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CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY PRODUCTION OF YERMA

TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED BY MELINDA LOPEZ
2019 RECIPIENT OF THE ELLIOT NORTON AWARD FOR SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE 

BASED ON THE PLAY BY FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA 

DIRECTED BY OBIE AWARD WINNER MELIA BENSUSSEN

FEATURING LIVE FLAMENCO-INSPIRED MUSIC ON STAGE
WITH ORIGINAL MUSIC BY AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY
COMPOSER MARK BENNETT 

PERFORMANCES BEGIN MAY 31

AT THE SOUTH END /CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA

BOSTON, MA – April 24, 2019 – The Huntington Theatre Company premieres a timely and essential adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s 1934 play Yerma, a tragic tale of one woman’s desperate yearning to start a family. Adapted and translated by the winner of the 2019 Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, Melinda Lopez transforms this classic work to resonate with modern audiences. Lopez delves into the heart of a hard-working rural community, revealing that in times of desperation, there can be beauty, and even laughter. Directed by Obie and Norton Award winner Melia Bensussen, Yerma a play with music featuring local Boston musicians playing original flamenco-inspired music by Broadway composer Mark Bennett. Performances begin at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont Street, Boston) May 31 and will run through June 30. Tickets are on sale now to the general public.

Yerma, a young wife, wants nothing more than to have a child and become a devoted mother. As she watches her friends start their families, she begins to question her own value as a woman. Her desperate desire turns into an all-consuming obsession with devastating consequences. Beloved by Boston audiences, Huntington Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez reinvents Lorca’s classic masterpiece, infusing this searing drama with flamenco-inspired music and heart.

Lopez first encountered Yorca’s work while visiting her aunt in Spain as a teenager. She was struck by how in tune Yerma was with a woman’s primal desire to have a family and the struggle of wanting something that fate will not allow. Lorca’s play channels tragic heroines like Antigone and Medea, transcending generations and culture to reveal the pain of circumstances where hope is the central antagonist. Lopez’s interpretation invokes the strength and spirit of these women and the communities that surround them.

Making her Huntington debut as the title character Yerma, is the 2019 recipient of Lincoln Center Theatre’s Emerging Artist Award, Nadine Malouf (American Conservatory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater). Also making their Huntington debuts are Christian Barillas (“Ronaldo” on ABC’s “Modern Family,” Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse) as Juan, Alexandra Illescas (Boston Conservatory, Front Porch Theatricals, Off the Grid Theatre Company) as Veronica; Norton Award winner Evelyn Howe (SpeakEasy Stage Company, Shakespeare and Company, Showtime’s “SMILF”) as Marta; and Ernie Pruneda (Sister Act on Broadway) as Victor. Returning to the Huntington are Alma Cuervo (The Miracle at Naples, Broadway credits include On Your Feet!, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast) as Incarnacion; Norton Award winner Marianna Bassham (Romeo and Juliet, Becoming Cuba, Luck of the Irish) as Maria; and Jacqui Parker (A Civil War Christmas; Breath, Boom) as Dolores. Yerma also includes on stage performances by local Boston percussionist and Berklee College of Music alum Fabio Pirozzolo with renowned flamenco guitarist and Boston Conservatory graduate Juanito Pascual.

Yerma will include choreography by Misha Shields (Ripcord, A Doll’s House, Milk Like Sugar at the Huntington); music and co-sound design by Drama Desk Award winner Mark Bennett (Broadway credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Coast of Utopia); set design by Cameron Anderson (The Niceties and Becoming Cuba at the Huntington); costume design by Olivera Gajic (Curtain Call on Broadway, Vineyard Theatre, Classic Stage Company); lighting design by Brian J. Lilienthal (Awake and Sing! at the Huntington, Merrimack Repertory Theatre) and co-sound design by Brendan F. Doyle (Lyric Stage Company, Company One). Production stage manager is Kevin Schlagle and stage manager is Jeremiah Mullane.

