The Huntington announced that Watertown resident Zoë Sundra is Costume Designer for company’s upcoming production of Kimberly Belflower’s John Proctor is the Villain
The new play, running at the Calderwood Pavilion from Feb. 8 through March 10, centers young people coming of age as they examine The Crucible in their high school English class through a fresh lens. The piece comes from a young, rising voice in American Theatre, Kimberly Belflower, and is set in a small town in Georgia. This production also features several Boston-based artists including Victoria Omoregie (most recently was featured in Fat Ham this past fall) and Jules Talbot.
About Zoë Sundra
The Huntington: assisted on designs for Fat Ham, The Art of Burning, Witch. Regional: Chicken and Biscuits (Front Porch Arts Collective); But Not Buddy, The Addams Family (Wheelock Family Theatre at BU); Bombitty of Errors, Bright Half Life (Actors’ Shakespeare Project). Zoë is also a fiber artist and creates work under the name She Said Embroidery. She lives in Watertown with her spouse and fur children.
See more about John Proctor is the Villain in the following press release from The Huntington:
The Huntington announces the cast and creative team of John Proctor is the Villain, a bold and sharply funny new play written by Kimberly Belflower and directed by Margot Bordelon. The production runs from Thursday, February 8 – Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St).
At a rural high school in Georgia, a group of lively teens explore Arthur Miller’s The Crucible while navigating young love, sex ed, and a few school scandals in John Proctor is the Villain. With a contemporary lens on the American classic, the young women begin to discover their power and agency, finding a way to hold both the classic text and their community to account – with a profound sense of rage, authenticity, and hope. Alternately touching and bitingly funny, this new comedy captures a generation in mid-transformation, running on pop music, optimism, and fury, writing their own coming of age story.
“John Proctor is the Villain is my heart and guts in a single play, and I am overjoyed for it to find new life at The Huntington with such tremendous collaborators in Margot Bordelon and Loretta Greco,” says playwright Belflower.
Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco says, “I read Kimberly Belflower’s stunning new play and was obsessed! With Gen Z at the center, this reinvestigation of the canonical Crucible is a reckoning of our power structure and the stories we tell that reinforce that imbalance. This brilliant play has sparked a movement!”
Called “a knockout!” by The Washington Post and “Cracking good theatre! Add it to your ‘must see’ list,” by DC Metro Theater Arts, John Proctor is the Villain makes its New England debut at The Huntington this spring. With the story reexamining themes of The Crucible through a modern lens, this production marks the first time this bold story will reach audiences in The Crucible’s “back yard,” mere miles away from Salem, MA.
The resonance of this piece coming to The Huntington has sparked extraordinary interest from the start, with a record-breaking 9,000 self-submission audition inquiries coming through New York casting and roughly 360 via local casting for this one production in The Huntington’s 7-show season. That number is unprecedented and highlights just how compelling it is to artists that we are doing this play here and now.
Speaking to how compelling this piece is for local students as well, Huntington Director of Education Meg O’Brien has been preparing for popular and dynamic student matinees. “We’ve developed new curriculum for teachers for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” says O’Brien. “We’re excited to invite students to examine the play through today’s lens, similar to how the students in the play approach the text.”
The cast of John Proctor is the Villain includes:
Japhet Balaban as Carter Smith, a charming high school teacher. Credits include: Leopoldstadt on Broadway and Graveyard Shift at Goodman Theatre.
Maanav Aryan Goyal as Mason Adams, an earnest and affable student making an effort. Making his professional debut, with training from the New Studio on Broadway, Lee Strasberg Institute of Theatre and Film, and Stonestreet Studios Residency Program.
Olivia Hebert as Bailey Gallagher, a high school counselor doing her best in her first job out of college. Credits include: The Hard Problem at Lincoln Center Theater and Boy Gets Violent at Ars Nova.
Benjamin Izaak as Lee Turner, an insecure student who’s good at getting what he wants. Credits include: Love’s Labour’s Lost at Nevada Conservatory Theatre and The Music Man at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Brianna Martinez as Ivy Watkins, a fiercely loyal and well-intentioned student. Credits include: A Man for All Seasons and Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Victoria Omoregie as Nell Shaw, a quick, grounded, and sincere student with a good judge of character. Credits include: Fat Ham at The Huntington and Fairview at SpeakEasy Stage.
Jules Talbot as Beth Powell, a nervous, ambitious, and enthusiastic, high-achieving student. Credits include: Coriolanus at Actors’ Shakespeare Project and Alice at Wheelock Family Theatre.
Isabel Van Natta as Shelby Holcomb, a quick-thinking, fast-talking student who is often underestimated. Credits include: Laure Off Broadway and RX Machina at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.
Haley Wong as Raelynn Nix, a cheerleader-type student who lives by other peoples’ standards. Credits include: Mary Gets Hers at The Playwrights Realm/MCC and Events at The Hearth/The Brick.
Understudies include: Katherine Callaway, Jessica Golden, Jack Greenberg, Jaime José Hernandez, Patrick O’Konis, Valyn Lyric Turner, and Zehava Younger.
