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2017 CALENDARS

Berkshire Theatre Group Announces Additions to their 2017 Spring Season

Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) announces additions to their 2017 Spring season, including: the return of the Laugh Lounge Series at the Garage and the On the Stage Series, as well as the fourth annual Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals at The Colonial Theatre. New this year, as part of the Encore! Series, BTG will present a High School Student Cabaret at The Unicorn Theatre.

Hailed as "The Best Place to see Comedy" by The Berkshire Record, join us at The Laugh Lounge at The Garage! Now on Thursday nights, for only $5, the Laugh Lounge presents acclaimed comedians come from near and far.  After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Laugh Lounge ticket for a $5 beverage. Mark your calendars for 2/16, 3/16, 4/27 and 5/25!

The On The Stage Series gives audiences the opportunity to see their favorite performers, up close and personal, with artists and audience together on the historic Colonial stage. This year, folk singer/songwriter and musician, Jeffrey Foucault; and folk band Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds make their On The Stage debut.

The fourth annual Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals features ten-minute encore performances from this year's Berkshire County high school musicals. And, new this year, as part of the Encore! Series, BTG will present a High School Student Cabaret at The Unicorn Theatre. Ticket proceeds benefit BTG PLAYS!, Berkshire Theatre Group's year-round education program. At the heart of BTG PLAYS! is a passionate commitment to bring live theatre, and all its inherent excitement and creativity, to children throughout our region. In addition, for many of these students, this is the first theatrical experience on a professional stage. BTG hopes this experience will stimulate a lifelong love of theatre and help produce the next generation of playgoers, actors or other theatre professionals.

Tickets are now on sale. For tickets, please contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444, or online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.

Laugh Lounge: Kyle Ayers
at The Garage
Thursday, March 16 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $5

Hailed as "The Best Place to see Comedy" by The Berkshire Record, join us at The Laugh Lounge at The Garage! Now on Thursday nights, for only $5, the Laugh Lounge presents acclaimed comedians come from near and far.  After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Laugh Lounge ticket for a $5 beverage.

Kyle Ayers is a comedian, writer, actor, living in New York City. He was a Just For Laughs "New Face Comedian” in 2015. He has written for the Roasts on Comedy Central and Friar's Club Roasts. Kyle has written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, BBC, Wired, Post Grad Problems, Buzzfeed and more. He also writes for the satirical sports website, Korked Bats.

He was the tweeter behind the internet sensation #roofbreakup, where he stumbled upon a couple breaking up on his roof in Brooklyn, and the entire world joined in. #roofbreakup was viewed over 10 million times worldwide, appeared on NPR, BBC, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and was even reenacted by Jerry Springer.  


On the Stage Series: Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds
at The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, March 23 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $30

The On The Stage Series gives audiences the opportunity to see their favorite performers, up close and personal, with artists and audience together on the historic Colonial stage.

During a solo journey to the Azores Islands in 2011, Dana Louise, a visual artist, taught herself to play guitar. The daughter of Ezra Idlet of the Grammy-nominated Trout Fishing in America, Dana forged the beginnings of her sound, practicing amidst the archipelago's lava rocks and dragon trees. Back in the States, she began singing and songwriting professionally, touring regionally and internationally, and is currently touring her debut album with Trout Records.

Joined by the Glorious Birds—Adams Collins (vibraphone and 5-string banjo), and Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood (Trout Fishing in America/guitar, percussion and bass)—Dana brings her vibrant, melodic vocals and finger picking to a body of complex songs. Drawing from jazz and bluegrass, carrying a contemporary beat, the sound is roots-rooted flung-into-the-future folk. Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds work to leave their audiences glowing with the magic music can bring: genuine human connection.

Laugh Lounge: Emma Willmann 
at The Garage
Thursday, April 27 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $5

Hailed as "The Best Place to see Comedy" by The Berkshire Record, join us at The Laugh Lounge at The Garage! Now on Thursday nights, for only $5, the Laugh Lounge presents acclaimed comedians come from near and far.  After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Laugh Lounge ticket for a $5 beverage.


Emma Willmann is one of the New York comedy scene's fast risers. In the past two years, she was featured in Just for Laughs New Faces, was named one of the "10 Funniest Women in New York” according to Time Out New York, featured in Elle Magazine, performed at the NY Comedy Cellar, became a regular on SiriusXM's Raw Dog, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and will soon be appearing on a new show on FuseTV.

High School Student Cabaret
directed by Travis G. Daly
at The Unicorn Theatre
Wednesday, May 10 at 7pm
Tickets: $10

BTG's first annual High School Student Cabaret features students from all over the county performing songs, poetry, dance and more! This cabaret-style setting celebrates student collaboration and features tried and true favorites and original works.

Ticket proceeds benefit BTG PLAYS!, Berkshire Theatre Group's year-round education program. At the heart of BTG PLAYS! is a passionate commitment to bring live theatre, and all its inherent excitement and creativity, to children throughout our region. In addition, for many of these students, this is the first theatrical experience on a professional stage. BTG hopes this experience will stimulate a lifelong love of theatre and help produce the next generation of playgoers, actors or other theatre professionals.

Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals
directed by Travis G. Daly
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, May 12 at 7pm
Tickets: Adults: $15, Children 16 and under: $12


The fourth annual Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals features ten-minute encore performances from this year's Berkshire County high school musicals.

Ticket proceeds benefit BTG PLAYS!, Berkshire Theatre Group's year-round education program. At the heart of BTG PLAYS! is a passionate commitment to bring live theatre, and all its inherent excitement and creativity, to children throughout our region. In addition, for many of these students, this is the first theatrical experience on a professional stage. BTG hopes this experience will stimulate a lifelong love of theatre and help produce the next generation of playgoers, actors or other theatre professionals.

