The Huntington stretches THE BLUEST IL; Announces the casting, the creative team


The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of a stunning new production of The Bluest Eye based on the classic American novel by Toni Morrison. Written by Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly on Broadway and The Huntington, Smart People at The Huntington), the play reinvents Morrison’s haunting and powerful first book for the stage. Production begins January 28 and has been extended through March 13, 2022 at The Huntington’s Calderwood pavilion at BCA, with digital access to the filmed performance available through March 27, 2022.

Directed by Awoye Timpo (In Old Age at the New York Theater Workshop, Good Grief at the Vineyard theater), The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola, a young black girl who believes that everything in her world would be made wonderful if only she had blue eyes.

Inspired by the narrative circles of black rituals, the audience will be seated in a circle surrounding the actors, and the experience will create a space of provocation, remembrance and healing. The Wimberly Theater stage will extend into the house beyond the traditional stage, and part of the audience will be seated on all sides (a seating chart is available here.)

“Coming together in a circle to tell a story is essential for our humanity. This is what we invite the community to do with The Bluest Eye,” said Timpo.

Published in 1970, The Bluest Eye was Morrison’s first novel, and it quickly forged a new course in American literature by placing young black girls at its center. Located in the author’s hometown of Lorain, Ohio in the 1940s, Morrison said she first wrote the story because it was something she wanted to read. She would later become the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, writing 11 novels as well as children’s books. Before Morrison’s death in 2019, she gave her blessing to the playwright Lydia R. Diamond, which was mandated by Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago to adapt The Bluest Eye in 2005.

“I was overwhelmed with gratitude and never wanted to do something right so desperately,” explained Diamond. “Ms. Morrison has told a generation, then another generation of black girls that they matter, that they deserve to be seen, loved, protected and celebrated. We are all the better for her.”

The cast of The Bluest Eye presents, in alphabetical order:

Ramona lisa alexandre (Mom; she / she) Huntington: Milk like sugar and breath, Boom. Regional: Postcards from Earth (Guthrie, X11), Seven Guitars (Artists Rep, Portland, OR), The Royale (Merrimack Rep / Capital Rep, Albany, NY), To Kill a Mockingbird (Montana Rep, national tour), A Christmas Carol (Berkshire Theater Group).

Brittany-Laurelle (Claudia; she / she) is an actress, storyteller and poet from Harlem, NY. She’s excited to make her Huntington debut. She was recently seen in Staying Home: A 2020 Retrospective (Dance Now), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Seven Angels Theater). Theater training: LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, Adelphi University. Instagram: @whoisbrittanylaurelle

Hadar Busia-Singleton (Pecola; elle) Film: Tears of the Sun directed by Antoine Fuqua, and Le Bon Oeuf.

Brian D. Coats (Soaphead Church; he / him) Huntington: Invisible Man (2013). Broadway: Jitney (MTC / US tour), On the Levee (Lincoln Center Theater/ LCT3), La Ruta (Working Theater, Pan-Asian representative, Studio Theater Ensemble), Les Bacchantes, Le Premier Noël (Harlem Classical Theater).

Mckenzie frye (Ms. Breedlove; her / her) Off Broadway: Syncing Ink (Alley Theater / The Flea), Wig Out! (Vineyard theater), River Deep (Peter Jay Sharp Theater). Regional: Damn Yankees (St. Louis Black Rep), Dreamgirls (Arkansas Rep) and Harriet’s Return with Debbie allen (Kennedy Center).

Lindsley Howard (Maureen; her / her) Select NY: The Antelope Party (The Lark, Dutch Kills), Trojan Women (The Flea). Regional: Les Loups (Studio Theater, Helene hayes Outstanding Supporting Actress Nominated).

Alexandria King (Darlene / Frieda; elle / elles) Off Broadway: Pipeline (WAM & The Nora Theater), A Christmas Carol in Harlem (Classical Theater of Harlem), Antigone (Classical Theater of Harlem). Film: “I want to dance with someone” (Convincing Images), “Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart” (Film Posse), “Red Monster” (Beyond Measure Productions), “Clear History” (HBO).

Greg Alverez Reid (Cholly) is excited to make his Huntington debut with The Bluest Eye. Off Broadway: Between the World and Me (Apollo Theater), The Fabulous Miss Marie (New Federal Theater / Castillo Theater). Regional: Detroit ’67 (Signature Theater), Fences (McCarter Theater Center / Long Wharf Theater), All My Sons (People’s Light Theater), Broke-ology (Theater Alliance), Gem of the Ocean (Hangar Theater), Locomotion (The Kennedy Center). TV / Film: “Between the World and Me” (HBO / HBO MAX), “The Apollo” (HBO / HBO MAX).

The Bluest Eye Creative Team Includes Emmy Award Winner Set Design Jason Ardizzone-West (“Jesus Christ Superstar – Live” on NBC, “Adele: Live in NYC” on NBC; Blue Man Group: Speechless national tour), costume design by Lortel Award winner Dede Ayite (A Soldier’s Play, Slave Play, and American Son on Broadway) and Rodrigo Muñoz, lighting design by Adam Honoré (Skeleton Crew at The Huntington, Chicken & Biscuits on Broadway, Ain’t No Mo ‘at Public theater, Carmen Jones at Classical stage company), sound design by Aubrey Dubé, composition of the winner of a Grammy Award Justin ellington (record artists Usher, Nicki Minaj, André 3000; Other Desert Towns on Broadway, Pass Over at Lincoln Center Theater), hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas, musical direction by David Freeman Coleman, choreography by Kurt Douglas and intimate coordination by Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson The production manager is Emily F. McMullen and the manager is Lucas Bryce Dixon.

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