"Feels so timely it might have been written yesterday."— Chicago Sun-Times
In a cramped Bronx apartment, a working-class Jewish family dreams of a brighter future. Matriarch Bessie Berger's fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny, and heartbreaking, Odets' 1935 masterpiece beautifully captures both the hopes and the struggles of an unforgettable American family.
"Since her gorgeous, moving production of Luck of the Irish in 2011, I've wanted to bring director Melia Bensussen back to the Huntington to mount a classic. She has a great passion for Clifford Odets' work — Awake and Sing! was Melia's childhood, she once told me. Her talent for telling intimate family stories that play out on a broad social canvas makes now the perfect opportunity for her return."— Peter DuBois
"In Awake and Sing!, Clifford Odets beautifully captures the pains and challenges of all nuclear families living in times of social struggle and economic crisis. This great American play articulates the passions and dilemmas of American society and resonates with the same issues that challenge us today as we grapple to make meaning of our lives. It's a thrill to be back at the Huntington, and I look forward to us rediscovering the beauty and poetry of Odets' voice together."— Melia Bensussen
Artistic Director Peter DuBois shares his insights and behind-the-scenes stories about the Huntington's upcoming production of Awake and Sing!
Clifford Odets is the author of Waiting for Lefty, Awake and Sing, Paradise Lost, Golden Boy, Rocket to the Moon, Clash by Night, The Big Knife, The Country Girl, and The Flowering Peach among others. His work spanned the three decades preceding his death in 1963 and deeply influenced generations of American playwrights to follow.
Melia Bensussen previously directed The Luck of the Irish (2012) and Circle Mirror Transformation (2010) at the Huntington, and will direct Awake and Sing! this fall. Her directing credits include work with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Actors' Shakespeare Project, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Hartford Stage, and many others. Ms. Bensussen is the recipient of an OBIE Award for Outstanding Direction, and she is chair of the performing arts department at Emerson College.
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