Laugh Lounge: Joe Zimmerman
at The Garage
Thursday, May 25 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $5

Hailed as "The Best Place to see Comedy" by The Berkshire Record, join us at The Laugh Lounge at The Garage! Now on Thursday nights, for only $5, the Laugh Lounge presents acclaimed comedians come from near and far.  After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Laugh Lounge ticket for a $5 beverage.

New York City-based comedian, Joe Zimmerman, has had an eventful couple of years. In addition to making his Comedy Central debut on John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show, he was also one of the prestigious comedians to be chosen to film a Comedy Central Half Hour Stand-Up Special in 2014. Joe made his late night debut on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, performed on Nickelodeon's NickMom Night Out, appeared on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Show, and was chosen as one of the acclaimed New Faces at Just For Laughs Montreal, where he was positively reviewed by both The Spit Take and Time Out NY.  Joe's debut album Smiling at Wolves reached #2 on the ITunes Comedy charts when released by New Wave Entertainment in January 2014.

Praised for an accessible style pairing absurdism with a fun loving demeanor, Joe has been personally selected by Ricky Gervais as a Conan contest finalist, other festivals, and can be heard regularly on SiriusXM and Pandora.


HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH SUZAN-LORI PARKS’ PULITZER PRIZE WINNER TOPDOG/UNDERDOG

In conjunction with its upcoming production of Topdog/Underdog the Huntington Theatre Company will host a number of special events and post-show conversations. Admission to onsite post-show events is free with a ticket to Topdog/Underdog, available at huntingtontheatre.org/topdog by phone at 617 266 0800, or in person at the BU Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue) and Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont Street) box offices. Tickets start at $25. Performances begin Friday, March 10, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre.

POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS

After the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening performances and most Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinee performances.

An opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have just seen. Led by members of the Huntington staff.

COOLIDGE CORNER SCREENING OF MENACE II SOCIETY

Monday, March 13 at 7pm

Tickets: http://www.coolidge.org/films/menace-ii-society (Huntington subscribers receive discount with code)

Menace II Society follows the life of Caine Lawson as he tries to leave behind his life in the Los Angeles projects. A groundbreaking and defining film of the early ‘90s, Menace II Society stars Jada Pinkett Smith and Samuel L. Jackson and Allen and Albert Hughes in their directorial debut. Entertainment Weekly says, "Menace II Society is brilliant.” Join us after the film for a conversation with Lisa Simmons, president of The Color of Film Collaborative, and WGBH's Phillip Martin about the shared themes in Menace II Society and Topdog/Underdog.

Lisa Simmons has been involved in the production, support, exhibition, and distribution of film and theatre in and around the Boston area for over 25 years. In addition, Ms. Simmons is the founder and president of The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc. (TCOF), an organization of actors, producers, directors, and others with an interest in creating and supporting positive images of people of color in film, theatre, and other media. The Color of Film Collaborative produces the Roxbury International Film Festival, a film festival that celebrates diverse images of people of color in the world. In addition, TCOF produces a Dinner and a Movie (DAAM) series four times a year. Ms. Simmons is currently working on a documentary about the Negro Theater Project during the Works Progress Administration.

Phillip Martin joined WGBH in the spring of 2010, and has since reported on human trafficking in southern New England, the Boston Marathon bombing, Whitey Bulger, carbon offset schemes, police shootings, training and race, the Occupy movement, and the fishing industry in New England, among other topics. He is a regular panelist for “Basic Black” and an occasional panelist for “Beat the Press,” and hosted the World Compass 2012 presidential primary coverage. He is a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and a 2012 International Center for Journalists Ford Foundation Fellow. Mr. Martin has worked as a supervising senior editor for NPR and was NPR’s first national race-relations correspondent, from 1998 to 2001. In 1995, in his role as a senior producer, he helped create “The World.” He earned a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School as well as journalism at the University of California at Berkeley in the Program for Minority Journalists.

HUNTINGTON COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE RECEPTION

Thursday, March 16 at 6pm

A pre-show reception with refreshments for members of the Huntington Community Membership Initiative. Community Membership is an initiative designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income and to diversify the audiences so they better reflect the city of Boston. Members can purchase best-available tickets to any performance without restriction for just $20. Membership is free and available through partnerships with agencies and organizations that serve limited-income populations.

Bank of America is the Season Sponsor of the Huntington Community Membership Initiative. Made possible by a grant from Theatre Communications Group.

ACTORS FORUMS

Friday, March 17 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, March 23 after the 7:30pm performance
Thursday, March 30 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Wednesday, April 5 after the 2pm performance

Meet participating members of the cast of Topdog/Underdog and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

STUDENT MATINEE

Friday, March 17 at 10am

Thursday, March 30 at 10am

Recommended for students in grades 9-12. Tickets: $15. Includes pre-show in-school visit, curriculum guide, post-show Actors Forum, and Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call Manager of Education Operations Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558 for more information.

HUMANITIES FORUM & BOSTON GLOBE EVENT WITH COLUMNIST YVONNE ABRAHAM

Sunday, March 19, after the 2pm performance

Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham and Deputy Director for the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety Initiatives Conan Harris will lead a post-show discussion about the themes in Topdog/Underdog after the 2pm performance on March 19. A Boston Globe event – tickets to the March 19 performance are $45 for Boston Globe subscribers who use the discount code.

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Yvonne Abraham is a columnist for the Metro section of The Boston Globe. Ms. Abraham’s work appears on Thursdays and Sundays. She previously covered state and national politics, and immigration at the Globe. She came to the paper in 1998 from the Boston Phoenix.

