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UPROARIOUS & GROUNDBREAKING COMEDY THE COLORED MUSEUM BY GEORGE C. WOLFE, DIRECTED ANd CHOREOGRAPHED BY BILLY PORTER BEGINS FRIDAY, MARCH 6 AT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

(BOSTON) –  Huntington Theatre Company continues its 2014-2015 Season with the landmark comedy The Colored Museum by two-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, a stinging journey through 11 hilarious "exhibits" about African-American culture. Tony Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) will direct and choreograph the production which begins Friday, March 6 and continues through April 5, 2015 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre. 

“George Wolfe’s theatrical exhibits of black American life are startling and hilarious,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “The play was ahead of its time in 1987 and is now ripe for a major revival. I’m thrilled that the incredible Billy Porter, fresh from his Tony Award-winning performance in Kinky Boots on Broadway, will direct. Bringing these two brilliant American theatre artists together is a dream.” Hear more from DuBois about the production at huntingtontheatre.org/peter-colored-museum.

Many critics describe George C. Wolfe's work as the precursor to “In Living Color.” From an airline attendant inviting you aboard the Celebrity Slaveship to a young woman’s natural and relaxed wigs bickering over who she should wear when she breaks up with her boyfriend – The Colored Museum will electrify, discomfort, and delight audiences of all colors, skewering stereotypes and redefining what it means to be black in contemporary America.

The Colored Museum came into my life at a very formative time,” says director Billy Porter, who considers Wolfe a longtime mentor and advocate. “I was a teenager longing for more than just one type of ‘Black’ representation in the creative storytelling landscape. George Wolfe’s unique and irreverent voice of inclusion ignited the fire of possibility inside of me and set me on a creative journey that included stretching myself beyond what, up until then, I thought was possible for a little black gay boy from the ghetto. I am forever grateful.”

"The New York Times calls The Colored Museum “a wild evening of black black humor. George C. Wolfe takes no prisoners.”

The Colored Museum is supported by Huntington Season Sponsors Carol G. Deane and J. David Wimberly and Production Co-Sponsors Betsy and David Epstein and Linda and Bill McQuillan.

ABOUT THE CAST

Nathan Lee Graham was seen on Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Wild Party. His national tour credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and Showboat. He appeared in the film Zoolander.

Capathia Jenkins was in the original cast of Broadway’s Newsies. Her other Broadway credits include Caroline, or Change, Martin Short Fame Becomes Me, The Look of Love, and The Civil War. She is a soloist for many symphony orchestras in the US and abroad.

Ken Robinson appeared on Broadway in Memphis and Baby it’s You! Off Broadway he appeared in Central Avenue Breakdown, and regionally he has been seen in Big River, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Five Guys Named Moe, Being Alive, and tick, tick...BOOM!. He is a member of Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Shayna Small was in Parable of the Sower Off Broadway and she received her BFA in drama from The Juilliard School. Her regional credits include The Oregon Trail (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center), Just Right Just Now (Theater for the New City), and Closer (Load of Fun Theatre).

Rema Webb first appeared on Broadway in the 1998 production of Ragtime, and most recently returned to Disney’s The Lion King, where she has been a cast member since 1999. She was in the original cast of The Book of Mormon and appeared as gospel singer Lula Buffington in Violet at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

George C. Wolfe (Playwright) is the author of The Colored Museum and Spunk, as well as the books of Jelly’s Last Jam (Drama Desk Award) and The Wild Party (Tony Award nomination), which he co-authored. His Broadway directing credits include A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Pulitzer Prize) and Perestroika (Drama Desk Award); Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk (Tony and Drama League Awards); Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (Tony Award, Unique Theatrical Event); Jelly’s Last Jam (Outer Critics Circle Award); Caroline, or Change (Tony Award nomination, Evening Standard and Olivier Awards - Best Musical); Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize); The Tempest; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Drama Desk Award); On the Town; and The Wild Party (Tony Award nomination, Best Musical). He was the producer of The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival from 1993-2005, where he directed Mother Courage and Her Children, Macbeth, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, This Is How It Goes, Radiant Baby, and Blade to the Heat. Additional productions include Harlem Song, conceived/directed for the Apollo Theatre, and Amistad for Chicago Lyric Opera. His film credits include Lackawanna Blues (Directors Guild, National Board of Review, Christopher Awards; Independent Spirit nomination for Best First Feature) and Nights in Rodanthe. He is the recipient of the Actors Equity Paul Robeson Award, the SSDC Calloway Award, the Dramatist Guild’s Hull-Warner Award, four Obie Awards, the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lambda Liberty Award, the New Dramatist Outstanding Career Achievement Award, the Spirit of the City Award, the Brendan Gill Prize, the Distinguished Alumni Award - NYU, a Cultural Laureate Award, and a Library Lion. He was named a Living Landmark by the New York Landmark’s Conservancy. Mr. Wolfe is honored to serve on the President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities and recently conceived/directed a celebration of the American musical at the White House.

