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HUNTINGTON SEASON CONTINUES WITH WITCH, A DEVIOUS COMEDY ABOUT A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

(BOSTON, MA) – The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of its second production of its 40th anniversary season, the dark comedy Witch by Jen Silverman, directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, running from October 15 to November 14, 2021 at The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Running time of the show is 90 minutes with no intermission.


As an unmarried woman who keeps to herself in a small village, Elizabeth Sawyer is branded a witch and an outcast by the locals, blamed for everything from bad harvests to sick cows and colicky babies.When an alluring devil named Scratch arrives in town, promising to make the residents’ darkest dreams come true in exchange for their souls, he expects Elizabeth to be an easy mark, but finds her intriguingly resistant to both his charms and his offer of sweet revenge.


Scratch has better luck, however, in seducing the souls in the neighboring castle of Sir Arthur Banks, the biggest landowner in town, where Sir Arthur’s somewhat sensitive son Cuddy and an ambitious peasant Frank Thorney vie for Sir Arthur’s affections and inheritance, while servant Winnifred makes plans of her own.


Loosely based on the Jacobean play The Witch of Edmonton written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford in 1621, Silverman’s Witch was commissioned by Writers Theatre in Chicago where it premiered in 2018, and was subsequently produced at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2019.


While the action in Witch takes place in the 17th century with period sets and costumes, the play itself has witty dialogue with a contemporary vernacular and modern sensibility. The play’s timely themes around gender roles and biases in society will resonate with contemporary audiences. 


Witch is a play about a woman who is presented with an opportunity,” says playwright Jen Silverman. “When I started writing it, I was interested in the question of how one can affect change — do we have any hope for change if we're operating within the existing systems, or do we have to destroy everything and start over?”


“My favorite plays are stories with characters behaving badly,” says director Rebecca Bradshaw, who departed The Huntington’s artistic staff in July 2021 to become the producing artistic director of the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY. “Witch explores who has power, who has status, and what you might be willing to sacrifice for the sake of your soul.”


The cast of Witch features, in alphabetical order:

  • Barzin Akhavan (he/him) as wealthy landowner and patriarch Sir Arthur Banks; credits include Network on Broadway, Macbeth Off Broadway, and the films Funny Face and The Jew of Malta.
  • Lyndsay Allyn Cox (she/her) as Elizabeth Sawyer, an independent woman branded as an outcast and a witch by the locals; credits include a Dream Boston audio play for The Huntington, Bright Half Life (Actors’ Shakespeare Project) and Three Musketeers (Greater Boston Stage Company).
  • Gina Fonseca (she/her) as Winnifred, a servant in Sir Arthur’s castle who has a special connection with Frank; Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (workshop premiere, Off the Grid Theatre Company).
  • Javier David Padilla (he/him) as the ruthless peasant Frank, who seeks to rise in his station by pursuing both Sir Arthur’s approval and fortune; credits include Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem), A Doll’s House (Signature Theatre), and The Rocky Horror Show (Artist Repertory Theatre).
  • Nick Sulfaro (he/him) as Cuddy Banks, Sir Arthur’s sensitive son who wants nothing more than to continue his morris dancing; credits include Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music at The Huntington, and numerous appearance in Boston at New Rep, Greater Boston Stage Company and others.
  • Michael Underhill (he/him) as the devilishly charming Scratch who offers the villagers their deepest desires in exchange for their souls; credits include Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Man in the Ring, and a Dream Boston audio play for The Huntington, and many appearances with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (The Tempest, Othello, Richard III, Cymbeline).


Witch cast members, from left to right: Barzin Akhavan, Lyndsay Allyn Cox, Gina Fonseca, Javier David Padilla, Nick Sulfaro, Michael Underhill


The all-female design team of Witch includes scenic designer Luciana Stecconi (she/her; A Wind in the Door at The Kennedy Center Theatre For Young Audiences and Oil at Olney Theatre Center); costume designer Chelsea Kerl (she/her; Pass Over at SpeakEasy Stage/The Front Porch Arts Collective, and Greater Good at Company One/ART); lighting designer Mary Louise Geiger (she/her; Top Girls, Venus in Fur, Invisible Man at The Huntington), and sound designer Melanie Chen Cole (she/her; The Ohio State Murders at Goodman Theatre, Mrs. Harrison, Tuesdays with Morrie at Indiana Repertory Theatre).

