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

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

A DANCE-THEATER PRODUCTION,

DRIVEN BY SONGS FROM RECORDING STAR STING,

COMES TO THE EMERSON COLONIAL THEATRE MARCH 26 - 30.


Choreographed and directed by Kate Prince, with newly recorded and reworked versions of Sting’s evocative rock songs.


Extraordinary contemporary dancing propels a story about a family,

split by war and forced to forge new lives in foreign lands.


Embeddable performance trailer here. Photos, video and other assets here.


February 27, 2024 – BOSTON The story of a family torn apart by war and forced to make their ways in unfamiliar lands is told through Kate Prince’s striking, bold choreography in MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, a dance/theater production inspired and driven by the music of 17-time Grammy Award-winning rock icon Sting. The production, now on a tour of the U.S. and Canada, comes to Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre March 26-30.


In its 2020 world premiere at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theater in London’s West End, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE became a critical hit for its distinctive mix of gravity-defying, lyrical hip hop dance and its use of evocative rock songs that together underscore a moving story of humanity and hope.


MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE opens in a village alive with joyous celebrations that suddenly comes under siege. In the ensuing chaos, three siblings – Leto, Mati and Tana – are separated from their parents. Each sibling undertakes a perilous journey to new lands – fighting off captors and predators, surviving imprisonment, falling in love and finding their way back to more peaceful lives. Nearly two dozen songs – written by Sting and made famous through his solo career and his band The Police – appear in the show.


Chart-topping hits and fan favorite tracks propel the narrative, often in surprising ways. “Every Breath You Take,” “Roxanne,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Walking On The Moon,” “Englishman In New York,” and “Fields Of Gold” are among the songs with new vocals by Sting and new arrangements by Grammy and Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman). Guest vocals include actress and singer Beverley Knight MBE and Lynval Golding (of The Specials).


Kate Prince’s choreography incorporates a wide range of influences for the production’s 22 dancers, from breakdance, hip hop and contemporary street dance, to jazz dance and gestural movement – with a hint of balletic partnering. Prince says the thrill of watching audiences react to the music they know and the unfolding story told through her muscular, athletic and non-stop choreography brings her great joy.


“I love watching audiences watch Message In A Bottle,” she says. “They have this double reaction of loving the music and loving Sting’s work, and realizing how much of the music they do know and how much it's been in their lives. Then, watching the audience watching those dancers, you get the sense of ‘how are they doing that?’ and ‘how are they still going?’”


Performers in the touring company include dancers Oliver Andrews, Lindon Barr (Dance Captain), Deavion Brown, David Cottle, Harrison Dowzell, Nestor Garcia Gonzalez, Natasha Gooden, Lizzie Gough (Resident Director), Anna Holmstrom, Megan Ingram, Ajani Johnson-Goffe, Charlotte Lee, Daniella May, Dylan Mayoral, Lukas McFarlane (Associate Choreographer), Robbie Ordona, Lara Renaud, Hannah Sandilands (Dance Captain), Jessey Stol, Steven Thompson, Gavin Vincent, Malachi Welch, Serena McCall, and Nethra Menon. Biographical information on the dancers is available here.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE plays Boston’s historic Emerson Colonial Theatre for seven performances only, from March 26-30, 2024. Tickets are available online at emersoncolonialtheatre.com or by calling 888.616.0272. The box office at 106 Boylston Street is open Tuesday through Friday from 12pm to 6pm. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to standard service fees. For group orders of 10 or more please email infocolonial@theambassadors.com.


MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE is co-produced and presented by Sadler’s Wells and Universal Music UK.

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CALENDAR LISTING


WHAT: MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, a new dance theater production choreographed by award-winning dance maker Kate Prince and propelled by more than two-dozen songs by rock icon Sting, comes to Boston in its New England premiere.


WHEN/ March 26-30, 2024

WHERE: Emerson Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston Street, Boston


INFO: Comprising nearly two dozen songs from the catalogs of Sting and The Police, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE tells the story of an idyllic village that comes under siege, forcing one close-knit family to splinter, fight oppression, find their ways in a new land and regain the love and peace they knew in their former life.


TICKETS: Tickets start at $49 and are available online at emersoncolonialtheatre.com or by calling 888.616.0272. The Emerson Colonial Theatre box office is open Tue-Fri from 12 to 6pm.

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MEDIA INFORMATION

  • Press performance Tue, March 26; RSVPs being taken now.

  • An embeddable trailer for MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE is here.

  • Production photos, video and other assets are available here.

  • For access to artists, production assets (photos and video), and press review tickets:


BIOGRAPHIES and BACKGROUND INFORMATION

ABOUT Kate Prince, MBE (Director and Choreographer)

Kate Prince is Artistic Director of ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, which she founded in 2002. She is an Associate Artist at the Old Vic and at Sadler’s Wells, where ZooNation is also a Resident Company. ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company is also an Associate Company at Birmingham Hippodrome and The Mayflower, Southampton.


ZooNation productions include: Into the Hoods (Novello Theatre 2008), which was the West End’s first hip hop dance show; Some Like It Hip Hop (Sadler’s Wells Peacock 2011-13, and UK tour, and 2019 revival); Groove on Down the Road (SouthBank Centre 2013-14); ZooNation: Unplugged (Sadler’s Wells 2013); The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Royal Opera House Linbury Studio 2014 and the Roundhouse 2016);  Into the Hoods: Remixed (Sadler’s Wells Peacock 2015-16 and UK tour) and SYLVIA (Old Vic 2018).


With ZooNation, Prince has also created choreography for sporting events, including the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Handover Ceremonies (2008), the Opening Ceremony of the Tour de France (2007) and the IOC opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics at the Royal Opera House.


Prince has been nominated for five Olivier Awards and two Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards among others. She was awarded an MBE for services to dance during the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2019.


ABOUT Sting (Music & Lyrics)
Composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six GRAMMY Awards and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.


As one of the world’s most distinctive solo artists, Sting has received an additional 11 GRAMMY Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, four Oscar nominations, a TONY nomination, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year among others.  In 2003, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to music. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received the Kennedy Center Honors, The American Music Award of Merit and The Polar Music Prize. 


Sting was honored at the BMI Pop Awards for his enduring hit single “Every Breath You Take,” which appears in MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, and has become the Most Performed Song – with 15 million radio plays – from BMI’s catalog of over 14 million musical works. 


He has appeared in more than 15 films, executive produced the critically acclaimed A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and in 1989 starred in The Threepenny Opera on Broadway.  His most recent theatre project is the Tony®-nominated musical The Last Ship, inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised. 


Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as the Rainforest Fund, Amnesty International, and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach.  Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there.  Together they have held 19 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for our planet’s endangered resources.


ABOUT Sadler’s Wells (Co-Producer)
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organization based in London committed to the making of dance, with over three centuries of theatrical heritage. Since 2005, Sadler’s Wells has created award-winning dance productions, co-productions and touring projects in collaboration with its portfolio of Associate Artists, as well as international dance companies and partners.


ABOUT Universal Music UK (Co-Producer)
Universal Music is the UK’s leading music company, home to successful artists from across the musical spectrum. Alongside the labels Polydor, Decca, Island, EMI, Capitol and 0207 Def Jam, its businesses include Abbey Road, the world’s most famous recording studio, and Mercury Studios, a music-first content studio.


Universal Music UK is a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), a Vivendi Company and the world leader in music based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audio-visual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world.


ABOUT Emerson Colonial Theatre

In its storied history, Emerson Colonial Theatre has debuted such seminal Broadway shows as Anything Goes, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma!, Follies, A Little Night Music, Grand Hotel, and La Cage aux Folles, and most recently, the pre-Broadway premieres of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, David Byrne’s American Utopia, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, and the revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. This summer, the Colonial will host the pre-Broadway world premiere musical, The Queen of Versailles, reuniting celebrated Oscar-winning songwriter Stephen Schwartz with Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. The building, which opened in 1900 with a production of Ben-Hur, is the oldest continuously operated theatre in Boston, as well as being amongst the most magnificent, having retained most of its original period details. A theatre for the community, Emerson Colonial Theatre presents a new and varied program of Broadway shows, live music, comedy, and special events. EmersonColonialTheatre.com. Facebook and Instagram: @EmersonColonial
Applications for Fresh Ink Theatre Company's 2024/2025 season are now open! CHUANG Stage is excited to partner with Fresh Ink on their 2024/2025 season submission, with the New Play Development Residency designed and awarded to an AAPI playwright

The application will close on January 31st, 2024, OR until we receive 80 scripts. Check out this opportunity along with the full Fresh Ink season submission below!
APPLY NOW!
New Play Development Residency
(In partnership with CHUANG Stage)

This residency is awarded to any AAPI (Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander) playwright who is a current, full-time resident of MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, or ME looking to develop their play with Fresh Ink and CHUANG Stage for 6 months. CHUANG Stage is Boston’s Asian American theatre company cultivating joyful and radical pan-Asian stories; this residency is curated in collaboration with CHUANG Stage to strengthen AAPI voices, communities, and futures.

This residency includes:

  • $300 playwright award 

  • One-on-one meetings with dramaturgs from Fresh Ink and CHUANG Stage 

  • AAPI community engagement and research funding of up to $500

  • One internal workshop 

  • One workshop and public staged reading 

SPECIAL NOTE: This 6-month residency will take place during the 2024-2025 season. However, there is a potential for contract renewal the following season, with a possibility for the ‘24/’25 Development Residency playwright being selected for a ‘25/’26 CHUANG Stage & Fresh Ink Co-Production Residency.

You can read additional information about our selection process and timeline on our FAQ page

LEARN MORE

Fresh Ink Theatre Company is committed to developing fresh, inclusive, innovative new work with theatre artists in the New England area. Fresh Ink believes that representation onstage and community-building offstage has the power to inspire audiences, shift worldviews, foster understanding, and challenge the status quo. freshinktheatre.org

STAND UP IF YOU’RE HERE TONIGHT EXTENDS

AT THE HUNTINGTON DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM

OF IMMERSIVE STAND UP IF YOU’RE HERE TONIGHT

 

Experience The Huntington like never before with a unique theatrical experience

in the intimate Maso Studio at the Huntington Theatre

 

Jim Ortlieb in Stand Up If You're Here Tonight. Photo by Michael Brosilow

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of its new production of Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight, the thoroughly unique and interactive play written and directed by John Kolvenbach. The production kicks off 2024, running from Saturday, January 20 – Sunday, March 3, 2024 at the Huntington Theatre in the Maso Studio (264 Huntington Avenue).