Billy Porter (Director) is the 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Lola in the Best Musical Tony Award winner Kinky Boots. His one-man show Ghetto Superstar (2005 GLAAD Media Award nomination, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Performer of the Year 2003-2004) debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh. His directing credits include CompanyLetters from ’NamThe Wiz, Being Alive, Twilight in Manchego, Once on this Island (NAACP Theatre Award winner for Best Direction), The Soul of Richard Rodgers, Five Guys Named Moe, Altar Boyz, RENT (Associate Director, Off Broadway revival), Wicked Summer Nights Concert Series (Los Angeles), Patina Miller Live at The Delfonte Room (London), and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder (starring Chaka Khan). His new Broadway album, Billy’s Back on Broadway (Concord Records) was released last April. As a playwright, he was represented Off Broadway last Fall with the premiere of While I Yet Live starring S. Epatha Merkerson (Primary Stages). A Pittsburgh native, he received his BFA in drama from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a graduate of UCLA’s Professional Program in screenwriting.

James Sampliner (Music Director & Arrangements) began his career as the resident music director at Williamstown Theatre Festival from 1997-2004, after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Music. His affiliation with Billy Porter began in the winter of 2003, and together they have collaborated on Being Alive, The Soul of Rodgers, Ghetto Superstar, At the Corner of Broadway and Soul, Billy’s Back on Broadway, While I Yet Live, and most recently, an upcoming PBS television special for Live at Lincoln Center, airing April 3. His numerous credits include 5 shows on Broadway, the McCarter Theatre Center, Long Wharf Theatre, LaJolla Playhouse, Two River Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, and many more. Mr. Sampliner is also an accomplished orchestrator, arranger, record producer, and a percussionist.

The Huntington’s production of The Colored Museum features scenic design by Clint Ramos (A Raisin in the Sun, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Ruined at the Huntington), costume design by Anita Yavich (Boleros for the Disenchanted at the Huntington and Chinglish and Venus in Fur on Broadway); lighting design by Driscoll Otto (Under My Skin Off Broadway); sound design by John Shivers and Kevin Kennedy (Kinky Boots and Bonnie & Clyde on Broadway), projection design by Zachary Borovay (Rock of Ages and Holler If Ya Hear Me on Broadway), and music by Kysia Bostic. Production stage manager is Emily McMullen and stage manager is Tareena D. Wimbish.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create 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. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

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PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS

To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of The Colored Museum:

  1. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo-library/2014-2015/colored-museum.  
  2. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
  3. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
  4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
  5. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR

WHEN
March 6 – April 5, 2015
Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm
Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
Days and times vary; see complete schedule below.
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 11, 7pm. RSVP online.

WHERE
Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

TICKETS
Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $10 off: subscribers and BU community (faculty/staff/alumni)
  • $25 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $15 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COLORED MUSEUM

HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY AND THE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY PRESENT A POETRY SLAM IN HONOR OF THE COLORED MUSEUM
Friday, February 20, 7:30pm – African American History Museum
Join the Huntington Theatre Company and the Museum of African American History Museum for a poetry slam in honor of The Colored Museum. Poetry slam teams from Brooklyn College, Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, NYU, and SUNY Oneonta will compete for a grand prize and the title of Museum of African American History Poetry Slam Champion. Cast members from The Colored Museum will serve as judges for the competition. The event is free and open to the public.

POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS
After most Tues. –  Fri., Sat. matinee, and Sun. matinee performances throughout the season
An opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have just seen. Led by members of the Huntington staff.

ACTORS FORUMS
Friday, March 13 after the 10am student matinee performance
Thursday, March 19 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, March 25 after the 2pm performance
Thursday, April 2 after the 10am student matinee performance
Meet participating members of the cast of The Colored Museum and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

HUMANITIES FORUM / BOSTON GLOBE INSIDERS EVENT
Sunday, March 22 after the 2pm performance
Boston Globe
columnist Adriane Walker and a special guest will discuss the historical context of the play following the 2pm performance. Humanities Forums are presented in conjunction with all Huntington productions. A Boston Globe Insiders event – tickets to the 3/22 performance are $45 for Boston Globe subscribers who use the discount code.

STUDENT MATINEES
Friday, March 13 at 10am
Thursday, April 2 at 10am
For students in grades 9–12. Tickets: $15. Includes pre-show in-school visit, curriculum guide, post-show Actors Forum, and Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP RECEPTION
Thursday, March 19 before the 7:30pm performance
A pre-show reception with refreshments for members of the Community Membership program. Community Membership is an initiative designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income and to diversify the Huntington's audience so it looks more like the city of Boston. Members can purchase best-available tickets to any performance without restriction for just $15. Membership is free and available through partnerships with agencies and organizations that serve limited-income populations. Santander is the Lead Supporter of the Huntington’s Community Membership program.

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY
Friday, March 27, following the 8pm performance
A post-show party for the region’s culturally curious ages aged 35 and below featuring backstage access, free refreshments, and live entertainment. Mingle with members of the cast, creative team, and Huntington staff. Hang out with friends and meet new people.

35 Below tickets are available at all performances to patrons 35 and under for just $25. Harpoon Brewery is the official beer of 35 Below.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, April 2 at 10am (student matinee)
Friday, April 3 at 8pm
The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing at designated performances.

Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $15 for each Deaf patron and a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu. 

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