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The Bluebeard Project

Co-written by Masha Obolensky & Melia Bensussen
Directed by Melia Bensussen

The Bluebeard Project reimagines Bluebeard, a classic fairy tale, in a contemporary landscape. A young woman who is eager to enter the music scene struggles to assert herself separate from the relationship she has with her photographer mother, with whom she is deeply and destructively entwined. The play tracks the inevitability of the fairy tale as the young woman and her mother both fall into unforeseen darkness and struggle to survive and overcome.

Masha Obolensky was a Huntington Playwriting Fellow in 2011-2012. She was a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in 2011 and received the Pen New England Discovery Award in 2010. Other awards include the Kennedy Center Michael Kanin Award (2010, Girls Play), a WordBridge fellowship (2010, The Girl Problem), the Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award (2006), and the Robert Pinsky Global Playwriting Fellowship (2010). Her play Not Enough Air was produced by Chicago's Timeline Theatre and was nominated for 5 Joseph Jefferson Equity Awards including Best New Play and Best Production. Not Enough Air was also produced by the Nora Theatre in Cambridge (directed by Melia Bensussen) and was listed in The Boston Globe's "10 Best of 2010." Her most recent play Marvelous Fruit was a PlayPenn Conference finalist (2013), a Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival semi-finalist (2013), and a Source Festival DC finalist. Her plays have also been produced by the Boston Theatre Marathon, the Samuel French OOB Play Festival, ArtsEmerson, HERE Arts Center, Access Theatre, and Source Festival DC. She has an MFA in playwriting from Boston University.

(As of October 2018)

Melia Bensussen previously directed Yerma (2019), 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 Company, Sleeping Weazel, Actors' Shakespeare Project, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and many others. She has received two directing awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, including their top honor, the Statue Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Ms. Bensussen’s edition of Langston Hughes' translation of Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group, and she is featured in Rebecca Daniels’ Women Stage Directors Speak, Nancy Taylor's Women Direct Shakespeare, and in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. An Obie Award-winning director, 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. A longtime Emerson College faculty member, Ms. Bensussen is the incoming artistic director of Hartford Stage.

(As of July 2019)

In 2012, the Huntington launched the Summer Workshop, a two-week new work retreat culminating in public readings of the plays in development. The Workshop is modeled after the Sundance Theatre Lab and is an extension of the Huntington’s Playwriting Fellows program and Breaking Ground Reading Series. Huntington Director of New Work Lisa Timmel and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland support the writers during the intensive, artist-driven development process, and the festival is produced by Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O’Gara.

Artists

  • Kathleen McNennyCameron
  • Sarah CraneChorus
  • Amelia WorkmanChorus
  • Eva BondReader / Production Assistant
  • Rebecca BradshawDramaturg
  • Christine HamelDialect Consultant

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