Extended By Popular Demand: Huntington's Becoming Cuba and Smart People

(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

In 1890s Cuba, widowed 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. A stirring new drama by Melinda Lopez and directed by M. Bevin O'Gara, BECOMING CUBA plays March 28 - April 26, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Learn more at huntingtontheatre.org/becomingcubaBecoming 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.

(As of March 28, 2014)

BECOMING CUBA Performance CalendarIn 1890s Cuba, widowed 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. A stirring new drama by Melinda Lopez and directed by M. Bevin O'Gara, BECOMING CUBA plays March 28 - April 26, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Learn more at huntingtontheatre.org/becomingcuba

 

About Smart People

Four Harvard intellectuals navigate the complexities of race, ambition, friendship, and the human brain in this controversial and fiercely funny new play by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond and directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. The sharp new comedy SMART PEOPLE plays May 23 - June 21, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Learn more at huntingtontheatre.org/smartpeopleSmart 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 is a member of the 2005-2007 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows. The Huntington’s 2010 hit production of her play Stick Fly produced in association with Arena Stage inspired the 2011 Tony Award-nominated Broadway production. Awards for Stick Fly include the 2012 Outer Circle Critics Nomination – Best Play (Broadway), 2010 IRNE Award for Best Play, 2010 LA Critics Circle Award for Playwriting, 2010 LA Garland Award for Playwriting, 209 LA Weekly Theatre Award for Playwriting, 2008 Susan S. Blackburn Finalist, 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award, and 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best New Work. Her other plays include Voyeurs de Venus (2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, 2006 BTAA for Best Writing); The Bluest Eye (2006 Black Arts Alliance Image Award for Best New Play, 2008 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award); The Gift Horse (2005 Theodore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize – 2nd Place); Harriet Jacobs; and Stage Black. Her work has been produced on Broadway and at Arena Stage, Chicago Dramatists, Company One Theatre, Congo Square, Everyman Theatre Company, Freedom Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Jubilee Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Mo’Olelo Performing Arts Company, MPAACT, The New Victory Theater (Off Broadway), Playmakers Repertory Company, Plowshares Theatre Company, Steppenwolf, TrueColors, and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Commissions include: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Victory Gardens Theater, Boston University, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Stick Fly and Harriet Jacobs are published by NU Press, The Bluest Eye, Gift Horse, and Stage Black by Dramatic Publishing, and Stick Fly by Samuel French. She was a 2005-2006 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a 2012-2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a 2012 Sallie B. Goodman McCarter Fellow, and a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor. She is currently co-vice president of Theatre Communication Group’s Board of Directors and a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Ms. Diamond is a graduate of Northwestern University where she majored in performance studies. She has an honorary doctorate of arts from Pine Manor College and was on faculty at Boston University.

(As of April 2014)

SMART PEOPLE Performance CalendarFour Harvard intellectuals navigate the complexities of race, ambition, friendship, and the human brain in this controversial and fiercely funny new play by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond and directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. The sharp new comedy SMART PEOPLE plays May 23 - June 21, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Learn more at huntingtontheatre.org/smartpeople

 

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.

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