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The Huntington Wants the Houses Full

An all-American season, with a big discount available

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The new season of the Huntington Theatre Company comprises entirely plays by American writers. Image courtesy of the Huntington Theatre Company

For the first time in its 28-year history, the Huntington Theatre Company, Boston University’s theater-in-residence, has created a season comprised entirely of plays by American writers.

“Each production offers a singular point of view about the American experience,” says artistic director Peter DuBois. “I’m very excited by the diverse perspectives these artists bring.”

The theater also is offering another popular Americana appeal to its audiences: a big discount on the 2009–2010 season exclusively to members of the BU community.

New subscribers who attend four or more shows will pay only $25 a ticket, a savings of up to 65 percent off the regular price.

Founded in 1982, the Huntington is Boston’s largest theater company and has served as a launching pad for award-winning playwrights such as Tom Stoppard, Melinda Lopez (GRS’00), and Ronan Noone (GRS’01).

The new season kicks off with a play by August Wilson (Hon.’96), Fences, winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for best play. Fences is the sixth chapter in Wilson’s acclaimed Pittsburgh Cycle, a 10-play series that chronicles the lives of African-Americans throughout 20th century.

Set in 1957, Fences examines the struggle for racial equality through the eyes of Troy Maxson, a trash collector and former Negro Leagues baseball hero, who believes racism crippled his career. Convinced that his son Cory, a talented football player, will encounter similar prejudice, Troy forbids Cory from accepting a college scholarship.

Fences is directed by Wilson’s longtime friend and collaborator Kenny Leon, who has directed all 10 of the Pittsburgh Cycle plays.

Fences opens at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., on September 11 and runs through October 11.

Next up is A Long and Winding Road, a musical memoir by Grammy Award winner Maureen McGovern. McGovern returns to her folk roots as she reprises a repertoire of classics by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, James Taylor, the Beatles, Jimmy Webb, and Carole King. The songs are interspersed with McGovern’s recollections: the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Kent State University shootings, the AIDS crisis, and the September 11 attacks.

Directed by Philip Himberg, A Long and Winding Road opens at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston, on October 9 and runs through November 15.

Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration ushers in the holiday season. The play’s 14 cast members take on 90 roles, including Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant, while period-appropriate holiday songs, such as “Silent Night” and “O Christmas Tree,” accompany lesser known marches, hymns, and spirituals.

Directed by Jessica Thebus, A Civil War Christmas opens at the BU Theatre on November 13 and runs through December 13.

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons delves into the ruin of a seemingly idyllic all-American family. Joe Keller is a retired manufacturer of airplane parts whose faulty products resulted in the death of 20 World War II servicemen. Joe struggles to keep his shameful secret from tearing apart his family. All My Sons catapulted Miller into the ranks of America’s greatest playwrights.

Director David Esbjornson collaborated with Miller on two previous productions, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan and Resurrection Blues. All My Sons opens at the BU Theatre on January 8 and runs through February 7.

Set among African-American aristocracy, Stick Fly, by Lydia Diamond, a College of Fine Arts assistant professor, is an examination of intraracial prejudice and interracial hatred. Sparks ignite when brothers Flip and Kent LeVay bring their girlfriends — one white, one black — to the family’s vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Directed by Kenny Leon, Stick Fly opens at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion on February 19 and runs through March 27.

Becky Shaw is a comedy of bad manners, love, sex, and ethics. Written by Obie Award–winner Gina Gionfriddo, it begins with a blind date gone awry and evolves into a tale of lies, loyalty, and snobbery.

The play, directed by Peter DuBois, opened in New York earlier this year. Becky Shaw arrives at the BU Theatre on March 3 and runs through April 4.

The season culminates with Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss, a modern-day fairy tale; the storybook wedding of Peter and Rita turns upside down through the magic of an old man’s kiss. During their honeymoon, Peter realizes that the old man, dying of cancer, is inhabiting Rita’s body. Conversely, Rita now lives in the old man’s body, and hilarity ensues as Peter realizes that he must learn to accept Rita in her new, unattractive shape.

Also directed by Peter Dubois, Prelude to a Kiss opens at the BU Theatre on May 14 and runs through June 13.

The Huntington’s special subscription rate is offered to anyone who provides a BU ID, an alumni card, or a Bostonia magazine mailing address label. The offer is available by phone only. Call 617-266-0800 for more information.

Discounted tickets are available other ways as well: student rush tickets are $15 at the box office two hours before each performance, and for regular tickets, BU community members get $10 off. More information on times and prices can be found here.

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu.

2 Comments

2 Comments on The Huntington Wants the Houses Full

  • Anonymous on 09.08.2009 at 9:37 am

    Sounds fantastic; an exciting season!

  • Daniel on 09.17.2009 at 9:06 am

    If only they had this two years ago

    Great update Vicky on the Huntington House. I only wish this opportunity was offered a couple of years ago so that i could take advantage of it!

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