Conan Harris is currently the Deputy Director for the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety Initiatives. The Office of Public Safety Initiatives was created by the Walsh administration with the mission and commitment to develop sustainable systems through a lens of access, opportunity and innovation as it relates to violence prevention and intervention. Mr. Harris is also the Director of My Brother’s Keeper Boston, a White House Initiative to improve the outcomes for black and brown boys and men. Prior to the Mayor’s Office, Mr. Harris was the StreetWorker Manager for StreetSafe Boston, an initiative of The Boston Foundation. StreetSafe works with Boston’s young people by deploying Street Workers to engage proven risk youth. Building on strong and trusting mentoring relationships, Street Workers intervene in and prevent violence, connecting young people to much needed programs and services. Mr. Harris holds a BA in sociology from Boston University. He has consulted nationally and internationally on various violence prevention/intervention, and youth development programming. Mr. Harris speaks publicly to universities and leading nonprofits on CORI laws, reentry issues, and the Prison Industrial Complex. It is Mr. Harris’ personal experience in overcoming many of the challenges that are prevalent in the inner-city that drives his dedication and determination to make a positive difference in urban communities. Being raised by a single mother and a family of strong women helped shape his values. He holds them all near and dear, especially his wife Ayanna and pride and joy, daughter Cora.

A CONVERSATION WITH CHIEF RESILIENCE OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF BOSTON DR. ATYIA MARTIN

Part of the Racial Equity Learning Series by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

Saturday, March 25 after the 2pm performance

Join Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Atyia Martin and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland for a post-show discussion after the 2pm performance of Topdog/Underdog on March 25, part of the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s Racial Equity Learning Series, a continuation of the Mayor’s racial equity discussions throughout Boston, using the arts as a catalyst for conversation about race and class.

Dr. Atyia Martin is a certified emergency manager with a diverse set of experiences in public health, emergency management, intelligence, and homeland security. Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed her as the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston as part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for leading the development and implementation of Boston’s Resilience Strategy. Boston will focus on advancing racial equity as the foundation of the Resilience Strategy process to increase our shared ability to thrive after emergencies. Dr. Martin was previously the director of the office of public health preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission. Her previous professional experience includes the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center; City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management; the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and active duty Air Force assigned to the National Security Agency. Dr. Martin has also been adjunct faculty in the Master of Homeland Security at Northeastern University. Dr. Martin and her husband were born and raised in Boston where they currently live. They have five children.

BOSTON LAW NIGHT

Thursday, March 30 at 7:30pm

A post-show wine and dessert reception for law professionals and participating members of the cast of Topdog/Underdog.

Boston Law Night is a private event, by invitation only.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES

Thursday, March 30 at 10am (student matinee)

Saturday, April 1 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for blind and low-vision patrons at designated performances.

Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558.

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY

Friday, March 31, following the 8pm performance

A post-show party for young patrons aged 35 and below, featuring backstage access, free refreshments, and entertainment. Join us for a carnival-themed 35 Below After Party complete with a caricature artist, cornhole, ring toss, card games, and cotton candy. Mingle with members of the cast, creative team, and Huntington staff. Plus, meet other young theatre lovers in Boston!

35 Below tickets are available at all performances to patrons 35 and under for just $30.

A CONVERSATION WITH HARVARD PROFESSOR GLENDA R. CARPIO

Sunday, April 2 after the 2pm performance

Join Harvard professor Glenda Carpio and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland for a post-show discussion after the 2pm performance of Topdog/Underdog on April 2.

Glenda R. Carpio is Professor of African and African American Studies and English at Harvard University. Her book, Laughing Fit to Kill: Black Humor in the Fictions of Slavery was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. She is currently working on a book on immigration, expatriation, and exile in American literature. Professor Carpio recently co-edited African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges (2011) with Professor Werner Sollors. Professor Carpio started her teaching career in Compton, California where she taught 8th grade English and 4th grade through the Teach for America program. She recently received Harvard University’s Abramson Award for Excellence and Sensitivity in Undergraduate Teaching. She received her PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and her BA was earned at Vassar College. She was awarded tenure at Harvard University in 2009.  Professor Carpio was named one of the ROOT.com 100 for 2010.

ROXBURY COMMUNITY COLLEGE NIGHT

Tuesday, April 4, following the 7:30pm performance

Roxbury Community College students, faculty, and alumni are invited to attend the Roxbury Community College Night performance of Topdog/Underdog. After the show, join Reverend Liz Walker, Kim McLarin, Daniel Callahan, Ashleigh Gordon, and Robbie McCauley for a special post-show discussion moderated by Roxbury Community College’s Director of Fine, Performing, and Media Arts Marshall Hughes.

Reverend Liz Walker is pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church. She was called to this ministry after 21 years as Boston’s first African American television news anchor on WBZ and 12 years of humanitarian work in war torn Sudan where she co-founded My Sisters’ Keeper, a grassroots initiative that built a school for girls, the first of its kind in that country’s southern region. Under Reverend Walker’s leadership, Roxbury Presbyterian Church is home to the Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing, an innovative effort that addresses the epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder in a low income African American community too often overrun by violence. In addition to building the girls’ school in Akon, South Sudan, Reverend Walker helped initiate an inter-tribal women’s program called Sisterhood for Peace, a network of Sudanese women that collaborated for peace across race, ethnicity, religion and geography. Reverend Walker is an advisor to the Women2Women International Leadership Program which is creating a network of promising young activists from around the world, and she has done extensive work with the State Department in Brussels, Belgium helping young Muslims, Christians and Jews develop intercultural communications skills. Before Boston, her career in television news took her from Arkansas to Colorado then on to San Francisco where she received television’s highest honor, the Emmy Award for her coverage of the Jonestown massacre, one of the most horrific tragedies in American history. A 2005 graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Reverend Walker is a member of the Core Strategy Team of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and serves on the Board for the New England Chapter of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

Kim McLarin is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels and the memoir Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood and Midlife, as well as co-author of Growing Up X by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kim McLarin. Her short fiction has appeared in Calaloo, The Double Dealer, Solstice and Confrontation, and other publications. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post, Slate, The Morning News, and other newspapers and magazines. She is a former reporter for The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Associated Press. Ms. McLarin is an associate professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston and a regular commentator on “Basic Black” on WGBH.

