VIDEO: Designers Talk Creating THE BLUEST EYE At Huntington

In conversation with Regine Vital, The Huntington Manager of Curriculum and Instruction.

By: Feb. 17, 2022
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Watch as the designers discuss The Bluest Eye based on the American classic novel by Toni Morrison. Written by Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly on Broadway and The Huntington, Smart People at The Huntington), the play reimagines Morrison's haunting and powerful first book for the stage. The production begins January 28 and has been extended to March 13, 2022 at The Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, with digital access to the filmed performance available through March 27, 2022.

Directed by Awoye Timpo (In Old Age at New York Theatre Workshop, Good Grief at the Vineyard Theatre), The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a young Black girl who believes everything in her world would be made wonderful if only she had blue eyes.

Inspired by the storytelling circles of Black rituals, audiences will be seated in a circle surrounding the actors, and the experience will create a space for provocation, remembrance, and healing. The Wimberly Theatre stage will extend into the house beyond the traditional proscenium, and part of the audience will be seated on all sides (a seating map can be found here.)

"Coming together in a circle to tell a story is essential to our humanity. That's what we're inviting the community into with The Bluest Eye," said Timpo.

Published in 1970, The Bluest Eye was Morrison's first novel, and it quickly charted a new path in American literature by placing young Black girls at its center. Set in the author's birthplace of Lorain, Ohio in the 1940s, Morrison said she first wrote the story because it was something she wanted to read. She would later go on to become the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, writing 11 novels as well as children's books. Prior to Morrison's death in 2019, she gave her blessing to playwright Lydia R. Diamond, who was commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago to adapt The Bluest Eye in 2005.

The creative team for The Bluest Eye includes set design by Emmy Award winner Jason Ardizzone-West ("Jesus Christ Superstar - Live" on NBC, "Adele: Live in NYC" on NBC; Blue Man Group: Speechless national tour), costume design by Lortel Award winner Dede Ayite (A Soldier's Play, Slave Play, and American Son on Broadway) and Rodrigo Muñoz, lighting design by Adam Honoré (Skeleton Crew at The Huntington, Chicken & Biscuits on Broadway, Ain't No Mo' at The Public Theater, Carmen Jones at Classic Stage Company), sound design by Aubrey Dube, composition by Grammy Award winner Justin Ellington (recording artists Usher, Nicki Minaj, Andre 3000; Other Desert Cities on Broadway, Pass Over at Lincoln Center Theater), hair, wig, and makeup design by J. Jared Janas, music direction by David Freeman Coleman, choreography by Kurt Douglas and intimacy coordination by Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Lucas Bryce Dixon.

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