 

Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight is a new play by Olivier Award-nominated playwright John Kolvenbach. Winner of the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, Jim Ortlieb delivers a tour-de-force performance as a man desperate for connection, bent by isolation, and deeply in love with the audience itself. Unlike anything you’ve seen at The Huntington before, this underground experience in the renovated, 150-seat Maso Studio blurs the line between audience and performer, and will have audiences connecting, laughing, thinking, and up on their feet.

 

Kolvenbach wrote Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight in the spring of 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic. It premiered at the Harbor Stage Company in Wellfleet, then went on to have sold-out runs in LA, Chicago, and Paris. It has been praised as a “stunningly original existential exercise” by WTTW (PBS) Chicago, and as “uproarious, downright brilliant, and full of joyful surprises!” by the Provincetown Independent.

 

Kolvenbach explains, “The show is about a guy trying to do the impossible, or the nearly impossible: he wants to achieve a kind of union with the audience, a oneness, to blur the line between the play and the people who are there that night. That's the ambition of the man in the play, but it's also the ambition (harebrained, maybe) of the play itself. We hope for communion."

 

Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Kolvenbach first worked together and forged their friendship during her time as artistic director of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre where she produced his plays Goldfish, Mrs. Whitney, Sister Play, and Reel to Reel.

 

“You are in for a treat!” says Greco. “This incisive, vulnerable, funny, new play by my dear friend John Kolvenbach is the first half of this special intimate evening, and the second opens up to drinks and freeform conversation with the artists and your fellow audience members. This is unlike any experience you’ve had at The Huntington! In Paris and LA, people stayed for hours, and we hope you’ll want to stay and connect as well.”

 

The Huntington’s production of Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight features actor Jim Ortlieb as Man, a performer seeking an audience. His credits include The Farnsworth Invention and Of Mice and Men on Broadway. The creative team features Huntington staff members, including scenic design by Kristine Holmes (Mala at ArtsEmerson and The Huntington) and lighting design by M Berry (The Ding Dongs at Gloucester Stage Company). The production stage manager is Adele Nadine Traub.

 

The performance runs for approximately 65 minutes and is followed by a social hour where audiences can interact with members of the cast and creative team and with each other. A beverage during the social hour is included in the price of the ticket.

 

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

A person in a blue shirt

Description automatically generatedJohn Kolvenbach (Playwright and Director) West End: Love Song (Olivier nomination, Best New Comedy, starring Cillian Murphy); On an Average Day (with Woody Harrelson). Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf and played in New York, Zurich, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul, and Rome and will be revived this spring in Chicago by Remy Bumppo. Average Day has been produced in Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Lisbon. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory, then played at the Magic Theatre, directed by Loretta Greco. Reel to Reel premiered at the Magic. Sister Play premiered at The Harbor Stage Company and at the Magic, both productions directed by the author. Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight opened in the summer of 2021 in Los Angeles and, simultaneously, at The Harbor Stage. The LA production went on to American Blues, in Chicago and then to Paris. Other plays include: Fabuloso, Bank Job, and Marriage Play or Half 'n Half 'n Half.

 

A close-up of a person

Description automatically generatedJim Ortlieb (Man) Broadway: The Farnsworth InventionOf Mice and MenGuys and Dolls. 1st National Tour: Billy Elliot the Musical (Chicago and Toronto). International: Hughie, The Homecoming, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Translations, Faith Healer, Dark Pony (Gare St. Lazare Paris, France and West Cork, Ireland). Regional: Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Man Who Came to Dinner (Steppenwolf); Grapes of Wrath (Dir. David Cromer, Ford’s Theatre); TartuffeCandide (Weston, VT); M the Murderer (Organic, Chicago, and Gare St. Lazare, Paris); Blind Date (Goodman, Chicago); The Book of Will, All in the Timing (Northlight, Chicago); Life Sucks (Lookingglass, Chicago); Scapin (American Blues Theatre Company, of which he is a member.) TV and Film: American Horror Story, ER, Gilmore Girls, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, West Wing, The Closer, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, The Shield, Felicity, Roswell, Home Alone, Magnolia, A Mighty Wind, Flatliners, Latter Days, Drunkboat, Contagion, The Crash, Running Scared, Goodnight Sweet Wife. Awards: twice nominated for Best Actor for the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago; Best Actor nominee for Boston’s Independent Reviewers of New England Award (for John Kolvenbach’s Marriage Play at Merrimack Rep in Lowell), and a Best Actor winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award for his work in Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight.

Cast and creative team of The Fortune Teller. Photo by Ken Yotsukura Photography.

Hi my friend,

I hope you are finding yourself in a joyful season and that you are being so kind to yourself after a beautiful, fruitful year.

I'm Alison, Co-Founder & Executive Director at CHUANG Stage. I wanted to use this space to tell you about what you and I did together this year at CHUANG Stage as a note of appreciation and a fearless look into the brighter future.

In 2023, CHUANG Stage became the newest LaunchPad resident theatre company at Boston Center for the Arts, a landmark space for Boston’s performing and visual arts, following the precedented growth of LaunchPad residency alumni—Fresh Ink Theatre Company, Castle of our Skins, among many others. As our inaugural voice in this space, we staged The Fortune Teller, a play with immense historical community power that talks about the transformation of immigrant lives shaped and formed, threaded by the eternal bloodline.

The Fortune Teller by Christina Chan. In photo (left to right): Angela Gunn, Jamie Lin, Mordecai Choi, Tony SooHoo. Photo by Ken Yotsukura Photography.

In 2023, CHUANG Stage collaborated with Pao Arts Center and Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston to continue advancing the commitment to theatre being a public art engagement for multilingual residents, immigrants, and local residents of Boston Chinatown—Flight of a Legless Bird is where Chinatown dances with us in 90s Cantopop music and Leslie Cheung’s artistry legacy, and SKINLESS was our immortal, hyper-Queer take of the Chinese White Snake tale.

SKINLESS by liqing xu. In photo (left to right): Sharifa Yasmin, Jenine Jacito. Flight of a Legless Bird by Ethan Luk. In photo (left to right): Patrick Ip, Hana Yiu. Photo by Lei Zhang and Zoey Wang.

And last month, we partied at the Calderwood Pavilion for a sold-out Asian Joy Night at The Heart Sellers by Lloyd Suh @ The Huntington, as a part of our promise to this city’s Asian American audience by advancing community accountability at predominantly-White institutions, collectively build a radical future—one that can be reflected in the crowds and faces of American Theatre. From The Chinese Lady to Made in China 2.0, we hosted talkbacks and community discussions about Asian American experiences in a time of xenophobia and crisis, and the urgency of collective action.

Asian Joy Night at The Heart Sellers by Lloyd Suh @ The Huntington. Photo by Ashley Yung and Anna.

Sitting in December and looking back, I’m immensely proud of the mountains we moved this year, the beautiful artists we got to work with and uplift their creations, and we got the whole town buzzing about Asian American performing arts. These mountains, barriers, and this same community of people also keep me up at night—when will we get to produce an entire season of 4+ Asian American plays, and when will we get to commission new plays from amazing local playwrights and make the Asian American play of Boston? When can we pay Asian artists a living wage to present their best craft and talent in downtown Boston where people can’t afford to live in? We still have mountains to move, and my big dream is that one day, when people talk about Boston, the first thing that comes into mind is our AAPI community and "the city that has great Asian American theatre."

This month, we'd like to offer you an opportunity to chip into our visions and dreams and co-write the next chapter at CHUANG Stage: help us finish this year so strong and collectively raise another $2,000 in the final two weeks of 2023. Every penny counts at a small and growing theatre company; we hired over 50 artistic and design positions that paid a minimum of $700 per role (we pay everyone—from interns to ushers and guest speakers), while performances and events are Pay-As-You-Are from $0 or completely free to all. Your donation, large or small, makes a difference while we spend every moment making sure Boston has its joyful, radical, and accessible Asian American theatre. Will you be a part of this movement today?

GIVE NOW

I wish us another revolutionary and high-power year ahead--and many, many more together, with you. 💛

Co-Founder & Executive Director
Alison Yueming Qu

THE HUNTINGTON ANNOUNCES CAST AND

CREATIVE TEAM OF LLOYD SUH’S NEW PLAY

THE HEART SELLERS

Heartwarming new play celebrates female friendship and Asian American experiences


Lloyd Suh
(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of The Heart Sellers, a gorgeous and funny new play written by Lloyd Suh and directed by May Adrales. The production runs from Tuesday, November 21 – Saturday, December 23, 2023 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St).

In The Heart Sellers, Jane and Luna run into each other in the grocery store on Thanksgiving in 1973 and find they have much in common: each are recent Asian immigrants, a bit homesick and lonely with hardworking absentee husbands, and adjusting to a new country filled with new opportunities. Over sips of wine and a questionable frozen turkey, they dream of disco dancing, learning to drive, and even a visit to Disneyland, sharing their hopes and challenges for making a new home in a new land. A funny, moving, and big-hearted new play.


Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco says, “Lloyd Suh’s intentionality around unpacking complicated slices of untold history in beautiful, theatrical ways for the benefit of our children and future generations is wildly inspirational. His plays are honest, heartbreaking, full of curiosity and resilience: a theatrical constellation asking us to look at our past in new ways with an eye towards a brighter future.”

May Adrales
Called “hilarious and heartwarming! A laugh-aloud love letter to friendship!” by Broadway World, and “a stunning comedy! Breathtaking” by Milwaukee Journal SentinelThe Heart Sellers makes its New England debut at The Huntington this November. The name of the play is drawn from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, which eliminated restrictive nationality-based immigration quotas and granted thousands of professional workers a new path to citizenship.

The Heart Sellers looks at a pivotal moment in time, when the conditions were created for much of what we’re currently grappling with as a nation around our collective history,” says Suh. “It’s a play of giving thanks, making new friends, and finding home in a new place.”

