The Darling Buds of...June?

by:  Thom Dunn at 06/01/2011

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


And that's just intermission, folks!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

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

Comments

  1. This is a great building, and a great scoop Brigham. Shortly after rehabbing the interior of the theatre, a friend of mine and I wanted to see how it had turned out. We called to inquire about tours and were told that there were not any, and that the church was only open during services, which required advance reservations. A lot of us growing up in Pasadena were all too familiar with Dr. Gene Scott, who would hold court at the the Huntington Sheraton around the corner from his home. He was always approachable, and quite interesting to talk to. As such, we thought that using the church service as a guise to get in the theatre would be somewhat easy. We arrived on time and were allowed to tour around. The place was beautiful, but there was a strange ambiance with his “posse” being all outfitted in Scottish like garb and never cracking a smile. When the service started he spoke of his love for the theatre (he called it his church) and had Mayor Tom Bradley up on stage with him. After Mayor Bradley sat down, Dr. Gene went over the “rules” of the service. He explained that it was a lesson and that nobody was permitted to get up, or especially to leave. He further explained that there would be two offerings and that he expected people to be generous. During the first offering, his “assistants” used long poles with satchels attached to them. The satchels had a one way slot, with a wooden depository slot, almost like a mail box. There was a very strong hinge on them and I suspect if you tried to put your hand inside of it, it would never come out. Surely this was by design. It was starting to get a little weird, and Dr. Gene did not seem as jovial as he had been all those times at the Huntington Sheraton, so we decided to leave, despite his warning. We stood up and started to walk out and Dr. Gene stopped the service and stared at us. There was dead silence, except for our footsteps. We could also feel the 2000ish or so other guests/parishioners staring at us as well. We walked through the lobby and the Scottish attired folks followed us to the door, 3 or 4 of them. We were parked a couple of blocks away, and they followed us all the way to our car. It was an experience not to be forgotten. inexpensive auto insurance california in San Francisco Basic Car Insurance where can i get a cheap car insurance
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  3. "Don't give me pointless information on the T.A that tells me, nearly every time, that ...'Mike is 35, has a good job, disposable cash, likes the finer things in life, has a wife, two kids'....yawn."This does sound all too familiar. I want it the brief to to be concise. So many just waffle on. It truly is a waste of words. Empty comments that mean nothing. I want the freedom to explore and have fun. Don't put the shackles on just yet. If it's too restrictive, we might just ignore it.I want a planner who will keep an open mind. One that will come into the office for a laugh and a joke every now and again. The best planners have that creative spark, and the best creatives have the capacity to be practical and reasonable. We're working towards the same goal, after all! Why not bounce some ideas off each other. I don't want to be condescended to. And i don't want an essay for a brief, bamboozling me with useless information. I want a fertile territory for ideas. That's the most importing thing. no exam life insurance insurance auto best ny car insurance
  4. Mr. Panzarella – First, let me say “Thank You,” to all the Vietnam Veterans. As you know, there are those of us that always have, and still appreciate their service and recognize their sacrifice. I’m glad you had the opportunity to speak with the wife of a Vietnam Veteran. I did not get to hear your conversation, but I’m sure she was appreciative of the time you took to listen, and for her to get her message out. While we may never know what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes, taking the time to really listen provides a truer understanding.Keep up the good work, voicing your support for our brave young men and women throughout our military services. War will always be a source of political and social contention, but our troops always seem to rise above and carry out their training and missions with commitment and honor. Not to say that their are not missteps along the way, war isn’t pretty, but I’m darn proud of the job they do.One last note, “American Horse” was a powerful book. It is not one of those books that will fade from my memory.Jim treatment asthma cheap car insurance pharmacy purchase accutane
  5. Hi Marianne,Thanks for your feedback. We're ofnfeirg the toolkit now as a benefit to people who donate to help us continue to run our Think Before You Pink campaign. We are planning to make it available for all of our members in the future.Thanks,Alicia
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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at thomdunn.net.

 
 

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South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
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