Breaking Ground 2008 - 2009

Unknown Soldier

Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Book and lyrics by Daniel Goldstein
Directed by Will Frears
Thursday, April 3 at 7:30pm

This intimate musical centers on the bittersweet tale of two WWII-era lovers separated by time and space. When a modern-era woman discovers their letters, the past becomes present as she enlists the help of a university researcher, and their correspondence begins to mirror that of previous generations. Unknown Soldier is the result of a commission from the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.

Daniel Goldstein directed God Of Carnage (2012), Falsettos (2005), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2006), and The Cry of the Reed (2008) for the Huntington, and the recent revival of Godspell on Broadway. Regional credits include Snapshots and Hello, Dolly! (Goodspeed Musicals), Tamar of the River (Prospect Theater Company), Gekido (New National Theater: Tokyo), Anna Christie (The Old Globe), and Artificial Fellow Traveler with Ethan Sandler. As a writer, his musical Unknown Soldier (written with Michael Friedman for a Huntington Theatre Company Calderwood Commission) was developed by the O'Neill Musical Theater Conference. Other projects include The Ride (NYC commercial), Golden Boy (The Julliard School), True West (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Miss Margarida's Way (Bay Street Theatre, with Julie Halston), Lower Ninth (The Flea Theater and SPF), and the Off Broadway commercial production of the hit Fringe Festival musical Walmartopia. He served as the associate director for All Shook Up! and Fully Committed and the resident director for the first national tour of Mamma Mia! He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

(As of Febraury 2012)

Sense of an Ending

by Ken Urban
Directed by Evan Cabnet
Friday, April 4, 8:00pm

An African-American journalist arrives in Rwanda to uncover dark truths about an act of genocide. The trip becomes something more troubling, however, when he finds he may be part of the story. After he meets a survivor, the journalist struggles to understand the nature of man's inhumanity, and to find the path that returns us to the best versions of ourselves.

Ken Urban is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow and his plays include A Guide for the Homesick (2017), Nibbler, Sense of an Ending, The Correspondent, A Future Perfect, The Awake, and The Happy Sad. His plays have been produced at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Amoralists Theatre Company, 59E59 Theaters, TheSummer Play Festival at The Public Theater/NYSF, Theatre503 (London), and SpeakEasy Stage Company. His awards include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. Mr. Urban is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a corewriter at the Playwrights’ Center. He wrote the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation of The Happy Sad, and his television pilot “The Art of Listening”was optioned by ITV. His upcoming projects include The Remains at StudioTheatre in May 2018. His band Occurrence released The Past Will Last Forever in 2016 and is completing a new album. This fall, he was named a senior lecturer of theatre arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he runs the playwriting program.


(As of October 2018)

Thomas Repair

by Mat Smart
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Saturday, April 5, 2:00pm

A family crisis ensues when a mysterious girl appears in Jacob Thomas' quirky repair shop. She's blue — literally and figuratively — and as she attempts to "come clean," the relationships around her are thrown into chaos. Things left unsaid begin to fester and rot, and she proves she might be the only one who knows how to fix what's long been broken. Thomas Repair is the result of a commission from the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.

Melia Bensussen previously directed We All Fall Down (2020), 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 February 2020)



by Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed by Amanda Charlton
Saturday, April 5, 8:00pm

In this family serio-comedy, the sons of an African-American family are torn between familial obligations and the dreams they've established for themselves. With dashed hopes for higher education, an ailing patriarch who sees his dead wife, and the mounting expenses of a new baby, the boys help each other face the major decisions of their lives. Together they just may discover a new definition of what it means to be a family.


Caroline in Jersey

by Melinda Lopez
Directed by M. Bevin O'Gara
Sunday, April 6, 7:00pm

Things aren't looking so great for Caroline. Her husband has left her for a younger woman, she's about to be thrown out of her sublet in New Jersey, her landlady thinks she's crazy... and the spirit of Arthur Miller's accountant lives in her refrigerator. Thrown into this mystery, Caroline must discover the truth about her haunting (and herself) to help to heal a broken family across two planes of existence. Melinda Lopez is a 2003-2005 Huntington Playwriting Fellow; Caroline in Jersey is the result of a commission from South Coast Repertory Theatre.

Melinda Lopez has appeared at the Huntington numerous times as an actress including in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (2019), Yerma (2019),and Mala (2018) (which she also wrote) and as Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town. She was playwright-in-residence at the Huntington from 2013-2019. The Huntington also produced her plays Becoming Cuba (2014) (also at North Coast Repertory Theatre) and Sonia Flew (2004) also at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theatre, among others. Her play Mala (2018) (also produced at ArtsEmerson and Guthrie Theatre) earned the 2017 Elliot Norton Award of Best New Play and an Arts Impulse Award for Best Solo Performance. It is available on Audible. Ms. Lopez is a 2019 Mass Cultural Council Fellow in dramatic writing and is the recipient of the 2019 Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence.

(As of October 2019)


Past Breaking Ground Readings

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