Suh is an acclaimed Korean American playwright, winner of the 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and was named one of the “50 to Watch” by the Dramatists Guild. He worked with Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco closely during her time at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. His play American Hwangap was produced during Greco’s first season at Magic, another of his plays, Jesus in India, premiered at Magic in 2012, and Greco opened her final season at Magic with Suh’s The Chinese LadyNew England audiences may recall The Chinese Lady was recently produced at Central Square Theater in Cambridge in 2022

The Heart Sellers

Jenna Agbayani and Judy Song
 is presented through special arrangement with TRW PLAYS 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. trwplays.com

The cast of The Heart Sellers includes:


Jenna Agbayani as Luna, Luningning Ignacia Mangahas de la Rosario Bustos, a 23-year-old from the Philippines. Credits include: LEAR and Kentucky at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

Judy Song as Jane, Hong Jae Ha, a 23-year-old from Korea. Credits include: Haeneyo’s Kitchen (해녀의 부엌in Korea and the films Parked in America and White Butterfly with SXSW Film Festival.

Understudies include: Kristian Espiritu and Carol Jeong.


The creative team for The Heart Sellers includes scenic and costume design by Junghyun Georgia Lee (Sweat at The Huntington), lighting design by Kat C. Zhou (The Butcher Boy Off Broadway), sound design and original music by Fabian Obispo (Boleros for the Disenchanted at The Huntington), and hair and makeup design by Rachel Padula-Shufelt (The Band’s Visit at The Huntington). The dramaturg is Christine Mok. The assistant director is Jenny S. Lee and the dialect coach is Joy Lanceta Coronel. The production stage manager is Roxana Kahn and the stage manager is Ashley Pitchford.


BOSTON LYRIC OPERA MOUNTS A NEW, BOSTON-INSPIRED PRODUCTION OF ROSSINI’S "LA CENERENTOLA"

Boston, MA — rev. October 11, 2023* — Boston Lyric Opera announces a city-centric take on Gioachino Rossini's timeless opera, "LA CENERENTOLA (CINDERELLA).” This interpretation brings the familiar story of a mistreated young woman and a handsome prince into the hearts of two familiar Boston neighborhoods. “La Cenerentola” is directed by award-winning theater artist and longtime Boston resident Dawn M. Simmons, who makes her opera debut. This opera runs for a limited engagement of three performances, from November 8-12, 2023 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre. Tickets are available now at blo.org/cinderella.

It’s been 30-plus years since BLO’s last production of Rossini’s opera. In it, the sweet Angelina played by Cecelia Hall in her BLO debut (l., CMW Photography), is a young woman from an ungrateful family who finds true love with the help of a prince’s tutor who disguises himself to help Don Ramiro, find a worthy partner. Ramiro is played by Levy Sekgapane in his BLO debut  (r., Kartal Karagedik). 

As in the well-known animated film Cinderella, Angelina meets and weds the Prince, much to the chagrin of her family. But unlike that film, Rossini’s opera version, with libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, dispenses with fairy dust in favor of more earthly interventions, maintaining its magic with beautiful melodies and an energetic score.

“I hope La Cenerentola romances audiences,” says Simmons. “The magic is in the music, in the simplicity of boy-meets-girl and how they sweep each other off their feet.”

“This fun and lustrous opera is a story about the triumph of goodness, right here in Boston,” says BLO Stanford Calderwood General Director & CEO Bradley Vernatter. “Dawn M. Simmons’s cultural leadership and prolific theater career has shown her to be a visionary director.  For us, she creates a production that reminds us of the importance of good humor, kindness, and love in our lives.” 

In addition to Hall, the CENERENTOLA cast includes Dana Varga (BLO debut) as Clorinda, 2023/24 BLO Emerging Artist Alexis Peart as Tisbe, Levi Hernandez (the BLO film series, “B.”) as Dandini, Brandon Cedel (BLO’s 2019 “The Rape of Lucretia”) as Don Magnifico, and Philip Lima (BLO’s 2022 “Romeo & Juliet”) as Alidoro.

The 42-piece Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra is conducted by BLO Music Director David Angus. The Boston Lyric Opera Chorus is led by BLO Chorus Director Brett Hodgdon.

Set designer Jenna McFarland Lord and Lighting Director Bailey Costa transform the Emerson Cutler Majestic stage with elements of iconic Boston architecture, from Don Ramiro’s palatial Beacon Hill home with gently twinkling garden lights, to the Magnifico family’s stylish Seaport digs lit by the energy of the neighborhood’s modern vibe.

Similarly, costume designer Trevor Bowen straddles the old and the new, fashioning Angelina’s transformation from cleaning woman to princess, and Don Ramiro’s casual modern-day swagger into a ball-worthy take on traditional waistcoat and jacket. The “wicked stepsistahs” Clorinda and Tisbe are never dressed down, befitting their aspirations as wannabe influencers.

"As an artist born and raised in this city, I know we are ready for a new look at this classic story,” says Simmons (r., courtesy photo). “Boston may not have castles in the center of town, or young women shoveling coal to keep the house warm anymore, but like anywhere else we have people who want more out of life than what they’ve been handed. This story of love, transformation, and the enduring power of kindness is one everyone can relate to."

TICKETS

Tickets for LA CENERENTOLA are available now individually or in a two- or three-part subscription to BLO’s 2023/24 Season. Individual tickets start at $25, and are available at blo.org/cinderella.

WHAT:     Boston Lyric Opera presents a new production of Gioachino Rossini’s LA CENERENTOLA (CINDERELLA), directed by award-winning Boston theater artist Dawn M. Simmons. Inspired by the city of Boston and its iconic neighborhoods, this production tells the familiar story of a sweet but mistreated young woman whose encounter with a handsome prince gives her a new life and makes her “wicked stepsistahs” jealous. Cecelia Hall  and  Levy Segkapane make their BLO debuts as Angelina and Don Ramiro, respectively.

WHEN:     Three performances from November 8-12, 2023, including: Wed., Nov 8 @ 7:30p; Fri., Nov 10 @ 7:30p; and Sun., Nov 12 @ 3p.

 

                 WHERE:  Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street in Boston, Mass.

 

WHEN:     T

Nov 12 @ 3p.

WHEN:     Thr

The Huntington announces cast a

CREATIVE TEAM OF LLOYD SUH’S NEW PLAY

THE HEART SELLERS

 

Heartwarming new play celebrates female friendship and Asian American experiences

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of The Heart Sellers, a gorgeous and funny new play written by Lloyd Suh and directed by May Adrales. The production runs from Tuesday, November 21 – Saturday, December 23, 2023 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St).

 

In The Heart Sellers, Jane and Luna run into each other in the grocery store on Thanksgiving in 1973 and find they have much in common: each are recent Asian immigrants, a bit homesick and lonely with hardworking absentee husbands, and adjusting to a new country filled with new opportunities. Over sips of wine and a questionable frozen turkey, they dream of disco dancing, learning to drive, and even a visit to Disneyland, sharing their hopes and challenges for making a new home in a new land. A funny, moving, and big-hearted new play.

 

Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco says, “Lloyd Suh’s intentionality around unpacking complicated slices of untold history in beautiful, theatrical ways for the benefit of our children and future generations is wildly inspirational. His plays are honest, heartbreaking, full of curiosity and resilience: a theatrical constellation asking us to look at our past in new ways with an eye towards a brighter future.”

 

Called “hilarious and heartwarming! A laugh-aloud love letter to friendship!” by Broadway World, and “a stunning comedy! Breathtaking” by Milwaukee Journal SentinelThe Heart Sellers makes its New England debut at The Huntington this November. The name of the play is drawn from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, also known as the Hart-Celler Act, which eliminated restrictive nationality-based immigration quotas and granted thousands of professional workers a new path to citizenship.

 

The Heart Sellers looks at a pivotal moment in time, when the conditions were created for much of what we’re currently grappling with as a nation around our collective history,” says Suh. “It’s a play of giving thanks, making new friends, and finding home in a new place.”

 

Suh is an acclaimed Korean American playwright, winner of the 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and was named one of the “50 to Watch” by the Dramatists Guild. He worked with Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco closely during her time at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. His play American Hwangap was produced during Greco’s first season at Magic, another of his plays, Jesus in India, premiered at Magic in 2012, and Greco opened her final season at Magic with Suh’s The Chinese LadyNew England audiences may recall The Chinese Lady was recently produced at Central Square Theater in Cambridge in 2022.

 

The Heart Sellers is presented through special arrangement with TRW PLAYS 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. trwplays.com

 

The cast of The Heart Sellers includes:

 

Jenna Agbayani as Luna, Luningning Ignacia Mangahas de la Rosario Bustos, a 23-year-old from the Philippines. Credits include: LEAR and Kentucky at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

 

Judy Song as Jane, Hong Jae Ha, a 23-year-old from Korea. Credits include: Haeneyo’s Kitchen (해녀의 부엌in Korea and the films Parked in America and White Butterfly with SXSW Film Festival.

 

Understudies include: Kristian Espiritu and Carol Jeong.

 


The creative team for The Heart Sellers includes scenic and costume design by Junghyun Georgia Lee (Sweat at The Huntington), lighting design by Kat C. Zhou (The Butcher Boy Off Broadway), sound design and original music by Fabian Obispo (Boleros for the Disenchanted at The Huntington), and hair and makeup design by Rachel Padula-Shufelt (The Band’s Visit at The Huntington). The dramaturg is Christine Mok. The assistant director is Jenny S. Lee and the dialect coach is Joy Lanceta Coronel. The production stage manager is Roxana Kahn and the stage manager is Ashley Pitchford

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

Lloyd Suh (Playwright) is the 2019 winner of the Herb Alpert Award for Theater. His play The Chinese Lady was hailed a New York Times Critics’ Pick during its NY run. He has had productions at Barrington Stage, Ma-Yi, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Magic Theater, Artists at Play, and Artists Rep among others. His plays include Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO, Theater Mu), The Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Ma-Yi, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, NEA Arena Stage New Play Development Grant) and American Hwangap (Magic Theatre, Ma-Yi/PlayCo, Tanghalang Pilipino). Named one of “50 to Watch” by the Dramatists Guild, Lloyd has received additional grants, awards and fellowships from the Dramatists Guild, the Jerome Foundation, the Lark Play Development Center, SecondGeneration, Pan Asian Repertory, and NAATCO.

