Breaking Ground is the Huntington Theatre Company's reading series, a vital part of our new play development program. This series brings attention to the work of local playwrights and presents national writers into partnership with the Huntington. Over the last seven years, Breaking Ground plays have gone on to appear at the Huntington as well as theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally. Unless otherwise noted, admission to all Breaking Ground readings is FREE and open to the public.
Past 2012-2013 Breaking Ground Readings
The Huntington Theatre Company announces our second annual Summer Workshop, a two-week new work retreat for selected members of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program. The artist-driven workshop will occur July 10 – 21, and will culminate in public readings of the four plays in development:
**Readings are open to the public, but not open to reviewing members of the press.
The Summer Workshop is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
ABOUT THE PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS
A FUTURE PERFECT
by Ken Urban
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Claire and Max find their values put to the test when best friends Alex and Elena announce they are having a baby. A dark comedy about friends, babies and success.
Ken Urban’s plays have been produced and developed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Summer Play Festival @ The Public, Donmar Warehouse (London), The Flea, Studio 42, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Irish Rep, Primary Stages, and The Huntington. Upcoming productions: The Correspondent at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; Wasps at Studio 42; and The Awake at 59E59 Theatres. Awards include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. The feature film adaptation of his play The Happy Sad, with a screenplay by the author, premieres at film festivals this summer. He is in the band occurrence and their releases are available for free from their bandcamp site.
by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Maggie, a scientist, creates an android named Golp to babysit her 10-year-old child Abigail and to keep her 57-year-old mother Jean company. Abigail wants a playmate, and Jean needs a man to replace her absentee husband, but Golp develops a will of his own. At home, school shootings are common, and abroad Golp’s cousins, the warbots, are on the move.
Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro is a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and a 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Playwriting. Her plays include Behind Enemy LInes (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre), Mishima (East West Players), Martha Mitchell (Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Theater Center Philadelphia; Six Figures Theater Company, New York; and others), Barrancas (Magic Theatre), Pablo and Cleopatra (New Theater), Mexico City (The Boston Women on Top Festival), Sailing Down the Amazon (BWTF and JRV Productions), and It Doesn't Take a Tornado and Amsterdam (La MaMa ETC.). She is the writer and narrator of Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place, a documentary directed by Leita Hagemann Luchetti (part of a Smithsonian Institution exhibit and aired by PBS in Seattle). Seven of her short plays have been in the Boston Theater Marathon, and eight were finalists in the National Ten-Minute Play Contest. Her plays have been anthologized by Baker's Plays, Heinemann, Charta Books, Smith and Kruas, and Meriwether Publishing. Ms. Alfaro is 72 years old, and has been a resident of Cambridge, MA for more than 40 years.
THE MANY FACES OF NIA
by Lenelle Moise
Directed by Daniella Topol
Playwright Lenelle Moïse tackles guilt, race and identity with fearless comedy. When Jewish housewife Beth discovers that her son David is dating a black woman, her fears and prejudices grow into a series of outlandish apparitions. When the real Nia comes to dinner, invasive neighbors and family revelations muddle Beth’s attempt to be a good hostess.
Lenelle Moïse is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow. Her comedy Merit won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She wrote, composed and costars in the IRNE-nominated drama Expatriate. Her other plays include Matermorphosis (Serious Play Theatre Ensemble), Little Griot (Drama Studio) and Purple (Kitchen Theatre Company). Her solo performances Womb-Words, Thirsting and Ache What Make have been presented across the country. Moïse was a Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival Fellow, an Artist in Residence in Performance Studies at Northwestern University, a Visiting Performing Artist in African & African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin and the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA.
by John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Necessary Monsters ventures into the labyrinth of the human psyche. Sex, murder, and terrible danger lurk just beneath the surface in a series of interconnected relationships. Inspired by the phantasmagorical beasts of Jorge Luis Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings, playwright John Kuntz’s nested stories take us ever deeper into the creative urge towards horror.
John Kuntz is a Boston-based actor, playwright and solo performer. He is the author of 15 full-length plays, solo pieces and many short plays, including The Hotel Nepenthe (Actors Shakespeare Project & Huntington Theatre Company’s Emerging America Festival, Elliot Norton for "Best New Play" and "Best Ensemble", IRNE Award for “Best New Play” ), The Salt Girl (Boston Playwrights Theatre, Elliot Norton Award for “Best New Play”), Jasper Lake (Michael Kanin & Paula Vogel National Playwrighting Awards), Starfuckers (Elliot Norton Award "Outstanding Solo Performance")and Sing Me To Sleep (Coyote Theatre, Elliot Norton Award “Best Production, Small Theatre”). He is a founding company member of the Actors Shakespeare Project and is on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory.
by Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
An intergenerational drama of lyricism and wit. When Annabel Foley refuses treatment after a stroke, her estranged daughter Helen bribes the beloved granddaughter Madison - a semi-employed musician from Brooklyn – to take on the role of caregiver. But as Annabel inches towards recovery, Madison confronts Helen’s indomitable will and her own millennial ambivalence. Haunted by plaintive sea shanties, playwright Eleanor Burgess’ new play All Times examines three generations of New England women.
Featuring Emma Galvin, Liz Morgan, Dee Nelson, Anne Scurria, Jonathan Hogan, Rajesh Bose, and Celeste Oliver.
Eleanor Burgess is a playwriting fellow at the Huntington Theatre Company and an alumna of the writers' group at the Arcola Theatre in London. Her work has also been read or developed at the Vineyard Theatre, New Georges, Broad Horizons, and Reverie Productions. She is a native of Brookline, Massachusetts and an alumna of Yale College.
(Shoe) Shine Safari
by John Oluwole ADEkoje
Directed by Niegel Smith (Neighbors at the Public Theater, Seed at Classical Theatre of Harlem)
Tuesday, December 11, 2013 at 8pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Ex-child soldier Shoe Shine wants to escape the violent chaos of his homeland for the comforts of America. But before he can leave, he must face the schemes of imperialist superheroes and naked generals, not to mention the dreams of his scattered family. As the radio remixes news of atrocities with hit singles, (Shoe) Shine Safari pieces together a future from the wreckage of conflict and exploitation.
Featuring Reg E. Cathey, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Johnny Lee Davenport, Robert D. Murphy, Stephen Tyrone Williams, and more.
by Masha Obolensky (Huntington Playwriting Fellow, Not Enough Air at the Nora Theatre Company)
Directed by Melia Bensussen (The Luck of the Irish, Circle Mirror Transformation)
Monday, October 1 at 7:30pm
Fran, quickly approaching 80, wakes up to her own life. With the help of "the interweb," she finds a warehouse party and an underground sensation called a "miracle berry," miraculous fruit that promises to make Tabasco sauce taste like donut glaze and pickles taste like watermelon. The berries spark a thousand tiny changes in the lives of Fran and her paranoid shut-in husband George — but how do we know when change is worth the price? A play about aging, friendship, and the power of the mind, Marvelous Fruit asks if sourness can ever taste sweet.