The pretty productions that you see on the Huntington's stages aren't the only stunning works of theatre going on around these parts. The development of new work for the American theatre is one of our core missions, and the process can be even more complicated than the elaborate sets of our most complicated productions. Lately, our literary department has been even busier than usual with workshops and readings of multiple projects-in-progress.
Just last week, we completed an intense focused workshop session for Becoming Cuba. Playwright Melinda Lopez and director M. Bevin O'Gara gathered in a room for a week with the cast to read through and explore new scenes and pages from the play. This provided Melinda with an opportunity to hear outloud the pages she'd been working on, and solicit feedback from the actors about what was or was not working. This was the last major workshop before rehearsals start in March, although the re-writing process will almost certainly up through opening night (such is the nature of live theatre, after all).
Meanwhile, our annual Breaking Ground festival of new work takes place next weekend, January 30 — February 2 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, culminating in free staged readings of five new plays (more on them below). The festival is a vital part of our new play development program, highlighting the work of local and national playwrights. Over the past ten years, we've seen numerous plays that began at Breaking Ground go on to appear at the Huntington and other theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally. If you're interested in the writing process, or you're curious to see what a play looks like before it makes it to the stage, or if you just like plays in general, it's an exciting glimpse behind the scenes of a work in progress. Regular attendees of Breaking Ground readings even have an opportunity to watch a new play "grow up," as it were, and track its development from the earliest readings to the final production (Becoming Cuba, for example, had its first staged reading with the Huntington in March of 2012).
This year, we'll be presenting new plays by Huntington Playwriting Fellows Lenelle Moïse and Lila Rose Kaplan, HPF alumnus Ronan Noone (whose plays Brendan and The Atheist have both been produced at the Huntington), and Huntington newcomers Susan Bernfield, Tanya Barfield, and. Here's the full schedule of events:
All Breaking Ground readings are FREE and open to the public, but an RSVP is required and space is filling up fast, so jump on it while you can.
Finally, for those of you out there who are writers yourselves, the deadline is approaching to apply to become a Huntington Playwriting Fellow yourself. HPFs (as we call 'em 'round these parts) are awarded two-year residencies in a writers’ collective with the artistic staff, and receive opportunities to present their work at the Breaking Ground festival and Summer Workshop. It's a prestigious group, and a great opportunity to become a part of the Huntington's extended family. Applications are due next Thursday, January 30, and complete application information can be found on the HPF web page.