huntington’s season will now comprise a total of 7 shows rather than 8.

 

The Huntington will announce the revised dates for Bhangin’ It as soon as the calendar is finalized.

THE HUNTINGTON PRESENTS

THE 2022 BREAKING GROUND FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS –

FREE READINGS OF NEW WORKS JULY 20 – 25, 2022

Breaking Ground highlights the work of Huntington Playwriting Fellows

and marks the first festival since 2019, before the pandemic

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces that the 2022 Breaking Ground festival of new plays will be held July 20 – 25, 2022 at The Calderwood/BCA, the first Huntington readings open to the public since before the pandemic.

The Breaking Ground festival is a vital part of the Huntington’s new play development efforts and highlights the work of locally-based Huntington Playwriting Fellows and national writers in partnership with the Huntington. Since its inception in 2003, many Breaking Ground plays have gone on to appear as part of Huntington seasons as well as those of theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally. 

Readings are free and open to the public, though not to reviewing members of the press. Advance reservation is required. Find more information and RSVP at huntingtontheatre.org/BreakingGround2022

The five-day festival will include 4 plays written by Huntington Playwriting Fellows:

· Arbor, written by Catherine Epstein and directed by Morgan Green

Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30pm at The Calderwood/BCA

· Black Mother Lost Daughter, written by Fedna Jacquet and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

Friday, July 22 at 7:30pm at The Calderwood/BCA

· Rough Magic, written by Andrew Siañez-De La O and directed by Melinda Lopez

Saturday, July 23 at 7:30pm at The Calderwood/BCA

· Let’s Pretend We’re Marriedwritten by Kate Cortesi and directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

Monday, July 25 at 7:30pm at The Calderwood/BCA 

“One of our joys at The Huntington is bringing work by Playwriting Fellows to Boston audiences in Breaking Ground,” says Huntington Director of New Work Charles Haugland. “Each of these playwrights’ voices are effortlessly distinct, and I love these plays’ humor, insight, sorrow, and humanity. We’re also happy to welcome an incredible slate of directors both new and returning. We’ll be in great hands with the teams bringing these new plays to life.”  

Breaking Ground is supported by the Harry Kondoleon Playwriting Fund and the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.

MORE ABOUT THE PLAYS AND ARTISTS:

Arbor

by Catherine Epstein

Directed by Morgan Green

Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30pm

For visitors to the arboretum, the trees are a place of escape, a slice of nature — but for those who work there, the park is everything. Amidst the glorious redwoods and cedars is the chaos of a single dog off a leash, a staff meeting nobody wants to attend, a daughter who won't call back, and somebody who keeps taking a dip in the pond! Catherine Epstein's Arbor is a funny and perceptive take on how we all respond to change, growth, and natural evolution. 

Catherine Epstein (playwright) is a writer, an educator, and a Huntington Playwriting Fellow. She was a Humanities and theatre teacher in Massachusetts for nine years, and she now lives in Virginia and works for Facing History & Ourselves. Before classroom teaching, she also worked as a radio producer, editor, and museum educator. Catherine has been a resident at the Catwalk Art Residency in Catskill, New York.

Morgan Green (director) directs films, plays, and podcasts. They often use humor as a tool to investigate something true. Her work celebrates idiosyncratic goofiness, visual poetry, and surprise. Morgan is a co-founder of the award-winning theatre company New Saloon.  Their deconstructed Uncle Vanya, Minor Character was part of the 2019 Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater. Morgan is a co-artistic director at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, where she recently directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Fat Ham by James Ijames.

Black Mother Lost Daughter

by Fedna Jacquet

Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

Friday, July 22 at 7:30pm

In this searing and haunted play, playwright Fedna Jacquet asks us to consider the gap between justice and responsibility. In life, Queen painted vivid portraits that captured the truth of her subjects — but when she is killed by police, her sister Princess hopes to keep Queen’s memory alive and their mother afloat. Intimate and emotional, Black Mother Lost Daughter shows how a national reckoning echoes in the lives of three women.  

Fedna Jacquet was born in Boston to Haitian parents, and is a full-time director/writer/actor. She is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, an inaugural Still I Rise Documentary Fellow, a National Black Theatre Playwright in Residence, and a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting. Her plays include PefeksyonInheritance, Civic Duty, Gurlfriend, and Heroes. Her written work for the screen includes Isaiah (ABFF/TVOne Screenplay Competition Finalist, Homebase (Juilliard/NYU Showcase), Inheritance (2020 Tribeca Chanel Through Her Lens Finalist, 2021 Urbanworld Film Festival), Circus (2020 HollyShorts Quarterfinalist) and Going Home. Fedna is currently recurring as an actor on “City on a Hill” (Showtime) and “FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS), and has appeared on “The Equalizer,” “New Amsterdam,” “Law & Order SVU,” “The Blacklist,” and many others. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Stevie Walker-Webb (director) is an award-winning director, writer and cultural worker who believes in the transformational power of art. As a survivor of poverty and the associative violence that comes with growing up black and poor in America, he creates work that liberates and reframes the narratives of marginalized groups.  He is a co-founder and executive director of HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS, an arts and advocacy non-profit that makes visual the suffering and inhumane treatment of incarcerated mentally ill people and the policies that adversely impact their lives.  He is the recipient of an Obie Award for Directing (Ain’t No Mo at The Public), the Princess Grace Award for Theatre, The Lily Award in honor of Lorraine Hansberry awarded by the Dramatists Guild of America, a 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop and a Wellspring Scholar. He’s The Founding Artistic Director of the Jubilee Theatre in Waco, Texas, and has created art and Theatre in Madagascar, South Africa, Mexico, Mississippi and across America. His work has been produced by The Public Theatre, American Civil Liberties Union, The New Group, Cherry Lane, Zara Aina, Woolly Mammoth, Baltimore Center Stage, La Mama, and Theatre of the Oppressed-NYC.  Along with his art and advocacy work, Stevie currently teaches and creates art at Harvard and NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts. steviewalkerwebb.com

Rough Magic

by Andrew Siañez-De La O

Directed by Melinda Lopez

Saturday, July 23 at 7:30pm

A hurricane is raging in Houston, but that won't stop Miranda from breaking into her school's gym and enacting her master plan. She'll need her abuela's help, her best friend's guidance, and a nudge from a friendly ghost if she wants to survive this storm. Rough Magic is an intimate reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest brought to life with a touch of brujeria and the warmth of a candle.

Andrew Siañez-De La O (he/they) is a Mexican-American stage and audio dramatist from the US Borderlands. His work, which often centers his borderland heritage and cultural diaspora, has been developed and produced across the country. He is an organizing committee member of the WGA Audio Alliance working towards an equitable future for audio drama writers. His audio work includes being a scriptwriter for “Timestorm” and an upcoming collaboration with Stormfire Productions, an audio series adaptation of his young adult fantasy play “The Ortiz Twins Are Coming Home.” He is currently writing for ZeniMax Online Studios’ MMO “Elder Scrolls Online.”

Melinda Lopez (director) is Artist-in-Residence at The Huntington. As performer: Mala (ArtsEmerson, Guthrie Theater, The Huntington, Audible, PBS), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Our Town, Persephone, Rose Tattoo, A Month in the Country (Huntington), Grand Concourse, Appropriate, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Theatre District, Anna in the Tropics (SpeakEasy Stage), Many Colors Make the Thunder King (Guthrie Theater), Romeo and Juliet (Portland Stage), Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare & Company). As playwright: Mala, adaptation of YermaBecoming Cuba, Sonia Flew, audio series Dream Boston, Black Beans Project (The Huntington), Back the Night, Orchids to Octopi. Residencies: Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Lark Play Development Center, New York Theatre Workshop. Awards: IRNE Award, Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, October 29, 2016 declared Melinda Lopez Day in the City of Boston. Professor at Northeastern University.

Let’s Pretend We’re Married

by Kate Cortesi

Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

Monday, July 25 at 7:30pm 

Sabrina's an indoor kid. Literally. Her deathly allergy to the sun means if she takes a step outside, she'll be dead within the week. So when her mom leaves her home alone for the first time in her sunless 25 years, there's little danger of Sabrina sneaking out. But someone sneaking in? Enter Nic, the new kid in town with plenty of baggage.  What ensues between these two young strangers might be the strangest one-day love story in the history of one-day love stories. A hilarious, heartsick tale that combines fairytale wonder and dystopian undercurrents, Let's Pretend We're Married pays tribute to the power of imagination to get us through dark times when we're stuck inside. 

Kate Cortesi is a Boston area-based playwright from Washington, DC who writes about women, young people, liars, and the American psyche – with jokes. Her full-length plays include Great Kills (Princess Grace Award), A Patron of the Arts (Cherry Lane Theatre, South Coast Rep New Scripts Series, In Scena! Festival, Rome), ONE MORE LESS (NYFA award, Relentless Award finalist, Playwrights Horizons New Works Lab), Love (Sky Cooper New American Play Prize, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Kilroys List) and Is Edward Snowden Single? (The Jungle Theater, Single Carrot Theater, Dorset Theatre Festival, The Pool at The New Ohio). She is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, a resident playwright at New Dramatists, and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. Kate wrote three theatre pieces in quarantine: an audio play called Radio Nowhere, produced by Keen Company, available wherever you listen to podcasts, a short monologue play, “I Love Parties” which raised money for The Homebound Project and won first prize in the Hear Me Out Monologue Competition, and Let’s Pretend We’re Marriedkatecortesi.com 

Rebecca Bradshaw (director, she/her) is artistic director of Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY. She built her career in Boston as a theatre director, producer, educator, casting director, and advocate. She has directed full productions for Kitchen Theatre Company, The Huntington, Lyric Stage, The Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, ART Institute, Emerson College, Bridge Rep of Boston, Central Square Theatre/MIT, and The Umbrella Center for the Arts, among others. Before her current position, Rebecca was the associate producer of The Huntington, where she handled line producing, casting, and developing new work. She is a part of the affiliate faculty of Emerson College, teaching directing and producing, and has taught casting seminars at Harvard University, Suffolk University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Lesley University, and Boston Conservatory. She is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY’S NEW PLAY INITIATIVES AND PLAYWRITING FELLOWS PROGRAM

The Huntington is a national leader in the development of new plays and has produced more than 120 world, American, or New England premieres. The cornerstone of activity is the Huntington Playwriting Fellows (HPF) program, a two-year fellowship for selected local writers that creates relationships between a local community of writers and a nationally prominent producing theatre, forges those bonds through authentic conversation and artistic collaboration, and encourages dialogue between local artists. The Breaking Ground festival of new plays allows selected HPFs and national writers to develop their plays in two and three dimensions.

The Huntington’s 22-23 season includes two plays by HPFs: The Art of Burning by Kate Snodgrass and K-I-S-S-I-N-G by Lenelle Moïse. Previous Huntington productions of plays by HPFs include Sonia Flew, Becoming Cuba, and Mala by Melinda Lopez; Common Ground Revisited, Our Daughters, Like Pillars, Milk Like Sugar and Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge; A Guide for the Homesick by Ken Urban; The Atheist, Brendan, and The Second Girl by Ronan Noone; The Bluest EyeStick Fly and Smart People by Lydia R. Diamond; Ryan Landry’s “M” and Psyched by Ryan Landry; Before I Leave You by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro; The Cry of the Reed by Sinan Ünel; and Shakespeare’s Actresses in America by Rebekah Maggor.

Since 2003, the HPF program has invited writers to participate in two-year residencies, during which playwrights receive a modest honorarium, join in a biweekly writers’ collective with artistic staff, attend Huntington productions and events, and are eligible for readings and support through the Summer Workshop and Breaking Ground festival of new plays. 

The primary focus of the program is creating relationships with writers at all stages of their careers, from emerging talent to established professionals. The program provides a framework for an in-depth, two-year artistic conversation and a long-term professional relationship.