 

May Adrales (Director) is currently the director of the theatre program at Fordham University. Her Off Broadway credits include: Poor Yella Rednecks, Vietgone, Golden Shield (Manhattan Theatre Club); Letters of Suresh (2nd Stage); Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre); Luce (LCT3); The Strangest (NYTW); Unbounded (Public Theater); and Natural Shocks (WP). Adrales has also worked with regional organizations including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Rep, Alley Theatre, Seattle Rep, Goodman, Baltimore Center Stage, Two River Theatre Company, Pioneer Theatre Company, and Milwaukee Rep. She has won the following awards: Drama League Directing Fellow, Van Lier Fellow, Ammerman Award, Alan Schneider Award, Paul Green Directing, New Generations, and Denham Fellowship. Education: MFA, Yale School of Drama. mayadrales.net

 

 

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION FOR THE HEART SELLERS

  

WHEN

Performances: November 21 – December 23, 2023

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

Matinees: Select Wed at 2pm; select Sat and Sun at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above. 

Running time: 95 minutes, no intermission

 

WHERE

Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont St, Boston

 

TICKETS

Tickets start at $30. 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 (527 Tremont Street) or the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave)

 

Select discounts apply:

  • $10 off: season ticket holders
  • $40 “HYPE” tickets (Huntington Young Patron Events) for patrons 40 years-old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

 

Please note that a digital recording of this production will be made available for online viewing. Details to come at huntingtontheatre.org/whats-on/the-heart-sellers

 

The Huntington asks that any patron experiencing COVID symptoms stay home and contact ticketing services for more information about exchanges.

 

 

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR THE HEART SELLERS

 

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, 527 Tremont St, Boston.

 

Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

 

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, December 5 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.

 

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, December 15 at 8pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, December 23 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.

 

THE HEART SELLERS SPECIAL EVENTS

 

AAPI Community Night: Tuesday, November 21

The Huntington hosts a night of celebration for members of the AAPI community in Greater Boston. Join us at the Calderwood Pavilion for a pre-show reception with Artistic Director Loretta Greco at 6:00-7:15pm before the 7:30pm performance of The Heart Sellers. Following the show, there will also be a post-show, on-stage panel discussion.

 

HYPE (Huntington Young Patron Event): Friday, December 1

The Huntington’s “Huntington Young Patron Events” program (HYPE) hosts a pre-show “Friendsgiving” celebration before the 8pm performance on Friday, December 1 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St).

 

Tickets to performances of The Heart Sellers are available for those 40 and under at $40 each with promo code DISCOUNT online at huntingtontheatre.org, by walk-up at the Box Office at the Huntington Theatre or Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, or by calling ticketing services at 617-266-0800.

 

Humanities Forum: Sunday, December 10

The Huntington hosts a post-show discussion after the 2pm matinee performance on Sunday, December 10 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St). 

 

Actors Forum: Thursday December 14

The Huntington hosts a moderated, post-show discussion with the cast after the 7:30pm performance on Thursday, December 14 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St). Hear actors from The Heart Sellers reflect on their roles and nuances of each character.

 

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

 

Celebrating over 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.

Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Executive Director Christopher Mannelli, The Huntington is committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, 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.

 

The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre in fall of 2022 after its transformational renovation, and is currently in phase two of the project; a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building 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 BAND’S VISIT CO-PRODUCTION BY

THE HUNTINGTON AND SPEAKEASY STAGE

EXTENDS DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

 

Tickets are selling fast for The Huntington and SpeakEasy Stage’s co-production

of the Tony- and Grammy-winning musical The Band’s Visit,

now running through December 17 at the Huntington Theatre

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington and SpeakEasy Stage announce that their production of The Band’s Visit will extend, now running through Sunday, December 17, 2023 at the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave). Several weeks out from opening, the production has added an additional week of performances due to overwhelming demand from audiences. The first two rows of the orchestra have also been made available for sale for all performances, November 10 – December 17.

 

With music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses, and directed by SpeakEasy Stage founder and artistic director Paul DaigneaultThe Band’s Visit centers on an Egyptian band of musicians who become stranded in a small Israeli town after a transportation mix-up. With no lodgings available, the locals take them into their homes for the night. By morning, surprising connections have been made and friendships forged over moments of shared humanity and love of music. In this beautiful, feel-good musical, a brief visit can have a lasting impact.

 

Based on Eran Kolirin’s 2007 film of the same name, this original musical first premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company Off Broadway in 2016 before transferring to Broadway in 2017. The tour was scheduled to perform in Boston in 2020, but was cancelled due to the pandemic.

 

Winning an astounding 10 Tony Awards in 2018 – among the highest in Broadway history – as well as the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album in 2019, The Band’s Visit was hailed by The New York Times as “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by,” and The Hollywood Reporter called it “Gorgeous, intoxicating, and soulful.”

 


 

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

Any members of the media who are interested in speaking with the artists of The Band’s Visit, please contact Publicist Gabrielle Jaques at gjaques@huntingtontheatre.org or 617-273-1520.

 

Press night for critics is Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 7pm. Please RSVP here for press night or other available performances.

 

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

 


 

THE HUNTINGTON HOSTS A FREE OPEN HOUSE AT

THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE – MONDAY, OCTOBER 9

DURING FENWAY ALLIANCE’S OPENING OUR DOORS DAY

 

Visitors can take a behind-the-scenes tour (with a peek into dressing rooms and the costume shop!),

browse artwork by visual artist Alison Judd in the 2nd floor gallery, and hear from Huntington staff and artists (including August Wilson biographer Patti Hartigan) in lively panel discussions

 

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington is pleased to announce the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave) will participate in the Fenway Alliance “Opening Our Doors Day” on Monday, October 9 by hosting a robust slate of events and access during an open house from 11am-3pm.

 

The schedule of events throughout the day is as follows:

 

All Day events11am – 3pm

 

·         Guided tours led by Huntington staff, starting from the 1st floor theatre lobby (tour is approx. 20-30 minutes)

·         Meet-your-seat: Huntington donors and supporters have the opportunity to see their named seat, hosted by Huntington development staff

·         View beautiful art by local visual artist Alison Judd on our 2nd floor gallery

·         Huntington Theatre Box Office open

 

 

11:15am: Spotlight on Huntington Education Department Alumni (Performance and Discussion)

In the Maso Studio, 2nd floor

 

Enjoy a performance and discussion with Education Associate (and Codman Academy alum) Latasha SniderFat Ham cast member and August Wilson Monologue alum Victoria Omoregie, and current students and program participants Emily Guerrero Del Villar, Dereon Goldsmith, and Next Narrative Competition National Champion Sakura Rosenthal.

 

12pm – 1pm: Huntington 23/24 Season Preview Talk (Discussion)

In the Maso Studio, 2nd floor

 

Participate in a sneak peek discussion about the upcoming Huntington season with Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Director of New Work Charles Haugland.

 

12:30pm – 12:45pmGallery talk with visual artist Allison Judd

In the Huntington Theatre Gallery, 2nd floor

 

1pm – 2pm: August Wilson biographer and Boston Globe writer Patti Hartigan (Book Talk)

In the Maso Studio, 2nd floor

 

Hear biographer and Boston Globe writer Patti Hartigan speak about her new book August Wilson: A Life, moderated by Front Porch Arts Collective Co-Artistic Director Maurice Emmanuel Parent.

 

1:30pm – 1:45pmGallery talk with visual artist Allison Judd

In the Huntington Theatre Gallery, 2nd floor

 

2pm – 2:45pm: Celebrating 20 years of local playwrights on our stages! (Discussion)

In the Maso Studio, 2nd floor

 

Join Huntington Playwriting Fellows Kirsten Greenidge, Masha Obolensky, and Lila Rose Kaplan for a conversation about living and creating art as playwrights in Boston, moderated by Director of New Work Charles Haugland.

 

The event is free and open to the public, but we encourage the community to RSVP on Eventbrite.

 

The Huntington’s Open House is part of the Fenway Alliance’s annual Opening Our Doors Day event, a celebration of the Fenway Cultural District including art exhibits, performances, nature and historical walks, art activities, open houses and more. More information can be found on the Fenway Alliance website.

 

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

 

Celebrating over 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.

Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Executive Director Christopher Mannelli, The Huntington is committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, 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.

 

The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre in fall of 2022 after its transformational renovation, and is currently in phase two of the project; a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building 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 FORTUNE TELLER
A New Play Workshop Production
Co-produced by CHUANG Stage & TC Squared Theatre Company
Written by Christina R. Chan
Directed by Kai Chao
Associate Directed by Alison Yueming Qu

Production Stage Manager: Emma J. Hunt
Assistant Stage Manager: Hengyu Hu (Olivia)

The Fortune Teller Artwork Artist: Shaina Lu (@shainadoesart)

Can you predict your destiny? How do we end up where we are?

Inspired by an unsettling history, The Fortune Teller traces several generations of a family from China in the 1800s to present-day America, as they search for destiny and each other bound together by immigrant legacy and bloodline.

Performances will be followed by community activation + post-show programming!


TICKETS ARE PAY-AS-YOU-ARE, STARTING AT $0!

GET TICKETS
MEET THE CAST OF THE FORTUNE TELLER!

Mordecai Choi (LIN WONG/ MARC/ ANCESTOR SPIRIT) he/him - Mordecai Choi, Che Soo Jae, is elated to be joining Chuang Stage and TC Squared's co-Production of Christina Chan's THE FORTUNE TELLER. He is honored to be apart of Chuang Stage's initial work in their three-year Launchpad Theatre Residency. He would like to thank his fellow cast, crew and design team; without you, there is no art. He would like to thank his friends, and family and Gabrielle; without you, there is no me. Dedicated to his immigrant parents and grandparents, Soo Jae invites you to sit back and enjoy the fortune telling.

