When You Can’t Go To The Theatre, The Theatre Comes To You
A play discussion group focused on contemporary female voices and a weekly Q&A with the artists of SpeakEasy’s 30th Anniversary Season are the two new audience engagement initiatives set to debut at SpeakEasy Stage next week.
All events comprising both these initiatives are free and open to the public.
To sign-up for any of these discussions, or for more information, the public is invited to contact SpeakEasy Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati at alexlonati [at] speakeasystage [dot] com
First up, beginning Wednesday, May 20 at 5PM, is a five-week half-hour series offering an insider’s guide to the five shows making up SpeakEasy’s 2020-2021 Season, which is also the company’s 30th Anniversary year.
SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault and Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati will be the hosts for lively discussions with the key artists associated with each upcoming show.
The schedule of shows and artists is as follows:
Once On This Island – Wednesday, May 20, 5:00-5:30pm
Artists present: Director Pascale Florestal, Music Director David Freeman Coleman
People, Places & Things – Wednesday, May 27, 5:00-5:30pm
Artists present: Director David R. Gammons, Actress Marianna Bassham, Actor John Kuntz
Slave Play – Wednesday, June 3, 5:00-5:30pm
Artist present: Director Tiffany Nichole Greene
Bright Star – Wednesday, June 10, 5:00-5:30pm
Artists present: Director Paul Daigneault, Actress Laura Marie Duncan,
Choreographer Misha Shields, Music Director Eli Schildekraut
The Inheritance – Wednesday, June 17, 5:00-5:30pm
Artist present: Director Paul Daigneault
Those interested can join by tuning into SpeakEasy’s Facebook page for each live 30-minute Q&A session. In addition to learning more about each show, participants will also find out about the season selection process, production plans, and the artists’ inspiration, and also be able to ask questions.
Next, on Thursday, May 21, SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault and Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati will kick off SpeakEasy’s Play Discussion group, which will focus on the works of four contemporary female playwrights, and which will, for at least three of the four sessions, have the writers join in the conversation.
The first installment will feature a chat with Mr. Daigneault and Ms. Lonati, who will offer tips to participants on how to read a play.
After that introduction, the group will focus on the following four plays:
- Cost of Living by Martyna Majok – Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
- Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee – Thursday, June 4 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
- DIASPORA! by Phaedra Michelle Scott, developed through SpeakEasy’s The Boston Project Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 – 6:30
Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung – Thursday, June 18 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
Martyna Majok, who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Cost of Living; Phaedra Michelle Scott, author of DIASPORA! ; and Hansol Jung, who wrote Wild Goose Dreams, are currently scheduled to attend the discussion of their plays.
All discussions will take place on Zoom, so that everyone can see those participating and share comments.
Scripts will need to be purchased in advance, which will help support the playwrights during this time when all productions are on hold. The script for DIASPORA! will be distributed in advance for free to all participants since the play is still in development.
Each discussion will also be hosted by a veteran Boston actress, who will help facilitate the conversation as well as offer their perspective on the play from an acting standpoint. At press time, that list was still being confirmed.
Individuals may sign up for as many of these discussions as they like.
Questions on either initiative may be directed to Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati at AlexLonati [at] SpeakEasyStage [dot] com.
Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director Brad Kenney Announces
Cancelation of the 2020 Season
By Bobby Franklin
I have been reviewing shows at the Ogunquit Playhouse since 2014, and have been attending performances since well before that. The Playhouse has aways held a special place in my heart with its wonderful staff, incredible productions, and the warmth of all who are involved which includes all of its supporters.
The Playhouse is as much a part of Ogunquit as the ocean. Brad Kenney has been nothing short of spectacular since taking over as Executive Artistic Director in 2005. Not only has he brought in the best talent and productions, he has also built a community around the Playhouse that is nothing short of a very large and happy family. I know this has to be very hard on Brad and is a time of great sadness for him and all those involved with the Playhouse.
While I know he is on the ropes right now, with the support of the Ogunquit Playhouse Community Brad will bring the lights back on next year and soar to new heights.
Please considering sending a contribution to help them weather this storm. This is a difficult and sad time for the theatre community, for Ogunquit, and for our nation. We will get through this.
Statement from the Ogunquit Playhouse:
Following guidelines released this week by Governor Janet Mills in response to the reopening of Maine’s businesses, and responding to the safety challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and COVID19, Ogunquit Playhouse has announced that it will halt productions on all scheduled 2020 shows at its historic theatre and cancel its 88th season. Ogunquit Playhouse has not gone dark for a season since World War II.