Since 2009, the Huntington has instituted an open application process with submissions from any writer primarily based within commuting distance of Boston; applications are generally solicited every 18 months to two years, and the theatre selects two to three writers whose terms overlap with adjacent cohorts.

AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ROMEO AND JULIET FREE ON THE

BOSTON COMMON LAUNCHES AN EXPANDED

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA SEASON AUGUST 11 and 13

  

Partnership with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC)

and the City of Boston yields a production accessible to everyone.

 

Charles Gounod’s operatic setting of the Shakespeare classic features

artists making company debuts, and Boston-trained singers. 

 

Ricardo Garcia and Vanessa Becerra play the young lovers; CSC’s Steven Maler directs.

 

Production marks 20 years since BLO’s last Common appearance, 2002’s “Carmen.” 

 

BOSTON, Mass. – June 29, 2022 – A free, public opera adaptation of Romeo & Juliet on the historic Boston Common opens Boston Lyric Opera’s 2022/23 Season with two performances August 11 and 13 at 8 PM. Based on Charles Gounod’s 1867 musical setting of the classic drama with a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, and an English translation by Edmund Tracey, the production is co-presented in partnership with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) and the City of Boston. Ricardo Garcia (l.) makes his BLO company debut as Romeo; Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna Vanessa Becerra (r., photo by Coco Jourdana) is Juliet. CSC Artistic Director Steven Maler will direct the production and BLO Music Director David Angus will lead the BLO Orchestra and Chorus. The performance, sung in English with surtitles, coincides with the 20-year anniversary of BLO’s last free Boston Common show, “Carmen.” 

 

Considered alongside Giuseppi Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff, and more recently Brett Dean’s Hamlet as among the most successful opera adaptations of Shakespeare, Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet highlights the story’s most operatic plot points: young lovers forbidden to be together and finding love against the odds, only to perish at their own hands. The story inspired more than two dozen opera treatments but Gounod’s lush music – in love duets like the one sung the morning after the young lovers’ first night together, arias like Juliet’s well-known waltz and Romeo’s passionate Act II declaration of love, and the scene-setting orchestral interludes and dramatic choral moments – ensures his version a place of continued prominence.

 

THE PRODUCTION

The libretto compresses Shakespeare’s storyline and cuts the number of roles nearly in half. The result is a brisk tale that moves from the rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues to the masked ball where the title characters meet and fall in love, through the lovers’ surreptitious courting and marriage, the street fight that sheds both families’ blood, and the tragic finale in Juliet’s tomb.

 

BLO Acting Stanford Calderwood General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter says the production draws distinctively on the strengths of both artistic institutions, and results in a unique version that blends the talents and storytelling of each. This opera production, for example, adds two actors to the staging who perform spoken text from the original play and add some of Shakespeare’s sonnets for context and texture.

 

“This bold interpretation of the classic tale of star-crossed lovers, told under a starry New England sky, celebrates the rich legacy of this opera in a modern context,” Vernatter says. “In collaboration with our friends at CSC, we are creating something completely unique for our city, something neither company could make on its own.  These performances demonstrate the creative power of the performing arts in Boston and the importance of coming together as a community.” 

 

Stage Director Steven Maler says the production is inspired by busker culture – and comprises a gathering of street musicians, singers and actors whose desire to entertain in public makes for surprising and spontaneous moments of joy. Performers play on three stage levels, with the full 47-piece orchestra in view and a 20-plus-member chorus enhancing scenes like the masked ball, the town plaza and others.

 

“CSC’s vision has always been to bring performances to the people’s park, the Boston Common, this shared public space and the nation’s oldest park,” Maler says. “Democratizing art is central to our mission. Early opera, like Shakespeare’s work, was populist in its time…vital and vibrant parts of the culture. I am happy we can do artistic collaborations with partners like BLO, which continues to democratize their artform and make it more accessible.” 

 

CASTING AND ARTISTIC TEAM

The casting for Romeo & Juliet mixes company debuts with returning artists and artists whose musical training took place in Boston. Boston Conservatory at Berklee (BC@B) alumna and soprano Vanessa Becerra stars as Juliet, BC@B alum mezzo-soprano Mack Wolz (BLO’s 2022 operabox.tv film, “Svadba”) portrays Stéphano, tenor Ricardo Garcia is Romeo, BLO Emerging Artist alumnus and tenor Omar Najmi sings Tybalt, incoming Emerging Artist and tenor Fred C. VanNess Jr. portrays Paris, Rhode Island-born mezzo-soprano and BLO Chorus member Arielle Rogers-Wilkey sings Gertrude, and bass Joshua Conyers (seen recently in Odyssey Opera’s Malcolm X at the Strand Theater) is Lord Capulet. Emerging Artist Nicholas LaGesse (2022’s Champion) sings Mercutio, BLO Chorus member and incoming Emerging Artist baritone Junhan Choi is Gregorio, Berklee College of Music instructor and bass Philip Lima sings the role of Friar Laurence. Some singing roles have been changed or cut to accommodate a two-hour runtime. Additional casting will be announced later.

 

The Romeo & Juliet artistic and creative team includes conductor David Angus, stage director Steven Maler, dramaturg John Conklin, production and lighting designer Eric Southern, and costume designer Nancy Leary. Additional artistic team members will be announced later. 

 

SEATING AND ACCESS

Romeo & Juliet will be performed on the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company stage, located north of the Parkman Bandstand in the Boston Common. MBTA access is at the Green Line Boylston Street stop, and the Red Line Park Street stop. 

 

Audience members may bring blankets and chairs, or can rent chairs on site for $10.  Picnics are permitted at the show. The Romeo & Juliet runtime is 2 hours.

 

The Boston Common is accessible. For help with special seating or mobility and access needs, BLO Audience Services can be reached at 617.542.6772 or boxoffice@blo.org. 

 

Digital programs will be available in advance at blo.org. Weather alerts and other updates about Romeo & Juliet are available by signing up here.

 

A limited number of reserved seats are available in the Friends Section with a donation of $100 per seat to Boston Lyric Opera.  Visit blo.org for details.

 

SPONSORS 

Community events for this season, including this free presentation of Romeo and Juliet, are sponsored, in part, by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust. The 2022/23 Season is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, and by the Boston Cultural Council/Reopen Creative Boston Fund administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. David Angus is sponsored this season by Linda Cabot Black.THE HUNTINGTON PRESENTS THE EXTRAORDINARY

THEATRICAL EVENT – WORLD PREMIERE OF

COMMON GROUND REVISITED


This highly anticipated stage adaptation examines J. Anthony Lukas’ Pulitzer

Prize winner about busing in Boston with a contemporary lens


(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the world premiere of Common Ground Revisited, a new play co-conceived by Obie Award-winning director Melia Bensussen and Obie Award-winning playwright and Huntington Playwriting Fellow Kirsten Greenidge (Our Daughters, Like Pillars; Luck of the Irish; and Milk Like Sugar at The Huntington). The production runs from May 27 – June 26, 2022 at The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, with digital access to the filmed performance available until July 10, 2022.

Having worked together on Luck of the Irish at The Huntington, playwright Greenidge and director Bensussen reunite to bring Boston’s history to life on stage with an intricately woven theatrical piece based in part on, and inspired by, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner for non-fiction, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas.

Lukas’ iconic book follows three Boston families through the 1970s – the Divers in the South End, the Twymons in Roxbury, and the McGoffs in Charlestown – as they experience Boston’s attempt at school desegregation through court-mandated busing. Greenidge’s theatrical adaptation uses the book as a jumping off point to explore Boston’s history, as well as issues of race and class surrounding the integration of Boston Public Schools, and the impact of the past on the present day. Developed with ArtsEmerson, Greenidge and Bensussen first began collaborating on the play while teaching a course at Emerson College in 2011.


“The book Common Ground remains incredibly relevant,” says Greenidge, “and really speaks to where we are today in terms of our Boston public school system, the neighborhoods we inhabit, and how we interact – the issues are complicated and very specific. I think sometimes we can lose sight of what came before, and reexamining those narratives is crucial to how we live our lives in this region.”


Common Ground Revisited is a theatrical quilt capturing different moments of Boston’s past, seen through a variety of perspectives,” says Bensussen. “We hope to start conversations, and with our storytelling invite our audiences to think about those challenging times, and their impact on our contemporary assumptions and narratives.”


The cast of Common Ground Revisited features an ensemble of 12 actors, each of whom are from Greater Boston or who have strong Boston ties. The cast members have played a vital role in the development of the piece through workshops and readings, and a number of their personal stories and experiences have been incorporated into the script. They are, in alphabetical order:


· Marianna Bassham (Lisa McGoff/Ensemble; she/her) – Hurricane Diane, Sweat, Luck of the Irish and many more at The Huntington; the films Don’t Look Up and Moonrise Kingdom, and “Olive Kittridge” on HBO


· Kadahj Bennett (Richard Twymon/Ensemble; he/him) – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at The Huntington; People, Places, and Things and Pass Over at SpeakEasy Stage


· Elle Borders (Cassandra Twymon/Ensemble; she/her) – We All Fall Down at The Huntington, Black Odyssey Boston at The Front Porch Arts Collective/Central Square Theater


· Matthew Bretschneider (Ensemble; he/him) – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe, Dead End at The Huntington


· Shanaé Burch (Rachel Twymon Jr/Ensemble; she/her) – Milk Like Sugar and The View from Here at The Huntington

· Amanda Collins (Alice McGoff/Ensemble; she/her) – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Merrimack Rep); The Thanksgiving Play (Lyric Stage); Old Money (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.)


· Stacy Fischer (Joan Diver/Ensemble; she/her) – Our Town and A Month in the Country at The Huntington; Photograph 51 at Central Square Theater, The Pink Unicorn at SpeakEasy Stage


· Michael Kaye (Colin Diver/Ensemble; he/him) – Dead End and Two Lives at The Huntington; Admissions, Mothers and Sons, and Clybourne Park at SpeakEasy Stage


· Shannon Lamb (Rachel Twymon Sr/Ensemble; she/her) – Letters to Kamala (WAM), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (UMASS Theater), It Happened in Little Rock, Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theatre)


· Karen MacDonald (Ensemble) – Ether Dome, M, Good People, Before I Leave You, Bus Stop, All My Sons, A Civil War Christmas at The Huntington; The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, 73 productions at ART


· Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Ensemble; he/him) – Sweat, Merrily We Roll Along, Skeleton Crew and more at The Huntington, Co-Producing Artistic Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective


· Omar Robinson (Ensemble; he/him) - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are DeadTartuffe, and Romeo and Juliet at The Huntington

The creative team for Common Ground Revisited includes scenic design by Sara Brown (Champion at Boston Lyric Opera), costume design by An-lin Dauber (Paul Swan is Dead and Gone, What You are Now with The Civilians), lighting design by Brian J. Lilienthal (Awake and Sing, Yerma, Quixote Nuevo at The Huntington), sound design by Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (Sweat at The Huntington), projection design by Rasean Davonté Johnson (The March to Liberation at New York Philharmonic), and hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas (Man in the Ring, Indecent at The Huntington, Jagged Little Pill on Broadway). The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 


Kirsten Greenidge she/her (Co-conceiver, Adaptor) is The Huntington's 2022 Spotlight Gala Wimberly Honoree, a Huntington Playwrighting Fellow from 2007-2009 and the author of Our Daughters, Like Pillars, Milk Like Sugar and Luck of the Irish (The Huntington), as well as The View from Here (commission from The Huntington's Education Department). A Village Voice/Obie Award winner and a PEN/America Laura Pels Award recipient, she is also the author of Greater Good, Splendor, Bossa Nova, Rust, Sans-Culottes in the Promised Land, 103 Within the Veil, and The Gibson Girl. She has developed her work at Sundance (Utah and Ucross), Magic Theatre, National New Play Network, Page 73 Productions, Bay Area Playwrights, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, ASK, McCarter Theatre Center, and New Georges. She is a recipient of an NEA/TCG residency at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and was playwright-in-residence at Company One Theatre. She received Sundance’s Time Warner Award for Bossa Nova. Ms. Greenidge attended Wesleyan University and the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop. A member of Rhombus and an alumna member of New Dramatists, she is currently working on commissions from Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Big Ten, The Kennedy Center, and Playwrights Horizons.