Angela Gunn (SARAH McCARTHY) she/her - is thrilled to be performing in the Chuang Stage/TC Squared production of THE FORTUNE TELLER! A graduate of Wellesley College and Northeastern University School of Law, she currently represents convicted murderers on their appeals in addition to performing on stage and in film. Recent productions include the original work DOUBLE BILL with Theatre@First and Talking to Strangers with the Burlington Players last spring. A favorite production was the Bard Brigade's outdoor performance of the Scottish play in Salem where she played Lady M. For more information on Angela Gunn please visit her website at www.angelagunn.com.
Karla Goo Lang (JEWEL WONG) she/her - is delighted to return to Chuang Stage, having previously performed in the Found in Translation series (Mary Lin/Madam Lin in THE GHOST OF KEELUNG and ensemble in A DEAL). Favorite roles include Waverly in THE JOY LUCK CLUB (Umbrella Stage Company), Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Hovey Players), and April in COMPANY (Longwood Players). Karla is a fifth-generation Chinese-American and is grateful for the opportunity to help share this story about the AAPI immigrant experience.
Jamie Lin (JADE McCARTHY) she/her - is a Taiwanese-American actor, playwright & director originally from the Bay Area. She's always honored to bring AAPI work to the stage, having previously directed RADIAL GRADIENT for Samuel-Lancaster Productions and PLAYING CHOPSTICKS for BTM XXIV. She’s a proud member of the Asian-American Playwright Collective and connoisseur of noodles. She's also currently onboard T: AN MBTA MUSICAL at the Rockwell as Alice (Green Line) and Bus Driver!
Tony SooHoo (SI FU/ GOLD MOUNTAIN SPIRIT/ FORTUNE TELLER) he/him is a Boston-based SAG/AFTRA actor and is excited to participate in this play. Tony has acted on TV/Feature Film and Commercials. He enjoys performing improv and have studied at the Improv Boston. Tony has most recently worked on the play THE TROUBLEMAKER by Christina R. Chan.
GET TICKETS
Location: 
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont St, Boston, MA

Performance Schedule: 
Saturday, October 28 @ 7 PM
Sunday, October 29 @ 2 PM
Thursday, November 2 @ 7 PM
Friday, November 3 @ 7 PM
Saturday, November 4 @ 2 PM

 
BAAFF Closing Night Special:
Get 20% Off for 
STARRING JERRY AS HIMSELF!
Boston Asian American Film Festival CLOSING NIGHT 
STARRING JERRY AS HIMSELF 
DIRECTED BY LAW CHEN | 91 MINS | ENGLISH/MANDARIN 
Q&A WITH FILMMAKER and RECEPTION TO FOLLOW FILM
SUNDAY, OCT. 15 | 7:00PM
EMERSON PARAMOUNT CENTER
Based on actual events, a family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently retired Florida man, was recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent, only to discover a darker truth.
Use BAAFF20 for a 20% discount on tickets! 
GET TICKETS HERE

WITH ORIGINS IN A GROUNDBREAKING CULTURAL PROCESS, 

A STARTLING NEW MADAMA BUTTERFLY EMERGES


BLO’s production, running Sept 14-24, sets the story in 1940s San Francisco.


Untouched, Puccini’s soaring score proves resilient and resonant.


Preliminary costume and set design sketches here.


BOSTON – June 22, 2023; updated Aug 2, 2023** – Boston Lyric Opera’s new MADAMA BUTTERFLY opens at the Emerson Colonial Theatre September 14-24 after a years-long, groundbreaking cultural journey designed to examine the opera’s complex production history, embrace the beloved soaring score, and create an intentional production led by Asian and Asian-American artists seeking to reclaim a nearly 150-year-old narrative, and make it resonate with contemporary audiences.


Stage Director Phil Chan’s production of composer Giacomo Puccini’s opera brings the story of Butterfly and American Naval Officer B.F. Pinkerton into the world of 1940s San Francisco, where many Japanese Americans lived and where racial prejudice was heightened by World War II. Here, Butterfly is a performer in the historically inspired world of the city’s Chinatown nightclubs of the era, which employed Asian-American artists and drew white American audiences by promising exoticism. Here, Butterfly and Pinkerton fall in love before he leaves for military duty in the Pacific Rim.


Following an unconventional start to their romance, Pinkerton ships off to his military destination, unaware that the love affair with Butterfly has resulted in a pregnancy. Butterfly is swept up in the xenophobic hysteria triggered by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and becomes incarcerated in an American prison camp where she and her son await Pinkerton’s return.

Chan (r.), whose organization Final Bow for Yellowface has altered the world of ballet by improving Asian representation onstage and off, makes his opera directing debut. The production features dramaturgy by BLO Artistic Advisor Nina Yoshida Nelsen whose prolific singing career has included scores of “Madama Butterfly productions, filmmaker/author Arthur Dong whose research and historical documentaries “Forbidden City, USA” and “Hollywood Chinese” inform the world of the new production, as well as Indiana University Director of Asian American Studies Karen Inouye and Associate Professor Ashlyn Aiko Nelson


Chan says this new production tells a decisively American story. “All the characters in this MADAMA BUTTERFLY are Americans, and none of the story takes place in Japan – or anywhere outside California,” he says. “As we look to keep the artform thriving, we need to make its stories relevant to the audiences and the people of our time, while making sure the timeless Puccini score is still heard.”


Casting for BLO’s new production includes Karen Chia-Ling Ho (l.) as Butterfly, Alice Chung as Suzuki, Dominick Chenes as Pinkerton; Troy Cook as Sharpless, and Rodell Rosell as Goro (all five make their Boston Lyric Opera debuts). Vera Savage sings the role of Kate Pinkerton, Matthew Arnold as Signor Dori, and BLO Emerging Artist Junhan Choi in dual roles as Commissioner and Registrar.


In addition to Stage Director Phil Chan and the dramaturgy team, the artistic lineup for MADAMA BUTTERFLY includes Set Designer Yu Shibagaki, Costume Designer Sara Ryung Clement, Lighting Designer Jeannette Oi-Suk Yew, Wig and Makeup Designer Fuji Dreskin, and Choreographer Michael Sakamoto. The BLO Orchestra, comprising 70 players, will be conducted by BLO Music Director David Angus. A 20-plus-member cohort of the BLO Chorus will be led by Brett Hodgdon.

 

This MADAMA BUTTERFLY is the first production informed by “The Butterfly Process,” BLO’s extensive exploration of the opera’s history, provenance and impact from its early 20th Century premiere up until today. The year-long initiative examined and provided practical examples of how opera companies can build intentional and authentic productions of traditional works in a way that invites full, equitable participation, inspires new thinking, and strengthens both communities and audiences through the way music and stories are presented. More information on “The Butterfly Process” can be found here.


“The journey to this production has been enormously rewarding, challenging, and eye-opening,” says BLO General Director & CEO Bradley Vernatter. “Not only has ‘The Butterfly Process’ guided our work on operas from the inherited repertoire like this one, it also has begun to inform much of the artistic work we do as an organization. By investigating this historical masterwork and facing its legacy – both positive and negative – we are better equipped to produce an inclusive, intentional future for the artform that includes operas like ‘Madama Butterfly.’”


COMMUNITY EVENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS

Boston Lyric Opera plans a series of educational and public events connected to its production of MADAMA BUTTERFLY. Through its work in this realm, BLO is committed to increasing access to opera across the city.  Details on these events will be announced later.


TICKETS

Tickets for MADAMA BUTTERFLY are available now with a three- or four-part subscription to BLO’s 2023/24 Season. Individual tickets, which start at $25, are available via presale on July 18, and to the general public on August 1 at blo.org/butterfly.


-more-

CALENDAR LISTING


WHAT: Boston Lyric Opera presents a new production of Giacomo Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY. The production, set in the Chinatown nightclub scene of 1940s San Francisco, features a predominantly Asian and Asian-American artistic team, and is directed by Phil Chan.


WHEN: Four performances from September 14-24, 2023, including: Thu., Sep 14 @ 7:30p; Sun., Sep 17 @ 3p; Fri., Sep 22 @ 7:30p; and Sun., Sep 24 @ 3p.


WHERE: Emerson Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston Street in Boston, Mass.


TICKETS: Available now with a season subscription. Individual tickets start at $25, available for presale July 18 and to the general public August 1 at blo.org/butterfly.


INFO: Following a groundbreaking cultural journey designed to examine the opera’s complex production history, embrace its beloved soaring score, and create a production that resonates with contemporary audiences, BLO’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY brings the story into the world of 1940s San Francisco, where many Japanese Americans lived, and where racial prejudice was heightened by World War II. Here, Butterfly is a nightclub performer who falls in love with the American naval officer Pinkerton and is caught up in American xenophobia during World War II.


2022 PULITZER PRIZE WINNER FAT HAM

COMES TO THE HUNTINGTON

IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALLIANCE THEATRE

AND FRONT PORCH ARTS COLLECTIVE

 

James Ijames’ highly acclaimed and deliciously funny new play is a fresh take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, seasoned with Black queer joy and a compelling examination of love and loss

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington in association with Alliance Theatre and Front Porch Arts Collective announces the cast and creative team of Fat Ham, the acclaimed new play written by James Ijames and directed by Tony Award-nominated Stevie Walker-Webb. The production runs from Friday, September 22 – Sunday, October 22, 2023 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St).

 

In this deliciously funny, Pulitzer Prize-winning new play, sweet and sensitive Juicy wants to make his own way as a queer Black man growing up in a Southern family, until his father’s ghost turns up at a backyard barbecue and insists that Juicy avenge his murder. Ay, there’s the rub!

 

“James Ijames’ brilliant, hilarious play is Hamlet and is not Hamlet,” says Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “This is the beginning of our rigorous exploration of the classics – powerful stories that continue to speak to us – as re-dreamt for our time. In Ijames’ deft hands this exploration of masculinity, queerness, and familial acceptance boasts of muscular language, emotional truth, and the wildly entertaining foibles of family.”

 

This smart and sharp reinvention of Shakespeare’s masterpiece premiered in a filmed production for the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia in 2021 before making its Off Broadway debut at the Public Theater the following year. The play won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and in spring of 2023, the Public Theater transferred their production to Broadway where it received five Tony Award nominations and even more critical acclaim. The New York Times called it “Hot and sizzling! A raucous, flat-out hilarious comedy! Fat Ham is a revelation!”

 

“I am very excited for Fat Ham to meet the audiences in Boston,” says playwright James Ijames. “The play has a powerful message of transformation, radical acceptance, and joy! This show is for anyone looking for a space of liberation and beauty.” 

