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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.

View the digital program booklet

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Approximate run time: Two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.

Content Warning: Common Ground Revisited contains racial slurs

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Show Synopsis:

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

Listen to the companion podcast - Common Ground: In Perspective

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.



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

“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

Melia Bensussen

Co-Conceiver and Director

Kirsten Greenidge

Co-Conceiver and Adapter

Marianna Bassham


Kadahj Bennett


Elle Borders



Shanaé Burch


Kelly Chick


Amanda Collins


Lyndsay Allyn Cox



Michael Kaye


Shannon Lamb


Karen MacDonald


James Ricardo Milord


Maurice Emmanuel Parent


Omar Robinson


Nick Sulfaro


Sara Brown

Set Designer

An-lin Dauber

Costume Designer

Brian J. Lilienthal

Lighting Design

Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca

Sound Designer

Rasean Davonté Johnson

Projection Design

J. Jared Janas

Wig, Hair, and Makeup Designer

Neema Avashia


Emily F. McMullen

Production Stage Manager

Kevin Schlagle

Stage Manager

Des Bennett

Assistant Director

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.