Huntington Mourns the Passing of Nicholas Martin

Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

Nathan Lane in Butley (2003).
Photo: T. Charles Erickson

(BOSTON) — Huntington Theatre Company leadership, staff, Board of Trustees, and Council of Overseers were saddened to learn that former Artistic Director Nicholas Martin died last night, April 30, at age 75 in New York after battling a long illness.

Martin directed 18 shows for the Huntington while serving as Artistic Director (2000-2008) and two after his departure (2009 and 2010). Among the most memorable were Dead End, his first, which featured a three-story set depicting a New York tenement onstage and a swimming pool standing in for the East River in the orchestra pit, and the joyous She Loves Me featuring Brooks Ashmanskas and Kate Baldwin, his last as Artistic Director. Other highlights include the world premiere of Hedda Gabler with Kate Burton, Butley with Nathan Lane, and Present Laughter with Victor Garber, all of which transferred to Broadway.

In 2004, his world premiere production of Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew inaugurated the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The first new theatre to be built in Boston in more than 75 years, Martin championed the new venue as a home for the Huntington's new works initiatives. Martin also supported the development of local writers with the creation of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program, one of the initiatives the Tony Awards Administration Committee cited last year when awarding the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award to the Huntington.

Kate Burton in The Corn is Green (2009). Photo: T. Charles Erickson

The season after his tenure as artistic director ended, Martin returned to the Huntington to direct The Corn is Green with Kate Burton and her son Morgan Ritchie, Martin's godson. In 2010 he returned once again to helm William Inge's Bus Stop.

Martin was to remount his Tony Award-winning production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in January 2015. The title remains in the Huntington's 2014-2015 Season lineup.

"I loved Nicky's humor, laughter, and warmth," recalls current Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "He will be so deeply missed. I take solace in knowing that his DNA remains on our stages and in our company. He will always be here, and he will always be a part of who we are."

"Partnering with Nicky was a great treat," says Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso, who worked with Martin from 2000 to 2008. He was a brilliant director of classics and new plays alike, and was a wonderful collaborator. What I most remember is the joy with which Nicky infused a room, whether it was a rehearsal hall or a dinner table. And that laugh! Nicky Martin's laugh will always be a life-affirming miracle, loud enough to rouse the angels from their heavenly sleep and wicked enough to make them question whether they were on the right side."

Michael Maso, Nicholas Martin, and Peter DuBois at the 2013 Tony Awards Luncheon

On this day of remembrance for so many people who were inspired and delighted by his talent and his personality, our thoughts are with his extended theatrical family — many of whom are also beloved members of the Huntington's family.

A tribute video from 2008, celebrating the end of Nicky's tenure at the Huntington

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