 

The cast of Fat Ham includes:

 

James T. Alfred as Rev, Tedra’s husband, her dead ex-husband’s brother, a kind of Claudius. And also as Pap, the Ghost of Juicy’s father. Credits include the national tour of Jitney and Black Odyssey Off Broadway.

 

Amar Atkins as Larry, an awkward marine with a secret, a kind of Laertes. Credits include: the national tour of The Color Purple revival, and As You Like It and King Lear at the Public Theater.

 

Thomika Marie Bridwell as Rabby, Larry and Opal’s mother, Tedra’s friend, a kind of Polonius. Credits include Joy and Pandemic and K-I-S-S-I-N-G (in co-production with Front Porch Arts Collective) at The Huntington, and Chicken and Biscuits at Front Porch Arts Collective.

 

Marshall W. Mabry IV as Juicy, beautiful, lonely, and smart; a kind of Hamlet. Credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream in Harlem at Pittsburgh Public and Once on this Island at SpeakEasy Stage.

 

Lau'rie Roach as Tio, Juicy’s clever cousin and oldest friend, a kind of Horatio. Credits include Toni Stone at Alliance Theatre and Milwaukee Rep, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at Alliance Theatre.

 

Victoria Omoregie as Opal, one of Juicy’s only friends, a kind of Ophelia. Victoria was a winner of the August Wilson Monologue Competition with The Huntington’s education department. Other credits include Fairview at SpeakEasy Stage and The Bomb-Itty of Errors at Actors’ Shakespeare Project.

 

Ebony Marshall-Oliver as Tedra, Juicy’s mother, a kind of Gertrude. Credits include Ain’t No Mo’ and Chicken and Biscuits on Broadway, and Merry Wives at the Public Theater.

 

Understudies include: David J. Castillo, Vincent Ernest Siders, Kai Tshikosi, and Shanelle Chloe Villegas.


 

The creative team for Fat Ham includes scenic design by Luciana Stecconi (Witch and The Art of Burning at The Huntington), costume design by Celeste Jennings (Malvolio at Classical Theatre of Harlem), lighting design by Xiangfu Xiao (The Diamond at Pregones/PRTT), sound design by Aubrey Dube (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Clyde’s at The Huntington), hair and wig design by Earon Nealey (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at The Huntington), and illusions design by Evan Northrup (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at The Huntington. The choreographer is PJ Johnnie Jr, dialect coach is Amani Dorn, and the fight choreographer and intimacy coach is Jesse Hinson. The associate director is Dawn M. Simmons. The production stage manager is R. Lamar Williams and the stage manager is Ashley Pitchford. 

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

James Ijames (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, director, and educator. James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre, JACK, The Public Theater (NYC), Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Timeline Theater (Chicago, IL) and Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theatre, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Gardens. James is the recipient of the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist and two Barrymore Awards, for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre Company. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrence McNally New Play Award (for WHITE), the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner (for ...Miz Martha), a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, and a recipient of the 2019 Kesselring Prize (for Kill Move Paradise), a 2020 Steinberg Prize, and the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective. He received a BA in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta and an MFA in acting from Temple University in Philadelphia. James is an associate professor of theatre at Villanova University. @FatHamBway

 

Stevie Walker-Webb (Director) is a Tony Award-nominated, Obie Award-winning director, playwright, and cultural worker who believes in the transformational power of art. His work has been produced on and Off Broadway, including Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Theater/Broadway), One in Two (The New Group), Black Odyssey (Classic Stage), Fairview (Woolly Mammoth), and Our Town (Baltimore Center Stage). Upcoming productions include Gun & Powder (Paper Mill Playhouse). He is founder of Hundreds of Thousands, an arts and advocacy organization that makes visual the suffering and inhumane treatment of incarcerated mentally ill people. He has received the Princess Grace Award for Theater and The Lily Award from the Dramatists Guild of America, and is a 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, a visiting artist and lecturer at Harvard University, and the founding artistic director of the Jubilee Theatre in Waco, Texas. Stevie has created art and theatre in Madagascar, South Africa, Mexico, and across America. steviewalkerwebb.com

  

WHEN

In-person performances: September 22 – October 22, 2023

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: 95 minutes, no intermission

 

Press Opening: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 7pm (RSVP here)

 

 

WHERE

The Huntington/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

 

 

TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances start at $30. 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 St, South End, Boston

 

Select discounts apply:

  • $10 off: season ticket holders
  • $40 “HYPE” tickets for patrons 40 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

 

The Huntington asks that any patron experiencing COVID symptoms stay home and contact ticketing services for more information about exchanges.

 

 

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

 

Any members of the media who are interested in speaking with the artists of Fat Ham, please contact Publicist Gabrielle Jaques at gjaques@huntingtontheatre.org or 617-273-1520.

 

Press night for critics is Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 7pm. Please RSVP here for press night or other available performances.

 

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

 

PHOTOS available for download here

 

 

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR FAT HAM

 

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 St, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

 

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, Oct 10 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.

 

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, Oct 13 at 8pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, Oct 21 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.

 

 

FAT HAM SPECIAL EVENTS

 

HYPE: Friday, September 29

The Huntington’s “Huntington Young Patron Events” program (HYPE) hosts a post-show celebration on Friday, September 29 at Reunion BBQ (439 Tremont St).

 

Tickets to performances of Fat Ham are available for those 40 and under at $40 each with promo code DISCOUNT online at huntingtontheatre.org, by walk-up at the Box Office at the Huntington Theatre or Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, or by calling ticketing services at 617 266 0800.

 

Blackout Boston: Sunday, October 1

Front Porch Arts Collective and The Huntington come together once again to host a Blackout Boston evening for those who identify as members of Africa’s Global Diaspora (persons who identify as descendants of Africans dispersed throughout the world).

 

The pre-show event and Blackout performance will take place on Sunday, October 1 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St). A pre-show Drag Reception will take place at 6pm, followed by the Blackout performance of Fat Ham starting at 7pm.

 

Blackout Boston is an opportunity for Black identifying audiences to experience live theater that feels resonant to the Black experience in a space where their community is the majority. If you have questions about this event or other community events, please contact Huntington Community Engagement Manager Oz Pereira: opereira@huntingtontheatre.org.

 

Tickets to this performance are Pay What You Wish.

 

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

 

Celebrating over 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. Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Executive Director Christopher Mannelli, The Huntington is committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, 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.

 

The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre in fall of 2022 after its transformational renovation, and is currently in phase two of the project; a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building 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

 

 

ABOUT ALLIANCE THEATRE

 

Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the leading producing theater in the Southeast, reaching more than 165,000 patrons annually. The Alliance is led by Artistic Directors Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and Christopher Moses and is a recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award® for sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement. In January 2019, the Alliance opened its new, state-of-the-art performance space, The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre. Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 120 productions including nine that have transferred to Broadway. The Alliance education department reaches 90,000 students annually through performances, classes, camps, and in-school initiatives designed to support teachers and enhance student learning. The Alliance Theatre values community, curiosity, collaboration, and excellence, and is dedicated to representing Atlanta's diverse community with the stories we tell, the artists, staff, and leadership we employ, and audiences we serve. alliancetheatre.org (needs link) 

 

 

ABOUT FRONT PORCH ARTS COLLECTIVE

 

Front Porch Arts Collective is a Black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theatre. Now in residence with The Huntington, Front Porch Arts Collective seeks to create a place where perspectives and experiences of Black people are no longer novelty, but an integral part of the global conversation, and to build programs that make the entire theatrical landscape more reflect the diversity of the city. By creating an atmosphere where people see the world through differing experiences, we hope to foster greater understanding of the human condition that ultimately contributes to tolerance and empathy in our world. Our namesake signifies a communal spirit, inspiring us to serve communities of color and produce art that is inclusive of all communities and welcoming to all audiences, to inspire a more tolerant and inclusive Boston. Our core values are cultural inclusion, community advancement, and impactful legacy. To learn more about The Porch, visit frontporcharts.org

 

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY EXTENDS AT THE HUNTINGTON

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

 

Audiences are cheering The Huntington’s production of the 2022 Tony-Winner for Best Play,

now running through July 23 at The Huntington Theatre

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces their acclaimed production of The Lehman Trilogy will extend, now running through Sunday, July 23, 2023 at the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave). Six additional performances have been added due to overwhelming demand from audiences.

 

The Lehman Trilogy is an epic and timely story of family, ambition, and risk, sprawling across 163 years of history and shining a calculating spotlight on the spectacular rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers, a family and a company that changed the world. Captivating theatergoers, the 2022 Tony Award-winning Best Play is by Stefano Massini, adapted to English by Ben Power, and directed by artistic director emeritus of American Conservatory Theater Carey Perloff.

 

Performed entirely by three actors and one musician, the story follows the original three Lehman brothers, then their sons and grandsons, as they journey from rags to riches to ruin. In 1840s Alabama, a Bavarian immigrant dreams of a better life for his family. By the early 2000s, his descendants trigger unprecedented financial disaster. In a marvel of storytelling, this extraordinary piece of theatre is both an intimate saga about a family and a monumental exposé of unbridled capitalism.

 

The Huntington’s production of The Lehman Trilogy is the first to originate in the US and be directed by an American director. Perloff’s unique vision for the production includes a new, sweeping score by Mark Bennett, and a dynamic scenic design by Sara Brown that features wooden crates reminiscent of the containers used to store and ship cotton, the original source of the Lehman brothers’ wealth.

 

The Lehman Trilogy has been translated into 24 languages and has received international acclaim from both critics and audiences: The New York Times praised The Lehman Trilogy as “genuinely epic. You’re left reeling by the scope and vitality of it.” The Hollywood Reporter called it “most thrilling...breathtaking!” Deadline called it, “A masterpiece. A miracle and a spellbinding demonstration of theatre’s possibilities.” And London’s The Guardian called it, “astonishing. An intimate epic about the shifting definition of the American Dream.”

 

This Tony Award-winning play first premiered in France in 2013 and in Italy in 2015, before the English adaptation debuted at London’s National Theatre in 2018, then played the Park Avenue Armory in NYC in spring of 2019. After pandemic delays, the National Theatre production had a limited run on Broadway (Sept 2021 – Jan 2022) and in Los Angeles (Mar – Apr 2022). Stefano Massini also adapted the play into a novel which was translated into English by Richard Dixon and published in 2020.