Daniel Callahan is a writer, director and multimedia artist and designer living in Roxbury. He refers to his work as “transmedia” in that it merges various disciplines including but not limited to sound, video, painting, collage, photography, and performance to create immersive experiences that seek to transcend medium and bridge the gap between the mundane and metaphysical. He is most known for his painterly technique of MassQing; the ritual application of paint to the face used to reveal rather than conceal one’s inner essence. In using the human face as a canvas Mr. Callahan’s work requires an intimate encounter between artist, subject, and viewer and derives from the ancient phenomenon of body decoration practiced by nearly all indigenous cultures on the planet.

He is also currently working on his directorial debut; a feature length psychological drama film entitled Come On In which he wrote, and is co-starring and co-producing. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where he received the Fine Arts Chair Award for outstanding work in a senior thesis exhibit. He is currently a Graduate MFA Fellow in the Visual Media Arts Program at Emerson College. His work has been featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art and has been featured in such publications as Believer Magazine, The Bay State Banner, and Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture. He is co-founder of the artist collective Fear & Fancy; a recipient of the Donor Circle for the Arts Grant, out of Oakland, California. yearofthemassq.com. comeoninfilm.com.

Ashleigh Gordon has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Hong Kong, ranging from chamber and orchestral music settings to Off Broadway and new music productions. Passionate about contemporary music, Ms. Gordon performs regularly with the Callithumpian Consort, ECCE Ensemble and Sound Energy (of which she is the founder), and has performed and recorded with Switzerland's Ensemble Proton, Germany's Ensemble Modern, and Boston's BMOP. As an advocate of social change through education, she is a viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program (ICP), a rigorous string instrumental program which provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. As an entrepreneur, she is artistic director and violist of Castle of our Skins (COOS), a concert and educational series devoted to celebrating black artistry through music. With COOS, she brings thought-provoking concert experiences blending music, spoken word, history and culture to classrooms and concert halls in Boston and beyond. In recognition for her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in print, on air and television in the International Musician Magazine, All Ears podcast and Boston’s Neighborhood Networks; and was recently awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient and can be heard on chamber music and orchestral recordings under the Mode, Siemens, BMOP/Sound, Navona and Musiques-Suisse record labels.

Robbie McCauley is a Theatre Arts USA Ford Fellow (2012) and has been an active presence in the American avant-garde theatre for several decades. She is the recipient of a Bessie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, received an Obie Award for her play Sally's Rape, and recently received the IRNE Award (Independent Reviewers of New England) for the writing and performance of her play SUGAR as well as a 2015 nomination for Jazz ‘n Class. She is widely anthologized including Extreme Exposure; Moon Marked and Touched by Sun; and Performance and Cultural Politics edited respectively by Jo Bonney, Sydne Mahone, and Elin Diamond; and recently in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic and Solo Black Woman edited by E. Patrick Johnson and Joni L. Jones respectively. One of the early cast members of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, Ms. McCauley went on to write, direct and perform regularly in cities across the country and abroad striving to facilitate dialogues on race between local whites and blacks, and other ethnic groups, in various regions. She created the Primary Sources series, produced by The Arts Company in Mississippi, Boston, and Los Angeles. In 1998, her “Buffalo Project” was highlighted as one of "The 51 (or So) Greatest Avant-Garde Moments" by the Village Voice; a roster that included work by artists such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, and John Cage. She continues to direct, act, and write for theatre in the Boston theatre community where she is co-founder and artistic director of Roxbury Repertory Theatre. She was the 2013-2014 Monan Professor at Boston College and is professor emerita of Emerson College Department of Performing Arts.

A CONVERSATION WITH MIT PROFESSOR SANDY ALEXANDRE

Saturday, April 8 after the 2pm performance

Join MIT professor Sandy Alexandre and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland for a post-show discussion after the 2pm performance of Topdog/Underdog on April 8.

Sandy Alexandre’s research spans the late 19th-century to present-day black American literature and culture. Her first book, The Properties of Violence: Claims to Ownership in Representations of Lynching (Mississippi 2012), uses the history of American lynching violence as a framework to understand matters concerning displacement, property ownership, and the American pastoral ideology in a literary context. For example, in one chapter — on Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) — she asks readers to consider the gendered implications of seeing lynching iconography itself as a form of owned property. Ms. Alexandre is currently writing another book, Up From Chattels: Thinghood in an Ethics of Black Curation, which will take as its point of departure the premise that the former, enforced condition of black Americans as fungible merchandise can haunt, inform, and morally energize, to some extent, their very own relationships to material objects. This book will explore how some black Americans create what Ms. Alexandre calls a “culture of significance” with material objects. Using literary analysis, studying material artifacts, and engaging the work of black collectors, Ms. Alexandre argues that this improvised, curated, and eventually sacralized culture of subject-object relations constitutes an immanent critique of consumer capitalism. Overall, Ms. Alexandre’s work takes into serious account the ways in which an ecology comprised of people, places, and things can, at once, reverberate and attempt to negotiate the various instances of racial violence that mark the aggregate of US history.