Melia Bensussen (Co-conceiver, Director, she/her) Huntington: We All Fall Down, Yerma, A Doll’s HouseAwake and Sing!,  Luck of the Irishand Circle Mirror TransformationOther directing credits include work with Hartford Stage, Shakespeare & Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Sleeping Weazel, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and many others. She has received two directing awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, including their top honor, the Statue Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Ms. Bensussen’s edition of Langston Hughes’ translation of Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group, and she is featured in Rebecca Daniels’ Women Stage Directors Speak, Nancy Taylor’s Women Direct Shakespeare, and in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. An Obie Award-winning director, she is on the executive board of the Society of Directors and Choreographers and serves as chair of the Arts Advisory Board for the Princess Grace Foundation. A longtime Emerson College faculty member, Ms. Bensussen is the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.


WHEN

In-person performances: May 27 – June 26, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.

Digital: Available June 20 until July 10, 2022

Anticipated running time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including one intermissi


WHERE

The Huntington/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston.


TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances and to a digital recording of the performance start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

online at huntingtontheatre.org

by phone at 617-266-0800; or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

Select discounts apply:

$10 off: season ticket holders

$30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)

$20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)


ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR COMMON GROUND REVISITED

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.


ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, June 10 at 8:00 pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30pm. The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, June 25 at 2pm. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.  Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility for information.


Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.


PODCAST: COMMON GROUND: IN PERSPECTIVE

During the past year, director Melia Bensussen and playwright Kirsten Greenidge created two podcast episodes for a series called Common Ground: In Perspective. Powered by The Huntington in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, each episode features a short audio play followed by a conversation with local leaders and scholars to explore the history surrounding busing, school desegregation, education, and opportunity in the city of Boston. The podcast can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/plays-and-events/digital-events/common-ground-in-perspective.

Episode 1: The Mayor

This episode focuses on Mayor Kevin White and his clash with federal authorities over sending national guard troops to enforce busing, and features a panel discussion with Bishop John Borders III, Dr. Karilynn Crockett, and Professor Matthew Delmont, moderated by co-dramaturg Neema Avashia.


Episode 2: The Editor

This episode traces Boston Globe editor Tom Winship’s leadership of the paper through the busing era and discusses the role of media in shaping our perceptions, and features a panel discussion with veteran reporter Garry Armstrong and GBH reporter Phillip Martin, moderated by co-dramaturg Neema Avashia.

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

The Huntington is committed to providing safe and healthy venues for our audiences, artists, staff, and community.  All patrons must present either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to enter the theatre, and masks are required to be worn throughout the theatre. More information can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/covid.

Our specific policies and protocols are evolving and subject to change and will be communicated clearly to ticket holders in advance of their performance. Anyone not complying with safety protocols will not be admitted. The Huntington encourages any patrons who feel ill or test positive for COVID-19, to refrain from coming to the theatre, and to contact tickets@huntingtontheatre.org to exchange their tickets into another performance or to a digital option.


DIGITAL INSURANCE

If patrons ever feel as if they would rather not see Common Ground Revisited in person – for any reason – they can easily exchange their tickets into a specially recorded version of this play. OR, they can purchase tickets to the digital version of Common Ground Revisited in advance.

The digital recording of Common Ground Revisited will be available June 20 until July 10, 2022.

WITH AN EXPANDED 2022/23 SEASON, BLO RETURNS TO STAGES – INSIDE, OUTSIDE AND ONSCREEN 

 

Onstage performances include a free outdoor Romeo & Juliet this summer, 

a reverse take on La bohème this fall, a winter installation of Bluebeard’s Castle, 

and a spring production of BLO’s co-commissioned opera Omar by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels. 

  

Opera artist Nina Yoshida Nelsen joins BLO as Artistic Advisor. 

  

MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Giddens and Boston poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola collaborate on a BLO-commissioned concert premiere. 

  

Digital offerings grow on operabox.tv streaming service, including new ASL aria series. 

  

Subscriptions on sale today. 

  

BOSTON – April 27, 2022 – In announcing its 2022/23 Season today, Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) unveils an expanded, year-round return to stages throughout Boston, starting with a free outdoor production of Charles Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet on the Boston Common this summer and culminating in a spring 2023 production of the new opera Omar, co-commissioned by BLO from composers Rhiannon Giddens (below, l.) and Michael Abels at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre. 

 

This fall, BLO mounts a new time-flipped production of Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème by visionary director Yuval Sharon that opens with the opera’s tragic ending and moves backward in time to the carefree depiction of Parisian artists in love. The production, which BLO co-produced with Detroit Opera and Spoleto Festival USA, opens at the restored Emerson Colonial Theatre in an arrangement with Ambassador Theatre Group. 

 

In early spring 2023, BLO presents a new production of Béla Bartók’s one-act psychological thriller Bluebeard’s Castle directed by Anne Bogart, whose 2019 production of The Handmaid’s Tale for BLO received universal acclaim. Bluebeard will be produced at The Terminal @ Flynn Cruiseport Boston and combined with the dramatic work Four Songs (Vier Lieder), a song cycle by composer Alma Mahler

The 2022/23 Season includes the premiere of another BLO-commissioned collaboration – this one between 2022 Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens and City of Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. The concert builds on previous collaboration between BLO and the City of Boston that brings together the words of prominent local poets and the music of contemporary composers to create entirely new works.

 

“In planning for this season, we felt a strong need to look at the impact BLO can make beyond the boundaries of a traditional season, and plan for an expanded artistic and programming footprint with a greater reach in our home community,” says Acting Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter. “These works can enrich our lives every day in expanded ways, from free performances on Boston Common to operas in familiar theaters, public programming throughout the city, and cinematic works – making opera accessible year-round for everyone.” 

 

[MEDIA: More info on BLO’s 2022/23 Season mainstage productions can be found below.

 

DIGITAL OFFERINGS 

BLO continues to create opera and opera-inspired online experiences for its operabox.tv streaming platform, this season and next. With this work, the company explores new ways of expanding the artistic expression of opera and access to the artform. The first in a new series of free digital shorts commissioned from the New York artist collaborative UP UNTIL NOW launched last week, centering American Sign Language (ASL) as both a medium and a new language through which to bring the artform to new audiences. 

 

Called “SOUL(SIGNS): OPERA,” the series is developed by a diverse group of artistic collaborators from the Deaf and hearing communities whose work combines ASL, music and striking cinematic visuals to animate new recordings from three operas. “SOUL(SIGNS): OPERA” was commissioned by BLO with Opera Omaha, Opera Columbus and Portland Opera.  More information about the ongoing series can be found here.

 

FREE COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING 

Boston Lyric Opera will continue producing free artistic programs in Boston-area communities and invite people to engage with the company in new ways. “Our Street Stage mobile performances will resume this summer,” Vernatter says. “And we have plans to invite audiences into BLO’s expanded studio space in Fort Point. I look forward to sharing announcements on those activities soon.” 

 

PERSONNEL NEWS 

Nina Yoshida Nelsen Joins BLO Artistic Team

Brad Vernatter announced that opera artist Nina Yoshida Nelsen (r.) will join the company as an Artistic Advisor. In addition to her singing career (she was Mamma Lucia in BLO’s fall 2021 live production of Cavalleria Rusticana), the Boston University alum co-founded the Asian Opera Alliance, and is a featured artist in BLO’s “The Butterfly Process” initiative that explores and reconsiders Asian stereotypes in the traditional opera repertoire. 

Along with Artistic Advisors John Conklin and Vimbayi Kaziboni, Nelsen will propose and weigh in on future artistic planning. She will contribute to the implementation of ideas that emerge from “The Butterfly Process” and from BLO’s commitment to increase representation of people and stories in its artistic, community-based, and administrative work. 

 

“To me, joining Boston Lyric Opera means aligning myself with a team leading the change needed in our industry,” Nelsen says.  “BLO is doing vital work to move opera forward – the right work, the groundwork that allows for thoughtful, intentional and socially responsible artistic decisions. It’s been amazing to see. This new position gives me the unique chance to work on my passion for opera and my passion for representation. I want diverse audiences to love the music they hear, and see people on stage they relate to.” 

  

“I have been inspired by Nina’s work and her passion for opera since the moment we first met,” Vernatter says. “She is a wonderful artist, a leader for equity in our industry, and a force for real change. We are lucky to bring her onto our team.” 

 

David Tompkins Becomes Chief Operating Officer 

Vernatter announced today that David Tompkins (r.) will join BLO as Chief Operating Officer. A longtime nonprofit management consultant in New England with an extensive background in arts leadership, Tompkins served as Production Stage Manager for Sundance Film Festival, Executive Director at Ballet Arizona and General Manager of Boston Ballet for nearly six years, among other positions. Tompkins fills the role left vacant when Vernatter accepted the Acting General & Artistic Director position for the company. 

 

“I am happy to welcome Dave to BLO,” Vernatter says. “His incredible resume complements the company’s leadership team, and his extensive experience in nonprofit arts operations makes him the ideal person to plan for and manage the day-to-day activities that support BLO’s ambitious artistic goals.”

 

MORE ON BLO’S 2022/23 MAINSTAGE SEASON 

 

ROMEO & JULIET 

August 11 and 13, 2022 

FREE on Boston Common 

Presenting in partnership with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) and the City of Boston, Boston Lyric Opera returns to the Boston Common for the first time since 2002, with a production of Gounod’s operatic version of Shakespeare's most famous love story. With a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, this mid-19th Century take on the classic Montague-versus-Capulet story includes all the famous scenes, from the balcony to the sword fights to the fateful tombs. Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus supports the composer’s beautiful duets and arias.

 

This English language, English-surtitled production stars Ricardo Garcia in his company debut as Romeo and Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumna Vanessa Becerra making her company debut as Juliet. BLO Music Director David Angus will conduct; CSC Artistic Director Steve Maler is the stage director. 

 

LA BOHÈME 

September 23 – October 2, 2022 

Emerson Colonial Theatre 

A startlingly simple idea yields a new perspective on a tried-and-true opera favorite. Director Yuval Sharon’s production reorients Giacomo Puccini’s story from tragedy back to love by transposing the final act to the beginning and running the acts in reverse order. Each act retains its music as well as the Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. In a nod to a season that follows two years of an international pandemic, Sharon’s production tells a much-needed story that moves audiences from darkness to light. BLO Music Director David Angus will conduct.  Stage design is by BLO Artistic Advisor John Conklin. Costume design is by Jessica Jahn

  

Lauren Michelle (Nedda in 2019’s Pagliacci) returns to BLO to sing the role of Mimi. Matthew White will portray Rodolfo. Edward Parks is Marcello. Benjamin Taylor is Schaunard, and William Guanbo Su is Colline. David Angus conducts the BLO Orchestra. Sung in Italian with English surtitles, La bohème is a co-production of Boston Lyric Opera, Detroit Opera and Spoleto Festival USA. 

  

BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE 

March 22-26, 2023 

The Terminal @ Flynn Cruiseport Boston 

In spring 2023, BLO sheds fresh light on composer Bartók and librettist Béla Balázs’s early 20th century expressionist opera about a new bride, Judith, who visits her husband’s gothic home for the first time. Stage Director Anne Bogart (2019’s The Handmaid’s Tale) puts her distinctive stamp on the tale of a woman who, in exploring seven forbidden rooms – each more disturbing than the last – sacrifices more than she bargained for. The one-act, English-sung Bluebeard is combined with composer Alma Mahler’s Vier Lieder (Four Songs), a song cycle that links thematically to Judith’s plight, giving her an expanded world and a new voice. BLO Music Director David Angus will conduct.