 

The Huntington’s 2023 production of The Lehman Trilogy, now running through Sunday, July 23, is the first original, American-based production.



THE HUNTINGTON 2023 SPOTLIGHT GALA

SHATTERS RECORDS, RAISING $1.67M

 

The Huntington community celebrated those who have made an extraordinary impact

on Greater Boston, the arts, and The Huntington – including playwright Paula Vogel,

longstanding Managing Director Michael Maso, and Trustee David Leathers

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington held its annual Spotlight Gala on Monday, May 1, 2023 at the Cyclorama at the BCA (539 Tremont St). Over 400 attendees gathered to celebrate honorees as well as the achievement of this transformational season. The Gala supports The Huntington’s artistic, education, and community initiatives and this year set an all-time record with $1.67 million raised.

 

“The Huntington’s Spotlight Gala was both a tremendous success and a fantastic evening,” says Huntington Chairman of the Board Randy Peeler. “We are so grateful for the incredibly generous donors and sponsors whose contributions at the gala will have a vital impact on The Huntington as a public good for the City of Boston and beyond.”

 

The Spotlight Gala honored three people who have made an extraordinary impact on The Huntington and the larger theatre community: Trustee David Leathers, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, and Managing Director Michael Maso.

 

David Leathers is a longtime Huntington Trustee and has been a tireless champion for The Huntington Theatre renovation project as Chair of the Facilities Committee. His steadfast commitment and attention to detail, despite myriad challenges during the pandemic, ensured that The Huntington Theatre successfully reopened in Fall 2022. His daughter Megan Leathers spoke beautifully about Leathers’ love of stories and storytelling and the artistic community he has found at The Huntington as she presented him with the Wimberly Award.

 

Paula Vogel is a lion in the theatre community as both a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (for How I Learned to Drive) and a dedicated educator who spent many years at Brown University as the founder of their esteemed playwriting program, inspiring generations of playwrights and theatre artists. Her plays, Tony Award-nominated Indecent and A Civil War Christmas, have thrilled Boston audiences on stage at The Huntington, and The Huntington looks forward to partnering with her on an upcoming new works commissioning initiative. Her former student, acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl, presented her with the Wimberly Award and spoke warmly about Vogel’s bravery as an artist and her love for the artform and other writers.

 

Huntington Founding Managing Director Michael Maso was honored with the Encore Award, presented by his wife Lisa Coady, as he prepares to step down from that role at the end of this season after 41 years. A leader and trailblazer in the Boston arts scene as well as the broader American theatre industry, his vision paved the way for the Calderwood Pavilion to be built and The Huntington Theatre to be renovated; and his legacy is not only an empowered Huntington Theatre Company (with a campus spanning four locations) but an enriched and vibrant theatre ecosystem that his care and collaborative spirit helped foster.

 

Huntington Trustee and host of WCVB Channel 5’s CityLine Karen Holmes Ward hosted the evening. The event was chaired by Huntington Trustee David Firestone and his wife Karen Firestone and Huntington Advisor Bobby Perino.

 

Longtime Huntington staffers Andrew DeShazo and Kevin Schlagle received the 10th annual Gerard and Sherryl Cohen Awards for Excellence, which recognize the exceptional work and dedication of peer-nominated Huntington staff who consistently go above and beyond. DeShazo has been a stalwart part of the props run crew for over 20 years; Schlagle has held many roles in his 14 years at the company, from stage manager to producer and Covid safety manager. The awards were presented by Huntington Trustee Gerard Cohen and his granddaughter Chloe Peddle.

 

Several live performances took the stage throughout the night, including lively performances by Sing Street cast members Adam BregmanTony GenovesiMichael LeporeElijah LyonsGian Perez, and Ben Wang. This new musical with an original score and a 15-member ensemble opened The Huntington’s 2022-2023 season and was the largest production ever housed at The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Also performing: Steven Skybell (currently in rehearsals for The Huntington’s upcoming production of The Lehman Trilogy) and Taylor Mac (playwright of Joy and Pandemic, now playing at the Calderwood Pavilion) sang a delightful rendition of “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler on the Roof in honor of Vogel; Boston actors Aimee Doherty and Shannon Lamb sang a special rendition of “Wells Fargo Wagon” from The Music Man to honor Leathers.

 

The evening concluded with a surprise performance by Michael Maso, singing “Some Other Time” from On the Town. Many members of the Greater Boston theatre community joined him on stage to sing “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line, including: Amy Barker, Leigh Barrett, Jazzmin Bonner, Elle Borders, Christopher Chew, Aimee Doherty, Jennifer Ellis, Shannon Lamb, Sarah Muirhead, Matthew Pantanella, Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Ale Philippides, Bob Saoud, and Bobbie Steinbach. This is Maso’s final gala as Managing Director and the energy in the room was warm, supportive, and energizing.

More information about the event can be found here.

 

Photos can be downloaded here.

 

Video of Michael Maso’s speech and surprise performance can be downloaded here.

 

 

ABOUT THE WIMBERLY AWARD HONOREES

 

Dave Leathers has served as a Huntington Trustee since 2013 and is the current chair of the Facilities Committee. Dave has been a driving force for the revitalization of The Huntington Theatre and is the former CEO of John Moriarty & Associates, a highly respected construction firm with clients such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Brandeis University. He and his wife Susan are long-time Huntington enthusiasts and live in Boston.

 

Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose plays Indecent (Tony Award nomination for Best Play) and A Civil War Christmas have been celebrated on The Huntington’s stages. Her other plays include How I Learned to Drive (Pulitzer Prize, Lortel Prize), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot ‘N’ Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, and The Oldest Profession. Lifetime achievement awards include the American Theatre Hall of Fame Award, the Obie Award, and New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Her plays are published in six volumes by TCG Press and she teaches playwriting workshops throughout the United States and abroad. In 2020 she founded the digital theatre archive of new plays, BARD AT THE GATE, which is available at Broadway on Demand. paulavogelplaywright.com

THE HUNTINGTON NAMES LYNDSAY ALLYN COX

AS NEW PRODUCING DIRECTOR

 

Cox joins The Huntington as an arts leader and champion of new work, after 16 years of

acting, producing, and directing in the Greater Boston community

 

(BOSTON) – The Huntington announces that Artistic Director Loretta Greco has appointed Boston actor, director, and producer Lyndsay Allyn Cox as The Huntington’s new Producing Director, beginning May 9, 2023. As Producing Director, she will report to and work closely in partnership with Greco, and will be responsible for supervising productions from the casting process through the closing performance on behalf of the artistic department.

 

“Lyndsay Allyn Cox is a creative and strategic, big-minded leader. She will be a wonderful breath of fresh air at The Huntington!” says Greco. “Our national search brought us home to Boston where Lyndsay’s breadth and depth of talent was undeniable. Her passion for theatre and for bringing artists together across disciplines in exciting and impactful ways, along with her deep local ties, will help us forge even greater relationships in the community. I’m thrilled to have her join us as we create an exciting new era at The Huntington.” 

 

Cox joins The Huntington after four years of leadership at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) as director of theatre arts and most recently as senior director of programs and experiences, where she has overseen theatre programs, including residencies to create new work while also curating performing arts events, such as the well-attended and popular #hellablack, which centered Black artistry and Black expression from Boston artists. 

 

Recently appearing on Huntington stages as an actor in Our Daughters, Like Pillars and Witchshe has performed and directed with several prominent local theatre companies, including Front Porch Arts Collective, Lyric Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage, and Company One. Named one of WBUR’s inaugural class of The ARTery 25 (millennials of color impacting Boston art and culture) and a graduate of Appalachian State University, she is actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community, is a member of a social justice-centered Reform synagogue in Brookline, MA, and resides in Boston’s South End.

 

“I am thrilled to be joining The Huntington at this exciting time!” says Cox. “It’s such a blessing to be able to step into this role, into this level of leadership, and I can’t wait to get right to work alongside Loretta and the rest of the team. The Boston theatre community has played such an important role in my career and I am looking forward to giving back to the community in deep and meaningful ways.”

 

In this new role at The Huntington, Cox will be supervising productions, as well as The Huntington’s producing and casting team, and serving as line producer for select shows and community partnerships.

 

 


THE HUNTINGTON AND SPEAKEASY STAGE

CO-PRODUCE THE SMASH HIT TONY & GRAMMY

AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL THE BAND’S VISIT IN FALL 2023

 Longtime partners, the two companies join forces on a co-production for the first time

to expand the audience for this exquisite new musical

 (BOSTON) – The Huntington and SpeakEasy Stage announce that they will co-produce the much-lauded Tony Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit which features music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses, as part of their respective 2023-2024 seasons. 

The Band’s Visit will be performed at the recently renovated Huntington Theatre from November 10 – December 10, 2023 and directed by award-winning SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault. 

The Band’s Visit won an astounding 10 Tony Awards in 2018 – among the highest in Broadway history – as well as the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album in 2019. The show was hailed by The New York Times as “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by,” and The Hollywood Reporter called it, “Gorgeous, intoxicating, and soulful.” 

This co-production marks the first time that SpeakEasy Stage and The Huntington have jointly staged a production, though the two companies have been longtime partners and collaborators, and worked together with Company One Theater to produce a festival of Annie Baker’s Shirley, VT plays in 2010. They also work together closely on a regular basis as The Huntington built and manages the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA where SpeakEasy Stage is the Calderwood Pavilion Resident Theatre Company at the Boston Center for the Arts. This co-production of The Band’s Visit allows both companies to expand their partnership and reach new audiences for this highly acclaimed new musical. 

The Band’s Visit centers on an Egyptian band of musicians who become stranded in a small Israeli town after a transportation mix up. With no lodgings available, the locals take them into their homes for the night. By morning, surprising connections have been made and friendships forged over moments of shared humanity and love of music. In this beautiful, feel-good musical, a brief visit can have a lasting impact.

Based on Eran Kolirin’s 2007 film of the same name, this original musical first premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company Off Broadway in 2016 before transferring to Broadway in 2017. The tour was scheduled to perform in Boston in 2020 but was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

“We at SpeakEasy are thrilled to team up with our good friends at The Huntington to bring this sublime, beautiful musical to life,” says SpeakEasy’s Paul Daigneault. “It is also an incredible honor to be the first to direct a musical on the new Huntington Theatre stage, to invite the city’s amazing talent on this artistic journey, and to share the many wonders of this surprising and joyous show.”   

