Paulus prefers to stay mum regarding specifics of the 2009–’10 season, which she will announce next spring. She does hint that the Machover opera she’s staging in Monaco for MIT Media Lab might make it into the mix. But will Cambridge audiences get their chance to sing along with The Karaoke Show and dance along with The Donkey Show? “It only makes sense for me to continue the work that has been so near and dear to me in terms of my creative work, my interest in classical stories that are retold in new ways through different musical forms,” she says. “I fully intend to bring that work with me to the ART. This is now my home.”
Theater as an event
BIG NAMES, FRESH FACES: Peter DuBois directed Oscar winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a pothead palooka in search of Zen perfection in Bob Glaudini’s Jack Goes Boating at New York’s Public Theater. Now he hopes to bring Hoffman’s LAByrinth Theater Company to Boston.
Settling in across the street that is the Charles River, the ebullient DuBois does not so much articulate his passions as wear them on his sleeve. “Peter, I think, is the perfect institution builder,” says the Public’s Eustis. “Part of that is that his enthusiasm is completely real, infectious, and generous. And that’s a rare thing. He is genuinely enthusiastic about other people’s work, about getting behind artists without reference to himself.”
Among those artists, this first season, are writers ranging from British eminence Tom Stoppard and Tony Award–winner Richard Nelson to the relatively unknown David Grimm and historian Richard Goodwin, whose play about Galileo, Two Men of Florence (formerly known as The Hinge of the World), will be directed at the Huntington by Edward Hall, son of famed director Sir Peter Hall. Also slated are Oscar-nominated-screenwriter José Rivera’s Boleros for the Disenchanted, which premiered earlier this year at Yale, Martin’s revival of The Corn Is Green starring Kate Burton, and Pirates!, a new, Caribbean-set adaptation of The Pirates of Penzance.
“I tend to think of programming as events,” DuBois explains. “For example, Richard Nelson writing a comedy about Shakespeare and gold miners, with a commission from the Royal Shakespeare Company — that’s an event. When [American Conservatory Theatre’s] Carey Perloff says to me, ‘Tom Stoppard is working on rewrites of Rock ’n’ Roll and we want to do the post-Broadway premiere in collaboration with you,’ that felt like an event. So that’s how I put the season together. There’s these seven events, and the play’s at the center of it, but it really needs something else — an actor or a point of view or new territory the writer’s heading into or new territory for Boston audiences. There’s got to be that certain thing that says to me, ‘Okay, we need to produce it.’ ”
Among the things that attracted DuBois to the Huntington, he admits, was the real estate, which includes the 890-seat Boston University Theatre as well as the 360-seat Wimberly Theatre and 200-seat Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. “There are very few theaters in the country,” he waxes, “that have the combination of elements that the Huntington has — these really amazing spaces, an ongoing relationship with New York and London, and a community and a board and a staff that really support a director running a theater. There’s been a trend toward full-time producers taking the reins at theaters.”