(BROOKLINE) — Stage & Screen, a collaboration between Coolidge Corner Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company that explores the depictions of shared themes in Huntington productions and acclaimed films continues its second season on Monday, March 10 at 7pm with the 2011 Cuban zombie comedy Juan of the Dead. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Becoming Cuba playwright Melinda Lopez and director M. Bevin O'Gara moderated by Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland.
Tickets to Juan of the Dead are $10.25 / $7.25 for Coolidge members (with ID) and Huntington Theatre Company subscribers (with promo code) and may be purchased online at coolidge.org or at the Coolidge box office, located at 290 Harvard Street, Brookline.
Tickets to the Huntington's production of Becoming Cuba (March 28 — May 3, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA) are available at huntingtontheatre.org/becomingcuba.
Hailed by The New York Times as a "daringly irreverent satire" and "an improbably landmark in the gradual opening of Cuban culture," Juan of the Dead, written and directed by Alejandro Brugués, was a sensation when it premiered in Cuba in 2011. Shot on location in Havana on a shoestring budget, the film imagines the island overrun by zombies, which, as one of the film's lead character cheekily points out, is not too far from the reality that Cubans face every day.
In Becoming Cuba, it is 1898 Cuba on the eve of the Spanish-American War. Spirited widow Adela runs a pharmacy, indifferent to the mounting conflict around her. But when the rebellion comes home to Havana, she must choose between loyalty to country or to family. By turns funny, steamy, and political, this powerful new drama from Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez (Sonia Flew) asks whether freedom is something we all want. Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O'Gara directs.
Despite the vastly different settings and tones, the two works are connected in myriad ways. "From the War for Independence to the country's complex relations with Spain and the US, Juan of the Dead and Becoming Cuba use a lot of the same tropes," reflects playwright Lopez. "The protagonists of each are cut from the same cloth. They are smart, scrappy, and practical survivors who are at their most vibrant when faced with impossible obstacles and who make a stand against tyranny."
Melinda Lopez is the Huntington’s first playwright-in-residence and a Huntington Playwriting Fellow. Her play Sonia Flew (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards) inaugurated the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in 2004. It has subsequently been produced at Coconut Grove Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and many others. Her play Becoming Cuba was produced at the Huntington and North Coast Repertory Theatre. Other plays include Mala (ArtsEmerson), Orchids to Octopi (Underground Railroad Theater, Elliot Norton Award), Gary (Steppenwolf First Look and Boston Playwrights Theatre), Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse), Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival), God Smells like a Roast Pig (Elliot Norton Award), and Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche (Coconut Grove Playhouse). Ms. Lopez has appeared in Our Town, The Rose Tattoo, Persephone, and A Month in the Country at the Huntington and the Motherf**ker with the Hat at SpeakEasy Stage Company (Elliot Norton Award for Best Supporting Actress). She teaches playwriting at Boston University
(As of March 2017)
M. Bevin O'Gara is the Associate Producer at the Huntington Theatre Company and directed Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production) and Melinda Lopez's Becoming Cuba. Other directing credits include appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Brahman/i, Chronicles of Kalki; You for Me for You; Love Person; and The Pain and the Itch (Company One Theatre), Phedre (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Fast Company (Lyric Stage Company), Marjorie Prime (Nora Theatre Company), How Soft the Lining and Translations (Bad Habit Productions), Matt and Ben (Central Square Theater), Two Wives in India and Gary (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), 2.5 Minute Ride (New Repertory Theatre), Melancholy Play (Holland Productions), Tattoo Girl, Painting You, and Artifacts (Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop), and ANTI-KISS (3 Monkeys Theatrical Productions). She is the recipient of the Lois Roach Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Boston Theatre Community from Company One Theatre. She has a BFA from Boston University in theatre studies. This summer she will be moving to Ithaca, New York to become the Producing Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre Company. mbevinogara.com.
(As of March 2017)
About the Coolidge Corner Theatre
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of the nation's most prominent independently operated movie theatres, run by the not-for-profit Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. A beloved movie house, the Coolidge has been pleasing audiences with the best in cinematic entertainment since 1933. In addition to contemporary art house and independent film, the Coolidge presents the prestigious annual Coolidge Award, Science on Screen, high-definition broadcasts of live opera, ballet, and theater performances, Big Screen Classics, midnight screenings of cult films, kids' programs, and sneak previews and discussion of upcoming films as part of Talk Cinema The Cooldige has won numerous awards and honors for its creative programming. For more information, visit coolidge.org
About the Huntington Theatre Company
Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 by Boston Magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premiere cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.