 

OMAR 

May 4-7, 2023 

Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre 

Inspired by an autobiographical essay of a Muslim man enslaved in America, Omar is the story of Omar Ibn Said, a prominent scholar of the Islamic faith and many other subjects, who was born to a wealthy West African family. Brought to South Carolina as a slave at 37 years old, Ibn Said escaped his first place of enslavement and headed to North Carolina where he lived as a slave until his death in 1864. 

 

Grammy and MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship winner Rhiannon Giddens (a founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops and Artistic Director of the locally based Silkroad) composed the music and wrote the libretto, in partnership with film and orchestral composer Michael Abels (“Get Out,” “Us” soundtracks and BLO’s desert in finale), for a production conceived by Kaneza Schaal. Omar is co-commissioned and co-produced by Boston Lyric Opera with Spoleto Festival USA, L.A. Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. Sung in English with English surtitles.

 

SUPPORT FOR THE SEASON

BLO’s 2022-2023 season is funded, in part, by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. BLO’s production of La bohème is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Rhiannon Giddens/Porsha Olayiwola project is commissioned with support from the Merrill Family Charitable Foundation.

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW 

Subscriptions for Boston Lyric Opera’s 2022/23 Season start at $60 and are available beginning April 27 here or by phone at 617-542-6772. 

  

#   #   # 

 

MEDIA CONTACT

  • An embeddable teaser video about the season is here.

  • For photos, interviews or more information, reach John Michael Kennedy, jmk@jmkpr.com, 781-620-1761 (office) / 212-842-1752 (mobile/text). 



🙌FROM OUR STUDENTS OF CHUANG LAB@EMERSON!

This spring, CHUANG Lab@Emerson is excited to present a classic comedy of contemporary Chinese theater--Secret Love for Peach Blossom Land. The play follows two plays at the same time—one a bawdy retelling of a classic Chinese fable, the other a poignant story of a couple separated in the wake of China’s 1949 revolution—collide onstage when two acting troupes accidentally book the same theatre for rehearsals.

Our student Director Shiyi Shen reworked the play to be set in Boston’s Chinatown, leading the cast and creative team through research and dramatic interpretation of our relationship with the old and the new.


在这个春季,创剧社将为大家带来《暗恋桃花源》(Secret Love In Peach Blossom Land):“暗恋”和“桃花源”是两个不相干的剧组,他们都与剧场签定了当晚彩排的合约,双方争执不下,谁也不肯相让。由于演出在即,他们不得不同时在剧场中彩排,遂成就了一出古今悲喜交错的舞台奇观。

 

Secret Love for Peach Blossom Land 
暗恋桃花源

>> Saturday, April 9, 7:30PM
>> Sunday, April 10, 7:00PM


Performance in Mandarin Chinese with English Surtitles

At Greene Theater, 10 Boylston Place, Boston, MA 02116

《暗恋桃花源》巧妙地融合了两个毫不相干的剧组:“暗恋”是一出现代悲剧。青年男女江滨柳和云之凡在上海因战乱相遇,也因战乱离散;其后两人不约而同逃到台湾,却彼此不知情,苦恋40年后才得以相见,当时男婚女嫁已多年,江滨柳已濒临病终。“桃花源”则是一出古装喜剧。武陵人渔夫老陶之妻春花与房东袁老板私通,老陶离家出走桃花源;等他回武陵后,春花已与袁老板成家生子。此时剧场突然停电,一个寻找男友的疯女人呼喊着男友的名字在剧场中跑过…

我们期待着热爱戏剧的你,和我们一起经历,创造,心中暗唱恋曲,走进桃花之源。

*演出门票可在Chowbus手机客户端获取

(点击此处查看购票指南)
我们会通过电子邮件与您联系。
早鸟票即将售罄!

*我们将在演出前半小时于Tufte门口进行当天余票销售。
 

The play intends to convey the influence of social unrest on ordinary people and their pursuits of happiness. CHUANG Lab's adaptation of Secret Love for Peach Blossom Land will retain most of the story structure and dialogues while changing the setting to a Boston-based Chinese community. We want to discuss life in the context of the global pandemic in magical elements and stage languages that would diversify your ideas on theater. 

We cannot wait to see you back in the theater again!  

*Get the tickets through Chowbus App, once you purchase the tickets you will receive a confirmation email.
(Click here for detailed purchase instructions!) 

*Rush tickets are available at the theater entrance (Emerson College "2B" valley). 

About CHUANG Lab@Emerson

CHUANG Lab@Emerson is the second stage of CHUANG Stage as an Emerson College recognized student organization. CHUANG Lab provides accessible theater education and hands-on production opportunities to college students from China, building community and fostering the next generation of socially-aware international artists.

CHUANG Lab(创剧社)是Emerson College的中文学生戏剧社群,也是波士顿双语戏剧公司CHUANG Stage的姊妹组织;创剧社为学院中才华横溢、抱有热忱的戏剧学子与爱好者们打造在台前幕后成长与闪耀的机会,遇见挚友与同行的梦想家。 

Copyright © 2022, CHUANG Stage, Inc., All rights reserved.

CHUANG Stage is the Mandarin-English bilingual, bicultural theater company in Boston, MA that cultivates boundary-breaking and innovative AAPI stories that create change in the world.

CHUANG Stage, Inc is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in Massachusetts.
Make a tax-deductible donation to CHUANG Stage,
and support Boston's future defined by AAPI talents and new stories. 

THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF OUR DAUGHTERS, LIKE PILLARS BY KIRSTEN GREENIDGE

 

A touching and uproarious family comedy that explores Black motherhood and sisterhood today

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the world premiere of Our Daughters, Like Pillars, written by Obie Award-winning playwright and Huntington Playwriting Fellow Kirsten Greenidge (Luck of the Irish, Milk Like Sugar at The Huntington). The production runs from April 8 to May 8, 2022 at The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, with digital access to the filmed performance available until May 22, 2022.

 

Greenidge joins forces with director Kimberly Senior (Sweat, The Niceties at The Huntington; Disgraced on Broadway) to tell the epic and funny saga of one whirlwind week in the life of a contemporary Black family from Boston.

 

The story begins when Lavinia brings her sisters and mother on a much-needed family vacation. She has planned the week to the smallest detail - antiquing in the afternoons, grilled steaks for dinner, absolutely no cellphones allowed - and if Lavinia gets her way, they will stay forever. What will her sisters have to say? Our Daughters, Like Pillars asks about the ties that bind us to our families. How do sisters hold each other up and hold each other back? Will togetherness split this family apart, or can it bring them together? 

 

Greenidge, who grew up near Boston, drew inspiration from her family when writing the show, but allowed the characters to take on a life of their own.  “I do have sisters, and we are very close. But I really have to push myself to make Our Daughters, Like Pillars not autobiographical and allow all of these characters to do things and say things that are much funnier and meaner and far more audacious than we would all behave towards each other in real life,” she explained. “That is the delight of being an artist, a playwright.”

 

Originally scheduled to begin performances in March 2020, the cast and crew of Our Daughters, Like Pillars was about to start technical rehearsals in the theatre when COVID-19 shut down performance venues and much of the city, and the set remained on stage for several months until Huntington staff could remove and store it in the summer of 2020.

 

“Given how difficult the last years have been for so many of us, I hope this play offers an invitation to get lost in another space for a short bit of time,” Greenidge said, “I hope audiences enjoy the story of this particular family. I hope they laugh.”

 

The cast of Our Daughters, Like Pillars features, in alphabetical order:

 

Lyndsay Allyn Cox (Zelda; she/her) as the free-spirited, youngest sibling of the Shaw family. Credits include Witch (The Huntington), Bright Half Life (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Three Musketeers (Greater Boston Stage Company).

 

Lizan Mitchell (Yvonne) as the matriarch of the Shaw family, who raised all three girls on her own after their father left. Credits include Electra, Having Our Say, So Long on Lonely Street (Broadway).

 

Julian Parker (Paul; he/him) as the romantic interest of Zelda, who he met two weeks before agreeing to accompany her on a family vacation. Credits include Pass OverGospel of Franklin and Blacktop (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), “The Chi” (Showtime), “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Fire” (NBC).

 

Postell Pringle (Morris) as Lavinia’s husband, who regularly assists in her antics. Credits include A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater), Q Brother’s Christmas CarolOthello: The Remix and Funk It Up About Nothin’ (Chicago Shakespeare Theater).

 

Nikkole Salter (Lavinia) as the eldest sister, who has rented out a vacation house in New Hampshire under the guise of a family reunion. Credits include Luck of the Irish, Stick Fly (The Huntington), The Great Society (Broadway).

 

Cheryl D. Singleton (Missy; she/her) as the stepmother of the Shaw sisters, who arrives unexpectedly on their family trip. Credits include Sonia Flew (understudy) at The Huntington. The Boston Project: Project Resilience (SpeakEasy Stage Co.), The America Plays (Plays in Place), “Castle Rock” (Hulu).

 

Arie Thompson (Octavia; she/her) as the accomplished and intelligent middle sister, whose marriage is slowly falling apart. Credits include The Fifth Season (Institute for the Future of Storytelling, UCLA); Haymarket 8 (Steppenwolf Theatre); Twelve Volt Heart (Hartford Stage).

 

Image preview

 

In alphabetical order, left to right: Lyndsay Allyn Cox, Lizan Mitchell, Julian Parker, Postell Pringle, Nikkole Salter, Cheryl D. Singleton, Arie Thompson.

 

The creative team for Our Daughters, Like Pillars includes set design by Marion Williams (The Wanderers at The Old Globe; King Lear at the Guthrie Theater), costume design by Sarita Fellows (Original Sound at The Cherry Lane Theater; The Haunted Life Merrimack Repertory Theater), lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger (Witch, Top Girls, Venus in FurInvisible Man at The Huntington), hair, wig, and makeup design by Tommy Kurzman (In TransitThe King & I National Tour with LCT Production), and sound design by Jane Shaw (The Killer at Theater for a New Audience; Actually at Manhattan Theater Club/Williamstown Theatre Festival). The production stage manager is Kevin Schlagle and the stage manager is Ashley Pitchford.

 

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

 

Kirsten Greenidge (Playwright, she/her) is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow from 2007-2009 and the author of Milk Like Sugar and Luck of the Irish (premiered at The Huntington in 2016 and 2012 respectively), as well as The View from Here (commission from The Huntington's Education Department). A Village Voice/Obie Award winner and a PEN/America Laura Pels Award recipient, she is also the author of Greater Good, SplendorBossa NovaRustSans-Culottes in the Promised Land103 Within the Veil, and The Gibson Girl. She has developed her work at Sundance (Utah and Ucross), Magic Theatre, National New Play Network, Page 73 Productions, Bay Area Playwrights, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, ASK, McCarter Theatre Center, and New Georges. She is a recipient of an NEA/TCG residency at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and was playwright-in-residence at Company One Theatre. She received Sundance’s Time Warner Award for Bossa Nova. Ms. Greenidge attended Wesleyan University and the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop. A member of Rhombus and an alumna member of New Dramatists, she is currently working on commissions from The Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Big Ten, The Kennedy Center, and Playwrights Horizons.

 

Kimberly Senior (Director; she/her) is thrilled to return to The Huntington where she previously directed Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Eleanor Burgess’ The Niceties.  Broadway: Disgraced. Off-Broadway: Harvey Fierstein’s Bella Bella (Manhattan Theatre Club); Aasif Mandvi’s Sakina’s Restaurant (Audible Theatre); Discord (Primary Stages); Engagements (Second Stage). Regional: Support Group for MenRapture, Blister, Burn (Goodman Theatre); Buried Child; Hedda Gabler; Marjorie Prime and others (Writers Theatre); Byhalia, MS (Kennedy Center); Sex with Strangers (Geffen Playhouse) and many more.  TV: Chris Gethard’s Career Suicide (HBO/Judd Apatow). Audio: The Wastelanders: Starlord (Marvel/Sirius XM); Ghostwriter (Cadence 13); Dan Rather’s Stories of a Lifetime; Margaret Trudeau’s Certain Woman of an Age (Audible) and many more.  Kimberly is a member of Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Collective and a proud member of SDC.  kimberlysenior.net

 

 

OUR DAUGHTERS, LIKE PILLARS PRODUCTION CALENDAR

 

Table

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WHEN

In-person performances: April 8-May 8, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues.- Sat. at 7:30pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.

