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The Huntington presents Lydia R. Diamond’s ‘Stick Fly’


The Huntington Theatre Company continues its 28th season – a season of American stories – with Stick Fly, Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R Diamond’s smart, moving, and funny portrait of a complex African-American family. Kenny Leon, Tony Award-nominated Broadway director of A Raisin in the Sun returns to the Huntington this season following his much-praised production of August Wilson’s Fences (Sept. – Oct. 2009) before beginning rehearsals as director of the Broadway revival of Fences, starring Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and Tony Award winner Viola Davis in April 2010.  Stick Fly runs from February 19 through March 21, 2010

“The style and ease Lydia Diamond brings to her work is powerful and new,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “We are excited to share this trailblazing play with Boston, the city she calls home. The conversation August Wilson started last century about the African-American experience now continues in the 21st.”

Sparks fly when Kent LeVay brings Taylor, his fiancée, to his family’s luxurious Martha’s Vineyard summer home to meet his parents. Taylor, under the microscope and unaccustomed to the LeVay’s affluent lifestyle, challenges the household dynamic. When Kent’s womanizing older brother arrives with his white girlfriend, long-hidden family secrets are revealed in this funny, moving and poignant portrait of a complex African-American family – an of-the moment look at sibling rivalry and the weight of parental expectations.

“You don’t see plays like this every day,” says director Kenny Leon. “It’s a perfect balance of comedy and drama. I think folks will laugh all the way home, but when they get there, they’ll have something to think about. The play says a lot about family. It says a lot about us as human beings, that none of us are perfect. This is a universal play and a very funny play. I’m hoping that when folks come out, they laugh, they think, they cry.”

Playwright and Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond’s additional plays include Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Stage Black, and Harriet Jacobs (playing at Cambridge’s Underground Railway Theater through January 31). Her work has been produced at Arena Stage, The New Victory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, McCarter Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Chicago Dramatists, Congo Square, MPAACT, True Colors Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works, and Company One. She is on the faculty at Boston University and serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group.

Director Kenny Leon returns to the Huntington following his highly acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Fences earlier this season. His relationship with the Huntington began in 1993 with From the Mississippi Delta. Other Huntington productions include A Raisin in the Sun with Esther Rolle (1995) and Blues for an Alabama Sky (1997) with Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad. For the Huntington and then on Broadway, he directed Gem of the Ocean with Rashad (2004) and Radio Golf (2006). In 2008, he served as Artistic Director of August Wilson’s 20th Century at The Kennedy Center, a six-week festival staging readings of the works with sets, costumes, and lighting. Leon is the founding artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta and served as artistic director and associate artistic director of Alliance Theatre. He directed the 2004 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival and the Emmy Award-nominated television film of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs, Rashad, and Audra McDonald. Leon directs a Broadway revival of Fences starring Denzel Washington that begins performances April 14, 2010.

The cast of Stick Fly includes:
Rosie Benton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Accent on Youth on Broadway; Howard Katz and Saturn Returns, Off Broadway) as Kimber, Flip’s Caucasian girlfriend;
Jason Dirden (First Breeze of Summer Off Broadway at Signature Theatre Company; Fences at Geva Theatre) as Kent, the younger son of the LeVay family;
Billy Eugene Jones (Passing Strange, Radio Golf, A Raisin in the Sun and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway) as womanizing “golden boy,” elder son Flip LeVay;
Amber Iman (The Amen Corner at Alliance Theatre; The Samson Musical at New Horizons Theatre) as Cheryl, the daughter of the family’s maid;
Nikkole Salter (co-author of and actor from the Off Broadway and international tour of In the Continuum – Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress, New York Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Playwriting Award) as Taylor, Kent’s girlfriend who comes from a different socioeconomic world than the LeVays’; and
Wendell W. Wright (Looking Over the President’s Shoulder at Ford’s Theatre; Private Eyes at Old Globe Theater; Black No More at Arena Stage and Guthrie Theater) as renowned neurosurgeon and family patriarch Joe LeVay.

Production Artists
The Creative Team for Stick Fly includes Scenic Designer David Gallo (Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean for the Huntington and Broadway, The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway – Tony Award); Costume Designer Reggie Ray (August Wilson’s 20th Century at The Kennedy Center, credits at Lincoln Center, the Guthrie Theatre, and Arena Stage); Lighting Designer Allen Lee Hughes (Having Our Say, Mule Bones, and Once On this Island on Broadway); and Sound Designer Timothy J. Thompson (The Fantasticks and A Delicate Balance for Arena Stage). Production Stage Manager is Kathryn Most.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the Huntington Theatre Company (website | profile | tag archive).

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