Huntington Theatre Company

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The Calderwood Pavilion on Tremont Street.

The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and the recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington brings together world-class theatre artists from Boston, Broadway, and beyond and the most promising new talent to create eclectic seasons of exciting new works and classics made current. By also mentoring playwrights in the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program, educating young people in theatre, and providing Boston-based companies with discounted audience services and facilities, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form.[1]

History[edit]

The Huntington was founded in 1982 by Boston University due to the vision and leadership of President John Silber and Vice President Gerald Gross, and was separately incorporated as an independent non-profit in 1986. Its two prior artistic leaders were Peter Altman (1982 – 2000) and Nicholas Martin (2000 – 2008). Michael Maso has led the Huntington’s administrative and financial operations since 1982 as the Managing Director, producing more than 180 plays in partnership with three artistic directors and leading the Huntington’s ten-year drive to build the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, which opened in September 2004.[2]

The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts[edit]

The Huntington Theatre Company built and operates the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 527 Tremont Street in Boston's Historic South End, which provides first-class facilities and audience services at subsidized rates to dozens of Boston’s most exciting small and mid-sized theatre companies.It houses the 360 seat Virginia Wimberly Theatre, the Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre, Carol G. Deane Hall, and Hall A.[3]

The Huntington also operates BostonTheatreScene.com where tickets are sold for productions at the Boston University Theatre, the BCA Theatres on the Plaza, and Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.[4]

Notable Productions[edit]

The Huntington has transferred 16 productions to New York, including two in 2012: the Broadway premiere of Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly and the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, named a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist. The Huntington champions new play development and the local theatre community through its operation of the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, which the Huntington built in 2004.[5]

August Wilson had a unique relationship with the Huntington, as eight of his plays were produced here before they went on to New York (7 to Broadway, and one Off Broadway). The Huntington's special relationship with August Wilson and his work began in 1986 with a production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Wilson's third play. For 25 years, the Huntington served as an artistic home to Wilson, developing and premiering seven of the ten plays of his Century Cycle during his life and producing two after his death. In 2012, the Huntington completed the cycle with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. [6]

In the 2010-2011 season, they featured "The Shirley, VT Plays" Festival, with 3 plays written by Annie Baker being put on at the same time in three different theatres; Circle Mirror Transformation (Huntington), Body Awareness (SpeakEasy), and Aliens (Company One).[7]

In 2011, The Huntington teamed up with Mary Zimmerman to produce a knockout production of Candide. Zimmerman will return in the 2013-2014 season to direct the world premiere adaptation of The Jungle Book in association with Chicago's Goodman Theatre.[8]

New Work[edit]

A national leader in the development of new plays, the Huntington has produced more than 100 New England, American, or world premieres to date. Its nationally renowned education and community programs serve 30,000 young people and underserved audiences each year.

HPF[edit]

The Huntington Playwriting Fellows (HPF) program creates relationships between a local community of writers and a nationally prominent producing theatre, forges those bonds through authentic conversation and artistic collaboration, and encourages dialogue between local artists. Since 2003, the HPF program has invited writers to participate in two-year residencies, during which playwrights receive a modest honorarium, join in a biweekly writers’ collective with artistic staff, attend Huntington productions and events, and are eligible for readings and support through the Breaking Ground reading series. The primary focus of the program is creating relationships with writers at all stages of their careers, from emerging talent to established professionals. The program provides a framework for an in-depth, two-year artistic conversation and a long-term professional relationship. Recently, the Huntington began convening Fellows, past and present, at an annual meeting to solicit ideas on how to improve and expand the program, and the Summer Workshop launched in July 2012. Huntington productions of plays by Fellows include The Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge, Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond, The Atheist and Brendan by Ronan Noone, and Psyched and the upcoming “M” by Ryan Landry.[9]

Breaking Ground[edit]

Breaking Ground is the Huntington Theatre Company's reading series, a vital part of our new play development program. This series brings attention to the work of local playwrights and presents national writers into partnership with the Huntington. Over the last seven years, Breaking Ground plays have gone on to appear at the Huntington as well as theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally.[10]

Awards[edit]

Since its opening in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has been nominated for over 240 awards. The Huntington has won 3 Drama Desk Awards, 39 Elliot Norton Awards, 41 IRNE Awards, and 3 Tony Awards. The Huntington Theatre Company received the 2013 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre.[11]

Education[edit]

One of the most extensive and admired programs in the country, the Huntington’s Education Department serves more than 10,000 students, teachers, and community organizations each year with student matinees, state-wide Poetry Out Loud and the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Our collaborators include Boston Public Schools, Codman Academy Charter Public School, Children’s Services of Roxbury, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and many community organizations. The Huntington Theatre Company has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate, and City of Boston’s City Council. In 2009, Codman Academy was awarded the Commonwealth Award for our collaboration.[12]

Know the Law[edit]

Know the Law! was developed by the Huntington Theatre Company in 1997 to use peer performance to teach at-risk youth about Massachusetts law as a means of reducing youth crime and violence. Today Know the Law! is produced in collaboration with Youth and Police in Partnership (YPP), a community-based program of Children's Services of Roxbury that seeks to improve relationships between young people and the police. YPP Peer Leaders, ages 14–17 from some of Boston’s most challenged inner city neighborhoods, form our Know the Law! troupe, studying acting techniques and rehearsing an original production, written by Naheem Garcia and Amanda Pyne, that dramatizes true-to-life choices that young people face relating to weapon and drug possession, fighting, self-defense, and interacting with the police. Know the Law! tours to schools, community centers, and other public venues, and is followed by a post-show discussion between the peer leaders and the audiences that builds upon the issues raised in the play.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]