The Huntington's Coming Season
First by New Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco.
By: HUntington - Apr 12, 2023
The Huntington announces its complete lineup for the 23/24 season, featuring an eclectic mix of 7 highly acclaimed shows by a wide variety of diverse artists, the first full season completely programmed by new Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco.
“I am thrilled to unveil the brilliant, entertaining, and life-affirming new plays, a musical, and a reimagined classic that make up the 23/24 season and to introduce you to some of the field’s most exciting theatre writers and makers,” says Greco. “The 23/24 season – my first full season in Boston – makes a passionate case for connection, for us to open our hearts to one another, to see and meet one another where we live and ask the essential questions of our time.”
The Huntington’s 23/24 season includes:
- Prayer for the French Republic, a major new American play by Joshua Harmon and directed by Greco
- Fat Ham, the hilarious, Pulitzer Prize-winning re-telling of Hamlet at a backyard barbecue by James Ijames, in association with Front Porch Arts Collective
- The Band’s Visit, the spellbinding, Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses, co-produced with SpeakEasy Stage
- The Heart Sellers, a big-hearted new play by Lloyd Suh that celebrates female friendship and the Asian American immigrant experience
- Stand Up if You’re Here Tonight, an interactive one-man show, written and directed by John Kolvenbach – a unique theatrical experience in the intimate Maso Studio
- John Proctor is the Villain, a funny and electric reexamination of The Crucible by Kimberly Belflower
- Toni Stone, the sensational true story of the trailblazing baseball player who was the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues, written and directed by Huntington favorite Lydia R. Diamond.
Performances will begin in September with shows taking place at both the beautifully restored Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave) and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont Street). See below for the full list of titles and details.
Season ticket packages are available for purchase at huntingtontheatre.org or by calling 617-266-0800. Single tickets to individual shows will go on sale in summer.
THE HUNTINGTON’S 23/24 SEASON:
Prayer for the French Republic
by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other)
Directed by Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco
The Huntington Theatre
Sept 7 – Oct 8, 2023
Winner! Three 2022 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Play
Winner! 2022 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Off Broadway Play
It’s 2016 Paris and the Salomon family has made a warm and wonderful home there since the 1940s. But when their son comes home beaten up because he was wearing a yarmulke, they are forced to question their safety and sense of belonging in the city they love. Both wickedly funny and deeply profound, this powerful new play spans five generations of a French Jewish family to explore history, what makes a home, and the effects of an ancient hatred and an enduring hope. Artistic Director Loretta Greco directs Joshua Harmon’s major new American play, having originally produced a workshop of it at the Magic Theatre prior to its New York debut in 2022.
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “Joshua Harmon gives me hope for the future of the American theatre. He has an incredible gift for shedding light on the ways in which family, culture, and faith collide and evolve, and I’m thrilled to be introducing him to you this season. His extraordinary new play asks profound questions about what it takes to feel safe when hate persists across borders and generations, and in true Joshua Harmon fashion, manages to find the rich humor and pathos of being human in an imperfect world.”
From playwright Joshua Harmon: “I met Loretta Greco almost ten years ago, when she produced Bad Jews at The Magic. I fell under her spell immediately and have stayed there ever since, so it thrills me to no end that she has chosen my play as the first she'll direct at The Huntington in the 23/24 season. I hope this play speaks to audiences from all backgrounds who have felt frightened these last few years about the future, the state of the world, and the state of our country, and yet who remain hopeful that we can all live in peace in the place we call home.”
“Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and wickedly funny.” – The New York Times
“A brave, articulate, moving, and necessary new play. Wrenching, brilliant, and shattering. This fearless play tackles conundrums with a combination of intelligence, balance, and accessibility that few writers of Harmon’s generation could pull off.”
– New York Stage Review
by James Ijames
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
Calderwood Pavilion / Wimberly Theatre
In association with Front Porch Arts Collective
Sept 22 – Oct 22, 2023
Winner! 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
In this deliciously funny, Pulitzer Prize-winning new play, sweet and sensitive Juicy wants to make his own way as a queer Black man growing up in a Southern family, until his father’s ghost turns up at a backyard barbecue and insists that Juicy avenge his murder. Ay, there’s the rub! This smart and sharp reinvention of Shakespeare’s masterpiece takes Broadway by storm this spring before coming to The Huntington this fall!
