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Huntington Presents COMMON GROUND REVISITED Beginning Next Week

The production runs from May 27 – June 26, 2022 at The Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion.

Huntington Presents COMMON GROUND REVISITED Beginning Next Week

The Huntington announces the world premiere of Common Ground Revisited, a new play co-conceived by Obie Award-winning director Melia Bensussen and Obie Award-winning playwright and Huntington Playwriting Fellow Kirsten Greenidge (Our Daughters, Like Pillars; Luck of the Irish; and Milk Like Sugar at The Huntington). The production runs from May 27 - June 26, 2022 at The Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, with digital access to the filmed performance available until July 10, 2022.

Having worked together on Luck of the Irish at The Huntington, playwright Greenidge and director Bensussen reunite to bring Boston's history to life on stage with an intricately woven theatrical piece based in part on, and inspired by, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner for non-fiction, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families by J. Anthony Lukas.

Lukas' iconic book follows three Boston families through the 1970s - the Divers in the South End, the Twymons in Roxbury, and the McGoffs in Charlestown - as they experience Boston's attempt at school desegregation through court-mandated busing. Greenidge's theatrical adaptation uses the book as a jumping off point to explore Boston's history, as well as issues of race and class surrounding the integration of Boston Public Schools, and the impact of the past on the present day. Developed with ArtsEmerson, Greenidge and Bensussen first began collaborating on the play while teaching a course at Emerson College in 2011.

"The book Common Ground remains incredibly relevant," says Greenidge, "and really speaks to where we are today in terms of our Boston public school system, the neighborhoods we inhabit, and how we interact - the issues are complicated and very specific. I think sometimes we can lose sight of what came before, and reexamining those narratives is crucial to how we live our lives in this region."

"Common Ground Revisited is a theatrical quilt capturing different moments of Boston's past, seen through a variety of perspectives," says Bensussen. "We hope to start conversations, and with our storytelling invite our audiences to think about those challenging times, and their impact on our contemporary assumptions and narratives."

The cast of Common Ground Revisited features an ensemble of 12 actors, each of whom are from Greater Boston or who have strong Boston ties. The cast members have played a vital role in the development of the piece through workshops and readings, and a number of their personal stories and experiences have been incorporated into the script. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Marianna Bassham (Lisa McGoff/Ensemble; she/her) - Hurricane Diane, Sweat, Luck of the Irish and many more at The Huntington; the films Don't Look Up and Moonrise Kingdom, and "Olive Kittridge" on HBO

  • Kadahj Bennett (Richard Twymon/Ensemble; he/him) - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at The Huntington; People, Places, and Things and Pass Over at SpeakEasy Stage

  • Elle Borders (Cassandra Twymon/Ensemble; she/her) - We All Fall Down at The Huntington, Black Odyssey Boston at The Front Porch Arts Collective/Central Square Theater

  • Matthew Bretschneider (Ensemble; he/him) - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe, Dead End at The Huntington

  • Shanaé Burch (Rachel Twymon Jr/Ensemble; she/her) - Milk Like Sugar and The View from Here at The Huntington

  • Amanda Collins (Alice McGoff/Ensemble; she/her) - Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Merrimack Rep); The Thanksgiving Play (Lyric Stage); Old Money (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.)

  • Stacy Fischer (Joan Diver/Ensemble; she/her) - Our Town and A Month in the Country at The Huntington; Photograph 51 at Central Square Theater, The Pink Unicorn at SpeakEasy Stage

  • Michael Kaye (Colin Diver/Ensemble; he/him) - Dead End and Two Lives at The Huntington; Admissions, Mothers and Sons, and Clybourne Park at SpeakEasy Stage

  • Shannon Lamb (Rachel Twymon Sr/Ensemble; she/her) - Letters to Kamala (WAM), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (UMASS Theater), It Happened in Little Rock, Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory Theatre)

  • Karen MacDonald (Ensemble) - Ether Dome, M, Good People, Before I Leave You, Bus Stop, All My Sons, A Civil War Christmas at The Huntington; The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, 73 productions at ART

  • Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Ensemble; he/him) - Sweat, Merrily We Roll Along, Skeleton Crew and more at The Huntington, Co-Producing Artistic Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective

  • Omar Robinson (Ensemble; he/him) - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tartuffe, and Romeo and Juliet at The Huntington

The creative team for Common Ground Revisited includes scenic design by Sara Brown (Champion at Boston Lyric Opera), costume design by An-lin Dauber (Paul Swan is Dead and Gone, What You are Now with The Civilians), lighting design by Brian J. Lilienthal (Awake and Sing, Yerma, Quixote Nuevo at The Huntington), sound design by Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (Sweat at The Huntington), projection design by Rasean Davonté Johnson (The March to Liberation at New York Philharmonic), and hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas (Man in the Ring, Indecent at The Huntington, Jagged Little Pill on Broadway). The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.

WHEN

In-person performances: May 27 - June 26, 2022

Select Evenings: Tues. - Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. - Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm

Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm

Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.

Digital: Available June 20 until July 10, 2022

WHERE

The Huntington/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston.

TICKETS

Tickets to in-person performances and to a digital recording of the performance start at $25. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:

online at huntingtontheatre.org

by phone at 617-266-0800; or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston

Select discounts apply:

$10 off: season ticket holders

$30 "35 Below" tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)

$20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR COMMON GROUND REVISITED

Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email access@huntingtontheatre.org, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston. Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.

ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, June 10 at 8:00 pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30pm. The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, June 25 at 2pm. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances. Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/visit/accessibility for information.

Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.

PODCAST: COMMON GROUND: IN PERSPECTIVE

During the past year, director Melia Bensussen and playwright Kirsten Greenidge created two podcast episodes for a series called Common Ground: In Perspective. Powered by The Huntington in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, each episode features a short audio play followed by a conversation with local leaders and scholars to explore the history surrounding busing, school desegregation, education, and opportunity in the city of Boston. The podcast can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/plays-and-events/digital-events/common-ground-in-perspective.

Episode 1: The Mayor

This episode focuses on Mayor Kevin White and his clash with federal authorities over sending national guard troops to enforce busing, and features a panel discussion with Bishop John Borders III, Dr. Karilynn Crockett, and Professor Matthew Delmont, moderated by co-dramaturg Neema Avashia.

Episode 2: The Editor

This episode traces Boston Globe editor Tom Winship's leadership of the paper through the busing era and discusses the role of media in shaping our perceptions, and features a panel discussion with veteran reporter Garry Armstrong and GBH reporter Phillip Martin, moderated by co-dramaturg Neema Avashia.

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS

The Huntington is committed to providing safe and healthy venues for our audiences, artists, staff, and community. All patrons must present either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to enter the theatre, and masks are required to be worn throughout the theatre. More information can be found at huntingtontheatre.org/covid.

Our specific policies and protocols are evolving and subject to change and will be communicated clearly to ticket holders in advance of their performance. Anyone not complying with safety protocols will not be admitted. The Huntington encourages any patrons who feel ill or test positive for COVID-19, to refrain from coming to the theatre, and to contact tickets@huntingtontheatre.org to exchange their tickets into another performance or to a digital option.

DIGITAL INSURANCE

If patrons ever feel as if they would rather not see Common Ground Revisited in person - for any reason - they can easily exchange their tickets into a specially recorded version of this play. OR, they can purchase tickets to the digital version of Common Ground Revisited in advance.

The digital recording of Common Ground Revisited will be available June 20 until July 10, 2022.

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