Digital: Available until May 22, 2022

Anticipated running time: Three acts with two intermissions. An updated runtime will be available once performances begin and is anticipated to be approximately 2hrs 45mins.

Press Opening: April 20, 2022 RSVP here

For photos, click here

 

WHERE

The Huntington/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston.

 

TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances and to a digital recording of the performance start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

online at huntingtontheatre.org

by phone at 617-266-0800; or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

Select discounts apply:

$10 off: season ticket holders

$30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)

$20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

 

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR OUR DAUGHTERS, LIKE PILLARS

 

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

 

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, April 22 at 7:30pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

 

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30pm. The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play.

 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, May 7 at 2pm. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.  Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility for information.

 

Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.

 

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

 

The Huntington is committed to providing safe and healthy venues for our audiences, artists, staff, and community.  Our specific policies and protocols are evolving, subject to change, and will be communicated clearly to ticket holders in advance of their performance.  Currently, all patrons must present either proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to enter the theatre, and masks are required to be worn throughout the theatre. Up-to-date information can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/covid.

 

The Huntington encourages any patrons who feel ill or test positive for COVID-19 to refrain from coming to the theatre and to contact tickets@huntingtontheatre.org to exchange their tickets for another performance or a digital option.

 

DIGITAL INSURANCE

If patrons ever feel as if they would rather not see Our Daughters, Like Pillars in person – for any reason – they can easily exchange their tickets into a specially recorded version of this play. OR, they can purchase tickets to the digital version of Our Daughters, Like Pillars in advance.

 

The digital recording of Our Daughters, Like Pillars will be available until May 22.

 

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA:

Any members of the media who are interested in speaking with the artists of Our Daughters, Like Pillars or attending or getting footage of The Huntington’s return to live, in-person performances, please contact Caroline Connolly, Publicist, cconnolly@huntingtontheatre.org or 617-273-1520.

 

Press night for critics is Wednesday, April 20, 2022.  Please RSVP here

 

Production photos will be available for download online, and b-roll footage can be requested.

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

 

Celebrating its 40th season, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Maso and Artistic Director Loretta Greco, The Huntington is currently conducting a transformational renovation of the historic Huntington Theatre, a storied venue with a bold vision for the future. The project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.


Laila J. Franklin’s GRIEF OBJECTS: An invitation to heal by unpacking objects we’ve put away


Photo: Miranda Meyer


Friday, March 11, 2022

• 6pm–7pm: GRIEF OBJECTS | Performance Cycle #1

• 7pm–8pm: Reception

• 8pm–9pm: GRIEF OBJECTS | Performance Cycle #2


Boston, MA (February 25, 2022) — Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is pleased to welcome Laila J. Franklin as their latest Run of the Mills Resident. Franklin will be presenting her experimental work GRIEF OBJECTS on Friday, March 11, 2022 at 6pm and 8pm. A reception will be held on Friday, March 11 at 7pm. See full details here.

GRIEF OBJECTS is the “catharsis of dusting off that box that has been hiding under your bed for the last year or the one in your grandfather’s attic that has gone untouched for decades.” Franklin asks us to consider why we hold onto these objects. Why do we organize? What is storage versus an archive? How do the objects of grief constantly object to grief? When do they become gifts?

GRIEF OBJECTS is a multidisciplinary gallery walk and performance, and an invitation to enliven and reconsider the ways we engage with the various waves of grief that seem to engulf us so frequently right now. Franklin invites us to explore a collection of personal objects — physical and digital — that have been archived in grieving processes over the last 3 years in a space activated by dance and sound performers.

GRIEF OBJECTS seeks to hold space for grief, longing, and disarray while objecting to our traditional, cultural aesthetic assumptions of grief and the (perceived) excess that comes with it. This performance was developed in collaboration with Kate Gow and David Dogan.

The Run of the Mills Residency at BCA supports art that defies categorization. This series provides resources to produce trans-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary projects for site-responsive, short duration exhibitions, performances, and events of all stripes at the Mills Gallery at BCA.

Artists take over the Mills Gallery for one week between exhibitions to experiment and create a new work. This mini-lab offers artists the opportunity to experiment and share their work with the public in a unique setting. The Run of the Mills series features artist-driven projects exploring elements as varied as written word, dance, video, cooking, fashion, and interactive sound elements.

 

Quote from the artist Laila J. Franklin (she/her):

“It is my hope that this work, while deeply personal and specific to my own current experience of extended grief, can connect folks to alternative ways of grieving — of feeling the aliveness of objects we may quickly label “junk” that should be hidden or discarded. I believe that we can experience healing and community through our archiving and keeping our archives alive and accessible, and maybe by providing access to a part of my personal archive, other folks may feel enlivened to re-engage with theirs too as a means to process the waves of grief that seem to engulf us so frequently right now.”

 

Quote from Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts, Boston Center for the Arts (she/her):

“This project is a reflection of this current moment — an opportunity to connect with artists and audiences as we balance the pull between loss and hope — as we process the layers of grief and letting go while also dreaming and building hope for what's next.”

 

About artist Laila J. Franklin (she/her):

Laila J. Franklin (b. 1997) is a Boston-based (unceded Massachusett and Pawtucket Land) dance artist and movement researcher from the Washington, DC area (unceded Nacotchtonk and Pistacatoway Land). She is a co-founder and current performing member of Dance Farm Collective, an experimental dance group loosely based in Iowa City, Iowa (unceded Sauk and Meskwaki Land), alongside collaborators Michael Landez, Mariko Ishikawa, and Juliet Remmers. She is a current dancer and collaborator with little house dance company (ME) under the direction of Heather Stewart. 

 

Her performance and collaboration credits include projects with Ruckus Dance (MA) and Haus of Pvmnt (NY) and projects with Miguel Gutierrez, Dr. Christopher-Rasheem McMillan, Jennifer Kayle, Melinda Jean Myers, and Stephanie Miracle. While an undergraduate student, Laila had the opportunity to perform work by Keith Thompson, Aszure Barton, and Mark Morris.

 

Laila’s choreography has been presented through Third Life Studios (MA), Public Space One (IA), the Boston Conservatory, and the University of Iowa. She is a recipient of a 2022 Run of the Mills Residency through the Boston Center for the Arts Mills Gallery. She is also a recipient of a 2022 Alumni Choreographic Commission through The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

 

Laila has been working as a teaching artist since 2018. She has taught contemporary dance classes as a part of the Midday Movement Series (MA) and served as a teaching assistant at the University of Iowa for 2000-level dance studies courses. She is an SY2021/2022 adjunct professor of dance at Salem State University (MA) and is a teaching artist with VLA Dance (MA). Expanding this work, she also serves as a consultant and collaborator for social justice education projects and programming for Midday Movement Series.

 

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Iowa. She has completed additional training through the Trinity Laban Conservatoire (LDN), the Lion's Jaw Dance and Performance Festival (MA), Movement Research (NY), and the Bates Dance Festival (ME).

 

Instagram:       @la.frank
Website:          lailajfranklin.com

 

About Boston Center for the Arts:

Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) supports working artists to create, perform, and exhibit new works; develops new audiences; and connects the arts to community, and has for over five decades engaged the creative community for public good. While the organization’s physical residence is in the historic South End, BCA touches every part of Boston’s cultural ecosystem. A leading force in the city’s cultural community, BCA has supported thousands of individual artists, small organizations and performing arts companies, who add depth and dimension to the Boston arts ethos. Through residencies and programming, BCA serves as an epicenter for an expanding cohort of artists working across all disciplines, and has catalyzed careers by providing fertile ground for experimentation and artistic risk-taking.

 

Photography and more information:

·      Photos

·      Event Page for Run of the Mills performances and reception



THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES LORETTA GRECO  

AS NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR –   

FIRST WOMAN IN THE ROLE IN HUNTINGTON HISTORY 

 

Champion of new plays and passionate advocate for diverse artists 

will lead the company during exciting time of transformational change 

 

 

(BOSTON) – Chairman David Epstein and President Sharon Malt, on behalf of The Huntington’s Board of Trustees and Advisors, announced today the appointment of acclaimed stage director, producer, and community builder Loretta Greco as The Huntington’s next Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director. She will be the first woman in the role and the fourth artistic leader in The Huntington’s 40-year history. She will begin immediately on a consultant basis and join the company full time starting July 1, 2022. 

 

In her 12-year tenure as artistic director of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, she created an artistic home for a wide range of writers such as Luis Alfaro, Jessica Hagedorn, John Kolvenbach, Taylor Mac, Sam Shepard, Octavio Solis, Lloyd Suh, and Mfoniso Udofia. As a prolific freelance director, she has directed a wide range of premieres to reimagined classics and has been produced all over the country. Previously she was producing artistic director of the WP Theater (formerly known as the Women's Project) in New York City, and was associate director and staff producer of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ. 

 

Widely recognized as a passionate advocate for BIPOC artists and a champion of new plays, Greco has a track record of fostering a nurturing, inclusive environment for staff, artists, and their work, as well as engaging the community to create robust collaborations and partnerships. 

 

Her artistic collaborators praise her for her authenticity, generosity of spirit, and infectious energy, in addition to her natural leadership and commitment to artistic excellence.  

 

“Loretta Greco is a breathtaking director; a rigorous, demanding artist with a decidedly human touch,” says playwright and collaborator Mfoniso Udofia, author of Sojourners and runboyrun. “Under her brilliant leadership, the Magic Theatre became one of the most committed and staunchest supporters of my work. No play is too hard. No idea too grand. And I am confident that she will bring heart, rigor, and scintillating theatre to The Huntington." 

 

“Loretta is one of the great humans working in the American theatre. Inspirational, committed, so insightful, craft up the wazoo, years of experience demanding inclusion, and a blast to be with,” says author and performance artist Taylor Mac, author of Pulitzer finalist A 24-Decade History of Popular Music and Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for The Huntington and their community. I’m so jealous they get to hang out with her every day.”   

 

“Loretta Greco is a natural, transformative, and proven leader,” says Lloyd Suh, author of The Chinese Lady, American Hwangap, and others. “She works so hard and cares so deeply, not just about the work but about the people who make it. She's made an enormous impact on my life and career, and I'm confident she'll do the same for the entire Huntington community.” 

 

“Loretta is a genuine champion of playwrights,” says playwright Joshua Harmon, author of Bad Jews and Prayer for the French Republic. “She takes big risks, she makes bold moves, and she does it with more heart than almost anyone I know. She is fiercely intelligent, passionate, and nurturing. I am thrilled for my friend, and even more thrilled for The Huntington, Boston, and the American theatre – it is a victory for all of us to have someone so excellent and so worthy at the helm of this wonderful institution.” 

 

“Loretta is a collaborator to the core and a joy to work with,” says Carey Perloff, former Artistic Director of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater where Greco frequently directed. “She has championed and supported a wide range of diverse work, and has as strong an affinity for classical work as for contemporary artists. She’s a big thinker and a caring human being with a wonderful sense of humor. I'm sure she'll be a great fit for Boston and for The Huntington because she's deeply engaged with audiences and is invested in becoming part of the community. Theatre is a community resource, and theatre and community are inextricably tied together for Loretta. I can't wait to see what she does in her new position.” 

 

“Get your theatre and community ready for the liveliest blast of sunshine into your stages through her directing, programming, visioning, outreaching, and opening night dinners!” exclaims Sean San José, current artistic director of the Magic Theatre. “You are getting a leader of the loveliest, liveliest sort. Someone who loves writers, who lives to work, who was born to create, and who does it all like a family dinner – filled with excitement and energía.” 