Berkshire Theatre Group Announces Additions to their 2017 Colonial Theatre Programming

Reuniting Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship,
and Grateful Dead Alumni
The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead '69

Emmy Award-Nominated Comedian
Janeane Garofalo

Rock n' Roll Legends
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes


New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
I've Got A Little Twist

Catch the Fever:
An Evening with Fabrizio and the Fever

Bobby Sweet

CD Release Party

Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) announces additions to their 2017 Colonial Theatre programming: Catch the Fever: An Evening with Fabrizio and the Fever (5/19); Bobby Sweet CD Release Party (6/11); The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead '69, reuniting Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Grateful Dead alumni (6/17); Emmy Award-nominated comedian, Janeane Garofalo (8/12); rock n' roll legends, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (8/17); and New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, I've Got A Little Twist (8/18).

Tickets are now on sale. For tickets, please contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444, or online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.

Catch the Fever: An Evening with Fabrizio and the Fever
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, May 19 at 7pm
Tickets: $25
VIP Tickets: $50 (includes premium seating and a 6pm pre-show reception in the Garage with complimentary refreshments, special acoustic set with Michael Fabrizio, and preview of silent auction items)

The Richie duPont Award was established in 2005 in memory of a talented young actor who performed in two of Berkshire Theatre Group's Main Stage productions. This fund provides camp scholarships so children can pursue their dreams of being on stage. 

Fabrizio and the Fever is led by Berkshire native, musician/songwriter, Michael Fabrizio. After moving to Nashville, Fabrizio started Fabrizio and the Fever. The band features: sound engineer and songwriter, Mark Lonsway (backing vocals and acoustic guitar), Matt Zehr (electric guitar), Berklee Music grad, Christine Moad (bass) and, the time keeper of the group, Steve Wolfe (drums). Fabrizio and the Fever has opened for esteemed acts from all genres, including: Sleeper Agent, Boston, Trigger Hippie, Robert Randolph, Craig Morgan, Jessica Andrews, John Carter Cash, Raelyn Nelson, Lewis Brice and more. The band has recently completed their sophomore album Head Theatre

Bobby Sweet CD Release Party 
At The Colonial Theatre
Sunday, June 11 at 7pm
Tickets: $15

Bobby has shared the bill with top country and folk artists Vince Gill, Martin Sexton, Pete Seeger, and many others. As a sought-after lead guitarist he has opened for George Jones, Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, and more. He recently returned home from his fourth US tour with Arlo Guthrie. 

As a songwriter, Bobby was selected as a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival in TX. His songs have also received recognition from The Billboard Songwriting Contest and have aired on many hit television series including Nashville, Touched By An Angel, Walker Texas Ranger, and CSI.

This concert celebrates the release of Bobby's eagerly-awaited new album, All These Changes. This Berkshire native will be performing with his BSweet Band, featuring Pete Adams, Abe Guthrie, Bruce Mandel, and Andy Crawford.

The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead '69
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, June 17 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $50 B: $25

The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead '69 reunites Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Grateful Dead alumni, and other musical luminaries, comprising a veritable "Who's Who” of "The Summer of Love's” legendary musicians.

The Airplane Family & Friends band members include: Darby Slick, composer of "Somebody To Love,” who launched the career of Grace Slick in his band The Great Society before she joined Jefferson Airplane in 1966; Peter Kaukonen, a founding member of both Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship, and a member of Jefferson Airplane; Prairie Prince, Jefferson Starship drummer (1992-2007), co-founded The Tubes, and regularly tours with Todd Rundgren; Slick Aguilar, lead guitarist for Jefferson Starship (1992-2015) and David Crosby (1983-1986); Eva Avila, Canadian Idol winner, actress (The Wall Theatrical Extravaganza) makes her U.S. debut reprising Grace Slick's vocal repertoire; Joli Valenti, son of Dino Valenti, sings Marty Balin's timeless parts, and brings selections from Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Live Dead '69 is comprised of original Grateful Dead pianist, Tom Constanten, who played all the keyboards on the original "Live Dead” recording, and Mark Karan, lead guitarist with Bob Weir's Rat Dog and The Other Ones, which featured every other surviving Grateful Dead member. Live Dead '69 shall perform the classic "Live Dead” (recorded in 1969) in its entirety for the first time anywhere ever.

Janeane Garofalo
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, August 12 at 8pm
Tickets: $39.50

Emmy Award-nominated Actress and comedian, SNL alum Janeane Garofalo has been an American institution since she burst on the scene in 1992. Janeane has had many memorable and critically acclaimed roles in films, such as: The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Wet Hot American Summer, Ratatouille, Steal This Movie, Reality Bites, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, Mystery Men, The Ten and The Cable Guy. Janeane co-authored the bestseller Feel This Book, with Ben Stiller. 

In addition to acting in film and television, Janeane is an outspoken activist, spoken word performer, and stand-up comedy entertainer, known and respected around the world. She was instrumental in the successful launching of the first liberal radio network, Air America Radio, where she hosted her own talk show, The Majority Report. A lightning rod for controversy, Janeane's well informed opinions and unflinching honesty have inspired laughs, as well as striking a chord with the left, right and everyone in between. 

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
at The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, August 17 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $50 • B: $30


"For I've always wanted to be a Juke...and I still do." –Jon Bon Jovi

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are legends in the rock n' roll scene. For over thirty years they have been delighting audiences and recording music in their hard-driving style. They have turned out more than thirty albums, thousands of live performances around the globe and produced a legion of dedicated and enthusiastic fans. These musical giants of the Jersey Shore influenced musicians from Bruce Springsteen to Bon Jovi and are still going strong today.

