Huntington Theatre Company's Second Annual Summer Workshop Includes New Work by Huntington Playwriting Fellows Urban, Alfaro, Moïse, and Kuntz

(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company’s second annual Summer Workshop begins Tuesday, July 9. The two-week, artist-driven developmental retreat for selected members of the Huntington’s Playwriting Fellows program will culminate in public readings on July 20 and 21 of four new plays in development:

The Many Faces of Nia by Lenelle Moïse
Directed by Daniella Topol
Public reading: Sat., July 20 at 5pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

RSVP

A Future Perfect by Ken Urban
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Public reading: Sat., July 20 at 7:30pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

RSVP

Mammal Heat by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Public reading: Sun., July 21 at 2pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

RSVP

Necessary Monsters by John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Public reading: Sun., July 21 at 4pm
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

RSVP

**Readings are open to the public, but not to reviewing members of the Press.

“Our aim with the Summer Workshop is to give our Playwriting Fellows more opportunities to work in three dimensions,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “We found the model to be an effective one, as last year’s plays developed in exciting ways. I look forward to revisiting this summer’s plays at the end of the process to see how they grow.”

The Summer Workshop is modeled after the Sundance Theatre Lab and is an extension of the Huntington’s Playwriting Fellows program and Breaking Ground Reading Series. Huntington Director of New Work Lisa Timmel and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland will support the writers in development. The festival is produced by Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O’Gara and Workshop producing associates Vicki Schairer, Daniel Morris, and Huntington playwright-in-residence Melinda Lopez.

The Summer Workshop is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

ABOUT THE PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS

THE MANY FACES OF NIA

by Lenelle Moïse
Directed by Daniella Topol
Featuring Ross Bickell, Alma Cuervo, Linda Gehinger, Carolyn Fay Kramer, April Mathis, Emily Skeggs, Linda Gehinger, and TBA

Public reading: Saturday, July 20 at 5pm; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

RSVP

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. Playwright Lenelle Moïse tackles guilt, race, and identity with fearless comedy.

Lenelle Moïse’s comedy Merit won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She wrote, composed, and co-stared in the IRNE Award-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 is a member of the 2012-2014 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows and 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.

 

A FUTURE PERFECT

by Ken Urban
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Featuring Marianna Bassham, Samantha Richert, Derrick Trumbly, Timothy John Smith, and TBA
Public reading: Saturday, July 20 at 7:30pm; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

 RSVP

Claire and Max find their values put to the test when best friends Alex and Elena announce they are having a baby in this dark comedy about friends, babies, and success.

Ken Urban’s plays have been produced and developed at the Huntington Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Summer Play Festival /The Public Theater, Donmar Warehouse (London), The Flea, Studio 42, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Irish Rep, and Primary Stages. Upcoming productions include The Correspondent at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; Wasps at Studio 42; and The Awake at 59E59 Theatres. He is a member of the 2007-2009 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows and has received the Weissberger Playwriting Award, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. He adapted his play The Happy Sad into a feature film that premieres at film festivals this summer. He is in the band occurrence, whose releases are available for free from their bandcamp site.

 

MAMMAL HEAT

by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Featuring Greg Balla, Vichet Chum, Alma Cuervo, Nina Hellman, and Theresa Nguyen
Public reading: Sunday, July 21 at 2pm; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
RSVP

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’s play Before I Leave You was produced by the Huntington Theatre Company in 2011. Her other full-length plays have been produced by Pan Asian Repertory in NYC East West Players in LA, the Magic Theater in San Francisco, and the New Theatre in Boston. Many of her short plays have been anthologized and have been performed in venues including La MaMa ETC, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Boston Theater Marathon. She wrote and narrated the documentary Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place (Leita Hagemann, director). She is a member of the 2010-2012 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows and was a 2011 MCC Artist Fellow in Playwriting.

 

NECESSARY MONSTERS

by John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Featuring Marianna Bassham, Carolyn Faye Kramer, April Mathis, Maurice Parent, Samantha Richert, Emily Skeggs, Timothy John Smith, Derrick Trumbly, and TBA
Public reading: Sunday, July 21 at 4pm; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
RSVP

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 and Paula Vogel National Playwriting Awards), Starfuckers (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance), and Sing Me To Sleep (Coyote Theatre, Elliot Norton Award for Best Production-Small Theatre). He is a founding company member of the Actors Shakespeare Project, a member of the 2003-2005 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows, and on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory.

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON PLAYWRITING FELLOWS PROGRAM

The Huntington Playwriting Fellows (HPF) program creates relationships between a local community of writers and a nationally prominent producing theatre, forges those bonds through authentic conversation and artistic collaboration, and encourages dialogue among local artists.

Since 2003, the HPF program has invited writers to participate in two-year residencies, during which playwrights receive a modest honorarium, join in a biweekly writers’ collective with artistic staff, attend Huntington productions and events, and are eligible for readings and support through the Breaking Ground reading series. 

The primary focus of the program is creating relationships with writers at all stages of their careers, from emerging talent to established professionals. The program provides a framework for an in-depth, two-year artistic conversation and a long-term professional relationship. The Summer Workshop, which began in 2012, was developed from conversations at convenings with Fellows past and present to solicit ideas about how to improve and expand the program.

In 2009, the Huntington instituted an open application process with submissions solicited each spring from any writer primarily based within commuting distance of Boston. The theatre selects two to three writers whose terms overlap with adjacent cohorts. The application cycle shifts this year, with the next call for applications scheduled for November 2013 to compose the 2014-2016 cohort.

Huntington productions of plays by Fellows include The Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge, Before I Leave You by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond, The Atheist and Brendan by Ronan Noone, The Cry of the Reed by Sinan Ünel, Shakespeare’s Actresses in America by Rebecca Maggor, Psyched and “M” by Ryan Landry, and Sonia Flew and the upcoming Becoming Cuba by Melinda Lopez.

More information at huntingtontheatre.org/newwork and huntingtontheatre.org/summerworkshop.

 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading theatre company 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. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates 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. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

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