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Robin Bloodworth and Stacy Fischer in "The Kritik" at Harbor Stage Company in 2016. (Photo Sara C. Walsh)

Huntington Theatre Announces Breaking Ground Festival Lineup

The festival will feature readings of plays by MJ Halberstadt, Melinda Lopez and Maurice E. Parent, and Brenda Withers.

BOSTON: The Huntington Theatre Company has announced the three plays selected for its 2019 Breaking Ground festival. The three-day festival is a vital part of the company’s new play development and features the work of locally-based Huntington Playwriting Fellows and national writers in partnership with the Huntington.

“The new plays in this year’s Breaking Ground festival each highlight their playwright’s distinct voice—from Brenda Withers’s riotous and insightful send-up, to MJ Halberstadt’s clever and surprising comedy, to Maurice Parent and Melinda Lopez’s arresting look at education and identity,” Huntington’s director of new work, Charles Haugland, said in a statement. “We look forward to showcasing these brilliant writers from the Boston community and to spending an evening in the company of each of their plays.”

The first day of the festival will feature a reading of The Kritik (April 12) by Brenda Withers. The play, directed in this reading by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, follows a theatre critic in 19th century Russia attempting to write his first honest review.

A reading of Mr. Parent (April 13) by Melinda Lopez and Maurice E. Parent will be next, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. The play, based on Parent’s life, provides a look into the systems of the Boston Public Schools.

The festival will close with a reading of MJ Halberstadt’s Deal Me Out (April 14), in which a group of social outcasts sets out to kick out the friend who’s been grating on their nerves at their weekly board game nights. Rebecca Bradshaw will direct.

Each of the readings are free and open to the public. Breaking Ground is supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Harry Kondoleon Playwriting Fund, and the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.

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