Common Ground Revisited
May 31 - July 3, 2022
The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic Comes to Powerful Theatrical Life
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
The Huntington Calderwood/BCA, 527 Tremont St.
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Approximate run time: Two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.
Content Warning: Common Ground Revisited contains racial slurs.
This riveting and intricately woven world premiere play brings Boston’s history to life in the 1960s and 70s, 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 are more segregated in 2021 than they were in 1974. Common Ground Revisited is inspired by Anthony Lukas’ landmark Pulitzer Prize winning book, which The New York Times praises as an “epic of American city life.” Developed with ArtsEmerson, this unique work comes from Obie Award winners Melia Bensussen and Kirsten Greenidge, reteaming for the first time since their acclaimed Huntington production of Luck of the Irish.
Originally commissioned and developed with ArtsEmerson.
Photo: Stan Grossfeld, Courtesy of The Boston Globe
Masked Matinees & Masks-Encouraged Evenings
In recognition of fluctuating trends in COVID transmission and varying levels of comfort among our patrons, The Huntington is continuing to offer two different masking experiences for The Art of Burning.
“Masked Matinees” – Masks are required inside the theater unless actively eating/drinking concessions. Masks remain optional in the restrooms and lobbies.
Matinees were chosen in order to offer multiple masked-experiences per week, some weekdays and some weekends.
Masks-Encouraged Evenings – Masks are encouraged but not required.
Anyone who feels uncomfortable can ask the House Manager about alternative options which may include:
• a better quality mask
• a new seat further distanced from other patrons
• re-scheduling for a different performance, such as a “masked matinee”
• a shift to the at-home Digital Streaming option.
Any patron interested in attending a different performance will be able to exchange their tickets by contacting our ticketing services staff.
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY COVID SYMPTOMS, STAY HOME.
Tickets for most Huntington productions through June 2023 come with digital insurance, and any ticketholders who would rather not see a performance in person for any reason can easily exchange their in-person tickets for a home viewing opportunity of a specially recorded version of the play, if available. Digital Insurance is currently available for The Art of Burning, K-I-S-S-I-N-G and Joy & Pandemic.
These COVID policies will be in place through February 13, 2023, and we will continue to evaluate and update these policies as the situation evolves. For the most up-to-date information on our health and safety policies and season shows, please visit this page. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“PROVOCATIVE AND POWERFUL! An essential dip into Boston’s past that makes one consider how much the city has changed and how much it has remained the same.” – WBUR
“Common Ground Revisited offers a sharp, clear-eyed perspective of a challenging part of Boston’s history and in doing so gives insight into the city’s present problems.” – THEATRE MIRROR
“It’s not often that a play dives this deep into a city’s history, and even rarer that one sets out to foster the kind of dialogue that could — should — help that city better understand itself.” – THE BOSTON GLOBE
Cast and Crew
Co-Conceiver and Adapter
Kirsten Greenidge, she/her, is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow from 2007-2009 and the author of Our Daughters, Like Pillars, Milk Like Sugar and Luck of the Irish (The Huntington), as well as The View from Here (commission from The Huntington’s Education Department).
Marianna Bassham The Huntington: Sweat, Common Ground Revisited, Romeo and Juliet, Yerma, I Was Most Alive with You, Becoming Cuba, Our Town, and The Luck of the Irish. SpeakEasy Stage: People Places and Things, Small Mouth Sounds, Hand to God, Admissions, a Future Perfect, In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), Reckless, and Blackbird.
Kadahj Bennett Huntington: Common Ground Revisited, Dream Boston, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Recent local credits include People, Places & Things, Pass Over (SpeakEasy Stage), Hype Man (Company One/ART), The Charles Lennox Experience (New Rep), Isolated Incidents (Broadway Podcast Network), and This Place Displaced (Actors Theater Boston). He is an Elliot Norton Award winner and a WBUR ARTery 25 Changemaker.
Elle Borders is a Boston based Actress, Voiceover Artist, Writer and Educator. Recent credits: Genesis in The Light (WAM Theatre-Special Presentation), Mr. Joy (Kitchen Theatre CompanySpecial Presentation); We All Fall Down (Huntington Theatre Company).
Amanda Collins Regional Theater: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Merrimack Rep); The Thanksgiving Play (Lyric Stage); Old Money (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.); The 39 Steps, To Kill A Mockingbird, Out of Sterno, This is Our Youth (Gloucester Stage)
Lyndsay Allyn Cox
Lyndsay Allyn Cox
Lyndsay Allyn Cox The Huntington (acting): Common Ground Revisited; Our Daughters, Like Pillars; Witch. Regional (directing): Chicken and Biscuits (Front Porch Arts Collective); Tiny Beautiful Things (Gloucester Stage); Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (The Nora Theatre Company). Regional (acting): Fairview, Men on Boats (SpeakEasy Stage); Fabulation (or the Re-Education of Undine), Barbecue, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lyric Stage Company); Bright Half Life (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); The Three Musketeers (Greater Boston Stage Company); Winter People (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Caroline, Or Change (Moonbox Productions); The Overwhelming, Leftovers (Company One).
