(BOSTON) — Huntington Theatre Company, the 2013 recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award and Boston magazine's Best Theatre of 2013, announces that a new stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film Guess Who's Coming To Dinner will kick off the 2014-2015 Season with performances beginning September 5. The adaptation by August Wilson collaborator Todd Kreidler and directed by David Esbjornson (All My Sons at the Huntington) joins the previously announced six subscriptions titles plus a special presentation directed by the visionary David Cromer (Our Town).
The 2014-2015 Season will include four plays at the Boston University Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts, three plays at the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End, and a special presentation in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.
THE COMPLETE 2014-2015 SEASON LINEUP
- Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a compelling family comedy by Todd Kreidler based on the Academy Award-winning screenplay by William Rose; directed by David Esbjornson (All My Sons); at the Boston University Theatre September 5 — October 5, 2014
- Ether Dome, a provocative medical thriller by Elizabeth Egloff set at Boston's own Massachusetts General hospital; directed by Michael Wilson (Now or Later); produced in association with La Jolla Playhouse and Hartford Stage; at the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA October 17 – November 16, 2014
- Awake and Sing!, the stirring American classic by Clifford Odets about an unforgettable American family; directed by Melia Bensussen (Luck of the Irish); at the Boston University Theatre November 7 – December 7, 2014
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Christopher Durang's (Betty's Summer Vacation) smash-hit Broadway comedy and 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play; at the Boston University Theatre January 2 – February 1, 2015
- The Second Girl, a moving new Irish drama by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ronan Noone (Brendan and The Atheist) inspired by Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night; directed by Campbell Scott (The Atheist); at the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA January 16 – February 15, 2015
- The Colored Museum, the scathing comedy by George C. Wolfe that redefined what it means to be black in contemporary America; directed by Tony Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots); at the Boston University Theatre March 6 – April 5, 2015
- after all the terrible things i do, a timely new drama by A. Rey Pamatmat about bullying and second chances; directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois (Smart People and Rapture, Blister, Burn); at the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA May 22 – June 20, 2015
– PLUS –
- Come Back, Little Sheba, an intimate new production of William Inge's classic play by visionary director David Cromer (Our Town); in the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA March 27 – April 26, 2015. Note: Come Back, Little Sheba is not part of the 2014-2015 subscription season – tickets sold separately.
The opening show of the season, to play at the BU Theatre September 5 – October 5, 2014, will be announced as part of the Huntington's subscription season at a later date.
MORE ABOUT THE SHOWS
by Todd Kreidler
Based on the screenplay by William Rose
Directed by David Esbjornson
September 5 — October 5, 2014 (Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre)
Joanna surprises her liberal, white parents when she brings home John, her African-American fiancé, to meet them. Both sets of parents must confront their own unexpected reactions and concerns fo their children as their beliefs are put to the test. Set in the 1960s, this funny and poignant new stage adaptation offers a fresh interpretation of the beloved Academy Award-winning film.
"David Esbjornson brings a striking contemporary perspective to classics that allow us to experience them in new and unexpected ways," says DuBois. "After his astonishing production of All My Sons, I can't wait for him to reveal the emotional and social immediacy of the ideas raised by this landmark film."
"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is a cultural touchstone," says Kreidler. "Approaching it today, I wanted to talk about and engage in the attitudes of 1967 with a 21st century approach. People have tried to make linguistic adjustments so racism today has become more covert. The overt systemic racism and endemic attitudes are cloaked but still very much alive today."
"I am delighted to return to the Huntington to present Todd Kreidler's exciting new stage adaptation of what has become a classic American story," says Esbjornson. "We hope that audiences will find the experience of this piece to be compelling, provocative, and perhaps all-too-relevant."
by Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson (Now or Later)
October 17 – November 16, 2014 (South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
A new treatment promising to end pain pits a doctor and his student in an epic battle between altruism and ambition. Based on the true story of the discovery of ether as an anesthetic in 1846 and set in Boston's own Massachusetts General Hospital, this fascinating new play explores the ecstasy of pain, the sweetness of relief, and the hysteria that erupts when healthcare becomes big business. In association with La Jolla Playhouse and Hartford Stage. Houston Chronicle says Ether Dome is "Indisputably terrific! A fascinating story."
