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HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES CREATIVE TEAM FOR THE BLUEST EYE

HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
ANNOUNCES AWARD-WINNING CREATIVE TEAM FOR

THE BLUEST EYE 
CELEBRATING THE 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF
NOBEL AND PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
TONI MORRISON’S POWERFUL FIRST NOVEL

 
ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY
 HUNTINGTON PLAYWRITING FELLOW 
 LYDIA R. DIAMOND

 
DIRECTED BY RISING TALENT AWOYE TIMPO 

PERFORMANCES BEGIN APRIL 24, 2020
AT THE HUNTINGTON AVENUE THEATRE
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW

(BOSTON) – Huntington Theatre Company announces the award-winning creative team of Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond’s(Stick Fly on Broadway and the Huntington, Smart People at the Huntington) stage adaptation of Toni Morrison’s first novel The Bluest Eye.  Ms. Diamond’s stage adaptation of this profound piece of American literature by the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author will be directed by one of American Theatre’s “Theatre Workers You Should Know,” Awoye Timpo (In Old Age at New York Theatre Workshop, Good Grief at the Vineyard Theatre). The Bluest Eye begins performances at the Huntington Avenue Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue, Boston) Friday, April 24, 2020 and runs through Sunday, May 24, 2020.
 
The creative team for The Bluest Eye  includes set design by Emmy Award winner Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar – Live” on NBC, “Adele: Live in NYC” on NBC; Blue Man Group: Speechless National Tour), costume design by Lortel Award winner Dede Ayite (A Soldier’s Play, Slave Play, and American Son on Broadway), lighting design by Adam Honoré (Skeleton Crew at the Huntington, Ain’t No Mo’ at The Public Theater, Carmen Jones at Classic Stage Company), and sound design and composition by Grammy Award winner Justin Ellington (recording artists Usher, Nicki Minaj, Andre 3000; Other Desert Cities on Broadway, Pass Over at Lincoln Center Theater). The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Jamie Carty.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of celebrated author Toni Morrison’s acclaimed debut novel, The Bluest Eye. Brought to life as a tremendously moving theatrical event by Boston favorite Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly, Smart People), The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a young black girl who believes everything in her world would be made wonderful if only she had blue eyes. Enthralling and incredibly emotional, The Bluest Eye asks powerful questions concerning racism, beauty, and identity with grace and subtlety. A novel that has touched generations of young women, The Bluest Eye has shaped the conversation of colorism and beauty in our world. Recently featured in an article in The New Yorker commemorating the 50thanniversary of the novel, Hilton Als described The Bluest Eye as “intellectually expansive, emotionally questioning, and spiritually knowing,” where “the act of looking—and seeing—is described again and again.” 
 
Oprah Winfrey has frequently given reverence to Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye, calling the novel “one of my all-time favorites,” and featuring it as one of her book club selections. “The message in The Bluest Eye is so universal that I really believe we all could learn from it, no matter who you are or where you come from,” said Winfrey.
 
Toni Morrison’s recent death in 2019 has spurned an outpouring of remembrance and homage from artists and leaders all over the world. “I had the privilege of adapting Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye for the stage,” says playwright Lydia R. Diamond. “When I was commissioned in 2005 by the Steppenwolf to do it, and Ms. Morrison had given them her blessing to let it be me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and have never wanted so desperately to get something right. Ms. Morrison’s words have healed and challenged and validated and poked and prodded and demanded the most of humanity. Ms. Morrison said to a generation, and then another generation of black girls, that they matter, that they deserve to be seen, and loved, and protected, and celebrated. We are all the better for her.” 
 
“Toni Morrison is one of our greatest writers of all time. And Lydia Diamond is one of our great playwrights. So, between the two of them they know how to tell a story that takes you on an incredible journey,” said Awoye Timpo, director of the Huntington production of The Bluest Eye. “People can come and expect to see a really extraordinary portrait of a community that resonates deeply with the world that we live in today.”
 
ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 
 
Lydia R. Diamond (Playwright) is a member of the 2005-2007 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows. Her most recent play, Smart People, was commissioned by the McCarter Theatre and had its world premiere at the Huntington in 2014. The Huntington’s 2010 hit production of her play Stick Fly produced in association with Arena Stage inspired the 2011 Tony Award-nominated Broadway production. Awards for Stick Fly include a 2012 Outer Circle Critics Award nomination for Best Play (Broadway), 2010 IRNE Award for Best Play, 2010 LA Critics Circle Award for Playwriting, 2010 LA Garland Award for Playwriting, 2009 LA Weekly Theatre Award for Playwriting, 2008 Susan S. Blackburn Finalist, 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award, and 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best New Work. Her other plays include Voyeurs de Venus (2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, 2006 BTAA for Best Writing); The Bluest Eye (2006 Black Arts Alliance Image Award for Best New Play, 2008 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award); The Gift Horse (2005 Theodore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize – 2nd Place); Harriet Jacobs; and Stage Black. She was a 2005-2006 Harvard WEB Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a 2012-2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a 2012 Sallie B. Goodman McCarter Fellow, and a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor. She is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a playwright in residence at Arena Stage. Ms. Diamond is a graduate of Northwestern University where she majored in performance studies. She has an honorary doctorate of arts from Pine Manor College and was on faculty at Boston University.
 
Awoye Timpo (Director) has directed In Old Age (New York Theatre Workshop), Good Grief (Vineyard Theatre), Paradise Blue (Long Wharf Theatre), The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d (Playwrights Realm), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater), Skeleton Crew (Chester Theater), Sister Sonji (Billie Holiday Theater), Carnaval (National Black Theatre), Ndebele Funeral (59E59, South African tour, Edinburgh Festival),The Libation Bearers (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), and In the Continuum (Juilliard). She served as associate director on the 2017 Broadway production of Jitney as well as The Public Theater’s Othello. Ms. Timpo has worked with ABC/Disney, Cherry Lane, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists, NOW Africa, PEN World Voices, Royal Shakespeare Company, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, WNYC. She also produced Classix, a reading series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights.
 
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 Norma Jean Calderwood 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
April 24 – May 24, 2020

              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 above.
 
Press Opening: Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm; RSVP online.
 
WHERE
 Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue 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 Huntington Avenue 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:

  • $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 THE BLUEST EYE

POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS

After select Fri. – Sun. evening, Wed. matinee, Sat. matinee, and Sun. matinee performances throughout the season.  Post-show conversations are an opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have just seen and are led by special guests and members of the Huntington staff.

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY
Friday, April 24 after 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.
 
COMMUNITY NIGHT HOSTED BY THE HUNTINGTON COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE
Thursday, April 30 at 6pm, prior to the 7:30pm performance
 
Members of the Black community are invited to join Huntington Community Members for a free pre-show reception on Thursday, April 30. Includes complimentary food and drinks.  Attendees have an opportunity to learn about the Huntington season and meet other interested theatregoers. Tickets to the 7:30pm performance of The Bluest Eye should be purchased separately.
 
The Huntington Community Membership Initiative is a program designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income. The program’s goal is to diversify audiences to better represent the city of Boston. Community Members can purchase tickets to any available seat at any performance without restriction for just $20.
 
ACTORS FORUMS
Thursday, May 7 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, May 14 after the 7:30pm performance

Wednesday, May 20 after the 2pm performance
Thursday, May 21 after the 10am performance (student matinee)

Meet participating members of the cast of The Bluest Eye and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum following the performance.

HUMANITIES FORUM
Sunday, May 17 after the 2pm performance

Explore the context and significance of The Bluest Eye with a leading expert following the 2pm performance on May 17. 
 
OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCES
Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, May 13 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers open captioning 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 Director of Education Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.


AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, May 7 at 10am (student matinee)
Friday, May 8 at 8pm
 
The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL Interpretation for patrons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing at designated performances.
 
Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.
 
AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE
Thursday, May 7 at 10am (student matinee) 
Saturday, May 9 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances. Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at these performances.

Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Director of Education Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org.


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