 

Emily Mann, former artistic director of the McCarter Theatre Center and mentor to Greco, says, "Loretta Greco is a consummate artist, a visionary leader, and a community builder of the highest order. She knows how to put theatre in the center of community discourse, and she will do so by bringing the finest artists to The Huntington. I could not be happier for the Boston community and for the American theatre at large."  

 

Huntington artists such as actor Adrian Roberts and director Awoye Timpo, who both have previously collaborated with Greco, are enthusiastic about her appointment and what it means for Boston. Timpo is the director of The Huntington’s current hit production of The Bluest Eye, and Roberts has appeared previously at The Huntington in Ruined (directed by Liesl Tommy) and Raisin in the Sun (directed by Kenny Leon). 

 

“Loretta has been instrumental in lifting me up as an actor of color. I’m indebted to her for much of the success I’ve had,” shares Roberts, who has appeared in many productions at the Magic and those helmed by Greco at ACT and Cal Shakes. “She will be brilliant in Boston when it comes to lifting up social justice for all.  She champions everyone, and I mean everyone.  What I love about her is that she deals with the times we live in both onstage and off.”   

 

“Loretta Greco is a fearless leader, champion of artists, and brilliant curator,” says Timpo. “What a thrill to know that she will be taking the helm of the Huntington!” 

 

Greco joins The Huntington at an exciting time of great transformation for the company and is eager to immerse herself in the Boston community. Alongside Managing Director Michael Maso, she will lead an organization of 120 full-time staff members with an annual budget of $18 million, producing 7-8 shows and serving 200,000 audience members in multiple venues each season. And she will play a leading role in The Huntington’s commitment to becoming a more equitable and antiracist organization, its navigations coming out of the pandemic, and the major renovation of the Huntington Theatre, currently well underway and scheduled to reopen in Fall 2022. 

 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be named the next Artistic Director of this extraordinary theatre company,” says Greco. “I‘ve been so inspired by The Huntington’s commitment to animating impactful conversations between new and newly imagined work created by a wildly diverse array of world-class artists – and by the passionate, deeply mindful, and longstanding engagement within the community. It will be my great privilege to serve the magnificent city of Boston, alongside Michael Maso and the dedicated Huntington staff and board, as we conjure together a thrillingly inclusive, surprising, and transformative new era.”   

 

“Loretta Greco is a proven, fierce, and passionate advocate for writers and a fearless theatrical producer,” says Maso. “She will bring an unmatched talent for true collaboration to The Huntington’s stage, to our staff and our board, and to the Boston theatre community. I could not be more delighted at her acceptance of this position.” 

 

Greco’s appointment is the culmination of a six-month, national search, led by a 12-person Artistic Director Search Committee made up of Huntington board members, staff representatives, and community leaders, chaired by Huntington Trustees Betsy Epstein and George Yip, and working with consultants Tom Hall and Christine O’Connor of AlbertHall & Associates. 

 

“We are thrilled to have played a role in bringing Loretta Greco to The Huntington and to Boston,” say Epstein and Yip. “Loretta is a natural leader and an inspiring artist with a strong commitment to lifting up artists, supporting staff, and advancing the cause of racial justice in the American theatre. She will make our theatre and our city a better place.” 

 

Director of Production Bethany Ford and Artist-in-Residence Melinda Lopez served as staff representatives on the Artistic Director Search Committee. “I was honored to represent Huntington staff on the search committee, and I’m excited to partner with the Huntington’s first female Artistic Director in elevating the work of women and BIPOC theatre makers behind the scenes and on our stages,” says Ford. “Loretta Greco joins us at an inflection point in the institution’s history and she will undoubtedly inspire creative programming and new ideas, bring together our staff and artists, and help us center equity and diversity in our work.” 

 

Greco will begin at The Huntington immediately on a consultant basis, then will relocate to Boston and join the company full time on July 1, 2022.  The Huntington’s three prior artistic leaders were Peter Altman (1982 – 2000), Nicholas Martin (2000 – 2008), and Peter DuBois (2008 – 2020).  

 

 

ABOUT LORETTA GRECO 

 

Loretta Greco is an artistic director, producer, and director with over two decades of artistic leadership experience. Her passion is championing groundbreaking artists whose work asks robust questions about our humanity, and fostering a nurturing, rigorous artistic home for extraordinary theatremakers and audiences.  

 

Her freelance directing career spans the spectrum from reimagined classics to musicals and world premieres. Greco’s impact on the field is significant. 20 of the 26 world premieres she developed and produced have gone on to have to subsequent productions in New York and throughout the country (in 24 states) and internationally. Highlights include: the world premieres of Oedipus el Rey by Luis Alfaro; Hir by Taylor Mac; Don’t Eat the Mangos by Ricardo Perez Gonzalez; American Hwangap by Lloyd Suh; and the chamber opera Arlington by Victor Lodato and Polly Pen. Large scale productions include the Magic Theatre’s rolling world premiere of Taylor Mac’s five-hour allegory, The Lily’s Revenge with 36 performers and 6 women directors; the repertory of Mfoniso Udofia’s Sojourners and runboyrun; Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters; and Barbara Hammond’s The Eva Trilogy among others. During her tenure at the Magic Theatre, playwrights have been recognized as Pulitzer finalists, Tony Award nominees, Herb Alpert honorees, Academy Award winners, and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipients. 

 

Throughout her career, Greco has worked diligently to seek and create exciting community partnerships. Her community collaborations at the Magic included Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music in association with The Curran Theatre, Pomegranate Arts, and Stanford Live; the repertory of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays with ACT and Marin Theatre Company, and the Sheparding America celebration with ACT, Campo Santo, Crowded Fire, and Word for Word, among others. A passionate community builder, Greco spearheaded Magic’s Tenderloin Arts and Community programs for youth and adults and the Magic Laney College collaboration. 

 

Greco has directed both premieres and reimagined classics in New York, San Francisco, and throughout the country. She directed Calderon’s Life is a Dream for Cal Shakes, and critically acclaimed American revivals such as Fool for Love by Sam Shepard for Magic and Speed the Plow by David Mamet for American Conservatory Theater. She also developed and directed the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues for The Public Theater and directed the national tour of Emily Mann’s Having Our Say and its international premiere at the historic Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

 

In addition to her long tenure as Magic Theatre’s Artistic Director, she has served as Producing Artistic Director of New York’s WP Theater (formerly known as the Women’s Project) where she championed and produced a who’s who of theatre women including, Liesl Tommy, Annie Dorsen, Anne Kaufman, Lisa D’Amour, Katie Pearl, Leigh Silverman, and Diane Paulus, among many others. As Associate Director and staff producer of the McCarter Theatre Center, Greco originated their Second Stage-On-Stage festival, commissioning and producing plays from dozens of writers, including Nilo Cruz, Adrienne Kennedy, and Doug Wright, while line producing mainstage premieres such as Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight, Athol Fugard’s Valley Song, Stephen Wadsworth’s The Triumph of Love, and Mann’s Having Our Say which then moved to Broadway. 

 

Greco has taught at UCSD and at Brown University. She has served on TCG/Fox, ART/ New York, Pew Center for Arts, Drama League, and Herb Alpert Foundation panels. She is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and the recipient of Bay Area Critic’s Association Awards, Drama League fellowships, the Princess Grace Award, a Sundance/Luma Director’s fellowship, the 2018 Zelda Fichandler Award, the 2019 Gene Price Award, an honorary Acting Degree from American Conservatory Theatre, and the 2020 Sam Shepard Legacy Award. She is the proud mother of Sophia Greco Brill. 

 

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON  

 

Celebrating its 40th season, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Maso and Artistic Director Loretta Greco, The Huntington is currently conducting a transformational renovation of the historic Huntington Theatre, a storied venue with a bold vision for the future. The project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org

THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES SMASH BROADWAY HIT

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME

Heidi Schreck’s award winning play is a poignant and funny examination of how the political is often personal

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces Heidi Schreck’s Tony Award nominated play and Pulitzer Prize finalist What the Constitution Means to Me, a Broadway hit that is now on its national tour. The production runs from February 22 to March 20, 2022 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre

Directed by Oliver Butler (The Light Years at Playwrights Horizons, Jacuzzi at Ars Nova), this boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will affect the next generation of American women. Schreck originally wrote the play based on her experiences as a 15-year-old who earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious and achingly human play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

Featuring Broadway actress Cassie Beck as Heidi, (Prelude to a Kiss at The Huntington, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” on Amazon Prime, The Humans on Broadway), the production will also feature Gabriel Marin, and high school students Jocelyn Shek and Emilyn Toffler at alternate performances in the role of the debater.

Schreck’s timely and galvanizing play became a sensation on Broadway where it received two Tony Award nominations among countless other accolades. Initially announced for a 12-week engagement on Broadway, the production was extended twice and fully recouped in its Broadway engagement, shattering box office records at the Helen Hayes Theater. The New York Times hails it as the “best and most important new play of the season.” And Time Out New York says it’s “something every citizen must see.” 

The cast of What the Constitution Means to Me features, in alphabetical order:

Cassie Beck (she/her) plays Heidi, the former debate champion who traveled the country in her teens giving speeches about the Constitution at American legion halls for prize money. Beck plays series regular Courtney Thacker on the series reboot of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” for Amazon Prime. Broadway credits include the recent revival of The Rose Tattoo, original cast member of The Humans (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, LA/London), Picnic and The Norman Conquests.

Jocelyn Shek (she/her) plays a debate performer on alternate performances. Shek is a high school  junior from Los Angeles who is very excited to be returning to  the national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me. She is passionate about theatre, with a love of stage shows and improv, and is dedicated to improving the world around her through debate and political activism. @jocelyn.shek

Emilyn Toffler (they/he) plays a debate performer on alternate performances. Toffler is an actor/debater from Los Angeles. They are thrilled to be a part of What the Constitution Means to Me! Favorite credits include school plays such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are DeadTwelve Angry JurorsGuys and Dolls, Shrek the Musical, and Into the Woods.

In alphabetical order, left to right: Cassie Beck, Gabriel Marin, Jocelyn Shek, Emilyn Toffler.

The creative team for What the Constitution Means to Me features scenic design by Rachel Hauck (Hadestown on Broadway, John Leguizamo’s  Latin History for Morons), costume design by Michael Krass (HadestownNoises Off, Machinal on Broadway), lighting design by Jen Schriever (EclipsedLackawanna Blues, Grand Horizons, The Lifespan of a Fact on Broadway), and sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar (Noura at The Guthrie, Seared at MCC, The Vagrant Trilogy at The Public, Novenas for  a Lost Hospital at Rattlestick).

The play was commissioned by True Love Productions. This production originated as part of Summerworks 2017, produced by Clubbed Thumb in partnership with True Love Productions. The national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me is produced by Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, Matt Ross, and Level Forward & Eva Price.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Oliver Butler (Director; he/him)

Broadway: What the Constitution Means to Me. Co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society: The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons), Jacuzzi (Ars Nova), Blood Play (Bushwick Starr), Buddy Cop 2 (Ontological), Cape Disappointment (P.S. 122), You’re Welcome, The Eaten Heart, The Snow Hen, A Thought About Raya. Off Broadway: What the Constitution Means to Me (New York Theatre Workshop), Thom Pain (based on nothing) (Signature Theatre), The Amateurs (Vineyard Theatre), The Open House (Signature Theatre, Lortel Award Best Play, Obie Award Direction). Regional: The Plot (Yale Rep), The Whistleblower (Denver Center), Thom Pain (Geffen Playhouse), Legacy (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Bad Jews (Long Wharf), An Opening in Time (Hartford Stage). International: Timeshare (The Malthouse,  Australia). He is a Sundance Institute Fellow and a Bill Foeller Fellow (Williamstown).

