Playwrights-On-Playwriting, Dec. 1 & Dec. 8

by:  Thom Dunn at 11/26/2013

James Waterston & Richard Poe in The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Here at the Huntington, we pride ourselves on our post-show offerings, from the audience conversations that take place after almost every performance to the Actors Forums and Humanities Forums that we offer to ticket holders. And while we like to think that our dramaturgs and staff hosts for these events have all the knowledge that they need to satisfy your endless curiosities, we realize that there are some answers better left to the playwright him/herself.

Normally, that would be a really polite away of deflecting a question that someone didn't know the answer to, but this time around, we'll do you one better: two weekends of events where the playwrights get to speak their minds, and the audience can pick away at every bit left in their brains*.

A.R. "Pete" Gurney

This coming Sunday, December 1, Cocktail Hour playwright A.R. Gurney will be in the house for a special post-show conversation. And this time, we don't even mean it in some headtrippy-meta kind of way (although come to think of it, it would be kind of funny if we just had James Waterston come out and improvise the talkback in character as John from the play...). Gurney will speak about his body of work and continuing career — including his newest play, Flea Furniture, which opened this past Sunday at New York's Flea Theatre — as well as his personal connections to Boston. And if you're wondering about the strangely autobiographical nature of The Cocktail Hour, don't worry, he'll talk about that, too! I'm personally looking forward to finding out the truth behind the deep, dark mystery of why all his friends and colleagues call him "Pete."

Did I mention that the event will be hosted by Bob Oakes, host of WBUR's Morning Edition? No? Bah, I knew I forgot something.

This event will take place at the BU Theatre following the 2pm matinee performance of The Cocktail Hour, and admission is free to anyone who's bought a ticket to any performance of the show. That means that you don't specifically need a ticket for the Sunday matinee, and if you've already seen the show, you don't have to worry about seeing it again (but you are of course welcome to see it again. And possibly a third time as well! Heck, why not go for four while you're at it?).

But wait! That's not all! 

Kirsten Greenidge (Luck of the Irish)

David Valdes Greenwood (Wandaleria)

We'll still be hosting our regularly-schedule Humanities Forum on Sunday, December 8, and this time, we'll be joined by Huntington Playwriting Fellows Kirsten Greenidge and David Valdes Greenwood. This conversation will focus on putting family onstage, as both Greenidge and Greenwood have written plays that have drawn heavily from their family experiences. You may recall Kirsten's play Luck of the Irish, which we premiered in 2012 and was loosely based on Kirsten's grandparents' experience with "ghostbuying" in the Boston area.

For those of you who are especially interested in what goes into the creative process, these events will be incredible opportunities to get inside a creative person's mind and see what it makes it tick. Aspiring theatre artists, and writers of any kind, are especially encouraged to come and get some insight into the professional theatre world.

Both events will take place at the BU Theatre following the 2pm matinee performance of The Cocktail Hour (so let's say like, 4:15ish? Cool? You there? All right), and admission is free to anyone who's bought a ticket to any performance of the show. That means that you don't specifically need a ticket for the Sunday matinee, and if you've already seen the show, you don't have to worry about seeing it again.

Of course, you are more than welcome to see it again. And possibly a third time as well! Heck, why not go for four while you're at it? Did we mention that we've got a Black Friday Sale going on this weekend? You don't even have to pay ticket fees!

*Please, no literal brainpicking. Trust us, it really ruins the upholstery. Also then the playwright would probably be dead, and while that might do wonders for his or her career, well, we'd be a little sad, because we really like them all, plus they wouldn't be able to make any new plays, and you don't want that on your conscience, do you?


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About me

Thom Dunn is the Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington, meaning it's his job to play around on the Internet and make things cool. He handles all of the video content and social media as well, and has the biggest computer monitor in the office. Like, ginormous.

Outside of the Huntington, Thom is a writer, musician, and homebrewer. It's all pretty cool. You can find out more about it at

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