Breaking Ground 2010 - 2011

The Luck of the Irish

by Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Thursday, February 3 at 7:00pm
254 Huntington Avenue Rehearsal Hall

Lucy and Rex Taylor wish to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of 1950s Boston. The Taylors, upwardly mobile and African American, pay a struggling Irish family, the Donovans, to act as a front. Fifty years later, the elderly Donovans visit Lucy and Rex's grandchildren to ask for "their" house back. As the play moves across the two eras, The Luck of the Irish explores the legacies of integration and the conflict of calling any place your home.

Kirsten Greenidge is the author of Luck of the Irish (premiered at the Huntington in 2011), Splendor, Bossa Nova, Milk Like Sugar, Rust, The Curious Walk of the Salamander, 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 Rep, Page 73, Hourglass Group, Bay Area Playwrights, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, Mark Taper Forum, ASK, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood, McCarter Theatre, Humana Festival of New American Plays, Moxie Theatre, and New Georges. She is a recipient of an NEA/TCG residency at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and was playwright-in-residence at Company One. 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. She is a member of New Dramatists and Rhombus.

Melia Bensussen is the director of Awake and Sing and previously directed The Luck of the Irish (2012) and Circle Mirror Transformation (2010) at the Huntington. Her directing credits include work with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Actors' Shakespeare Project, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and People's Light and Theatre Company, where she received a 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 the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group. She is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak, by Rebecca Daniels, and also in Nancy Taylor's Women Direct Shakespeare. Her essay on The Merchant of Venice was also published by TCG in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. She is the recipient of an OBIE Award for Outstanding Direction. Ms. Bensussen is chair of the performing arts department at Emerson College.

(As of March 2014)

 

Making Up the Truth

Written and performed by Jack Hitt
Directed by Jessica Bauman
Friday, September 24 at 7:00pm
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA — Wimberly Theatre

Jack Hitt tells extravagant, true tales — a yarn about the childhood neighbor who was one of the first men to become a woman, or his apartment super with a deadly secret identity. But, the stories always lead people to ask, did that really happen? The Atlantic Monthly recently called This American Life contributer Jack Hitt "one of America's best storytellers." In his new show, Making Up the Truth, he shares his stories and learns that, of all things, new scientific breakthroughs point to an answer to that question: Do extraordinary things only happen to certain people, or do we all swim unaware in a sea of the uncanny and unbelievable?

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Harper's Magazine, and public radio's This American Life. His radio work recently won a Peabody Award. The movie, Hackers, which introduced Angelina Jolie to a generation of 15-year-old boys, was based on an Esquire article he co-authored, and last year his book, Off the Road, was adapted into a script written and directed by Emilio Estevez called The Way, starring Martin Sheen and to be released this fall. He is currently finishing a book about backyard inventors and obsessives called Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character

Jessica Bauman has been working as a director in New York and regionally for almost 20 years. Her work has been seen at theatres such as New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, The Public, Juilliard (including the world premiere of Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire), Rising Phoenix Rep, and the 52nd Street Project. Regionally, she has worked at Portland Stage Company, Vermont Stage Company, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Theatre Outlet (Allentown, PA) and the O'Neill. She has collaborated with playwrights such as David Lindsay-Abaire, Kia Corthron, Tracey Scott Wilson, Emily DeVoti, Jenny Lyn Bader, Diana Son, Napoleon Ellsworth, and Kirsten Greenidge. For the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, she has directed the premieres of Terrence McNally's Teachers Break with Cynthia Nixon and Maura Tierney, and Harrison Rivers' and it seems to me a very good sign... with Naomi Watts and John Krasinski. She is the founder and Artistic Director of New Feet Productions which produced Into the Hazard (Henry 5), her own six actor adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V. She recently directed Milk by Emily DeVoti, a co-production of New Georges and New Feet Productions at HERE. This summer, she will be directing the world premiere of All Day Suckers by Susan Dworkin for New Feet Productions in the New York International Fringe Festival. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, a Drama League Directors Project fellow, and is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a NYTW Usual Suspect, and New Georges Affiliated Artist. Jessica was a finalist for the 2007-2009 TCG/NEA Career Development program for Directors. She is a graduate of Yale College.

 

Long Season

Book and Lyrics by Chay Yew
Music by Fabian Obispo
Directed by Peter DuBois
Thursday, September 16 at 12:00pm
Roy Arias Studio — Studio IV
300 West 43rd Street, NY, NY

A musical set against the raw beauty of 1920s Alaska, Chay Yew and Fabian Obispo's Long Season follows a pivotal year in the life of a young pinoy, Allos, one ofthe migrant workers drawn by the promise of a new land. At a factory in Ketchikan, Allos fights to gain the respect of the foreman, the faith of the other workers, and the heart of the foreman's wife. As it captures the fledgling ambition and heart of a group of unionizing workers, Long Season becomes the dangerous, passionate story of a Filipino immigrant in an unforgiving land.

