JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN Acquired by Broadway Licensing & Sets Run The Huntington

This new comedy captures a generation in mid-transformation, running on pop music, optimism, and fury, writing their own coming of age story.

By: Mar. 09, 2023
JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN Acquired by Broadway Licensing & Sets Run The Huntington

Broadway Licensing has acquired "John Proctor Is the Villain" by playwright Kimberly Belflower for live stage performance rights. In conjunction, The Huntington in Boston will include the thought-provoking, funny new play in its 23/24 season.

The universally appealing and impactful play was first commissioned by The Farm Theater in 2017 and workshopped there in 2018 and at Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2019, "John Proctor Is the Villain" was staged at Centre College in 2018, at Furman University and Rollins College in 2019, and professionally at DC's Studio Theatre in 2022.

"We are humbled and thrilled to represent Kimberly's lively and momentous new play," said Sean Cercone, Founder and CEO of Broadway Licensing Group. "As the amateur licensing rights home to Arthur Miller's seminal treasure, 'The Crucible,' including 'John Proctor Is the Villain' into our catalog is a perfect gateway for students in the 21st century to investigate many of the same timeless themes of panic, reputation, and corruption."

At a rural high school in Georgia, a group of lively teens are studying "The Crucible" while navigating young love, sex ed, and a few school scandals. Holding a contemporary lens to the American classic, they begin to question who is really the hero and what is the truth, discovering their own power in the process. Alternately touching and bitingly funny, this new comedy captures a generation in mid-transformation, running on pop music, optimism, and fury, writing their own coming of age story.

No stranger to strong female characters, Belflower's previous work includes "Lost Girls" which won the 2018 Kennedy Center Darrell Ayers National Playwriting Award, "Gondal," "Teen Girl FANtasies," and "The Sky Game." Regarding "'John Proctor Is the Villain" she said, "[It's] my heart and guts in a single play," said Belflower. "I am overjoyed for it to find new life at The Huntington with such tremendous collaborators in director Margot Bordelon and Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco.

"Back in 2017/18, the tidal wave of Me Too made me think about what it would be like to grow up in my hometown-in rural Appalachian Georgia-in that moment in time. What would it be like to be a teenager in rural America, feeling the world shift underneath your feet while you're still figuring out the person you want to be, in a place that's steeped in tradition, in a culture that tries to make teenage girls feel as powerless as possible? How might those young women re-define their lives in real time? The things they're taught? The books they read? The heroes they worship?

"I thought that over time, the play would start to feel less relevant. But if anything, this story has only felt more timely, more urgent as it's developed."

It is this timeliness and sense of urgency that made The Huntington's Artistic Director Loretta Greco jump at the chance to program it in the 23/24 season, her first in Boston. "I read Kimberly's stunning new play and was obsessed!" says Greco. I instantly knew it had to be a part of our conversation at The Huntington. The play lives side by side an examination of 'The Crucible' by young women who are discovering their power and agency and who find their way to hold the classic text and their community to account -- with a profound sense of rage, authenticity, and hope. We're thrilled to see this incredible play become available to those it is centered on and to be a part of this movement!"

Belflower added, "From its inception, 'John Proctor Is the Villain' has been a play for and about young people. It began in 2018 as a commission through The Farm Theater's College Collaboration project, where I developed and workshopped the play in conversation with undergraduate theatre students across the Southeast. After a long road through the pandemic and the beginning of the play's professional life, I am truly thrilled for Broadway Licensing to bring 'John Proctor' full circle, back to schools and colleges, where it belongs."

Interested theatre organizations can contact Broadway Licensing to learn more about requesting the rights to "John Proctor Is the Villain."

Kimberly Belflower

is a playwright and educator originally from a small town in Appalachian Georgia. Her play, "Lost Girl," is published by Samuel French and won the 2018 Kennedy Center Darrell Ayers National Playwriting Award. Her other plays include "John Proctor is the Villain" (2019 Kilroys List), "Gondal," "Teen Girl FANtasies," and "The Sky Game," which have been commissioned, produced, and developed by Ojai Playwrights Conference, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Farm Theater, We the Women Collective, Peppercorn Theatre, Less Than Rent Theatre, Cohen New Works Festival, as well as many colleges and universities across the country. Kimberly has also worked as a writer and narrative lead for Meow Wolf, Santa Fe's celebrated immersive arts company, and is currently a Playwriting Fellow at Emory University. She proudly holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.

ABOUT BROADWAY LICENSING

Broadway Licensing and its family of imprints (Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, and Stage Rights) is the global leader in theatrical licensing and distribution. The iconic works represented epitomize the greatest collection of authors, composers, lyricists, and underlying rights holders across the globe including Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lynn Nottage, Alan Menken, Stephen King, Elvis, the Bee-Gees, and the Beatles.

The Broadway Licensing collection of titles represents an astonishing 36 Tony Award and 48 Pulitzer Prize-winning works. The company leverages its team's expertise in licensing, theatrical production, theatre education, and content creation to diversify, strengthen, and rapidly expand its portfolio into new sectors and markets. Founded in 2017, Broadway Licensing has quickly scaled and, as of 2022, the company represents 8 of the Top 10 most produced plays in professional theatres and 9 of the Top 10 most produced plays in High Schools.

In 2020, Broadway Licensing launched the Emmy® Award-nominated streaming platform Broadway On Demand, offering exclusive theatrical content, interactive events, and original programming projected to reach well over 200 million households by 2023. Additionally, Stageworks Productions, the original live stage content creation arm dedicated to the development of innovative, theatrical intellectual properties has developed several world premiere musicals which have been produced in over 90 countries. In all, the combined force of the Broadway Licensing family of imprints continues to grow, with a singular goal to make everyone in the world a theatre person.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

Celebrating 40 years of outstanding theatre, The Huntington is Boston's theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco, and Managing Director Michael Maso, The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre in fall 2022 after its transformational renovation. A storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.



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