‘Common Ground’ Illuminated Boston. Now It’s Coming to the Stage.


“Common Floor,” J. Anthony Lukas’s Pulitzer-profitable masterpiece about Boston’s turbulent attempt to desegregate its colleges by way of court-purchased busing, is inspiring a stage engage in.

The Huntington Theater Company in Boston plans to present the drama, referred to as “Common Floor Revisited,” up coming winter season, with performances commencing in January. The adaptation is by Kirsten Greenidge and directed by Melia Bensussen the two artists commenced collaborating on the project in 2011, when they jointly taught a course checking out the matter at Emerson School.

“It’s come to be a pleasant beast of a undertaking — it’s huge, and it is taken many yrs to determine out how to get it suitable, but I adore the enormity of it,” Greenidge explained. “It’s also really billed, and we want to make positive that men and women sense witnessed and heard.”

The journalistic e-book, revealed in 1985 with the complete title of “Common Floor: A Turbulent 10 years in the Lives of A few American Families,” was a feeling, particularly in Boston, as it made available new perception into the controversy over university integration that experienced torn the metropolis apart. The e book, as its comprehensive title indicates, follows a few family members as their lives are influenced by the city’s turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s.

The reserve was formerly adapted for tv in 1990.

Greenidge famous that audiences who see the enjoy — mostly set in the mid-1970s, with a cast of 12 taking part in numerous roles — are probable to have a huge range of associations to the background staying depicted. “We will have viewers users who arrive and say, ‘I went to Charlestown Significant in ’76,’ or ‘I was bused to Southie,’ and we’ll have folks who are transplants and do not know this history at all, as perfectly as persons who say, ‘I know Boston has a reputation for having deep-seated complications with race, but that’s all I know.’” Aspect of our endeavor is to figure out how a lot an viewers requires to be in a position to observe the tale and link with what we’re executing.”

The play, at first commissioned by ArtsEmerson, is scheduled to start off performances Jan. 8 and operate through Feb. 7 as section of the Huntington’s up coming season, which also incorporates Calista Flockhart starring in a revival of Oscar Wilde’s “An Best Spouse,” as nicely as productions of “What the Constitution Usually means to Me,” by Heidi Schreck “Witch,” by Jen Silverman “Teenage Dick,” by Mike Lew “Songbird,” a musical by Michael Kimmel and Lauren Pritchard and “Hurricane Diane,” by Madeleine George.

The Huntington is only the most up-to-date regional theater to cultivate a new operate of theater about its house metropolis. Previous calendar year, Trinity Repertory Firm, in Providence, R.I., experienced a substantial hit with “The Prince of Providence,” a new play by George Brant about that city’s onetime mayor, Vincent A. Cianci Jr., greatly acknowledged as Buddy. Trinity Rep has currently announced options to revive that play subsequent year.


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