Chay Yew's production credits include the world premiere of José Rivera's Boleros for the Disenchanted at the Huntington, as well as work at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Goodman Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Center Stage, Geva Theatre Center, Empty Space, National Asian American Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse in the Park, Theatre at Boston Court, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Cornerstone Theater Company, Northwest Asian American Theatre, Walk & Squawk, Highways Performance Space, Pillsbury Playhouse, Smithsonian Institute, and Theatre Rhinoceros. His opera credits include the world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang's Ainadamar (co-production with Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam's Rage D’Amors (Tanglewood Music Center). Mr. Yew’s upcoming projects include world premieres of Kenneth Lin’s Po Boy Tango at Northlight Theatre and Robert O’Hara’s Antebellum at Wooley Mammoth Theatre Company. He is also presently editing Version 3.0, an anthology of new Asian American plays for Theatre Communications Group Publications. An alumnus of New Dramatists, he serves on the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. He is a recipient of the Dramalogue and OBIE Awards for Direction. Mr. Yew is a graduate of Boston University.

Fabian Obispo returns to the Huntington where he designed sound and composed music for the world premiere of José Rivera's Boleros for the Disenchanted, directed by Chay Yew, in 2008, and Iphigenia in 1991. His recent Off Broadway credits include Grace, A Very Common Procedure, Last Easter, Intrigue With Faye, Bright Ideas, What of the Night, Oroonoko, The Children of Vonderly, Durango, The Right Kind of People, No Foreigners Beyond this Point, The Romance of Magno Rubio, Two Sisters and a Piano, and The Square. Regionally, he has designed and composed for Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Syracuse Stage, New York Stage & Film, Westport Country Playhouse, Asolo Repertory Playhouse, and Perseverance Theatre, among others. His work has been recognized with the American Theatre Wing’s Hewes Design Award, as well as Helen Hayes, Barrymore, NAACP, Jackie, and Bay Area Critics Circle award nominations.

Peter DuBois is in his sixth season as Artistic Director at the Huntington where his directing credits include the world premieres of Evan M. Wiener’s Captors, Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, Bob Glaudini’s Vengeance is the Lord’s, David Grimm’s The Miracle at Naples, the regional premieres of Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn, and Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss. In the 2013-2014 Season he will direct the regional premiere of Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff and the world premiere of HPF Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People. His West End/London credits include All New People with Zach Braff (Duke of York’s Theatre) and Becky Shaw (Almeida Theatre). His New York credits include Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater Company; Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play); Rapture, Blister, Burn (Playwrights Horizons); Modern Terrorism, Becky Shaw, Trust with Sutton Foster, and All New People (Second Stage Theater); Measure for Pleasure, Richard III with Peter Dinklage, Mom How Did You Meet the Beatles, and Biro (Public Theater/NYSF); Jack Goes Boating with Philip Seymour Hoffman and The View From 151st Street (LAByrinth Theater Company/Public Theater); and The Power of Duff with Greg Kinnear (New York Stage and Film). Regional US and UK credits include productions at American Conservatory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, Humana Festival of New Plays, Manchester Opera House, and Kings Theater Glasgow. He previously served as associate producer and resident director at The Public Theater and artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. Prior, Mr. DuBois lived and worked in the Czech Republic where he co-founded Asylum, a multi-national squat theatre in Prague. His productions have been on the annual top ten lists of The New York Times, Time Out, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsday, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Evening Standard, and Improper Bostonian.

 

Fire On Earth

by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Rachel Walshe
Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:00pm
B.U. Theatre Rehearsal Hall
254 Huntington Avenue, Boston

1524. England. John Tewkesbury is a savvy trader and smuggler, smart enough to know William Tyndale's illegal translation of the Bible will be a hot commodity. But, to sell the good book, he must elude the spies of Sir Thomas More and escape the fires of the Catholic bishops. Playwright Patrick Gabridge brings an adventurous, theatrical spin to a true story about the struggle between dangerous information and powerful knowledge. One man journeys from merchant to matryr.

Patrick Gabridge's full-length plays include Fire on Earth, Constant State of Panic, Blinders,and Reading the Mind of God, and have been staged by theatres across the country. He began writing and producing audio plays in 1993 with the No Name Radio Players and Chameleon Stage, and his work has been broadcast by NPR, Shoestring Radio Theatre, and Icebox Radio Theatre. He apparently has a strange fondness for bricks and unreasonable fury towards bad shoppers. Gabridge is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on the board of StageSource. In his spare time, he likes to farm.

 

Unknown Soldier

Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Book and lyrics by Daniel Goldstein
Directed by Daniel Goldstein
Music Direction & Accompaniment
by Julie McBride
Sunday, June 13 at 5:30pm
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

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.


 

Past Breaking Ground Readings


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South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
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