"Elizabeth Egloff's thrilling new exploration of a revolution in modern medicine unfolds in our own back yard," says DuBois, "and our collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital will illuminate a lesser-known chapter of our city's rich history. As our nation grapples with a healthcare overhaul, now is the perfect time for gifted director Michael Wilson to connect the ramifications of this fascinating event to the world we live in."
"I am excited to return to the Huntington with Elizabeth Egloff's exhilarating play about America's greatest medical discovery – anesthesia – and the lives destroyed in the wake of creating a new world without pain," says Wilson. "Liz is a fiercely intelligent and deeply human writer who has woven a captivating narrative from true events. Ether Dome holds an unflinching mirror up to our ambitious American character and the ways in which class, greed, and prejudice form a twisted path to innovation."
by Clifford Odets
Directed by Melia Bensussen (Luck of the Irish)
November 7 – December 7, 2014 (Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre)
In a cramped Bronx apartment, a working-class Jewish family dreams of a brighter future. Matriarch Bessie Berger's fierce determination keeps her family afloat, whatever the cost. Gritty, passionate, funny, and heartbreaking, Odets' 1935 masterpiece beautifully captures both the hopes and the struggles of an unforgettable American family. "Feels so timely it might have been written yesterday," says the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Since her moving world premiere production of Luck of the Irish in 2011, I've wanted to bring director Melia Bensussen back to the Huntington to mount a classic," says DuBois. "She has great passion for Clifford Odets' work – Awake and Sing! was Melia's childhood, she once told me. Her talent for telling intimate family stories that play out on a broad social canvas makes now the perfect opportunity for her return."
"In Awake and Sing!, Clifford Odets beautifully captures the pains and challenges of all nuclear families living in times of social struggle and economic crisis," says Bensussen. "This great American play articulates the passions and dilemmas of American society and resonates with the same issues that challenge us today as we grapple to make meaning of our lives. It's a thrill to be back at the Huntington, and I look forward to us rediscovering the beauty and poetry of Odets' voice together."
by Christopher Durang (Betty's Summer Vacation)
January 2 – February 1, 2015 (Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre)
2013 Tony Award Winner – Best Play
In this wickedly wonderful Chekhovian mashup from master of comedy Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia's quiet, bucolic life is hilariously upended when their glamorous movie star sister arrives for the weekend with her brawny boy toy in tow. A Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation, this rollicking and touching new comedy pays loving homage to Chekhov's classic themes of loss and longing. USA Today calls Vanya and Sonia… "Hugely entertaining!"
"I'll never forget the experience of sitting among an audience overcome with the explosive laughter elicited by this hysterical riff on the work of one of the world's great playwrights," says DuBois. "The brilliant Christopher Durang has written a clever and creative play, and I know our smart, Chekhov-savvy audience will find much in it to recognize and relish. I look forward to welcoming Christopher back home to the Huntington."
"In my 20s, I read Chekhov's plays and loved them," says Durang. "My impetus for Vanya… was the realization that I am now the age of Chekhov's older characters. And I found myself wanting to write a comic play – not a parody, but its own thing. Set in Bucks County (PA) in the present. So I took themes and characters from Chekhov, and put them into a comic blender."
by Ronan Noone (Brendan and The Atheist)
Directed by Campbell Scott (The Atheist)
January 16 – February 15, 2015 (South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
With Eugene O'Neill's classic Long Day's Journey into Night as a backdrop, The Second Girl is set in the downstairs world of the Tyrone family kitchen in August 1912. Two Irish immigrant servant girls and the chauffeur search for love, success, and a sense of belonging in their new world in this lyrical and poignant world premiere by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ronan Noone (Brendan and The Atheist). "Ronan Noone is one of his adopted country's best young playwrights," says The Boston Globe.
"Ronan Noone has been a central part of the Huntington's family since 2003 when he was named to the very first cohort of Playwriting Fellows," says DuBois. "Our audiences responded so warmly to Brendan, his play about an Irish immigrant finding his way in his adopted home of Boston, and I know they'll feel the same about his latest work that intimately explores the longings of the secondary characters from one of the 20th century's greatest dramas."
"The Second Girl is the reason I began writing plays," says Noone. "It tells an immigrant American story about what it means to come to America and what America means to so many. It is a thrill to have this play go up in my hometown and at the Huntington Theatre Company, and it is tremendous to be working with Campbell Scott again."