Just last year, the iconic Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes released the highly-acclaimed Soultime!, their first new studio CD of all original material in five years.

Southside's first three albums, I Don't Want To Go Home, This Time It's for Real, and Hearts of Stone were produced by Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band, The Sopranos) and featured songs written by Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. "I Don't Want To Go Home” became Southside's signature song, an evocative mix of horn-based melodic riffs and soul-searching lyrics. Rolling Stone Magazine voted Hearts of Stone among the top 100 albums of the 1970s and 1980s.

With a decades-long successful career, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue to deliver their soul-searing brand of raucous blues and R&B, with material mined from their many albums, featuring hits like "I Don't Want To Go Home,” "Love On The Wrong Side Of Town,” "The Fever,” "This Time It's For Real,” "Talk To Me,” and their definitive fun-time cover of "We're Having A Party.” The Jukes' legendary high-energy live performances always satisfy with their classic blend of Stax-influenced R&B and gritty, rock and roll.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players I've Got A Little Twist
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, August 18 at 8pm
Tickets: Premium: $45 • A: $35 • B: $25

Take Gilbert & Sullivan, add a twist of Broadway, and stir! It's where The Mikado meets The Music Man. Where the HMS Pinafore sets sail for Brigadoon. Where The Pirates of Penzance take shore leave On The Town. It's a one-of-a-kind show that proves the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire is as fun, fresh and full of life as, well, three little maids from school! See for yourself as New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players celebrates the legacy of Gilbert & Sullivan in American musical theater, featuring favorites from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein, Sondheim, Lerner & Loewe, Meredith Willson, and Jerry Herman.


Berkshire Theatre Group PresentsvGrammy Award-Winner Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years

Highlighting some of the 100-plus recordings from the Webb/Campbell songbook

Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) presents Grammy Award-winner Jimmy Webb in, Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years, highlighting some of the 100-plus recordings from the Webb/Campbell songbook at The Colonial Theatre on Saturday, March 18 at 8pm.

Tickets to Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years are $25, $35 and $45. Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444, or online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.

Songwriter Jimmy Webb has had chart-topping hits in a unique range of genres over the last 50 years, from country to pop to disco, with songs including "Worst That Could Happen,” "The Highway Man,” "Up, Up and Away” and "MacArthur Park.” But, perhaps the most enduring partnership out of all those memorable songs, is his musical brotherhood with Glen Campbell. Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years highlights some of the 100-plus recordings from the Webb/Campbell songbook, pulling the audience in with hits such as "Honey Come Back,” "By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” "Wichita Lineman,” "Galveston” and more!

Jimmy Webb, who has shared the stage with legends such as Billy Joel, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, was the youngest man ever inducted into the National Songwriters' Hall of Fame, and is the current Chairman. Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. The New York Times says, "Mr. Webb is a superb natural melodist whose best songs often combine the tuneful directness of country music with the unabashedly romantic harmonic palette of classic Hollywood film scores.” 


Ballet After Dark- A Story of Resilience After Sexual Trauma

Ballet After Dark is an international workshop project documenting survivors of sexual assault as they use dance as a form of therapy.

With a tagline of, “Reprocess, Rebuild, Reclaim Your Life”, we strive to offer women an alternative method of healing following sexual and domestic assault. Ballet After Dark is an international program that runs filmed workshop series allowing women who are survivors of sexual and domestic assault to heal using the power of ballet. Women all over the world will have access to a network of survivors telling stories of how of how they reprocessed, rebuilt, and reclaimed their lives using empowering and confidence boosting fundamentals taught during the 5 day workshops. Survivors will share stories of resilience and will build life long support systems globally.

http://kck.st/2lMvI4q

My name is Tyde-Courtney Edwards. I am the founding director of Ballet After Dark, a classically trained ballerina, art model, aspiring filmmaker and a survivor of a brutal, sexual assault. I was born and raised in Baltimore City and I am a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and I have over 20 years of dance training and experience. I'm trained in various styles of dance including classical and contemporary ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop. I have trained with Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Peabody

The Ballet After Dark Documentary

From a point of view perspective, footage collected throughout the duration of the workshops will be compiled into a feature length documentary using a single, digital hand held camera. It will chronicle the progression of women participating in the workshops and the journey from beginning to end. The documentary will have a Maryland and Caribbean premiere. The project will culminate with women of each workshop destination learning a portion of choreography that will be presented during the premiere. The project is set to begin October 2017.

Why Is This Important?

Sexual assault is a horribly, shaming act of violence. Most survivors are left with embarrassment and guilt and often believe the act was brought upon them by something they've done. Often, women are left feeling helpless as they navigate through their pain and trauma. We often feel less than human and we're left with an unfamiliarity when it comes to our bodies. At Ballet After Dark, we strive to help women reconnect with their womanhood and sensuality by using ballet to help heal and reconnect with our femininity. We're making ballet accessible to all women! While our workshops all open to women of all ethnicities, our goal is to partner with organizations within the African Diaspora who may be unfamiliar with ballet altogether. We educate women of color about the history of ballet and the benefits of experiencing the classical art form. The vision is to be an internationally filmed program that brings dance fitness workshops to women who have had traumatic experiences and difficulties and are seeking an alternative ways to heal through their pain. The program is geared towards women reprocessing, rebuilding and reclaiming their lives at any level of trauma. We want our women to comfortably regain their womanhood following assault. Women should be able to gradually talk openly about reclaiming their sensuality and sexuality.