 

Heidi Schreck (Playwright; she/her)

Schreck is a playwright, screenwriter, and performer living in Brooklyn. Her most recent play, What the Constitution Means to Me, was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play. Schreck also received two Tony Award nominations for What the Constitution Means to Me for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, the 2019 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and an Obie. A filmed version of What the Constitution Means to Me, starring Schreck, premiered this past October exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, a PGA Award, and a DGA Award. Heidi’s other plays include Grand Concourse, Creature, Mr. Universe, and There Are No More Big Secrets. Her screenwriting credits include I Love Dick, Billions, and Nurse Jackie. Schreck has taught playwriting and screenwriting at NYU, Columbia, Kenyon College, and Primary Stages.

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME PRODUCTION CALENDAR

WHEN

In-person performances: February 22 – March 20, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes, no intermission

Press Opening: February 23, 2022 

For Production Photos, click here

For Press Night Tickets, RSVP here

WHERE

Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont Street, Boston

TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances start at $35. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

·         online at huntingtontheatre.org

·         by phone at 617-266-0800;

·         in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

·         in person at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 2.5 hours before showtime

Select discounts apply:

·         $10 off: season ticket holders

·         $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)

·         $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or visit us in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 2.5 hours before showtime.  Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, March 11 at 8pm at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, March 19 at 2pm at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.

Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

The Huntington is committed to providing safe and healthy venues for our audiences, artists, staff, and community. As mandated by the city of Boston, all patrons must present proof of full vaccination to enter the theatre and must wear masks throughout the theatre. More information can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/covid.

 

Curated by C1 Artist in Residence and PlayLab Circuit Flux Lab writer Micah Rose, alongside co-artist/dramaturg Alison Yueming Qu, we and other queer goddexxes is a season-long series of gatherings that will uplift communal storytelling through ritual, memory, solidarity, and action centering Boston’s 2SQTBIPOC (Two Spirit, Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. we and other queer goddexxes will culminate in a multi-disciplinary performance by Rose in summer 2022.

Gathering #1: Tea4Tea
January 27 at 7pm ET

Tea4Tea, featuring guest artist Julissa Emile, brews an intimate virtual space that invites attendees as co-creators to communal sense-based storytelling, over a tea blend uniquely designed for warmth & belonging in the northeastern winter.

Attendees will be provided with this tea blend created by Julissa, available for local pickup at Company One's Boston offices located in the South End, in advance of the event. For all who cannot pick up tea in person: we’ll share a recipe after registration that can be put together from commonly available ingredients.
 
RSVP Today
Tea pick-up window:
Friday, January 21, 3:30 - 6pm ET
Boston Center for the Arts Artist Studios Building,
551 Tremont St, Boston

>> About Julissa Emile (they/them)

Julissa Emile (known affectionately as juju) is a twenty-three year old transplant and Chaos baby from the United States Virgin Islands. Their poetry focuses on the intersections of Blackness and Queerness and if that we’re a garden what would grow from it. Julissa is also a lover of herbalism that extends their work through scent and exploring the memory that different scents can evoke. Twitter & instagram: @motherjuniper

>> About Micah Rose (they/them)

Micah Rose carves queer divinity through breath, word, and movement. They are a mestize Tagala memory artist who honors oral & embodied traditions—like theatre, story circles, biomimicry, spoken word, and more—as paths for communal care. Micah roots in relationship: weaving futures with peoples at Arts Connect International, The Theater Offensive, Company One Theatre, Pao Arts Center, Liyang Network, American Repertory Theatre, and beyond. Their art is published in All the Oils by Ginger Bug Press, CONSTRUCT zine, The Margins, The Wave Magazine, and HowlRound Theatre Commons. You can find Micah’s online avatar @micah_pdf on instagram and linktr.ee/mrose1

>> About Alison Yueming Qu (she/they)

A 1.5 generation immigrant originally from Jilin City, China, Alison Yueming Qu (she/they) is a director, dramaturg, and curator of bilingual new immigrant spaces, audiences, mad conversations, and fun. Alison is the Co-Founder & Executive Producer of CHUANG Stage—the first Mandarin-English bilingual, bicultural theater collective nationwide based in Boston, MA, producing programs for both local and global audiences. Alison has been with the C1 family previously as the Associate Producer of the Boston Chinatown Musical project by Kit Yan & Melissa Li, and now as the Connectivity Producer. Alison is a Co-Recipient of the 2021 TBF Live Arts Boston grant along with AATAB and Pao Arts Center, a 2021-22 National Arts Strategies New England Creative Community Fellow, and a steering committee member of API Arts Network. Find them on Instagram @alisonqu12.

IN “CONTRADICTIONS + CASUAL SELF LOATHING, ” LUMINARIUM D
ANCE SHEDS LIGHT ON THE UNIVERSAL STORIES AND EXPERIENCES WOMEN SHARE Three years in the making, the show opens Nov. 5 at Dedham’s Motherbrook Arts Center DEDHAM, Mass. -- revised Oct. 28, 2021* -- Choreographer Kimberleigh Holman of Luminarium Dance Company found the perfect spot for her new dance performance “Contradictions + Casual Self Loathing”: a former school gymnasium. That’s because many of the more than 50 women she interviewed about shame, guilt and awkward encounters while developing the piece told her stories centered on gym classes and school dances. Luminarium presents “Contradictions + Casual Self Loathing” for two performances, Nov. 5 and 6 (both 8 pm), at Motherbrook Arts Center, 123 High Street in Dedham. Holman began working on the piece three years ago during a residency at Endicott College. In hearing her dance students talk about themselves and their experiences, Holman decided to explore how women share stories across generations and demographics, and began having deep conversations with a wide range of women. Despite mining some somber and difficult topics, Holman says her conversations uncovered common intergenerational experiences that became the basis for an evening-length work with humor, levity and physical comedy inspired by the familiar, often funny reflections that came from examining painful topics. “Everyone’s got baggage — those minor mortifications that haunt us forever — like regrettable haircuts, or awkward hugs that were intended to be handshakes, but many of us also have childhood or relationship traumas that stay with us for a lifetime” Holman says. “We made a dance that uses humor to celebrate discomfort and awkwardness, that looks at why we carry shame for unimportant things, and inspires us to work our way out from under these issues.” -more- During early rehearsals for “Contradictions,” Holman (r.) says dancers told personal stories, many around awkward boyfriend moments and some of which are reflected in the show. “We joked how the discussions had ‘conjured’ people back into our lives,” she says. “So now there’s a running thread in the piece about conjuring up boys from middle school.” The performance space itself conjures up other memories tied to the work, Holman says. To heighten the experience for audiences, the Luminarium team incorporates vintage school equipment, such as overhead projectors, that light the stage and interact with the performers. (Much of Luminarium Dance’s work is built on exploring intersections of lighting and movement.) Holman commissioned artist Adria Arch to create a kinetic installation she says “looks like an exploding notebook” and will activate the space above the audience. A participatory pre-show “warm up” encourages attendees to share their awkward stories and play improv games that will underscore the commonality of personal experiences. Holman lives in Dedham. Dancers in “Contradictions + Casual Self Loathing” include Jessica Chang and Katie McGrail of Brookline, Melenie Diarbekirian of Somerville, and Amy Mastrangelo of Medford. LOCATION & TICKETS “Contradictions + Casual Self Loathing” will be performed Nov. 5 and 6 @ 8pm, at the Motherbrook Arts Center, located at 123 High Street in Dedham. General admission tickets are $25, $20 for students, seniors, Dedham residents and Boston Dance Alliance members. Tickets are available at LuminariumDance.org, and at the door. COVID SAFETY Attendees are asked to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test at the door, and current local guidelines require audiences to wear masks for the duration of the performance. SUPPORT “Contradictions + Casual Self Loathing” is supported by The Boston Foundation LAB Fund and the New England Foundation for the Arts New England Dance Fund.

BLO RETURNS WITH MASCAGNI’S ONE-ACT CLASSIC;

PRODUCTION MOVES TO OPEN-AIR LEADER BANK PAVILION

Featuring fully live performances by Boston Lyric Opera’s Orchestra and Chorus

 

MICHELLE JOHNSON, ADAM DIEGEL, NINA YOSHIDA NELSEN, JAVIER ARREY AND CHELSEA BASLER LEAD THE CAST 

 

DIRECTED BY GISELLE TY, CONDUCTED BY BLO MUSIC DIRECTOR DAVID ANGUS

 

TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY: OCTOBER 1 & 3, 2021

 

BOSTON -- Updated September 22, 2021* -- Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) opens its new season October 1 @ 7:30 PM and October 3 @ 3 PM with the company’s first production of “Cavalleria Rusticana,” composer Pietro Mascagni’s one-act verismo tale of love, betrayal and death in a small Sicilian village.  In a change from its previously announced plans, and to ensure the safest possible performances for audience members, artists, staff and backstage workers, BLO’s “Cavalleria” will open at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston's Seaport District. The Pavilion's open-air structure allows BLO to produce large-scale live performances, with full live orchestra and chorus; the venue’s larger capacity means BLO will have two performances instead of the previously announced four.

 

BLO Music Director and Conductor David Angus will lead BLO’s Orchestra and Chorus. Giselle Ty, who served as Assistant Director on BLO's 2016 production of "Werther," returns as stage director, replacing previously announced stage director Sarna Lapine.

 

In reflecting on BLO’s return to full performances,  Stanford Calderwood Acting General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter saluted not only the resilience of the company’s artists, staff, board and supporters, but also a shared belief in the power of music and storytelling. “We’re aiming to make ‘Cavalleria’ a thrilling return to live opera with full musical forces,” Vernatter says. “The work required to pull off a production of this scale is monumental; it requires an accomplished team and a supportive community. I’ve been proud that BLO has kept artists employed through our digital projects and Street Stage performances during the roughest days of the pandemic.  But it’s especially rewarding to provide so many opportunities for artists and production personnel to join us for our first full-length opera, with a complete orchestra and chorus for a live audience, since the pandemic began."

 

Vernatter also announced the company will implement COVID safety protocols that align with other area performing arts organizations returning this fall and its own Health Task Force for

Opera Artists, the high-profile panel of health-care professionals formed last year to provide medical knowledge and protocol guidance. BLO patrons attending “Cavalleria” at the Leader Bank Pavilion are required to show either proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance, or an antigen test taken within the previous 24 hours. Face masks are required for all patrons except when eating and drinking.

 

CASTING

 

The full cast for BLO’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” includes:

·       Soprano Michelle Johnson, known for a powerful voice and commanding dramatic presence -- and an alumna of New England Conservatory and the Boston University (BU) Opera Institute -- will sing the role of Santuzza;

·       Tenor Adam Diegel, who has received international critical acclaim for his powerful performance of Cavaradossi in Tosca at Glimmerglass Opera, will sing Turiddu.  

·       Mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, a singer equally at home on opera and symphonic stages who has performed world premieres at Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera, and a Boston University graduate with a Bachelor’s in violin performance and a Master’s in Music (Opera), returns to Boston to sings Lucia;

·       Chilean-American baritone Javier Arrey holds a Congressional Medal of Honor from the Chilean government both for his career and his work bringing opera to people without access to live performances. A veteran of opera productions and concerts alike, Arrey performs here as Alfio; and

·       Grammy-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler, who has enjoyed a strong relationship with the company since debuting as an Emerging Artist in 2014 most recently voiced the ethereal Madeline in BLO’s operabox.tv production of “The Fall of the House of Usher” for BLO’s groundbreaking operabox.tv streaming service earlier this year, sings Lola.A person sitting in a chair

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Cast changes have occurred since BLO announced “Cavalleria” in May: Michelle Johnson replaces J’Nai Bridges; Javier Arrey replaces Alfred Walker. 

 

Three dancers featured in the performance include Victoria L. Awkward, Michayla Kelly and Marissa Molinar.

 

ABOUT “CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA”

 

With a score by Pietro Mascagni, and a libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, “Cavalleria Rusticana” tells a story of four lovers that centers on a returning soldier who finds his fiancée has married a different man. “Cavalleria” is loved for its passionate story and classic score, whose swooning “Intermezzo” will be familiar to audiences, having been heard on numerous cinematic soundtracks.