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “James Ijames’ brilliant, hilarious play is Hamlet and is not Hamlet. This is the beginning of our rigorous exploration of the classics – powerful stories that continue to speak to us – as re-dreamt for our time. In Ijames’ deft hands this exploration of masculinity, queerness, and familial acceptance boasts of muscular language, emotional truth, and the wildly entertaining foibles of family.”
From playwright James Ijames: “I am very excited for Fat Ham to meet the audiences in Boston. The play has a powerful message of transformation, radical acceptance, and joy! This show is for anyone looking for a space of liberation and beauty.”
“A hilarious yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy. For all that Ijames dismantles in Shakespeare’s original text, he builds it back up into something that’s more — more tragic but also more joyous, more comedic, more political, more contemporary.”
– The New York Times
“To revive us, we need plays like the Pulitzer-winning Fat Ham. Unabashedly entertaining! Turns Hamlet giddily upside down!” – The Washington Post
The Band’s Visit
Music & lyrics by David Yazbek
Book by Itamar Moses
Based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin
Directed by SpeakEasy Stage Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault
Choreography by Daniel Pelzig
Music Direction by José Delgado
The Huntington Theatre
A co-production with SpeakEasy Stage
Nov 10 – Dec 10, 2023
Winner! 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical
In this Tony Award-winning, feel-good musical, an Egyptian band of musicians is stranded in a small Israeli town after a transportation mix up, and with no lodgings available, the locals take them in for the night. By morning, surprising connections have been made and friendships forged over moments of shared humanity and love of music. A brief visit can have a lasting impact in this stunning musical adaptation of the acclaimed 2007 film that cast a spell over Broadway.
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “I adore The Band’s Visit. It is my favorite kind of musical. An intimate play with stunning music where human connection and song feel utterly and sweetly organic. We are thrilled to whole-heartedly collaborate with our partners at SpeakEasy Stage, and to welcome their founder, our friend and colleague Paul Daigneault, in his Huntington debut.”
From playwright and book writer Itamar Moses: "I'm thrilled that The Band's Visit is going to play Boston in this new production. First of all because – though I'm extremely proud of the original production that played New York and then toured – one of the great joys of theatre is getting to see new artists reinterpret the work in new ways. And secondly, the Boston engagement of the tour was one of the stops affected by the pandemic shutdown, and so it's great that local audiences are going to have a chance to see the show in this new way.”
“Transcendent and poignant! An honest-to-God musical for grown-ups. A miraculous show!” – The New York Times
“Beautiful! The Band’s Visit is a sweet, haunting stopover in the desert.” – Entertainment Weekly
“Gorgeous, intoxicating, and soulful!” – The Hollywood Reporter
The Heart Sellers
by Lloyd Suh (The Chinese Lady)
Directed by May Adrales
Calderwood Pavilion / Wimberly Theatre
Nov 21 – Dec 23, 2023
Jane and Luna run into each other in the grocery store on Thanksgiving in 1973 and find they have much in common: each are recent Asian immigrants, a bit homesick and lonely with hardworking absentee husbands, and adjusting to a new country filled with new opportunities. Over sips of wine and a questionable frozen turkey, they dream of disco dancing, learning to drive, and even a visit to Disneyland, and share their hopes and challenges for making a new home in a new land with grace and dignity. A funny, moving, and big-hearted new play.
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “Lloyd Suh is one of my favorite humans! His intentionality around unpacking complicated slices of untold history in beautiful theatrical ways for the benefit of our children and future generations is wildly inspirational. His plays are honest, heartbreaking, full of curiosity and resilience: a theatrical constellation asking us to look at our past in new ways with an eye towards a brighter future.”
From playwright Lloyd Suh: “The Heart Sellers looks at a pivotal moment in time, when the conditions were created for much of what we’re currently grappling with as a nation around our collective history. It’s a play of giving thanks, making new friends, and finding home in a new place, so it brings me a special joy to share this with The Huntington community as part of Loretta Greco’s first season, as she’s been an important part of my artistic life for well over a decade.”
“Hilarious and heartwarming! A laugh-aloud love letter to friendship. The Heart Sellers is something to treasure!” – Broadway World
“A stunning comedy! Breathtaking.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight
Written and directed by John Kolvenbach
Featuring Jim Ortlieb
The Huntington Theatre / Maso Studio
January 20 – March 3, 2024
Winner! LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Actor
“You’ve tried everything. Yoga. Acupuncture. Therapy. You floated in salt water in the pitch black dark. You juiced, you cleansed, you journaled, you cut, you volunteered. You ate only RINDS for three days and nights. You reached out, you looked within. You have tried. And yet here you are.”