“This gorgeous musical won 10 Tony Awards, and it now will delight Boston audiences for the first time,” says Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “We’re thrilled to whole-heartedly collaborate with our partners at SpeakEasy Stage, and it’s a privilege to welcome their founder, our friend and colleague Paul Daigneault, in his Huntington debut.” 

SpeakEasy Stage and The Huntington will each announce their full seasons in early April, and season ticket packages will be available for purchase at that time. This production of The Band’s Visit is licensed by Music Theatre International. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS 

David Yazbek (Music & Lyrics) is an American writer, musician, composer, lyricist and recording artist. He wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musicals The Full Monty (2000), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2010), The Band's Visit (2017), and Tootsie (2019). His album The Laughing Man won the 1997 N.A.I.R.D. Award for Best Pop Album. Other albums include TOCK and Damascus! For theatre he has also composed original music for Boy's Life at LCT; Mojo, Atlantic Theatre; The Pope's Nose, Promenade Theatre and over two others. He has done a lot of scriptwriting for TV, including a brief, Emmy Award-winning stint with “Late Night with David Letterman” and the co-creation of the groundbreaking yet cloying “Puzzle Place” for PBS. He's composed scores for a wide range of films and shows for HBO, NBC, Fox, and Nickelodeon and is responsible for the unrelenting theme song to “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning in 2019 for the original cast recording of The Band's Visit. As a songwriter and/or producer he has worked with such artists as XTC, Tito Puente, Space Hohg, The Verve Pipe, Ruben Blades, Rockapella, and the Persuasions. More can be learned at davidyazbek.com 

Itamar Moses (Book) is the author of the full-length plays Outrage, Bach at Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Yellowjackets, Back Back Back, Completeness, and The Whistleblower, the musicals Nobody Loves You (with Gaby Alter), Fortress of Solitude (with Michael Friedman), and The Band’s Visit (with David Yazbek), and The Evening of Short Plays Love/Stories (Or But You Will Get Used to It). His work has appeared Off Broadway and elsewhere in New York, at regional theatres across the country, and in Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Venezuela, Turkey, and Chile, and is published by Faber & Faber and Samuel French. Awards for his work include Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, and Obie Awards in New York, as well as awards from the Portland, San Diego, Dallas, and Bay Area Theatre Critics Circles. He’s received new play commissions from The McCarter, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, The Wilma Theater, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, and The Goodman. On television, Itamar has written for TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” WGN’S “Outsiders,” and Showtime’s “The Affair.” He holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU and has taught playwriting at Yale and NYU. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. Born in Berkeley, CA, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

Paul Daigneault (Director/SpeakEasy Founder & Producing Artistic Director) is a New England-based freelance director, producer, and teacher.  Since founding the award-winning SpeakEasy Stage in 1992, he has produced over 150 Boston premieres. As a director, he is especially proud of his projects that have centered gay and queer stories as well as his passion for contemporary American musicals.  His professional directing highlights include The Inheritance; Fun Home; Admissions; The Scottsboro Boys; Significant Other; Violet; Mother & Sons; Big Fish; In the Heights; Next to Normal; Nine; Some Men; Zanna, Don’t!; Parade; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out; Company; A Man of No Importance; Bat Boy - The Musical; Passion; A New Brain; Floyd Collins; Love! Valour! Compassion!; and Jeffrey.  In 2014, Paul was the recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, the highest honor presented by the Boston Theater Critics Association. Paul is currently on the faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he teaches musical theatre, producing, and directing.  He was honored in 2007 with the Boston College Arts Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, and served as the college’s 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan S. J. Professor in Theatre Arts.  Outside the theatre, Paul has served on the Board of the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  He is a lover of National Parks and plans to visit all 63!   

ABOUT SPEAKEASY STAGE 

Now in its 32nd year, SpeakEasy Stage is an award-winning, not-for-profit, professional theatre company in residence at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.  Founded and led by Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault, the company has consistently won acclaim for its intimate, top-quality, original productions of bold contemporary plays and musicals that, for three decades, have sparked conversations that challenge, connect, and inspire its audiences and the Greater Boston community. In addition, as part of its mission to build and support a thriving local theatre scene, SpeakEasy works with hundreds of Massachusetts-based actors, directors, designers, and technicians each year, and trains early-career artists through its emerging artist and fellowship programs. From its humble 40-seat beginnings, the company has emerged as a leader in Boston’s theatre community, a champion of diverse and emerging voices, and a staunch proponent of the transformative power of theatre to bring about social change.   SpeakEasyStage.com  

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 reopened the historic Huntington Theatre this fall after its transformational renovation. A storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building 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.

BENDING BARTÓK’S “BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE” WITH ALMA MAHLER’S “FOUR SONGS” AT A SOUTH BOSTON CRUISE TERMINAL


Anne Bogart directs Bartók’s one-act opera with Alma Mahler’s romantic songs.

BLO Music Director David Angus conducts.


Ryan McKinny and Naomi Louisa O’Connell star as Bluebeard and Judith.


Performances March 22-26 with an intimate audience experience installed

inside the Flynn Cruiseport Boston.


BOSTON – February 14, 2023 – A brand-new production that blends Bela Bartók’s 1918 one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle with 1915’s Four Songs (Vier Lieder) by his contemporary Alma Maria Schindler-Mahler – and immerses audiences in a multi-room installation including a pre-show musical salon – arrives at the Flynn Cruiseport Boston for four performances March 22-26. The experience is led by legendary stage director Anne Bogart, who wowed audiences in 2019 with BLO’s production of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale.


The production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs stars American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny (far l.) as Bluebeard and Irish mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa-O’Connell (l.) as Judith.


Bluebeard’s Castle (Béla Balázs, librettist) tells a twisted folktale of the fictional Duke Bluebeard who brings his hastily wed wife Judith to visit his foreboding fortress of a home for the first time. In exploring the castle and her new relationship, Judith begins to realize she faces the same desperate fate that befell Bluebeard’s previous wives. Much has been made of whether Bartók, Baläzs and the source material intended the castle’s rooms of atrocities as literal or figurative. Either way, the opera explores the depths of an intense emotional and psychological relationship.


Four Songs is one of three song cycles Mahler wrote before her marriage to Gustav Mahler. The songs, “Licht in der Nacht,” “Waldseligkeit,” “Ansturm” and “Erntelied” ponder love both turbulent and passionate, and the healing beauty of nature. Mahler’s composing career was quashed in deference to her husband’s wishes; only 17 of her more than four dozen compositions survive.


“When I began thinking about how to approach Bluebeard,” Bogart says, “I realized Bartók’s music is extraordinary – dark and labyrinthine – some of the most dynamic, powerful music you will hear. But it clearly needed a companion piece – written by a woman. We are dealing with the stark differences between the male and female experiences inherent in Bartók’s work.”


Bogart says blending the two distinctly different works counterbalances Bartók’s “excitingly dynamic, powerful and very male” music with Mahler’s lighter, more humanistic songs. Bringing female-composed music into the production adds depth to the character of Judith, Bogart says, “giving her an agency not otherwise shown in the story.”


BLO Music Director David Angus, who conducts the performances, found a recently revised orchestration for Bartók’s opera created in 2020 by German conductor Eberhard Kloke; it makes its New England premiere with this production. Angus says this chamber orchestration retains the music’s power and allows for a more intimate experience into the psychological world that Bogart is creating. The settings for Mahler’s songs are re-orchestrated by contemporary arranger Julian Reynolds for a chamber orchestra; Angus describes them as “delicate and beautiful” and says “they deserve to have a much wider audience.” 


THE EXPERIENCE

The production itself takes the audience on a journey, starting at the street level from which huge escalators transport them up into the massive Cruiseport building. Once inside, audiences enter a curtained corridor leading to a cabaret/salon reminiscent of those Alma Mahler might have hosted as a leading New York City socialite. A pianist (Yukiko Oba) plays music by women composers including Amy Beach, Margaret Bonds, Lili Boulanger, Florence Price and Clara Schumann (a Spotify playlist is here). Audiences then move to a performance space where O’Connell as Judith opens the performance singing two of Mahler’s lieder.


Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs illustrates a production and programming philosophy that has, for more than a dozen years, shaped the identity of Boston Lyric Opera,” says Stanford Calderwood General Director & CEO Bradley Vernatter. “These site-specific installations – Pagliacci in a North End ice rink, or Anne Bogart’s The Handmaid’s Tale at the Harvard basketball stadium – have yielded some of BLO’s most rewarding artistic triumphs,” Vernatter says. “I’m so happy this production allows us  to work again with the brilliant Anne Bogart, who knows well how to create a beautiful production and a memorable experience for audiences.”


The artistic team for Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs includes set designer Sara Brown (most recently for BLO, designed Fellow Travelers, 2019), costume designer Trevor Bowen (Champion, 2022), lighting designer Brian H. Scott, Boston-based movement director Victoria L. Awkward (Romeo & Juliet, 2022) and intimacy director Angie Jepson. For more information on the artistic team, click here


TICKETS

Tickets to Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs start at $25 and are available through BLO Audience Services online at blo.org, by phone at 617.542.6772, or via email at boxoffice@blo.org.


ABOUT BOSTON LYRIC OPERA

Now in its 46th Season, Boston Lyric Opera’s programming remains faithful to tradition while blazing new ground, building audiences, and creating new ways to enhance the opera-going experience. Since its founding in 1976,  Boston Lyric Opera continues to celebrate the art of the voice through innovative productions and public programming. BLO has produced world and U.S. premieres, commissions, and co-productions of note, ranging from live stage productions to films streamed worldwide on its platform, operabox.tv

 

BLO has partnered with organizations such as San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Detroit Opera and others, and continues to be a destination for leading artists, conductors, directors and designers from around the world.  Alongside its main stage programming, BLO artists in our Jane & Steven Akin Emerging Artists initiative work to hone their craft and prepare for the next step in their careers while BLO’s wide-reaching community programming and education initiatives introduce opera to new audiences

across generations.


#   #   #

M

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.


-more-




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.


______________________________________________________________________


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