 

Young soldier Turiddu learns upon his return home that his betrothed, Lola, has married another man while he was away.  Seeking revenge, he seduces Santuzza, who suspects him of having an affair with Lola when he disappears after their time together. She in turn takes her own revenge, telling Lola’s husband Alfio that his wife had been unfaithful with Turiddu. Seeing his rage, Santuzza immediately regrets the revelation. But it’s too late; Alfio challenges Turiddu to a duel and Turiddu accepts, asking his mother Lucia to care for Santuzza if he should not return. The unsurprising news of Turiddu’s death nevertheless shakes his mother, his once-betrothed, and his lover to their cores. They respectively weep, collapse in the arms of others, and faint away.

 

“Cavalleria” will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles. The approximate run time of this performance is 70 minutes, with no intermission.

 

PRODUCTION AND ARTISTIC TEAM

 

Stage Director for “Cavalleria Rusticana” is Giselle Ty. David Angus conducts the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, whose members are listed here. Brett Hodgdon is Chorus Master.  Stage Manager is Mike Janney.

 

Julia Noulin-Mérat is Designer for the production. Costume Designer is Gail Astrid Buckley, Lighting Designer is Molly Tiede.  Wig and Makeup Design is by Ronell Oliveri.  Choreography is by Levi Marsman.

 

VENUE AND TICKETS

 

Boston Lyric Opera’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” will be performed Fri., Oct. 1 @ 7:30 pm and Sun., Oct. 3 @ 3 pm at the Leader Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue in Boston’s Seaport District.

Individual tickets range from $10 to $180 plus fees, and will be available Fri., Sep. 10 at blo.org/tickets.

 

Information about “Cavalleria Rusticana,” next spring’s “Champion: An Opera in Jazz,” access to a new digital production of “Svadba” this winter, and all streaming content on BLO’s operabox.tv, is available at blo.org.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL DETAILS

 

“Cavalleria Rusticana” will be presented in an intermission-free production designed to ensure the safest possible artist and audience experience, which Vernatter says is BLO’s top priority. The company uses recommendations from its Health Task Force for Opera Artists alongside CDC, City of Boston and venue protocols, and artist union recommendations to develop plans for audience, staff and artists.  Boston Lyric Opera COVID-19 Policies can be found here.



·       BLO will continue to monitor public health conditions, refine protocols as situations change, and send updated details to patrons in advance of their performance dates.

·       BLO is committed to institutional flexibility this season and will provide accommodations for patrons who are feeling sick or need to pause their return to the theater.

·       BLO will provide updated COVID and health protocol information on its website, blo.org.

 

OTHER NEWS: NEW ADDRESS, NEW NEIGHBORHOOD

 

Boston Lyric Opera has moved its headquarters to a new office at Midway Artist Studios in the Fort Point Arts Neighborhood, joining the many artists and cultural organizations that comprise that section of the city. 

 

Acting General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter says “BLO is excited and proud to join this arts neighborhood, which is recognized as one of largest communities of artists in New England. Making Fort Point our home, alongside so many other creators, contributes to the vibrancy of one of Boston’s creative centers.”

 

Previously, BLO mounted productions of “Clemency” and “The Rape of Lucretia” in the neighborhood, at the Artists For Humanity EpiCenter, located near Midway Artist Studios
BLO RETURNS WITH MASCAGNI’S ONE-ACT CLASSIC; PRODUCTION MOVES TO OPEN-AIR LEADER BANK PAVILION Featuring fully live performances by Boston Lyric Opera’s Orchestra and Chorus MICHELLE JOHNSON, ADAM DIEGEL, NINA YOSHIDA NELSEN, JAVIER ARREY AND CHELSEA BASLER LEAD THE CAST DIRECTED BY GISELLE TY, CONDUCTED BY BLO MUSIC DIRECTOR DAVID ANGUS TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY: OCTOBER 1 & 3, 2021 

BOSTON -- September 8, 2021 -- Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) opens its new season October 1 @ 7:30 PM and October 3 @ 3 PM with the company’s first production of “Cavalleria Rusticana,” composer Pietro Mascagni’s one-act verismo tale of love, betrayal and death in a small Sicilian village. In a change from its previously announced plans, and to ensure the safest possible performances for audience members, artists, staff and backstage workers, BLO’s “Cavalleria” will open at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston's Seaport District. The Pavilion's open-air structure allows BLO to produce large-scale live performances, with full live orchestra and chorus; the venue’s larger capacity means BLO will have two performances instead of the previously announced four. BLO Music Director and Conductor David Angus will lead BLO’s Orchestra and Chorus. Giselle Ty, who served as Assistant Director on BLO's 2016 production of "Werther," returns as stage director, replacing previously announced stage director Sarna Lapine. In reflecting on BLO’s return to full performances, Acting Stanford Calderwood General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter saluted not only the resilience of the company’s artists, staff, board and supporters, but also a shared belief in the power of music and storytelling. “We’re aiming to make ‘Cavalleria’ a thrilling return to live opera with full musical forces,” Vernatter says. “The work required to pull off a production of this scale is monumental; it requires an accomplished team and a supportive community. I’ve been proud that BLO has kept artists employed through our digital projects and Street Stage performances during the roughest days of the pandemic. But it’s especially rewarding to provide so many opportunities for artists and production personnel to join us for our first full-length opera, with a complete orchestra and chorus for a live audience, since the pandemic began." Vernatter also announced the company will implement COVID safety protocols that align with other area performing arts organizations returning this fall and its own Health Task Force for -more- Opera Artists, the high-profile panel of health-care professionals formed last year to provide medical knowledge and protocol guidance. BLO patrons attending “Cavalleria” at the Leader Bank Pavilion are required to show either proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance, or an antigen test taken within the previous 24 hours. Face masks are required for all patrons except when eating and drinking. CASTING The full cast for BLO’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” includes: ● Soprano Michelle Johnson, known for a powerful voice and commanding dramatic presence -- and an alumna of New England Conservatory and the Boston University (BU) Opera Institute -- will sing the role of Santuzza; ● Tenor Adam Diegel, who has received international critical acclaim for his powerful performance of Cavaradossi in Tosca at Glimmerglass Opera, will sing Turiddu. ● Mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, a singer equally at home on opera and symphonic stages who has performed world premieres at Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera, and a Boston University graduate with a Bachelor’s in violin performance and a Master’s in Music (Opera), returns to Boston to sings Lucia; ● Chilean-American baritone Javier Arrey holds a Congressional Medal of Honor from the Chilean government both for his career and his work bringing opera to people without access to live performances. A veteran of opera productions and concerts alike, Arrey performs here as Alfio; and ● Grammy-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler, who has enjoyed a strong relationship with the company since debuting as an Emerging Artist in 2014 most recently voiced the ethereal Madeline in BLO’s operabox.tv production of “The Fall of the House of Usher” for BLO’s groundbreaking operabox.tv streaming service earlier this year, sings Lola. -more- Cast changes have occurred since BLO announced “Cavalleria” in May: Michelle Johnson replaces J’Nai Bridges; Javier Arrey replaces Alfred Walker. ABOUT “CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA” With a score by Pietro Mascagni, and a libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, “Cavalleria Rusticana” tells a story of four lovers that centers on a returning soldier who finds his fiancée has married a different man. “Cavalleria” is loved for its passionate story and classic score, whose swooning “Intermezzo” will be familiar to audiences, having been heard on numerous cinematic soundtracks. Young soldier Turiddu learns upon his return home that his betrothed, Lola, has married another man while he was away. Seeking revenge, he seduces Santuzza, who suspects him of having an affair with Lola when he disappears after their time together. She in turn takes her own revenge, telling Lola’s husband Alfio that his wife had been unfaithful with Turiddu. Seeing his rage, Santuzza immediately regrets the revelation. But it’s too late; Alfio challenges Turiddu to a duel and Turiddu accepts, asking his mother Lucia to care for Santuzza if he should not return. The unsurprising news of Turiddu’s death nevertheless shakes his mother, his once-betrothed, and his lover to their cores. They respectively weep, collapse in the arms of others, and faint away. “Cavalleria” will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles. The approximate run time of this performance is 70 minutes, with no intermission. PRODUCTION AND ARTISTIC TEAM Stage Director for “Cavalleria Rusticana” is Giselle Ty. David Angus conducts the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, whose members are listed here. Announcement of additional artistic team members will be made soon at blo.org. VENUE AND TICKETS Boston Lyric Opera’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” will be performed Fri., Oct. 1 @ 7:30 pm and Sun., Oct. 3 @ 3 pm at the Leader Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue in Boston’s Seaport District. Individual tickets range from $10 to $180 plus fees, and will be available Fri., Sep. 10 at blo.org/tickets. Information about “Cavalleria Rusticana,” next spring’s “Champion: An Opera in Jazz,” access to a new digital production of “Svadba” this winter, and all streaming content on BLO’s operabox.tv, is available at blo.org. -more- HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL DETAILS “Cavalleria Rusticana” will be presented in an intermission-free production designed to ensure the safest possible artist and audience experience, which Vernatter says is BLO’s top priority. The company uses recommendations from its Health Task Force for Opera Artists alongside CDC, City of Boston and venue protocols, and artist union recommendations to develop plans for audience, staff and artists. Boston Lyric Opera COVID-19 Policies can be found here. ● BLO will continue to monitor public health conditions, refine protocols as situations change, and send updated details to patrons in advance of their performance dates. ● BLO is committed to institutional flexibility this season and will provide accommodations for patrons who are feeling sick or need to pause their return to the theater. ● BLO will provide updated COVID and health protocol information on its website, blo.org. ALSO: NEW ADDRESS, NEW NEIGHBORHOOD Boston Lyric Opera has moved its headquarters to a new office at Midway Artist Studios in the Fort Point Arts Neighborhood, joining the many artists and cultural organizations that comprise that section of the city. Acting General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter says “BLO is excited and proud to join this arts neighborhood, which is recognized as one of largest communities of artists in New England. Making Fort Point our home, alongside so many other creators, contributes to the vibrancy of one of Boston’s creative centers.” Previously, BLO mounted productions of “Clemency” and “The Rape of Lucretia” in the neighborhood, at the Artists For Humanity EpiCenter, located near Midway Artist Studios. # # # MEDIA CONTACT Additional information about “Cavalleria Rusticana” and all of BLO’s season productions, as well as available photo assets, press review ticket reservations, and interviews with artists, production and BLO team representatives, are available through John Michael Kennedy, jmk@jmkpr.com or 781-620-1761

C1’s Professional Development for Actors (PDA) course is designed to empower participants to be creative and collaborative, while developing their voice and building their skills. Like a skilled tradesperson, an actor needs to practice their craft, developing body, voice, and imagination.

This fall, we will continue to offer our PDA course online. Auditions will be held from 6-9pm ET on Tuesday, August 31.

Classes are held on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 9:30pm ET.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PDA Winter 2021 participants
Quentin Nguyen-duy, Thomika Bridwell, Nisha Kishore, and Cristobal Paolino

 

 

>> About Professional Development for Actors

 

  • Develop skills in character development and script analysis with instructors Rosalind Thomas-Clark, Deen Rawlins-Harris, and Josh Glenn-Kayden.
     
  • Hone your craft through in-depth work on several monologues and scenes, preparing you for auditions and the deep work of a potential role.
     
  • Participants who have completed this class have been cast both here at C1 and at companies around the city, including American Repertory Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Fresh Ink Theatre, Front Porch Arts Collective, Huntington Theatre Company, and Lyric Stage Company.


THE HUNTINGTON RETURNS TO LIVE, IN-PERSON PERFORMANCES

WITH AWARD-WINNING COMEDY HURRICANE DIANE

 

This brainy, 90-minute comedy about gardening and global warming

blows into the Calderwood Pavilion starting August 27