Huntington Theatre Company's Candide, Ruined, and Sons of the Prophet sweep IRNE awards with 17 wins

The Huntington Theatre Company swept the 2012 IRNE Awards Monday night as its productions of CandideRuinedand Sons of the Prophet received a total of 17 awards from the Independent Reviewers of New England. The Huntington received more than three times the number of awards of any other New England company as the organization and its artists were recognized in 17 of 24 large theatre categories.

The Huntington’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s glorious musical Candide (September-October 2011) was the big winner of the night, receiving 11 awards, including Best Director, Ensemble, and Musical Production (large theatre):

  • Best Set Design: Daniel Ostling
  • Best Lighting Design: T. J. Gerckens
  • Best Costume Design: Mara Blumenfeld
  • Best Sound Design: Richard Woodbury
  • Best Choreography: Daniel Pelzig
  • Best Supporting Actress – Musical: Cheryl Stern (The Old Lady)
  • Best Actor – Musical: Geoff Packard (Candide)
  • Best Music Director: Doug Peck
  • Best Director of a Musical: Mary Zimmerman
  • Best Ensemble
  • Best Musical

The Huntington’s production of Ruined (January 2011), Lynn Nottage’s drama about the conflict in the Congo, which was included on a number of “Best of 2011” lists and produced in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse received five awards, including Best Director and Production (large theatre):

  • Best Supporting Actress - Drama: Pascale Armand (Salima)
  • Best Actress - Drama: Tonye Patano (Mama Nadi)
  • Best Director of a Drama: Liesl Tommy
  • Best Sound Design: Broken Chord (Daniel Baker/Aaron Meicht)
  • Best Play

Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (April-May 2011) was recognized as Best New Play (large theatre). A comedy about suffering that transferred to Off Broadway in a hit Roundabout Theatre Company production where it was hailed by The New York Times as “the first important play of the fall season” was recently named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best New Play.

The Huntington received 39 IRNE Award nominations, more than double any other company in New England. Huntington productions and artists frequently competed against one another in 19 categories.

Huntington Playwriting Fellow John Kuntz received the IRNE Award for Best New Play (small company) for The Hotel Nepenthe, originally produced by Actors’ Shakespeare Project and to be remounted by the Huntington this coming June as part of the Emerging America Festival. More information at

The Independent Reviewers of New England Committee includes Jules Becker, Sheila Barth, Kay Bourne, Sheila Brown, Beverly Creasey, Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll, Shirley Esthimer, Rich Fahey, Tom Garvey, Guy Giampapa, Norm Gross, Nancy Grossman, Robert Israel, Becca Kidwell, Bryce Lambert, Kilian Malloy, and Larry Stark. More information at

The full list of IRNE Award winners is available online.

In addition, the Huntington was recently recognized by the Boston Theatre Critics Association with twelve Elliot Norton Award nominations for productions that played from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Productions represented include Sons of the Prophet, Candide, Richard III/The Comedy of Errors, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. More information at Winners will be announced on Monday, May 21. The Boston Theatre Critics Association includes Joyce Kulhawik (president), Don Aucoin, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Nick Dussault, Iris Fanger, Sandy MacDonald, Robert Nesti, Jenna Scherer, and Ed Siegel. 


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,

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