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Sweat, The Bluest Eye, and Three World Premieres Join the Huntington Theatre Season

Tony winner Billy Porter will direct the opening production of the Boston theater's 2019-20 season.

Billy Porter will direct the world premiere of Dan McCabe's new play The Purists at the Huntington Theatre Company.
(© Tricia Baron)

The Huntington Theatre Company has announced its 2019-20 season programming, featuring three world-premiere productions.

The season will open with the world premiere of The Purists (August 30-September 29; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA), written by Dan McCabe and directed by Tony winner Billy Porter (Pose, Kinky Boots). The story is described as follows: "A former rapper, a DJ, and a showtune-loving telesales director have become an unlikely group who hang out and spar about music on a stoop in Queens. But when an impromptu rap battle erupts between two younger female emcees, everything gets questioned."

Following will be Tom Stoppard's Tony-winning comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (September 20-October 20; Huntington Avenue Theatre), directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "This modern-day classic tragicomedy imagines the lives of two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. As the story unfolds, they voice their confusion about the play that's being performed without them, untangling bigger questions about life and death, reality and art."

Next will be the Boston premiere of Octavio Solis's Quixote Nuevo (November 15-December 15; Huntington Avenue Theatre), adapted from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, and directed by KJ Sanchez. The piece will be produced in association with Hartford Stage and Alley Theatre. "Transported to a border-town in Texas, the eccentric, brilliant knight embarks on a cross-desert quest to reunite with a long-lost love. Chased by Death himself – in the form of roving bands of mariachi Calacas – Quixote always leads with his heart in a world of people led astray by their brains."

The first production of the new year will be the world premiere of We All Fall Down (January 10-February 9, 2020; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA), written by Lila Rose Kaplan and directed by Melia Bensussen. "Linda and Saul Stein still live in the Westchester home where they raised their two beautiful daughters. But when Saul unexpectedly retires, Linda summons the family to celebrate Passover for the first time in decades. Linda tends slightly toward the theatrical (okay, a lot), and their family has never been particularly religious (okay, not at all). So, their comic attempts to bring the Seder to life go from riotous to heart wrenching in this play from Huntington Playwriting Fellow and Somerville resident Lila Rose Kaplan. Can this family come together, or will an age-old tradition tear them apart?"

Lynn Nottage's Tony-nominated and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat will then make its Boston premiere (January 31-March 1, 2020; Huntington Avenue Theatre), directed by Kimberly Senior. "Based on interviews with the residents of Reading, Pennsylvania, a group of close friends struggles to stay connected when their factory is at risk of collapse. In a neighborhood bar, each of them reaches for their piece of the America dream. Can their friendships survive this test?"

Next will be the world premiere of Our Daughters, Like Pillars (March 20-April 19, 2020; Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA), written by Kirsten Greenidge and directed by Kimberly Senior. "It's a surprise to everyone when Lavinia invites her sisters and their mother to a gorgeous summer house in New Hampshire for a vacation that she hopes will last forever. But when the sisters' stepmother Missy – the woman who inherited their dad's everything – shows up unannounced, long-simmering feuds flare up, and family bonds are called into question. Where is this family heading? Can they be happy with what they've been given? And who invited Missy?"

Closing out the season will be Lydia R. Diamond's adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's debut novel, The Bluest Eye (April 24-May 24, 2020; Huntington Avenue Theatre) — a celebration of its 50th anniversary. "The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a young black girl who believes everything in her world would be made wonderful if only she had blue eyes. Enthralling, gorgeously written, and incredibly emotional, The Bluest Eye asks powerful questions concerning racism, beauty, and identity with stunning grace and subtlety."

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