Ogunquit Playhouse leadership reached the difficult conclusion that it must cancel its highly anticipated lineup of shows slated for its stage this season, with the hope of moving them to a future season. The decision comes after weeks of careful deliberation, extensive revisions to the season’s budgets and show schedules, and thoughtful health and safety planning to protect staff, crew, volunteers, visiting artists and patrons.
The historic non-profit theatre relies on the sale of tickets for 80% of its operating budget, and the cancellation of the 88th season will have a profound financial impact on Ogunquit Playhouse. Despite drastic cost-cutting measures, the Playhouse will incur financial damages exceeding $3 million. Its focus now will turn to raising funds to ensure the financial viability of the Playhouse and to carrying on its mission.
“Our commitment to the health and safety of our staff, artists, and audiences is our top priority. Although this decision is difficult and heartbreaking, we understand its necessity and are willing to do our part to stop this pandemic. Although we have cancelled our main stage productions, we will continue our mission of providing artistic content—in many new ways this year, while also focusing on raising needed funds and planning for an extraordinary 2021 season. Everyone at the Playhouse was excited and honored to be presenting these exceptional titles this season. Our hearts are with all the artists, actors, craftspeople, our seasonal staff and crew, who are severely impacted by these upheavals to their professional lives and livelihoods. While the months ahead still hold much uncertainty, it is our mission to be here for future generations and to preserve this beloved historic theatre, and we will do just that. Ogunquit Playhouse has weathered many storms for nearly a century and together we will emerge from this crisis, and look forward to brighter days, when we gather again at the Ogunquit Playhouse,” stated Bradford Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director.
This closure also disrupts the surrounding business community that depend on the theatre as a major economic driver in the region. Over 120,000 ticket buyers visit the Playhouse each season, and in turn patronize regional restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments.
Public support in this time of global health and economic crisis will help ensure that Ogunquit Playhouse continues to share transformative and entertaining shows, new works and world premieres on its historic stage for future generations.
For more information on how to contribute and to stay connected during the coming year, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.
About Ogunquit Playhouse: Ogunquit Playhouse, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization listed on the National Historic Register. Its mission is to produce world-class performances, and new works, and preserve the historic playhouse for future generations. The theatre is located on Route One in Ogunquit, Maine and produces the finest Broadway shows each season. It also produces an annual holiday show at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH in late November and December. Follow Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and on Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse) for behind-the-scenes info, photos and fun throughout the season. For more information visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.
A SPECIAL BROADCAST OF
A ONE WOMAN PLAY BY MELINDA LOPEZ
ArtsEmerson and Huntington Theatre Company
Airs on WGBH 2 on Thursday, April 9, at 10 p.m.
With live theatrical performances closed due to the coronavirus, public media outlet WGBH has collaborated with Huntington Theatre Company and ArtsEmerson to bring live theater to the living room. WGBH will present a special broadcast of Mala, a poignant drama written and performed by local playwright and performer Melinda Lopez. This award-winning play will air on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV on Thursday, April 9 at 10:00 p.m.
“Theater is a powerful medium to process challenging times. So with our Boston theaters dark, we are thrilled to be able to bring this important work to local audiences in partnership with ArtsEmerson and Huntington Theatre Company,” said Jon Abbott, president and CEO of WGBH. “ Our shared commitment to the arts strengthens us as a community.”
Set during a winter of epic snowfall in 2015, Mala is inspired by notes Lopez frantically typed to herself on an iPhone while she cared for her increasingly frail and consistently fierce mother. These short missives ultimately create a moving and generous portrait of the way taking care of family tests, deepens, and changes our bonds to the ones we love. Lopez, a regular on Boston stages, also performs the play, directed by ArtsEmerson’s Artistic Director, David Dower. Although the performance was taped in 2018, it will be broadcast for the first time on April 9. WGBH viewers will be able to experience the humor, honesty, and ultimately cathartic experience of this award-winning play by a celebrated local artist.
“At the time this was filmed, we were so grateful to the Huntington and to WGBH for their interest in capturing this show during its return to Boston,” said Dower. “But we had no idea how urgent and moving it would become to have it available to air in the middle of this moment. It seems now like a bit of a miracle that it exists to be shown in this way. The WGBH team has brought such love and care to the making of this broadcast, and Melinda’s performance is indelible. We are so proud to have been a part of making this possible and relieved to be able to still connect with our city in this time of standing together by standing apart.”
After performing to sold-out houses during its 2016 world premiere engagement at ArtsEmerson, Mala won the 2017 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Script. Huntington Theatre Company presented a return engagement of the ArtsEmerson production at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in January 2018, where WGBH recorded and produced the broadcast. Mala went on to play a successful run at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater.
