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.

Her appearances include A Doll's House (2017), Awake and Sing! (2014), Luck of the Irish (2011), and Circle Mirror Transformation (2010) — among others — at the Huntington. Other directing credits include work with Shakespeare and Company, Trinity Rep, Sleeping Weazel, Actors' Shakespeare Project, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, People's Light and Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination for best direction), and many others.  She has received two directing awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, including their top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Her edition of Langston Hughes’ translation of Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group, and she is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak by Rebecca Daniels, in Nancy Taylor's Women Direct Shakespeare, and in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. Ms. Bensussen is chair of the performing arts department at Emerson College, 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.

(As of October 2018)



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 is the playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company. Mala (2018) won the 2017 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play, and recently ran at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Upcoming projects include a translation of Yerma (Federico García Lorca) for the American Conservatory Theater. Her award-winning play Sonia Flew (2004) (Elliot Norton Award, IRNE Award) had its world premiere as the Huntington’s inaugural production in the Wimberly Theatre, and has since been produced all over the country, including at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Contemporary American Theater Festival, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and many others. Other plays include Becoming Cuba (2014) (Huntington Theatre Company), Back the Night (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Orchids to Octopi (Central Square Theater, commissioned by the National Institutes of Health for the Darwin bicentennial), Gary (Steppenwolf First Look Repertory and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse), Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, Coconut Grove Playhouse), and multiple short plays. Ms. Lopez is among the first cohort of playwrights to receive a three-year residency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and she was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by The Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American theatre.” She has served as a panel member for the City of Boston, the National Education Association, and the Cambridge Arts Panel, and she has enjoyed residencies with Sundance, the Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, and Harvard University. Ms. Lopez is also an actress and has appeared in regional theatre (Huntington Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Guthrie Theater and Portland Stage), film, and radio. She teaches theatre studies at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University. Ms. Lopez was mentioned by President Obama in his joint address to the Cuban and American people, and Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 29, 2016 “Melinda Lopez Day” in the City of Boston. She is active in the local Cuban American community and works to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Cuba. For more information, visit and


(As of February 2018)


Past Breaking Ground Readings

Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
Main: 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115 | 617 266 7900 |

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