About Ballet After Dark- At BalletAfterDark, the vision is to be an internationally syndicated fitness program that brings dance fitness workshops to women who have had traumatic experiences and difficulties and are seeking an alternative form of dance therapy. With a goal to bring these empowering ballet fitness workshops to women all over the globe, the program is geared towards women reprocessing, rebuilding and reclaiming their lives at any level. The fitness philosophy of BalletAfterDark is quite unique. We are more than just a 'get fit quick' program. It is a lifestyle of poise and confidence and an enjoyment of slower paced, gentler physical activity that culminate in achieving optimum health. It has been our experience that when given basic elements of grace and flexibility, women gain a better sense of self allowing them to gracefully liberate themselves from any turmoil that may be a hindrance. Adding the performance element challenges women to step out of their shadows boosting their confidence even more. Based on these observations, this low impact, empowering dance fitness workshop was developed to make fitness fun while making the strict, conservative world of ballet accessible to women of all body types and demographics. The program is challenging for women of all ability levels while also providing the education and motivation for members to change their lives.

Facebook: Ballet After Dark, LLC
Instagram: Ballet After Dark
website: theballetafterdark.wixsite.com/BalletAfterDark
theballetafterdark@gmail.com


NEW BEDFORD GROUPS BRINGS BACK CULTURE OF CIVIL DEBATE WITH REVIVAL OF NEW BEDFORD LYCEUM

New Bedford Lyceum will bring national speakers to city stage and cultivate a culture of respectful debate on issues polarizing our society.

The City of New Bedford, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and partnering organizations announce the return of a city tradition that once brought the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to New Bedford. The New Bedford Lyceum established a tradition of intellectual debate in the city, with a model for discussion that brought people together to get to the heart of social and political issues. The first New Bedford Lyceum event is a presentation of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. He will examine “The Age of the American Presidency” on Saturday, April 1 at 8:00 p.m. at The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford. Tickets are $25, $35, $45 and the $75 ticket includes a meet and greet with Mr. Woodward. Tickets are available by calling 508-994-2900, online at www.zeiterion.org, or at the Zeiterion Box Office at 684 Purchase Street in New Bedford.

The New Bedford Lyceum partners believe the need for the public’s access to thoughtful discussions that go beyond partisan sound bites and social media has never been greater as the 45th president of the United States begins his leadership in a divided America.

“For 75 years, the New Bedford Lyceum served not only to inform, educate and entertain ordinary citizens in New Bedford but to produce important social change by bringing in the greatest minds of the age, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Herman Melville and Charles Dickens,” said Bob Unger, principal of Unger LeBlanc Strategic Communications. “Poets, statesmen, philosophers and scientists all spoke here, and together they fostered a discussion that would change America.”;

“We believe a similar conversation can and must begin again. We hope to help start that conversation through the revival of the Lyceum, again establishing New Bedford as an intellectual center and champion of citizen-led democracy."

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell stated, “The reinstitution of the New Bedford Lyceum is a major step in New Bedford's emergence as a city that cultivates, celebrates and spreads great ideas. Its mission is as relevant today as it was at the height of the whaling era, if not more so. I can't thank Bob Unger and the partnership enough for their initiative in bringing this important institution back to life.”;

The New Bedford Lyceum’s first act is to present Bob Woodward who will discuss “The Age of the American Presidency” just as the new administration wraps up its first 70 days in the White House. As a Washington Post veteran reporter, he has uncovered hidden stories from the secret world of presidents, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Supreme Court. Beginning with the coverage of Watergate with Carl Bernstein and their book and movie All the President’s Men, to his two bestselling books on Obama, he has an encyclopedic knowledge about presidential leadership, secret decision-making and the hard-nosed politics of Washington.

In his New Bedford Lyceum presentation of “The Age of the American Presidency,” Woodward will speak to critical questions such as: How did Trump get to the White House? What are his true intentions? What can be believed? What positions are real? What information can be trusted and what statements and tweets really reflect where he is going?

New Bedford Lyceum partnership is made up of the City of New Bedford, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, Whaling Museum, Unger LeBlanc Strategic Communications, New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, SouthCoast Media Group, and Leadership SouthCoast.

In addition, the New Bedford Lyceum is presenting a free screening of the Academy Award winning movie “All the President’s Men” on Friday, March 24 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum theater. The movie, based on Woodward and Bernstein’s book of the same name, is a political thriller about their investigation into the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post. The film stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein. A facilitated discussion led by Shannon Jenkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Dartmouth, follows the film.

Tickets for New Bedford Lyceum presentation of Bob Woodward in “The Age of the American Presidency” at the The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center are available for purchase at www.zeiterion.org, by calling 508-994-2900, or in person at the box office at 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford, Mass. Zeiterion Box Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and two hours before each performance.



HUNTINGTON PRESENTS EXPLOSIVE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER TOPDOG/UNDERDOG BY SUZAN-LORI PARKS AND DIRECTED BY TONY AWARD WINNER BILLY PORTER, BEGINNING FRIDAY, MARCH 10

The Huntington Theatre Company presents the explosive Pulitzer Prize winner Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Award winner Billy Porter (The Colored Museum at the Huntington and Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway). Performances run March 10 – April 9, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

Topdog/Underdog is a darkly comic, deeply theatrical fable about family wounds and healing bonds. Lincoln and Booth are brothers: best friends and bitter rivals. Lincoln, a former 3-card monte hustler, works as a Lincoln impersonator in a shooting gallery; Booth is an aspiring grifter. He tempts his brother to get back in the game, but the consequences could be deadly.

Suzan-Lori Parks made history as the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2002 with Topdog/Underdog. Additionally, she is named among Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave”; and is also the recipient of two Obie Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant.