The choreographer is Misha Shields (she/her), and the fight director and intimacy coordinator is Ted Hewlett (he/him). Rosalind Bevan (she/her) is the assistant director, Pascale Florestal (she/her) is the dramaturg, and Jazzmin Bonner (she/her) is the line producer. Kevin Schlagle (he/him) is the production stage manager and Sam Layco (she/they) is stage manager.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS


Jen Silverman (Playwright; she/they) is a New York-based writer. Jen’s plays include Witch (Writer’s Theatre, The Geffen); The Roommate (Humana Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep, Long Wharf, etc); Collective Rage: A Play In 5 Betties (Woolly Mammoth, Southwark Playhouse in London, MCC Theater); and The Moors (Yale Rep, The Playwrights Realm). Jen is a member of New Dramatists, a three-time MacDowell fellow, recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award, the Helen Merrill, a Lilly Award, and the 2016-2017 Playwrights of New York Fellowship. Jen is also the author of The Island Dwellers, a collection of interlinked stories published by Random House and longlisted for the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards. Jen's debut novel We Play Ourselves was recently published by Random House, featured in The New York Times, selected by O Magazine as an “LGBTQ Book That Will Change the Literary Landscape,” and by Harper's Bazaar as one of the “20 Best LGBTQ Books of 2021.” Essays have appeared in Vogue, The Paris Review, and LitHub among others. Jen also writes for TV and film.


Rebecca Bradshaw (Director; she/her) has built her career in Boston as a theatre director, producer, educator, casting director, and advocate. She is the new producing artistic director at the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY, after having recently been the associate producer at The Huntington. Directing credits include: The Treasurer (Lyric Stage Company), Photograph 51 (The Nora), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Off the Grid Theatre), Familiar (A.R.T. Institute), Stupid F*cking Bird and Mrs. Warren's Profession (Emerson Stage), Big Love (Brandeis), The Earth Room and Fire on Earth (Fresh Ink Theatre), The Tempest and The Secret in the Wings (Weston Drama Workshop), Speech and Debate (Bad Habit Productions), Oleanna and Red (The Umbrella Center for the Arts), Luna Gale (Greater Boston Stage Company), Bad Jews (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Fufu & Oreos and not Jenny (Bridge Rep of Boston), among others. She is a part of the affiliate faculty of Emerson College teaching directing and producing, and has taught casting seminars at Harvard University, Suffolk University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Lesley University, and Boston Conservatory. She is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union and a board member of StageSource. rebeccalynnbradshaw.com


WITCH PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR


WHEN

 October 15 — November 14, 2021

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.

Running time: 90 minutes with no intermission 
Press Opening: Wednesday, October 20 at 7pm; RSVP online

WHERE

 The Huntington / Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston 

TICKETS

 Tickets to in-person performances and to a digital recording of the performance start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

Select discounts apply:

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

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

The Huntington is committed to providing safe and healthy venues for our audiences, artists, staff, and community. All patrons must present either proof of vaccination or negative COVID test in order to enter the theatre, and masks are required to be worn throughout the theatre. More information can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/covid.  

Our specific policies and protocols are evolving and subject to change, and will be communicated clearly to ticket holders in advance of their performance. Anyone not complying with safety protocols will not be admitted. The Huntington encourages any patrons who feel ill, or test positive for COVID-19, to please refrain from coming to the theatre, and to contact tickets@huntingtontheatre.org to exchange their tickets into another performance or to a digital option.


DIGITAL INSURANCE

If patrons ever feel as if they would rather not see Witch in person – for any reason – they can easily exchange their tickets into a specially recorded version of this play. OR, they can purchase pay-what-you-wish tickets to the digital version of Witch in advance.

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR WITCH

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

 

  • ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, October 29 at 8pm
    The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
  • OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, November 2 at 7:30pm
    The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
  • AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, November 13 at 2pm
    The Huntington 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.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: 

Any members of the media who are interested in speaking with the artists of Witch or attending or getting footage of The Huntington’s return to live, in-person performances, please contact Temple Gill, Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, tgill@huntingtontheatre.org or 617-273-1560. 

Press night for critics is Wednesday, October 20 at 7pm, and media tickets to any performance can be requested online.


ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON


Celebrating its 40th season, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Maso, The Huntington is currently conducting a transformational renovation of the historic Huntington Theatre, a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, which will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

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