Huntington Theatre's Annual Summer Workshop Readings Set for This Weekend
The Huntington Theatre Company's annual Summer Workshop is underway and will culminate in public readings of four new plays this weekend, July 19 and 20, 2014. The retreat allows selected members of the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program two weeks to participate in an artist-driven intensive, developing new plays. The workshop and public readings will take place in the South End at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston.
- Murmur Rock by MJ Kaufman, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Public reading: Saturday, July 19 at 5pm
- Chatal by Sinan Ünel, directed by Melinda Lopez
Public reading: Saturday, July 19 at 7pm
- The Bluebeard Project by Masha Obolensky and Melia Bensussen, directed by Melia Bensussen
Public reading: Sunday, July 20 at 1:30pm
- Start Down by Eleanor Burgess, directed by Shawn LaCount
Public reading: Sunday July 20 at 4pm
**Please note that readings are open to the public, but not to reviewing members of the press. An RSVP is required to attend.
"Only in its third year, this annual development retreat has quickly become an important cornerstone for our new play activities," says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "Local playwrights participate in all levels of the process - the original design, the annual selection process, and this year, even directing one of the individual workshops. Plays from previous years have gone on to production both by the Huntington and other Boston companies, and I'm excited to see how these plays evolve this summer."
Modeled after the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Summer Workshop is an extension of the Huntington's Playwriting Fellows program and Breaking Ground Reading Series. Huntington staff members Lisa Timmel (Director of New Work) and Charles Haugland (Artistic Programs & Dramaturgy) support the writers in development; dramaturg Amissa Miller is participating in the workshop of MJ Kaufman's Murmur Rock. The festival is produced by Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O'Gara and workshop producing associates Rebecca Bradshaw and Daniel Morris.
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 among 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. The Summer Workshop, which began in 2012, was developed from conversations at convenings with Fellows past and present to solicit ideas about how to improve and expand the program.
In 2009, the Huntington instituted an open application process with submissions solicited each spring from any writer primarily based within commuting distance of Boston. The theatre selects two to four writers whose terms overlap with adjacent cohorts.
Huntington productions of plays by Fellows include Smart People and Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond; Becoming Cuba and Sonia Flew by Melinda Lopez; Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge; Before I Leave You by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro; The Cry of the Reed by Sinan Ünel; Shakespeare's Actresses in America by Rebecca Maggor; Psyched and "M" by Ryan Landry; and The Atheist, Brendan, and the upcoming The Second Girl by Ronan Noone,
More information at huntingtontheatre.org/newwork.