(BOSTON) — Due to extraordinary early demand for the final two productions of its 2013-2014 Season, Huntington Theatre Company announces one-week extensions to the runs of Melinda Lopez's Becoming Cuba and Lydia R. Diamond's Smart People. The Huntington's previous productions by these acclaimed Boston playwrights — Sonia Flew by Melinda Lopez and Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond — hold the records as the two highest grossing productions ever staged in the Wimberly Theatre of the Huntington's second home, the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
Becoming Cuba will not play March 28 — May 3, 2014. Smart People will now play May 23 — June 29, 2014. Tickets are on sale now to all performances:
Group tickets with savings up to 20% are vailable at 617 273 1657. The most affordable way to see Huntington productions is with a subscription. Three-play packages start as low as $60.
"The Huntington's commitment to developing and producing new work by the playwrighjts we believe in is central to our mission," says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "Melinda and Lydia have long been integral to this organization's artistic fabric. I couldn't be more excited to launch the latests plays by these extraordinary writers."
"Huntington audiences have a long tradition of supporting new work," says Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso. "August Wilson, Theresa Rebeck, Stephen Karam, and our Huntington Playwriting Fellows have all found homes here, where our smart and engaged patrons embrace their plays and support their processes."
About Becoming Cuba
Becoming Cuba is the latest play by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Melinda Lopez. The Huntington inaugurated its new home for new work in 2004 with her play Sonia Flew, which went on to win the 2005 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script. Like Act II of Sonia Flew, Becoming Cuba is set in historical Cuba.
In 1898 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 asks whether freedom is something we all want. Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O'Gara (Tribes and Clybourne Park at SpeakEasy Stage Company) makes her Huntington directorial debut.
Melinda Lopez is the Huntington's inaugural playwright-in-residence and a past Huntington Playwriting Fellow. Her play Sonia Flew (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards, dir. Nicholas Martin) inaugurated the Huntington's home for new work, the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, in 2004. It has subsequently been produced at Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Laguna Playhouse, the Summer Playwrights Festival (NY), the Milagro Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and many others, and was broadcast on NPR's "The Play's The Thing!" Other plays include Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Orchids to Octopi (IRNE Award, Central Square Theatre, commissioned by the National Institute of Health), Gary (Steppenwolf's First Look Repertory of New Work, Boston Playwrights Theatre), Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse), a new translation of Blood Wedding (Suffolk University), God Smells Like A Roast Pig (Women on Top Festival, Elliot NOrton Award -- Outstanding Solod Performance), Midnight Sandwich / Medianoche (Coconut Grove Playhouse), The Order of Things (CentaStage, Kennedy Center Fund for New Plays), and How Do You Spell Hope? (Underground Railway Theatre). She is among the first cohort to receive three-year-playwright-in-residency grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a "promising new voice in American Theatre." Ms. Lopez is also an actress, having appeared at the Huntington in Our Town, Persephone, A Month in the Country, and The Rose Tattoo. She has appeared in regional theatres across the country and also works in film and radio. She has served as a panel member for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cambridge Arts Panel and has enjoyed residencies with Sundance, the Lark, the New York Theatre Workshop, and Harvard University. She is a founding member of Munroe Saturday Nights, which produces free high quality arts performances in the Boston area. Ms. Lopez teaches theatre and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University. She makes her home in Boston.
About Smart People
Smart People is a world premiere by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond, author of the acclaimed Stick Fly, which was also extended by popular demand and became the hottest show in Boston in the spring of 2010. Smart People asks the question: are our beliefs and prejudices hard-wired into us? Four Harvard intellectuals — a doctor, an actress, a psychologist, and a neurobiologist studying the human brain's response to race — search for love, success, and identity in a complex world. With barbed wit, Diamond explores the inescapable nature of racism and other tricky topics in this controversial and fiercely funny new play that will be directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois (The Power of Duff, Rapture, Blister, Burn, and Sons of the Prophet at the Huntington).
Lydia R. Diamond's plays include: Stick Fly (’12 Outer Circle Critics Nomination – Best Play [Broadway],’10 Irne Award – Best Play, ’10 LA Critics Circle Award – Playwriting, ’10 LA Garland Award - Playwriting, ’09 LA Weekly Theatre Award – Playwriting, ’08 Susan S. Blackburn Finalist, ‘06 Black Theatre Alliance Award),’06 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination – Best New Work, Voyeurs de Venus (’06 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best New Work, ‘06 BTAA – Best Writing), The Bluest Eye (’06 Black Arts Alliance Image Award – Best New Play, ‘08 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award), The Gift Horse (’05 Theodore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize 2nd Place), Harriet Jacobs and, Stage Black. Theatres include: Arena Stage, Cort Theatre (Broadway), Chicago Dramatists, Company One, Congo Square, Everyman Theatre Company, Freedom Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Co., Jubilee Theatre, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, McCarter Theatre Co., Mo’Olelo Theatre Co., MPAACT, New Vic (Off Broadway), Playmakers Rep, Plowshares Theatre Co., Steppenwolf, TrueColors, and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Commissions include: Steppenwolf (4), McCarter, Huntington, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville/Victory Gardens, Humana, Boston University, and The Roundabout. Stick Fly and Harriet Jacobs published by NU Press, Bluest Eye, Gift Horse, Stage Black - Dramatic Publishing, Stick Fly - Samuel French. Lydia is a graduate of Northwestern University where she majored in Performance Studies. Lydia was an ’05/’06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow, a 2012/’13 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a 2012 Sallie B. Goodman McCarter Fellow, a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor, is Co-Vice President of Theatre Communication Group’s Board of Directors, is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College, and is on faculty at Boston University.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
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.