“Each time I have seen Melinda Lopez’s stirring play Mala, I leave the theater with a sense of breathless joy and optimism, marveling at Melinda’s ability to draw everyone in as if they were family,” says Peter DuBois, Artistic Director of the Huntington Theatre Company. “Melinda’s message of resilience seems especially relevant now, when so many of us feel isolated as caregivers who are worried about a parent or mentor. Melinda’s play has warmth, laughter, and beauty — things I know we all need. I am looking forward to sharing it with new audiences through WGBH!”
Following the broadcast, ArtsEmerson will host a pre-recorded online conversation between playwright/performer Melinda Lopez and director David Dower at ArtsEmersonBlog.org.
SUPPORTING THE CIVIC EFFORTS IN BOSTON TO FLATTEN THE CURVE ON SPREAD OF INFECTION
ARTSEMERSON IMMEDIATELY DISCONTINUES ALL PUBLIC PROGRAMMING
ArtsEmerson today announces that it will suspend scheduled public gatherings beginning today, March 13, with the hope of continuing more regular activity by the end of April 2020. This decision comes in an effort to support the civic efforts in our region to flatten the curve on the spread of the infectious coronavirus (COVID-19).
In all instances, ArtsEmerson is investigating whether programming may be rescheduled to a later date, and all ticket-holders will be notified directly with information and instructions as soon as possible. For anyone holding tickets to one of these performances, ArtsEmerson requests that you wait for an email with instructions rather than calling the box office. Staff members are working as quickly as possible in these challenging times.
Impacted events will not take place on these dates:
· Plata Quemada – March 13-15
· La Chana, part of Shared Stories: A POC Film Series – March 13-14
· Film: Cyrano de Bergerac – March 14-15
· Film: All My Sons – March 20-22
· Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower – March 26-29
· Film: Wise Children – March 27-29
For more information, please visit www.ArtsEmerson.org.
SPEAKEASY STAGE CANCELS ALL REMAINING PERFORMANCES OF
Giving the evolving circumstances around COVID-19, and out of concern for the health and safety of its patrons, staff, and artists, SpeakEasy Stage Company has decided to cancel all remaining performances of its production of THE CHILDREN effective immediately, Paul Daigneault, the company’s Founder and Producing Artist Director, announced today.
Boston Theatre Scene Ticketing Services, which handles all of SpeakEasy’s ticketing, will be reaching out to all patrons holding tickets to these cancelled performances to discuss their options, which include donating the cost of the tickets, exchanging for tickets to a future SpeakEasy production, or getting a refund.
All proceeds from any donated tickets will go to support SpeakEasy programs and artists, including those affected by the show’s cancellation.
On behalf of its staff and artists, the company would like to thank all its supporters for their patience and understanding at this time.
For information on any upcoming shows or events, the public is invited to check out the company’s website (www.SpeakEasyStage.com) and Facebook page, or call SpeakEasy’s Administrative Office’s at 617-482-3279.
Trinity Rep In Providence Announces Cancellation of A Tale of Two Cities
Due to the state of emergency declared today in Providence by Mayor Jorge Elorza, all remaining performances of A Tale of Two Cities at Trinity Rep are cancelled. The Mayor has revoked all entertainment licenses until further notice.
The box office will be reaching out to all affected patrons. We ask patrons to await contact from the box office so that they can contact people for this weekend’s performances first. Tickets may be exchanged into a future performance of Sweat or Sweeney Todd, donated to Trinity Rep, or refunded to a gift card.
As a non-profit organization which employs many staff members and artists living paycheck to paycheck, we ask that you support Trinity Rep in any way you can at this time, including with your patience and generous spirit
Trinity Repertory Company | (401) 351-4242 | TrinityRep.com
Hartford Stage Cancels All Remaining Performances Of Jane Eyre and Run Of The King’s Speech In Response To COVID-19
Based on recommendations from state and local government in response to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, Hartford Stage is canceling all remaining performances of Jane Eyre (March 12-14) and the run of The King’s Speech, scheduled for March 19 through April 19.
“The safety and health of our community, visiting artists, staff and volunteers always remains our first priority at Hartford Stage,” Managing Director Cynthia Rider said. “We know that communities are in need of our solidarity and support in these times and want to encourage neighbors and patrons to meet this crisis with compassion and care rather than fear and division.”
Rider added that the theatre will continue to closely monitor all updates and changing circumstances provided by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Should additional changes be made to upcoming performance schedules, visiting artists, ticket holders, staff, and volunteers will be notified as quickly as possible.
