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HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2020-2021 SEASON OF DESTINATION THEATRE

LINEUP INCLUDES GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER
CALISTA FLOCKHART IN OSCAR WILDE’S
 
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
DIRECTED BY HUNTINGTON ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PETER DUBOIS 
AND 
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

COMMON GROUND REVISITED
CONCEIVED BY MELIA BENSUSSEN AND KIRSTEN GREENIDGE
ADAPTED BY KIRSTEN GREENIDGE 
DIRECTED BY MELIA BENSUSSEN

 
BASED IN PART ON AND INSPIRED BY
THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING BOOK
COMMON GROUND: A TURBULENT DECADE IN THE LIVES OF THREE AMERICAN FAMILIES BY J. ANTHONY LUKAS 

 
ADDITIONAL TITLES INCLUDE FIVE BOSTON PREMIERES
FEATURING

THE PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST AND
TONY AWARD-NOMINATED BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME 
BY HEIDI SCHRECK
DIRECTED BY OLIVER BUTLER
STARRING CASSIE BECK

AND 
A NEW ROCK/COUNTRY MUSICAL
 
SONGBIRD
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL KIMMEL
 MUSIC & LYRICS BY LAUREN PRITCHARD 
DIRECTED BY GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH

 

(BOSTON) – Huntington Theatre Company Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic DirectorPeter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso announce the lineup of their 2020-2021 season of destination theatre that features an incredible range of compelling stories -culturally and artistically diverse - unified by the Huntington’s commitment to vital, fresh and inclusive entertainment. From stories deeply rooted in Boston’s history to star-studded classics to the “best and most important new play” (The New York Times) of the latest Broadway season, the next chapter in Huntington history is perhaps, the most exciting yet.  
 
The new season kicks off on July 28 at the Huntington Avenue Theatre with the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production What the Constitution Means to Me by Pulitzer Prize finalist Heidi Schreck. Starring Cassie Beck (Prelude to a Kiss at the Huntington, The Humans on Broadway) under the original direction of Obie Award winner Oliver Butler, this boundary-breaking play breathes new life into the Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. The second offering of the season continues at the Huntington Avenue Theatre with Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy nominee Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal,” The Birdcage) playing the scheming wife Mrs. Cheveley in Oscar Wilde’s decadent romp An Ideal Husband helmed by the Huntington’s own Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Peter DuBois. A season of comedy begins at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA with an entirely different type of wicked woman in the Boston premiere of Jen Silverman’s Witch, directed by Boston’sRebecca Bradshaw.
 
2021 begins with the highly-anticipated world premiere of Common Ground Revisited,Kirsten Greenidge (Milk Like Sugar and Luck of the Irish at the Huntington) and Obie Award winner Melia Bensussen’s (We All Fall Down and Awake and Sing! at the Huntington) collaborative stage adaption of Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families. Featuring a cast of Boston natives, J. Anthony Lukas’ Pulitzer Prize-winning history of race relations and desegregation in Boston is brought to life on stage through the contemporary lens of these beloved local artists.
 
Making its Boston debut at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, Teenage Dick, written by Mike Lew (Tiger Style! at the Huntington), is a modern day imagining of Shakespeare’sRichard III told through the gaze of a teenage boy with cerebral palsy. Produced in association with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, this production is a restaging ofMoritz von Stuelpnagel’s (Hand to God on Broadway) New York production at The Public Theater and features original cast members Gregg Mozgala and Shannon DeVido.
 
The last show of the 2020-2021 season at the Huntington Avenue Theatre will be the Boston premiere of the new musical Songbird written by Michael Kimmel, music & lyrics by Lauren Pritchard and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch. Described as “a pretty ripping yarn about love, betrayal and the hunger for fame” (The New York Times), this rock/country musical tells the story of a promising country music talent struggling to step out from his famous mother’s shadow. Closing out the season at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA is the Boston premiere of Hurricane Diane, a comedic commentary on climate change by Pulitzer Prize finalist Madeleine George ([The Curious Case of] The Watson Intelligence) and directed by Jenny Koons (Speechless the new Blue Man Group North American Tour).
 