“Melinda Lopez brings such resonance and poetry to Federico García Lorca’s Yerma – hers is the best English translation I’ve read,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “We are thrilled to bring together two of the Huntington’s most trusted artists, our playwright in residence Melinda Lopez and director Melia Bensussen, to create this new, visceral, and music-infused production of Lorca’s timeless work. Their collaboration promises to lift up the of the essential story of a woman unravelling under the pressures of society, religion, and nature.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Melinda Lopez (Adapter/Translator) is the playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company. Her play Mala (2018) (ArtsEmerson, Guthrie Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company) earned the 2017 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play and an Arts Impulse Award for Best Solo Performance. It is available on Audible. Other playwrighting credits include Back the Night (Boston Playwrights' Theatre), Becoming Cuba (2014) (Huntington Theatre Company and North Coast Repertory Theatre), and Sonia Flew (2004) (Huntington Theatre Company). Spanish translations of Ser Cuba and Sonia Se Fue were presented at the 2018 National Theatre Festival in Camaguey, Cuba. Ms. Lopez is one of the Mellon Foundation National Playwright Residents (Huntington Theatre Company) and a 2019 Mass Cultural Council Fellow in dramatic writing. Ms. Lopez is also an actress. She actively provides humanitarian aid for the people of Cuba and was mentioned by President Obama in his speech to the Cuban and American people in 2016. Mayor Martin J. Walsh declared October 29, 2016 “Melinda Lopez Day” in the city of Boston. Upcoming works include Mariel, a radio drama about the Mariel Boatlift set in both 1980 and 2018.

Federico García Lorca (Playwright) was born in 1898 in Fuente Vaqueros, Spain. Mr. Lorca was an artist, poet, director, actor, pianist, and playwright. He studied at the University of Granada, University of Madrid, and at Columbia University School of General Studies. In the 1920s, Mr. Lorca was a part of Generación del 27, a group of artists that included Salvador Dalí. Also in the 1920s, Mr. Lorca published two of his most successful poetry collections: Canciones (Songs) and Romancero gitano (the Gypsy Ballads). In the 1930s, he shifted to playwriting and wrote Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), Yerma, and La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba). Mr. Lorca spent a few years abroad in Cuba and New York City. In 1931, he returned to Spain to manage and tour with the theatre troupe La Barraca. However, a couple years later the Spanish Civil War erupted, permanently halting Mr. Lorca’s career. In 1936, at the age of 38, he was arrested and subsequently slain by fascist militiamen due to his liberal views and homosexuality. In 1986, the Spanish government commemorated the 50th anniversary of Mr. Lorca’s death by unveiling a monument at the site of his murder. 

Melia Bensussen (Director) previously directed A Doll's House (2017), Awake and Sing! (2014), Luck of the Irish (2011), and Circle Mirror Transformation (2010) at the Huntington. Other directing credits include work with Shakespeare & Company, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Sleeping Weazel, Actors' Shakespeare Project, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 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, 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 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. She is on the executive board of the Society of Directors and Choreographers and serves as chair of the arts advisory board for the Princess Grace Foundation. Ms. Bensussen is the incoming artistic director of Hartford Stage.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington 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 has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR

WHEN

May 31 – June 30, 2019
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, June 12 @ 7pm; RSVP online.

 WHERE

South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, 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 Huntington Avenue Theatre Ticketing Services, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Ticketing Services Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

 Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $10 off: subscribers
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH YERMA:

POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS

After select Fri. – Sun. evening, Wed. matinee, 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.

35 BELOW AFTER PARTY
Friday, June 14, following the 8pm performance

35 BELOW is the Huntington's special program for anyone 35 and under where tickets to every performance are always $30. Mingle with members of the cast and creative team, enjoy live entertainment and free refreshments, plus meet other young theatre lovers in Boston.

ACTORS FORUMS
Thursday, June 20 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, June 26 after the 2pm performance

Meet participating members of the cast of Yerma and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

HUMANITIES FORUM
Sunday, June 23 after the 2pm performance

Explore the context and significance of Yerma with a leading expert following the 2pm performance on June 23.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED (ASL) PERFORMANCES
Friday, June 21 at 8pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing at designated performances.

Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $20 for each Deaf patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Interim Co-Director of Education / Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES
Saturday, June 22 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances.

Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact InterimCo-Director of Education / Access Coordinator at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.

OPEN CAPTIONING PERFORMANCES
Sunday, June 23 at 2pm
Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers open captioning for patrons with slight to profound hearing loss at designated performances.

Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Interim Co-Director of Education / Access Coordinator at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.

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Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 |
TICKETING SERVICES 617 266 0800

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