"I am thrilled to be working at the Huntington for a third time," says Scott, "especially in the new capacity as director of Ronan Noone's compelling new drama The Second Girl. This is mature and subtle playwriting, and I can't imagine a better theatrical environment in which to premiere it or a more perceptive audience with whom to experience it for the first time."
by George C. Wolfe
Directed by Billy Porter
March 6 – April 5, 2015 (Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre)
Climb aboard for a madcap and stinging journey through 11 hilarious looks at modern African-American culture – from the depths of the Celebrity Slaveship to the spinning heights of Harlem. Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe's landmark comedy has electrified, discomforted, and delighted audiences of all colors, skewering stereotypes and redefining what it means to be black in contemporary America. The New York Times calls it, "A wild evening of black black humor. George C. Wolfe takes no prisoners."
"George Wolfe's sketches of black American life are both startling and hilarious," says DuBois. "The play was ahead of its time in 1987 and is now ripe for a major revival. I'm thrilled that the incredible Billy Porter, fresh from his Tony Award-winning performance in Kinky Boots on Broadway, will direct. Bringing these two brilliant American theatre artists together is a dream."
"The Colored Museum came into my life at a very formative time," recalls Porter. "I was a teenager longing for more than just one type of "Black" representation in the creative storytelling landscape. George Wolfe's unique and irreverent voice of inclusion ignited the fire of possibility inside of me and set me on a creative journey that included stretching myself beyond what, up until then, I thought was possible for a little black gay boy from the ghetto. I am forever grateful."
by William Inge
Directed by David Cromer (Our Town)
March 27 – April 26, 2015 (South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA)
When Doc and Lola Delaney rent a room in their cluttered Midwestern home to Marie, a vivacious college student, her youthful energy stirs up forgotten dreams and missed opportunities. Visionary director David Cromer, the creative force behind the Huntington's acclaimed production of Our Town, returns to the Roberts Studio Theatre for this intimate and heartrending portrait of a marriage. "David Cromer grabs Inge's portrait of marriage by the scruff of its neck and leaves a riveting, must-see production," says The Chicago Tribune.
Note: Not a part of the subscription season. Currently available only to Huntington subscribers.
"David's magnificent production of Our Town transported us, illuminating a familiar work with shockingly poignant intimacy, and I know this new production of William Inge's great vintage play will do the same," says DuBois.
"I'm excited to share this play with my friends at the Huntington," says Cromer. "Time only moves forward; which is an inevitable tragedy because it carries us away from our youth, our joys, and people we loved. But it's also a mercy because it promises some future redemption for our mistakes. Hope is a hard-won thing. Inge explores these huge ideas so delicately in Come Back, Little Sheba."
by A. Rey Pamatmat
Directed by Peter DuBois (Smart People and Rapture, Blister, Burn)
May 22 – June 20, 2015 (South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
An ordinary job interview at a local bookstore becomes much more as store-owner Linda and aspiring writer Daniel realize that their connections go far deeper than a shared love of literature. Together they will have to face the trauma of their past – but can they find forgiveness? Artistic Director Peter DuBois directs this deeply felt and intimate new play about bullying and second chances. "Rey Pamatmat's insight into his young characters' complex emotional lives rings true," says Stage Left.
"I fell in love with this play when I read it for both the sensitivity of Rey Pamatmat's voice and the way he engages in a major social conversation with great warmth, sharp humor, and an incisive point of view," says DuBois. "The story makes my heart race, and I think our audiences will love it."
"Past Huntington seasons have brought to life such emotional, intelligent, and even dangerous plays," says Pamatmat, "and I am thrilled to have after all the terrible things I do in such skilled hands."
SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW
Subscriptions to the Huntington's 2014-2015 Season are now on sale. Seven-play seated packages start at just $140 and offer the very best value – seven plays for the price of six so it's like seeing one show for free – and up to 50% off single ticket prices. FlexPass packages (a minimum of 4 tickets that can be used for any show and never expire) are available now for redemption for the current season and beyond.
Tickets to David Cromer's production of Come Back, Little Sheba is currently available to subscribers only.
Subscriptions may be renewed or purchased by calling the Huntington Box Office at 617 266 0800 or by visiting huntingtontheatre.org/subscribe. Groups of 10 or more can place orders by calling 617 273 1657.
Single tickets will go on sale this summer.
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 premier 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.