The upcoming season will kick off with the world premiere of Richard Nelson's How Shakespeare Won the West, which will play the Boston University Theatre (Huntington's main stage) Sept. 5-Oct. 5. The play, according to press notes, is a "highly theatrical look at a troupe of 19th century actors who cross the U.S. to perform Shakespeare for entertainment-starved panhandlers caught up in the Gold Rush." Jonathan Moscone, who is artistic director of the California Shakespeare Theatre, will direct.
José Rivera's Boleros for the Disenchanted will follow, playing Oct. 10-Nov. 15 at the Huntington's Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. The newest play from Rivera — who was Oscar-nominated for his screenplay adaptation of the book "The Motorcycle Diaries" — is described as a "moving portrait of a loving marriage between Flora and Eusebio, two Puerto Rican immigrants whose youthful, whirlwind romance is tested and strengthened over four decades – from their homeland to rural Alabama." Chay Yew directs.
Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, on Broadway earlier this season, will play the B.U. Theatre Nov. 7-Dec. 7. A co-production with San Francisco's American Conservatory the acclaimed work — a "sweeping, generation-spanning drama of international dissidents who experience political, personal, and musical revolutions" — will be directed by Carey Perloff.
Broadway favorite Kate Burton will star in a production of Emlyn Williams' The Corn Is Green directed by Huntington Artist Emeritus Nicholas Martin. Burton will play the idealistic schoolteacher Miss Moffat, who "arrives in a poverty-stricken Welsh coal-mining town to open the community's first school. She takes illiterate school bully Morgan (played by Burton's son, Morgan Ritchie) under her wing and points him toward a brighter future in this funny, life-affirming tale." Performance dates at the B.U. Theatre are Jan. 9, 2009-Feb. 8, 2009. (Burton and Ritchie performed these same roles in the Williamstown production of Corn in August 2007.)
The American premiere of Richard Goodwin's The Hinge of the World — directed by Edward Hall — will play the B.U. Theatre March 6-April 5, 2009. The play, according to the Huntington, "captures the moment 400 years ago when Galileo raised his telescope to the skies and created theories that shook society to its core. As word spreads from Venice to Rome, the scientist becomes a target for Pope Urban VIII and his Catholic brethren. Brought before the Holy Inquisition, Galileo is forced to choose between his religion and his life's work in this intelligent, thought-provoking epic drama about the struggle between reason and faith." Huntington's second world premiere will follow, David Grimm's The Miracle at Naples. Directed by Peter DuBois, the play — described as a "bawdy comedy set in Renaissance Italy and focused on the romantic adventures of a band of commedia players who arrive for the Feast of San Gennaro" — will be seen at the Calderwood Pavilion April 3-May 9, 2009.
The Huntington season will conclude May 14-June 14, 2009, with The Pirates of Penzance, a "Caribbean-style adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic musical." Conceived by Gordon Greenberg, Nell Benjamin and John McDaniel with additional book and lyrics by Benjamin, Pirates will play the B.U. Theatre. Gordon Greenberg directs.
In a statement new artistic director DuBois said, "This upcoming season offers some of the best writing, directing and acting from Boston to New York to London. My goal is this: as audiences journey between our homes at the Boston University Theatre, and the Wimberly and Roberts Theatres at the Calderwood Pavilion, they will encounter some of the most exciting work on stage today."
Huntington managing director Michael Maso added, "Peter DuBois became the Huntington's new artistic director because he has great vision, enthusiasm, and access to wonderful artistic collaborators in the U.S. and around the world. His first season embraces the traditions of the Huntington's past quarter-century, and harnesses the best of what's happening on the American theatre scene right now. This season appeals to the Huntington's core subscriber base and to individual ticket buyers looking for the best entertainment in the region."
For subscription information visit www.huntingtontheatre.org or call (617) 266-0800. Individual tickets will go on sale in August.