Tickets for Jane Eyre and The King’s Speech can be exchanged into performances of Ah, Wilderness! (May 7 – 31) or The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) (June 11 – 21). All exchange fees will be waived. Alternatively, tickets can be donated back to Hartford Stage, a 501(c)(3) organization, as a tax-deductible contribution at a time of increased financial challenges for the performing arts industry.
Patience is asked for in anticipation of high call volume as the Hartford Stage Box Office staff works to reach out directly to all ticket holders. For quick access to information on ticket exchanges, visit http://hartfordstage.formstack.com/forms/cancellation.
HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
CANCELS ALL PUBLIC PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS
AT THE HUNTINGTON AVENUE THEATRE
AND CALDERWOOD PAVILION AT THE BCA
Huntington Theatre Company Managing Director Michael Maso announced today after much careful consideration that due to the evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19, effective immediately, the Huntington Theatre Company will suspend all public performances and events at both the Huntington Avenue Theatre and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA until further notice.
The Huntington Theatre Company ticketing staff will be reaching out to ticket holders of Our Daughters, Like Pillars (scheduled for Mar 20 – April 19) to inform them of the cancellation of all public performances of the world premiere comedy by Kirsten Greenidge. The Huntington hopes to create a digital recording of this play to be made available to ticketed patrons. Huntington ticket holders will also have the option of donating their tickets, exchanging them for a future Huntington production, or refunds. All proceeds from donated tickets will go towards supporting artists and other contracted employees who will be affected by cancellations of Huntington programming.
In keeping with our commitment to customer service and our flexible exchange policies, we are happy to work with any patrons who feel uncomfortable attending their designated performance when our venues reopen. The Huntington would like to thank its patrons for their patience, understanding and support at this time. The artists and staff of the Huntington look forward to reuniting with audiences together in their venues when it is safe to do so.
For more information on the Huntington Theatre Company’s response to COVID-19 click HERE
For more information on ticketing donations, exchanges and refunds please call 617 266 0800.
For more information on the Huntington Theatre Company’s 2020-2021 season please click HERE
Tony-winners Jason Alexander and BD Wong to Premiere New Shows at
Ogunquit Playhouse as Part of its 2020 Season
The legendary Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of shows for its 88th season that includes the Northeast regional premiere of the hilarious dark comedy The War of the Roses, a new play based on the novel by Warren Adler and helmed by Tony Award-winner Jason Alexander, and the world premiere of the funny and heartwarming musical adaptation of Mr. Holland’s Opus, helmed by Tony Award-winner BD Wong. The season opens with the high-energy musical sensation Dirty Dancing –The Classic Story on Stage based on the smash-hit film, then continues with a stunning revival of the Tony Award-winning, all-Gershwin, tap dancing extravaganza Crazy for You, and the exhilarating Broadway hit musical based on the lives of Grammy Award-winning husband-and-wife team Gloria and Emilio Estefan, On Your Feet!. The season will stretch to the holidays once again with the return of the hit show White Christmas in collaboration with The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
“We are honored and thrilled to be collaborating with an incredible team of industry leaders on a number of premieres as part of our 88th season in 2020,” stated Bradford Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director. “It’s been a great honor to be able to collaborate with Eleanor Bergstein to bring to the stage her iconic film Dirty Dancing. We have been working closely with Tony-winner BD Wong and Tony-nominee Wayne Barker over the last several years on the development of the new musical adaptation of Mr. Holland’s Opus, and we are thrilled to produce its world premiere for Playhouse audiences this year. We have also been working alongside Tony-winner Jason Alexander and the Broadway team on the development of the hilarious new play The War of the Roses, which makes one of its premieres on our stage in late summer. The cultivation of new works is now part of our mission as we produce world-class performances, tell the most compelling stories, and challenge and inspire our audiences in new ways. We are honored that these wonderful new shows will be seen alongside the entire season this year at Ogunquit Playhouse.”
Five-show season ticket subscriptions are on sale now and the only way to guarantee the best seats for the best price to these exciting shows! Three and four-show subscriptions are on sale beginning Tuesday, February 18. Prices start at only $250 for a five-show subscription and $150 for a three-show subscription. Individual tickets are on sale exclusively for Ogunquit Playhouse Members starting March 11. Individual public ticket sales begin Wednesday, March 18 with prices starting at $53. Gift certificates are also on sale online and through the Box Office. To learn more about becoming a Member, season subscriber, or to purchase tickets and gift certificates, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Box Office at 207-646-5511.