 “From our country's Constitution to our city's legacy, from a return to the all-time wittiest playwright to a new musical with a great country western score -- each play next season has a powerful story and makes the Huntington a destination for theatre-goers both near and far,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois about the 2020-2021 season at the Huntington. These are plays that I connected with immediately. Humor, hope and the search for human connection propels the season - I also wanted lots of comedy and music, because we all need a laugh, and to be whisked off our feet sometimes.”  
 
In addition to the Huntington Theatre Company’s offerings as part of their 2020-2021 subscription series, two “Huntington Presents” titles have been added as a part of the Huntington Avenue Theatre’s summer programming.  Direct from a sold-out West End Run, the Huntington Presents The Simon & Garfunkel Story, a concert-style biographical production about the multi-Grammy Award-winning pop-folk duo beginning June 16.  Beginning July 9, Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars) returns to the Huntington in Lackawanna Blues an autobiographical one-man-show written, starring and directed by the Tony Award winner.
 
Huntington Theatre Company’s 2020-2021 season will be the final full season in their historical gem, the Huntington Avenue Theatre before its transformation into Boston’s first-class creative hub. The Huntington is on the brink of creating a culturally transformative scene at the gateway to the Avenue of the Arts that will serve all of Boston, a destination theatre that leads the country back to our city.
 
ABOUT THE 2020/2021 SEASON
 
Pulitzer Prize Finalist
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
A Play by Heidi Schreck
Directed by Oliver Butler
Starring Cassie Beck
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre
July 28 – August 23, 2020
 
Direct from Broadway, the 2019 Tony-nominated Best Play and Pulitzer Prize finalist, What the Constitution Means to Me, by famed writer Heidi Schreck, arrives at the Huntington Avenue Theatre for a strictly limited engagement. Playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Schreck’s timely and galvanizing play, directed by Oliver Butler, became a sensation off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway where it received two Tony Award nominations among countless other accolades. See the play The New York Times hails as "not just the best play on Broadway, but also the most important." 
 
Calista Flockhart in
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Peter DuBois
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre
September 25 – October 18, 2020
 
Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy Award nominee Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal,” The Birdcage) stars in Oscar Wilde’s inspired comedy about money, desire and the depths of deceit. At a sparkling party in a London home, the mysterious Mrs. Cheveley (Flockhart) slyly blackmails her host, threatening to reveal dark secrets unless she gets her way. Suddenly, her devious scheme sets off all kinds of potential shock waves involving social status, financial ruin and the essential reputation of an ideal husband. The New York Times raves that this “deliriously funny play speaks in a language that remains forever fresh.” Directing is the Huntington’s own Artistic Director Peter DuBois.

Boston Premiere
WITCH
by Jen Silverman
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
October 16 – November 15, 2020
 
An up-to-the-second riff on a 1621 Jacobean tragicomedy, this fiendishly funny new play follows an alluring devil named Scratch who arrives in the country village of Edmonton, promising to make the darkest dreams of its locals come true in exchange for their souls. When he meets Elizabeth Sawyer, she should be the easiest to convince – she’s an outcast, branded as a witch for years. So why does she resist Scratch’s deal? This subversive, inventive work by Jen Silverman (The Roommate) is “devilishly clever and deliciously laugh-packed” (StageSceneLA). Directing is Boston’s Rebecca Bradshaw.
 
World Premiere
COMMON GROUND REVISITED
Conceived by Melia Bensussen and Kirsten Greenidge
Adapted by Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Based in part on and inspired by the book Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade
 in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas
Originally commissioned by and developed with ArtsEmerson
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre
January 8 – February 7, 2021
 
Inspired by the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book, this riveting and intricately woven world premiere play brings Boston’s history to life, culminating in three families’ experiences in court-mandated busing. Diverse in both race and class, what can these families’ experiences tell us about our own time…especially when Boston Public Schools were more segregated in 2019 than they were in 1974. Developed with ArtsEmerson, this unique work comes from Obie winners Melia Bensussen (We All Fall Down, Awake and Sing! at the Huntington) and Kirsten Greenidge (Our Daughters, Like Pillars and Luck of the Irish at the Huntington)The New York Times praises the book as “an epic of American city life.”
 
