Nonprofit Newswire | A Community Theater Reconnects with its Community

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February 16, 2010; The New York Times | Boston’s Huntington Theater is changing the way it works to ensure it remains relevant in its Boston community. According the Huntington Theater’s director since 2008, Peter DuBois, “The artistic and business models of the regional theaters in the 20th century are over.” A December study looking at the relationships between community theaters and playwrights uncovered a disconnection. DuBois’s approach at the Huntington Theater is an attempt to mirror the community of Boston both in terms of its playwrights and its audience. According to DuBois, “you have to talk to people here to learn how to do that.” Huntington had been previously known to produce classic plays, such as Shakespeare, those that would eventually end up on Broadway, or Arthur Miller plays, many of which appealed to its older, white audience. But recent productions at the theater, such as “Stick Fly,” a play about culture clashes of an affluent black family on Martha’s Vineyard, efforts by DuBois—a Connecticut native—and staff to get to know Boston, the creation of programs, such as fellowships, to foster local playwrights are attempts to expand the theater’s base and make Boston a more friendly place for the arts.— Kristin Barrali

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