“Billy Porter directed a sizzling remount of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum in 2015, and I am delighted to welcome him back this spring to direct a major revival of a play that electrified Broadway audiences nearly 15 years ago: Topdog/Underdog,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Exploring Suzan-Lori Parks’ dynamic Pulitzer Prize-winning play in 2017 will be extremely timely and impactful. Billy, a triple threat Tony Award winner, has proven that he is a man of boundless talent, and bringing these two brilliant American theatre artists together is a dream.” The South Shore Critic called The Colored Museum, “Outrageously well directed and outrageously well performed.”

“I am over the moon about returning to the Huntington with such an important work,” says director Billy Porter. “I am humbled that both Peter DuBois and Suzan-Lori Parks have entrusted me to interpret this material for a new generation. I promise to make you proud!”;

The New York Times says Topdog/Underdog is a “thrilling comic drama. Dazzlingly written,” and The OC Register says, “;Parks owns a unique and powerful American voice and an uncanny ability to draw universal truths from eccentric characters and circumstances.”;

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Matthew J. Harris (Booth) recently appeared in Kirsten Greenidge’s Milk Like Sugar at the Huntington. He has regional credits that include In the Heights (Walnut Street Theatre), A Comedy of Errors (Theater at Monmouth), and Twelfth Night (Shakesperience Productions, Inc.). Some of his New York credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), Macbeth (Pulse Ensemble Theatre), She Calls Me Firefly (New Perspectives Theatre), and Trouble (New York Musical Theatre Festival). His television credits include “Blindspot” and “Person of Interest.” He can also be heard and seen in commercials for Coke Zero, Verizon, Zaxby’s, Footlocker, Bounty, and more. Mr. Harris is also a hip-hop dancer, teacher, and choreographer at Man in Motion. maninmotionnyc.com. matthewjharris.net.

Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Lincoln) previously appeared in Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Huntington. He has also appeared in Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk on Broadway. His Off-Broadway credits include Rancho Viejo (Playwrights Horizons), The America Play, Two Noble Kinsmen, and The Tempest (The Public Theater/NYSF), The Piano Lesson (Signature Theatre), and The Public Sings (New York City Center). His regional credits include Aubergine and Intelligent Homosexuals Guide…; (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), WAR, The Winter’s Tale, and The Piano Lesson (Yale Repertory Theatre), Jitney (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Radio Golf (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), Romeo & Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theatre Company), and Angels in America (Alliance Theatre and Dallas Theatre Center). His television credits include “Elementary,” “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Unforgettable,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Following,” “Suits,” and “Law and Order.” He is the recipient of the Dallas Theater Critics Award (Leon Rabin) for Featured Actor in Angels in America. Mr. Henderson is the founder of Quick Silver Theater Company. QuickSilverTheater.com. TyroneMitchellHenderson.com.

Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright) is one of the most acclaimed playwrights in American drama today. She is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts, and was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next Wave.” Her project 365 Days/365 Plays (where she wrote a play a day for an entire year) was produced in over 700 theatres worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theatre history. Her other plays include Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize winner), The Book of Grace, Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical, In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Venus (1996 Obie Award), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award, Best New American Play), The America Play, and Fucking A. Her adaptation of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Her newest plays, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) – set during the Civil War – was awarded the Horton Foote Prize, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Ms. Parks has written numerous screenplays including Girl 6 for Spike Lee, and she adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for ABC Television’s “;Oprah Winfrey Presents.” She is currently developing an original series for Amazon. Her first novel, Getting Mother’s Body (Random House, 2003), also contains songs and is set in the West Texas of her youth. Ms. Parks recently performed Watch Me Work, a free, weekly, live-streamed, writing workshop, open to artists of all disciplines. Her plays are published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Samuel French, and Dramatists Play Service. She is also at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come, and a new musical project in collaboration with Timbaland and Harmony Samuels. She is the Residency One playwright at Signature Theatre for their 2016-2017 season and her band Sula & The Noise is also in residence. Ms. Parks teaches at New York University, and serves at The Public Theater as its Master Writer Chair. She is an alumna of New Dramatists and of Mount Holyoke College.

Billy Porter (Director) returns to the Huntington having previously directed The Colored Museum. He is the 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Lola in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots. He was recently seen on Broadway in Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. Mr. Porter’s one-man show Ghetto Superstar (2005 GLAAD Media Award nomination, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Performer of the Year 2003–2004) debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh. His other directing credits include CompanyHAM: A Musical Memoir with Sam Harris; The WizBeing Alive: The Soul of SondheimTwilight in ManchegoOnce on This Island (NAACP Theatre Award winner for Best Direction); The Soul of Richard RodgersFive Guys Named MoeAltar BoyzRent (Associate Director, Off Broadway revival); Patina Miller Live at The Delfonte Room (London); and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder (starring Chaka Khan). His Broadway album, Billy’s Back on Broadway (Concord Records) was released in 2014. His single Edelweiss: #blessourhomeland was released on Inauguration day and the full album, Billy Porter Presents the Soul of Richard Rodgers will be released in April of 2017. Some of his film and television work includes The Broken Hearts Club, The Humbling, Billy Porter: Broadway & Soul (PBS), “Law & Order,” and “The Get Down.” As a playwright, Mr. Porter was represented Off Broadway in 2014 with the premiere of While I Yet Live starring S. Epatha Merkerson (Primary Stages). A Pittsburgh native, he received his BFA in drama from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a graduate of UCLA’s professional program in screenwriting.

Topdog/Underdog features scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos (The Colored Museum and A Raisin in the Sun at the Huntington and In Transit on Broadway); lighting design by Driscoll Otto (The Colored Museum at the Huntington); sound design by Leon Rothenberg (Choice at the Huntington and Violet on Broadway); and casting direction by Alaine Alldaffer (Grey Gardens, Clybourne Park, and Circle Mirror Transformation at Playwrights Horizons). Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.



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