Michael Kaye The Huntington: Common Ground Revisited, Dead End, and Two Lives. Boston area credits include: Admissions, Mothers and Sons, and Clybourne Park (SpeakEasy Stage); Ears on a Beatle and Book of Days (Lyric Stage); Good, Broken Glass, Opus, Amadeus, Straight White Men, Lonely Planet, The Elephant Man, and Silence (New Rep Theatre); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors’ Shakespeare Project).
Shannon Lamb (she/her) made her Huntington debut in Common Ground Revisited. Selected theatre credits: Letters to Kamala (WAM), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (UMASS Theater), It Happened in Little Rock, Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Temptation in Pendemoniun (Cherry Lane Theatre), NYC (world premiere); Building The Wall at Academy of Music (rolling world premiere); Jar the Floor, Gee’s Bend, Mary Poppins, and The Full Monty at Arkansas Repertory Theatre; Smokey Joe’s Café, Little Shop of Horrors, and Annie at Murray’s Dinner Playhouse.
James Ricardo Milord
James Ricardo Milord
James Ricardo Milord is a Boston native and Haitian American actor. He returns to The Huntington in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone after recently appearing in Common Ground Revisited. Other recent credits include Paradise Blue (Gloucester Stage) and the premiere of Young Nerds of Color (Central Square Theater). Other credits include Pipeline (WAM, Front Porch, & Central Square Theater), A Christmas Carol (Underground Railway), The Handmaid’s Tale (Boston Lyric Opera), The Agitators and Cyrano (Gloucester Stage), Anna Christie and Barbecue (Lyric Stage), Akeelah and the Bee (Wheelock Family Theatre), and The Good Negro, Splendor, and The Brothers Size Trilogy (Company One).
Sara BrownThe Huntington: Common Ground Revisited. Regional: Bluebeard’s Castle / Four Songs (Boston Lyric Opera); The Day (Jacob’s Pillow); Hagoromo (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Fellow Travelers, La Rondine (Minnesota Opera); World of Wires (The Kitchen in NYC and Festival d’Automne in Paris); Prince of Providence (Trinity Repertory); Der Freischütz (Heartbeat Opera); The Mother of Us All (Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Rasean Davonté Johnson
Rasean Davonté Johnson
Rasean Davonté Johnson is a Chicago-based video artist and theatrical designer. New York: The March to Liberation (New York Philharmonic), Little Rock (The Sheen Center), Yemandja (The Office Performing Arts + Theatre)
J. Jared Janas
Wig, Hair, and Makeup Designer
J. Jared Janas
J. Jared Janas The Huntington: Common Ground Revisited, The Bluest Eye, Indecent, and Man in the Ring. Broadway: Ohio State Murders, & Juliet, Kimberly Akimbo, Topdog/Underdog, How I Learned to Drive, American Buffalo, Jagged Little Pill, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, The Visit, The Real Thing, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Motown, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and All about Me.
Neema Avashia, she/her, is a Civics teacher in Boston Public Schools, where she has worked since 2003. She was recognized as the city-wide Educator of the Year in 2013. As an Asian American teacher and writer, Neema has published several pieces focused on race, class, and inequities in education.
Emily F. McMullen
Production Stage Manager
Emily F. McMullen
Emily F. McMullen has stage managed over 30 shows over the past nine seasons at The Huntington, including The Lehman Trilogy, Clyde’s, The Art of Burning, CommonGround Revisited, Hurricane Diane, Sweat, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Indecent, Romeo and Juliet, A Doll’s House, Part 2, Man in the Ring, The Niceties, TopGirls, Bad Dates, Tartuffe, and Merrily We Roll Along.
Kevin Schlagle has worked on over 40 productions in 14 seasons with The Huntington including Prayer for the Frech Republic, Joy and Pandemic, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, Witch, The Purists, Yerma, Merrily We Roll Along, Ripcord, Topdog/Underdog, Sunday in the Park with George, Milk Like Sugar, A Confederacy of Dunces, A Little Night Music, Smart People, Our Town, and Prelude to a Kiss.
Production Assistants: Jamie Carty, Lucas Bryce Dixon, Kendyl Trott
Assistant Set Designer: Jeffrey Petersen
Carpenters: Rachael Hasse, Kalika Reece, Harvey Sugiuchi, Brian Winsor
Stitcher: Brittany Meehan
First Costumer: Emily Keebler
Wardrobe Run Crew: Melissa Pierre Louis
Wardrobe Swing: Jennie Fuchs
Lighting Programmer: Maddie Hanley
Electricians: Jordan Barnett, Dean Covert, Violet Gayzagian, Sara Hutchins, Angela Mantel, Jonathan Rooney, Ryan Shepard, Cindy Wade
Audio Run Crew/A2: Lexie Lankiewicz Audio Crew Swings: Julie Beaulieu, Jessica Hawkins Program Book Designer: Morgan Barba
Special thanks to the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.