BOSTON: Huntington Theatre Company has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include a mix of world premieres and new plays from Winnie Holzman, Jeffrey Hatcher, Gina Gionfriddo and Craig Lucas, and one TV name: Nick Offerman, who will star in Hatcher’s adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.
The season will open with Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music, (Sept. 11–Oct. 11), about a famous actress who reunites with an old lover and meets his new wife during a weekend in the country. The production will be directed by Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois.
Next is the world premiere of Holzman’s play Choice (Oct. 16–Nov. 15), about a journalist who takes on an assignment that leads her to reexamine her own life. The play will be directed by Sheryl Kaller. “This play has been alive in my imagination for a while now, and the Huntington seems to me the perfect place to have it realized for the first time,” said Holzman in a statement. “I am thrilled and grateful for this opportunity.”
Offerman will star in Hatcher’s Dunces (Nov. 11–Dec. 13), in which he’ll play Ignatius J. Reilly, a Don Quixote-like character living in his mother’s New Orleans basement in the 1960s. David Esbjornson, who last helmed the Huntington’s productions of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and All My Sons, will direct.
“Adapting John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces into a play has been like wrestling Ignatius Riley to the stage,” said Hatcher in a statement. “The book is famously picaresque, episodic and digressive, but the digressions are often the point. What I think we’ve arrived at is a play that focuses on the characters—Ignatius, his mother Mrs. Reilly, Burma Jones, Myrna Minkoff—without losing any of the book’s color and atmosphere and humor.”
Next, Eugene Lee will take on Todd Kreidler’s compilation of August Wilson’s writings into the biographical solo show How I Learned What I Learned (Jan. 8–Feb. 7, 2016). Lee starred in Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean on Broadway. The play will be directed by Kreidler. Lee, under Kriedler’s direction, is currently performing How I Learned What I Learned at Pittsburgh Public Theater through April 4.
Following will be the Pulitzer-winning Disgraced by Ayad Ahktar (March 4–April 3, 2016), about a Muslim lawyer and his wife and a contentious dinner party. Kimberly Senior, who directed the play on Broadway, will helm the Boston production (as well as productions in Chicago, Georgia and Berkeley, Calif.).
The world premiere of Gionfriddo’s newest play, Can You Forgive Her, is next (March 25–April 24, 2016), directed by DuBois, about a Halloween encounter between a woman down on her luck and a man who offers her shelter and a drink.
Playwright Lucas will direct his own new play, I Was Most Alive With You (June 1–July 3, 2016), about a deaf, gay alcoholic whose resilience is put to the test when a terrible accident occurs. The play will be written in English and American sign language. Lucas is an alumnus of Boston University.
“I’m so excited to be working on this play at the Huntington,” said Lucas in a statement. “Peter DuBois and I have a long friendship, and now I am over the moon about working with his incredible colleagues. I couldn’t be more thrilled about the process, the actors, the project. And if the process so far is any indication, then this is far and away the most meaningful artistic journey of my life.”
An additional play is also on the roster—a special event not part of the Huntington’s mainstage season. Huntington Playwright Fellow Kirsten Greenidge’s Milk Like Sugar, about a pregnancy pact between a group of teenage girls, will run Jan. 29–Feb. 28.