Boston Premiere
TEENAGE DICK
by Mike Lew
Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Produced in association with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
February 19 – March 21, 2021
 
As the winter formal gives way to glorious spring fling in Roseland High School, we enter the world of Mike Lew’s darkly funny, modern-day spin on Richard III. Tony Award nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God on Broadway) directs this ruthless and hilarious new play about a young man who, after years of torment by his classmates forhis cerebral palsy, decides to campaign for student body president. But is it better to be loved or feared? And how far will he go to realize his ambition? The New York Timescheers “moving, exciting and profoundly eye-opening.” This production features original Off Broadway cast members Gregg Mozgala and Shannon DeVido.  
 
Boston Premiere
SONGBIRD
Written by Michael Kimmel
Music & Lyrics by Lauren Pritchard
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
Presented by special arrangement with Allison Bressi and Diana Buckhantz
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre 
March 12 – April 4, 2021
 
In a small bar outside Nashville, Tennessee, aspiring songwriter Dean Trip is at a crossroads. After years of battling his demons, he finally has a chance to change his course. Tonight, brings the opportunity to make a name for himself in the music world, out from under the massive shadow of his mother, fading country star Tammy Trip. But, will she help him, or push him to the side as she attempts to reclaim the spotlight forherself? Driven by a rock/country score, Songbird asks the question- what, or who, are you willing to sacrifice to get everything you’ve ever wanted?
 
Boston Premiere
HURRICANE DIANE
by Madeleine George
Directed by Jenny Koons
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
May 21 – June 20, 2021
Batten down the hatches! A high-intensity force of nature is blowing into town: Hurricane Diane, the roof-raising new comedy by Pulitzer Prize-finalist Madeleine George. In the suburbs of the Garden State, the Greek God Dionysus returns from the heavens in the guise of a butch gardener named Diane, who’s hell-bent on reversing climate change and restoring earthly order by seducing a band of mortal followers. Why not begin with four real housewives from New Jersey? The New York Times calls it an “astonishing, perfect storm of timely tragicomedy.” And New York Magazine raves, “Hilarious and full of keen observation and
profound human affection…there’s so much to celebrate!” Jenny Koons (Speechless the new Blue Man Group North American Tour) is directing.
 
HUNTINGTON PRESENTS SERIES
 
Boston Premiere
THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre
June 16 – 28, 2020
The Simon & Garfunkel Story uses huge projection photos and original film footage and features a full live band performing all  is a critically acclaimed concert-style theatre show about two young boys from Queens, New York who went on to become the world’s most successful music duo of all time. Using state of the art video projection, incredible lighting and a full live band The Simon & Garfunkel Story is a moving and powerful concert featuring all the hits such as “Mrs. Robinson,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Homeward Bound,” “Scarborough Fair,” “The Boxer,” “The Sound Of Silence” and many more.
 
Boston Premiere
LACKAWANNA BLUES
Written, performed and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
In association with Two River Theater
Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre
July 9 – July 25, 2020 
Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson returns to the Huntington -- where he was memorably seen in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars -- in his riveting, lyrical, and gorgeous autobiographical play about growing up in the 1950s in a boarding house on the banks of Lake Erie. At the center of it all is Miss Rachel, or Nanny, the woman who raised young Ruben and welcomed a colorful group of eccentrics into her home and heart. The Los Angeles Times says this tour-de-force work with live blues music “enthralls,” adding, “Santiago-Hudson conjures multitudes with his rich memory and malleable voice.” And The New York Times says that it’s “performed with marvelous subtlety and rare humanity.” Tickets are on sale now.
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW
 
Subscriptions to the Huntington’s 2020-2021 season are now on sale. Seven-play seated packages start at just $161 and offer the very best value – seven plays for the price of six – and up to 50% off single ticket prices. FlexPass packages (a minimum of 4 tickets to be used for any show and which never expire) are available now for redemption for the current season and beyond.
 
Subscriptions may be renewed or purchased by calling the Huntington Ticketing Services at 617 266 0800 or by visiting huntingtontheatre.org/subscribe (make a link). Groups of 10 or more can place orders by calling 617 273 1657. High School and Middle School groups interested in attending should email education@huntingtontheatre.org for more information.
 
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

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