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The Huntington Announces Two Titles for 2010-2011 Season


UPDATE (5-9-2010): According to a press release, William Inge’s Bus Stop replaces the previously announced pre-Broadway production of Kaufmann and Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You to be directed by Tony Award winner, Anna D. Shapiro. While no formal explanation was given by the Huntington, a February 1 article on Playbill.com characterizes the production’s origination at the Huntington as “pending the conclusion of negotiations.”

The Huntington Theatre Company will open its 29th season with the great American stage comedy, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You, pending the conclusion of negotiations for a transfer to Broadway. Tony Award-winning director Anna Shapiro (August: Osage County) will direct the production, which is scheduled to run at the Huntington’s mainstage, the Boston University Theatre from September 24 through October 24 before opening on Broadway in November 2010 at a theatre to be announced. The Huntington will also produce the Pulitzer Prize-winning Off Broadway smash Ruined by the acclaimed Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel, Fabulation) at the B.U. Theatre in winter 2011 (dates to be announced).

Called “a spontaneous piece of hilarity” by The New York Times, You Can’t Take It With You depicts the colorful, freethinking Sycamore family and the merry mayhem that ensues when their daughter’s fiancé brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to the Sycamore residence for dinner on the wrong night. Literal and figurative fireworks erupt over the course of the evening. You Can’t Take it With You will continue the Huntington’s multi-year exploration of American comedy that begins in the 2009-200 Season with Gina Gionfriddo’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Becky Shaw (March 5 – April 4, 2010).

Anna Shapiro won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for August: Osage County by Tracey Letts, having directed the play’s premiere at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and winning the Jefferson Award for Best Direction. Her numerous other credits include Iron (Manhattan Theatre Club), Jon Robin Baitz’s A Fair Country (Huntington Theatre Company), and Bruce Norris’ The Pain and the Itch (Steppenwolf Theatre).

You Can’t Take it With You follows over one dozen Huntington productions that have subsequently played Broadway, including the current acclaimed revival of Present Laughter, seven plays by August Wilson, Hedda Gabler with Kate Burton, Simon Gray’s Butley with Nathan Lane, Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius, and the Tony Award-winning Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.

Tony Award-winning Broadway producers Elizabeth Ireland McCann (Hair, Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Copenhagen, A View from the Bridge – 1998 revival, and the Huntington’s production of Butley) and Joey Parnes (Hair, Equus, Passing Strange, Butley) produce for Broadway.

Casting and further production information for You Can’t Take It With You is to be announced.

Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, a gripping and exciting drama, tells the story of Mama Nadi, a savvy Congolese business woman who knows how to survive in the midst of a civil war: don’t take sides. She sells beers and girls to any man who’ll leave his gun at the door. The good-time atmosphere of Mama Nadi’s canteen and her sharp wits can’t always protect her and her girls from the atrocities afflicted on them, but their courage, humor, and hope survive. Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Off Broadway production of Ruined extended multiple times and earned numerous awards, including the OBIE Award for Best New American Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Variety wrote that Nottage “has crafted a work that speaks eloquently of the monstrous acts bred by war, and of the courage and compromises required to survive them.” The Chicago Tribune raved, “Sincere, passionate, courageous and acutely argued, Ruined is a remarkable theatrical accomplishment.”

Playwright Lynn Nottage is also the author of Intimate Apparel; Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; and Las Meninas. Her work has been produced and developed and theatres both nationally and internationally including Manhattan Theatre Club, the Goodman Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, and The Tricycle Theatre in London, among many others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for Ruined, a 2007 MacArthur Genius Award, and an OBIE Award for Playwriting. She is a graduate of Brown University, the Yale School of Drama where she is currently a visiting lecturer, and New Dramatists.

Liesl Tommy will direct Ruined. Her past projects include Ruined (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly (CATF), and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (The Public Theater and the Sundance Institute). She is the recipient of an NEA/TCG Directors Grant and the New York Theatre Workshop Casting/Directing Fellowship, and is a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.

Artistic Director, Peter DuBois said: “I am thrilled to announce the beginnings of our 2010-2011 Season: You Can’t Take It With You is one of the most dazzling comedies in the cannon, and Ruined is one of the most compelling and important dramas written in the last 20 years. Groundbreaking playwright Lynn Nottage, razor-witted director Anna Shapiro, comedy masters Kaufman and Hart, and rising-star Liesl Tommy – it’s a crackling start to what promises to be a barn-burner of a season. I look forward to sharing more exciting news about our plans in the coming weeks.”

Additional information about the Huntington’s 2010-2011 Season, including dates, casting, and further production information for Ruined is to be announced.

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

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