Breaking Ground 2008 - 2009
Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Book and lyrics by Daniel Goldstein
Directed by Will Frears
Thursday, April 3 at 7:30pm
This intimate musical centers on the bittersweet tale of two WWII-era lovers separated by time and space. When a modern-era woman discovers their letters, the past becomes present as she enlists the help of a university researcher, and their correspondence begins to mirror that of previous generations. Unknown Soldier is the result of a commission from the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.
Daniel Goldstein directed God Of Carnage, Falsettos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and The Cry of the Reed for the Huntington, and the recent revival of Godspell on Broadway. Regional credits include Snapshots and Hello, Dolly! (Goodspeed Musicals), Tamar of the River (Prospect Theater Company), Gekido (New National Theater: Tokyo), Anna Christie (The Old Globe), and Artificial Fellow Traveler with Ethan Sandler. As a writer, his musical Unknown Soldier (written with Michael Friedman for a Huntington Theatre Company Calderwood Commission) was developed by the O'Neill Musical Theater Conference. Other projects include The Ride (NYC commercial), Golden Boy (The Julliard School), True West (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Miss Margarida's Way (Bay Street Theatre, with Julie Halston), Lower Ninth (The Flea Theater and SPF), and the Off Broadway commercial production of the hit Fringe Festival musical Walmartopia. He served as the associate director for All Shook Up! and Fully Committed and the resident director for the first national tour of Mamma Mia! He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Sense of an Ending
by Ken Urban
Directed by Evan Cabnet
Friday, April 4, 8:00pm
An African-American journalist arrives in Rwanda to uncover dark truths about an act of genocide. The trip becomes something more troubling, however, when he finds he may be part of the story. After he meets a survivor, the journalist struggles to understand the nature of man's inhumanity, and to find the path that returns us to the best versions of ourselves.
Ken Urban is a playwright, screenwriter, and television writer based in New York. He is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow and his plays include Nibbler, Sense of an Ending, The Correspondent, A Future Perfect, The Awake, and The Happy Sad. His plays have been produced in New York at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Amoralists Theatre Company, 59E59 Theaters, The Summer Play Festival at The Public/NYSF, and Studio 42. His work has also been produced at Theatre503 in London, First Floor Theater in Chicago, and SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston. He has developed new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Huntington Theatre Company, Theatre @ Boston Court, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Donmar Warehouse (London), and The Civilians. Awards, fellowships, and residencies include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Fellowships, Headlands Artist Residency, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship. Mr. Urban is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a core writer at the Playwrights’ Center. He wrote the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation of The Happy Sad, which screened internationally at over 25 film festivals. His television pilot “The Art of Listening” was optioned by ITV/Assembly Entertainment and is currently in development. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service in the United States and Methuen in the United Kingdom and Europe, and they have been featured in numerous monologue anthologies. His band Occurrence released their new album The Past Will Last Forever this fall.
(As of March 2017)
by Mat Smart
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Saturday, April 5, 2:00pm
A family crisis ensues when a mysterious girl appears in Jacob Thomas' quirky repair shop. She's blue — literally and figuratively — and as she attempts to "come clean," the relationships around her are thrown into chaos. Things left unsaid begin to fester and rot, and she proves she might be the only one who knows how to fix what's long been broken. Thomas Repair is the result of a commission from the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.
Melia Bensussen is the recipient of an Obie Award for Outstanding Direction. Her Huntington credits include A Doll's House, Awake and Sing!, Luck of the Irish, and Circle Mirror Transformation. Other directing credits include work with Sleeping Weazel, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, People’s Light and Theatre Company (Barrymore Award nomination for Best Direction), and many others. She has received two Directing Awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, including their top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Her edition of Langston Hughes’ translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group, and she is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak, by Rebecca Daniels, in Nancy Taylor’s Women Direct Shakespeare, and in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. Ms. Bensussen is chair of the performing arts department at Emerson College, and serves as chair of the arts advisory board for the Princess Grace Foundation.
(As of December 2016)
by Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed by Amanda Charlton
Saturday, April 5, 8:00pm
In this family serio-comedy, the sons of an African-American family are torn between familial obligations and the dreams they've established for themselves. With dashed hopes for higher education, an ailing patriarch who sees his dead wife, and the mounting expenses of a new baby, the boys help each other face the major decisions of their lives. Together they just may discover a new definition of what it means to be a family.
Caroline in Jersey
by Melinda Lopez
Directed by M. Bevin O'Gara
Sunday, April 6, 7:00pm
Things aren't looking so great for Caroline. Her husband has left her for a younger woman, she's about to be thrown out of her sublet in New Jersey, her landlady thinks she's crazy... and the spirit of Arthur Miller's accountant lives in her refrigerator. Thrown into this mystery, Caroline must discover the truth about her haunting (and herself) to help to heal a broken family across two planes of existence. Melinda Lopez is a 2003-2005 Huntington Playwriting Fellow; Caroline in Jersey is the result of a commission from South Coast Repertory Theatre.
Melinda Lopez previously appeared at the Huntington in Our Town, Persephone, A Month in the Country, and The Rose Tattoo. Most recently she played Victoria in The Motherf**ker with the Hat (SpeakEasy Stage Company). Other credits include Oil Thief and A Girls War (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Anna in the Tropics and Theatre District (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Romeo and Juliet (Portland Stage), and Many Colors Make the Thunder-king (Guthrie Theater). She is featured in the movie Fever Pitch. Ms. Lopez is also an award- winning playwright (Sonia Flew, Orchids to Octopi, and Caroline in Jersey), and a Huntington Playwriting Fellow. She teaches playwriting at Boston University.
Past Breaking Ground Readings