So begins a new play by Olivier Award-nominated playwright John Kolvenbach. Jim Ortlieb delivers a tour-de-force performance as a man desperate for connection, bent by isolation, and deeply in love with the audience itself. After sold out runs in LA, Chicago, and Paris, this thoroughly unique, interactive theatrical experience comes to the intimate 150-seat, and gorgeously renovated Maso Studio!
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “You are in for a treat! This incisive, vulnerable, funny, new play by my dear friend John Kolvenbach is the first half of this special intimate evening, and the second opens up to drinks and freeform conversation with the artists and your fellow audience members. This is unlike any experience you’ve had at The Huntington! In Paris and LA, people stayed for hours, and we hope you’ll want to stay and connect as well.”
From playwright and director John Kolvenback: "The show is about a guy trying to do the impossible, or the nearly impossible: he wants to achieve a kind of union with the audience, a oneness, to blur the line between the play and the people who are there that night. That's the ambition of the man in the play, but it's also the ambition (harebrained, maybe) of the play itself. We hope for communion."
“A stunningly original existential exercise receives a brilliant production. See this fascinating production and stand up to applaud all those involved in it!” – WTTW, Chicago’s PBS
“Uproarious, downright brilliant, and full of joyful surprises!” – Provincetown Independent
John Proctor is the Villain
by Kimberly Belflower
Directed by Margot Bordelon
Calderwood Pavilion / Wimberly Theatre
Feb 8 – Mar 10, 2024
At a rural high school in Georgia, a group of lively teens explore The Crucible while navigating young love, sex ed, and a few school scandals. With a contemporary lens on the American classic, the young women begin to discover their power and agency, finding a way to hold both the classic text and their community to account – with a profound sense of rage, authenticity, and hope. 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.
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “I read Kimberly Bellflower’s stunning new play and was obsessed! With Gen Z at the center, this reinvestigation of the canonical Crucible is a reckoning of our power structure and the stories we tell that reinforce that imbalance. This brilliant play has sparked a movement! It’s brimming with the buoyant honesty of youth, the pain and JOY of growing up, the potential for this generation who are as fluent in Lorde as Joan Didion – and ultimately the thrill of hard-won agency and transcendence. Nothing about this play is business as usual!”
From playwright Kimberly Belflower: “John Proctor is the Villain is my heart and guts in a single play, and I am overjoyed for it to find new life at The Huntington with such tremendous collaborators in Margot Bordelon and Loretta Greco.”
“A knockout! John Proctor is pushing for a 4.0 GPA.” – The Washington Post
“Cracking good theatre! Add it to your ‘must see’ list.” – DC Metro Theater Arts
“Biting and exquisite!” – MD Theatre Guide
Written and directed by Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly, Smart People, The Bluest Eye at The Huntington)
Inspired by Curveball: The Remarkable True Story of Toni Stone by Martha Ackmann
The Huntington Theatre
May 17 – June 16, 2024
Toni Stone is an ace ballplayer who knows her stats, plus she’s got a great arm. Rejected by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League because of her race, she becomes the first woman to play professional baseball on a man’s team in the Negro Leagues, shattering expectations and creating her own set of rules. Filled with humor and the love of the game, Huntington favorite Lydia R. Diamond knocks it out of the park with this beautiful, rich portrait of a trailblazing woman. Play ball!
From Artistic Director Loretta Greco: “I love this play almost as much as I love baseball. The return of beloved playwright Lydia R. Diamond to The Huntington is cause alone for celebration – but combine it with her latest based on the real life story of the indomitable Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball in the male baseball league – during actual baseball season, and in America’s most baseball-loving city – and the result is pure joy!”
From playwright and director Lydia R. Diamond: “I am so pleased to be back at The Huntington! Toni Stone is a play that is especially close to my heart. A woman with a singular focus who, through hard work and tenacity, realized her dreams. This fabulous theatre has once again helped me realize mine… To direct a play that I am so proud of, in the warm embrace of a theatre that feels like home, and in a town that loves baseball as much as our fearless Toni did!”
“Entertaining! Toni Stone bursts with the joys of life.” – Chicago Tribune
“A grand slam! Inspiring and powerful!” – Broadway World
“The whole play is remarkable. The sheer joy that comes with breaking the status quo, of loving yourself, your life and what you bring to the table. Toni Stone captured all that.” – Forbes