(Boston) — The Huntington Theatre Company announces the following special events in conjunction with its production of A.R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour (now — December 15, 2013 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre):
• A Conversation with Playwright A.R. Gurney, Hosted by WBUR's Bob Oakes
Sunday, December 1 following the 2pm performance. Playwright A.R. Gurney will speak about his body of work and continuing career, his Boston connections, and his autobiographical play at a special post-show conversation led by Bob Oakes, host of WBUR's "Morning Edition." Admission is free with a ticket to any performance of The Cocktail Hour.
A.R. Gurney's plays include The Cocktail Hour (Lucille Lortel Award), The Dining Room, Sylvia, Love Letters, Scenes from American Life (Drama Desk Award), Children, The Middle Ages, Richard Cory, The Golden Age, What I Did Last Summer, The Wayside Motor Inn, Sweet Sue, The Perfect Party, Another Antigone, The Snow Ball (adapted from his novel), The Old Boy, The Fourth Wall, Later Life, A Cheever Evening, Overtime, Let's Do It (a Cole Porter musical), Labor Day, Far East, Darlene and the Guest Lecturer, and Ancestral Voices. The Dining Room is the second play ever produced by the Huntington (1982), which also produced The Snow Ball in 1991. He wrote the libretto for the opera Strawberry Fields with music by Michael Torke. His other novels include The Gospel According to Joe and Entertaining Strangers. He is the recipient of the 2011 Drama Desk Special Award, a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, and New England Theatre Conference, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992. He is one of the most well-known and respected news people in New England, with a 35-year career in radio and broadcasting, including ten years with Boston's all-news commercial radio station WEEI and coverage of national issues for the CBS Radio Network.
• Humanities Forum: Putting Family Onstage — with Huntington Playwriting Fellows Kirsten Greenidge (Luck of the Irish) and David Valdes Greenwood (Wandaleria)
Sunday, December 8 following the 2pm performance. Huntington Playwriting Fellows Kirsten Greenidge and David Valdes Greenwood will discuss the process of writing about their own families in their work. Admission to the Humanities Forum is free with a ticket to any performance of The Cocktail Hour. Humanities Forums are presented in conjunction with all Huntington productions and are hosted by Charles Haugland, a Huntington dramaturg.
Kirsten Greenidge is a Village Voice/Obie Award winner and a recent PEN/America Laura Pels Award recipient. She is the author of Luck of the Irish premiered at the Huntington in 2011), Splendor, Bossa Nova, Milk Like Sugar, Rust, Sans-Culottes in the Promised Land, 103 Within the Veil, and The Gibson Girl. She has developed her work at Sundance (Utah and Ucross), Magic Theatre, National New Play Network, Cardinal Stage, South Coast Repertory, Madison Repertory Theatre, Page 73 Productions, Hourglass Group, Bay Area Playwrights, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, Mark Taper Forum, ASK, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Humana Festival of New American Plays, Moxie Theatre, and New Georges. She is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of an NEA/TCG residency at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and was playwright-in-residence at Company One Theatre. She has also received Sundance’s Time Warner Award for Bossa Nova. Ms. Greenidge attended Wesleyan University and the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop. A member of Rhombus and an alumna member of New Dramatists, she is currently working on commissions from LCT3, Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ArtsEmerson, Big Ten, the Huntington's Education Department, and the Kennedy Center. Her play Milk Like Sugar will be performed at the Huntington in January 2016.
(As of June 2015)
David Valdes Greenwood is the author of a dozen plays produced across the US and UK including Wandaleria, Brave Navigator, published by Baker Plays and winner of the Midwest Theatre Network National New Play Contest, and Paradise of Earthworms, commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre. His plays have been staged at the Humana Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, City Theatre, Venture Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, and Emerson College, with readings presented by New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Stage, New Jersey Rep, Blue Coyote, Immediate Theatre, Theater Offensive, Boston TheatreWorks, and Centastage. His short plays Dream of Jeannie-by-the-Door and Day Either: Snow Globe have been anthologized. He is a Brother Thomas Fellow, a two-time Sloan Commission recipient, and a finalist for both the National New Play Network Smith Prize and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant. As a prose writer, he is the author of three books and a Huffington Post blogger. He teaches at Tufts University.
About The Cocktail Hour
James Waterston and Richard Poe in The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
The Cocktail Hour offers a window into a stalwart element of WASP culture: the pre-dinner cocktail hour. A revered ritual in John's parents' elegant home, all semblance of calm demeanor dissolves when he announces over martinis that he has written a play about his family. As the drinks flow, so do the revelations and recriminations, both funny and poignant, in this heartfelt comedy about the ties that bind. Performances continue through December 15 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.
The American comedy of manners is directed by Maria Aitken (Betrayal, Private Lives, and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps at the Huntington) and features James Waterston (Private Lives and Ah, Wilderness!) as John, the young playwright that reveals to his family members that they are the subject of his newest play. Richard Poe (The Taming of the Shrew) plays his father Bradley, Tony Award nominee and renowned Gurney interpreter Maureen Anderman (Becky Shaw and Third) plays John's mother, Ann; and Pamela J. Gray (Present Laughter) and Butley) plays Nina, John's sister.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston's leading theatre company. 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.