Huntington Sweeps IRNE Awards!

by:  Rebecca Curtiss at 04/24/2012


Huntington dramaturg Charles Haughland with playwright Stephen Karam (Sons of the Prophet)

It was a joy-filled night for the Huntington at the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards presentation yesterday as our our 2011 productions of Candide, Sons of the Prophet, and Ruined were honored with a combined total of 17 awards!

The second award of the night went to recently-named Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam for Best New Play (Large Theatre) for Sons of the Prophet. In his speech, he praised and thanked Boston audiences for coming to a play they'd never heard of by a writer they didn't know. Our production of Sons..., which was directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, transferred to the Roundabout Theatre Company last fall where it was extended through January 1. The accolades continue: the NYC production has just been nominated for 3 Outer Critic's Circle Awards (Best new Off Broadway Play, Best Actor in a Play - Santino Fontana, and Best Actress in a Play - Joanna Gleason), to be announced on May 14. It was wonderful to have Stephen back in Boston with us for the night to celebrate all of his recent success.

Then the night got busy, as Huntington productions and artists were honored in 17 of the 24 categories recognizing large theatre productions.

Candide director Mary Zimmerman and cast member Cheryl Stern (Old Lady) were with us to celebrate the success. For Candide:


The cast of Candide. Photo: T. Charles Erickson


    Cheryl Stern and Mary Zimmerman
  • Best Actor – Musical: Geoff Packard
  • Best Supporting Actress – Musical: Cheryl Stern
  • Best Choreography: Daniel Pelzig
  • Best Music Director: Doug Peck
  • Best Set Design: Daniel Ostling
  • Best Costume Design: Mara Blumenfeld
  • Best Lighting Design: T. J. Gerckens
  • Best Sound Design: Richard Woodbury
  •  Best Director of a Musical: Mary Zimmerman 
  • Best Ensemble: Candide
  •  Best Musical: Candide

For Ruined:

  • Best Supporting Actor – Drama: Oberon K.A. Adjepong
  • Best Supporting Actress – Drama: Pascale Armand
  • Best Actress – Drama: Tonye Patano 
  • Best Director of a Drama: Liesl Tommy
  • Best Play: Ruined

The cast of Ruined, photo: Kevin Berne

In addition, a number of members of the Huntington family were honored with IRNE Awards, including the Actors' Shakespeare Project production of Huntington Playwriting Fellow John Kuntz's The Hotel Nepenthe, which we'll present this June as part of the Emerging America festival.

See the full list of winners. Congratulations all!

Our two most honored productions from the year are certainly different in a number of key ways, but each tell a story about characters' experiences with hardship and their resulting world-views, which perhaps suprisingly prove to be more optimistic than their experiences should inspire.

Which Huntington production from 2011 was your favorite?

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About me

Rebecca Curtiss is the Communications Manager at the Huntington. Her 3-year-old son Charlie is the unofficial inter-office mascot of the Huntington.

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