The creative team for John Proctor is the Villain includes scenic design by Kristen Robinson (Drinking in America at Audible Theater), costume design by Zoë Sundra (Fat Ham at The Huntington, design assistant), lighting design by Aja M. Jackson (The Band’s Visit at The Huntington), sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar (What the Constitution Means to Me on Broadway), and hair and makeup design by Rachel Padula-Shufelt (The Band’s Visit at The Huntington). The dramaturg is Lauren Halvorsen. The choreographer is Victoria L. Awkward, the voice and dialect coach is Christine Hamel, and the fight and intimacy consultant is Jessica Scout Malone. The assistant director is Carla Mirabal Rodríguez. The production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and the stage manager is Lucas Bryce Dixon.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Kimberly Belflower (Playwright) is a playwright and educator originally from a small town in Appalachian Georgia. Her plays include: John Proctor Is The Villain (2024 The Huntington, 2022 world premiere at Studio Theatre, 2019 Kilroys List, 2019 Ojai Playwrights Conference, multiple Helen Hayes awards, upcoming publication through Dramatists/Broadway Licensing); Lost Girl (2018 world premiere at Milwaukee Rep, Kennedy Center Darrell Ayers National Playwriting Award, published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals); Saint Pigtail (commissioned and developed by Studio Theatre, 2023 O’Neill Finalist). Kimberly has also worked with South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alliance Theatre, Farm Theatre, We the Women, Less Than Rent, among others. Kimberly was a narrative lead for Meow Wolf, Santa Fe’s celebrated arts and entertainment company. She holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and teaches playwriting at Emory University in Atlanta.
Margot Bordelon (Director) is a New York based director who specializes in new work. Off Broadway: …what the end will be, Something Clean, Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Roundabout); Let’s Call Her Patty, Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (LCT3); peerless (Primary Stages; and Cherry Lane); Wives (Playwrights Horizons); Do You Feel Anger? (Vineyard); Eddie and Dave (Atlantic); The Pen (Premieres NYC); A Delicate Ship (Playwrights Realm); Wilder Gone (Clubbed Thumb); The Last Class: A Jazzercize Play (DODO). Margot has directed productions regionally at ACT Seattle, Actors Theatre Louisville, Alliance, American Theater Company, Arena Stage, Denver Center, Geffen, Marin Theatre Company, Miami New Drama, TheaterWorks Hartford, Steppenwolf, the Wilma, and Yale Rep. She has developed work at Ars Nova, Berkeley Rep, Ma-Yi, MTC, New Dramatists, NYTW, P73, PCS, The Public, PWC, Rattlestick, Seattle Rep, and Woolly Mammoth. Upcoming: The Lehman Trilogy (Denver Center). Education: MFA (Yale School of Drama). margotbordelon.com
PERFORMANCE INFORMATION FOR JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN
Performances: February 8 – March 10, 2024
Select Evenings: Tues – Thurs at 7:30pm; Fri – Sat at 8pm; select Sun at 7pm
Matinees: Select Wed at 2pm; select Sat and Sun at 2pm
Days and times vary; see complete schedule above.
Running time: 100 minutes, no intermission
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St, Boston
Tickets start at $30. Season ticket packages and FlexPasses are also now on sale:
- online at huntingtontheatre.org
- by phone at 617-266-0800;
- or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont Street) or the Huntington Theatre (264 Huntington Ave)
Select discounts apply:
- $10 off: season ticket holders
- $40 “HYPE” tickets (Huntington Young Patron Events) for patrons 40 years-old and younger (valid ID required)
- $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)
Please note that a digital recording of this production will be made available for online viewing. Details to come at huntingtontheatre.org/whats-on/john-proctor-is-the-villain/
The Huntington asks that any patron experiencing COVID symptoms stay home and contact ticketing services for more information about exchanges.
ACCESS PERFORMANCES FOR JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN
Tickets are $20 for each patron and their guests. To reserve tickets please email email@example.com, call ticketing services at 617-266-0800, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St, Boston.
Accessible performances are supported in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation.
OPEN CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, February 20 at 7:30pm. The Huntington offers open captioning at designated performances for any patron who benefits from having the text of spoken dialogue visible in time with the play.
ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Friday, March 1 at 8pm. The Huntington offers American Sign Language interpretation at designated performances for patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday, March 9 at 2pm. The Huntington offers audio description for patrons who are blind or low-vision at designated performances. Please visit huntingtontheatre.org/accessibility/accessibility/ for information.
Large Print and Braille Programs will also be available for patrons at performances.
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA
Any members of the media who are interested in speaking with the artists of John Proctor is the Villain, please contact Publicist Gabrielle Jaques at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-273-1520.
Press night for critics is Friday, February 16, 2024 at 7pm. Please RSVP here for press night or other available performances.
Production photos will be available for download online, and b-roll footage can be requested.
PHOTOS available for download here
JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN SPECIAL EVENTS
“Stage & Screen” The Crucible at Coolidge Corner: Monday, February 12
The Huntington and Coolidge Corner continue their “Stage & Screen” collaboration with an event on Monday, February 12 at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA. After a 7pm showing of The Crucible (directed by Nicholas Hytner, 1996), guests from The Huntington’s production of John Proctor is the Villain will host a post-screening discussion.
Tickets to the Stage & Screen film and post-screening discussion can be purchased here: https://coolidge.org/films/crucible-1996
Actors Forum: Thursday February 22
The Huntington hosts a moderated, post-show discussion with the cast after the 7:30pm performance on Thursday, February 22 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St). Hear actors from John Proctor is the Villain reflect on their roles and nuances of each character.
HYPE (Huntington Young Patron Event): Friday, February 23
The Huntington’s “Huntington Young Patron Events” program (HYPE) hosts a pre-show social event before the 8pm performance on Friday, February 23 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St).
Tickets to performances of John Proctor is the Villain are available for those 40 and under at $40 each with promo code DISCOUNT online at huntingtontheatre.org, by walk-up at the Box Office at the Huntington Theatre or Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, or by calling ticketing services at 617-266-0800.
Humanities Forum: Sunday, February 25
The Huntington hosts a post-show discussion after the 2pm matinee performance on Sunday, February 25 at the Calderwood Pavilion (527 Tremont St).
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Celebrating over 40 years of outstanding theatre, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community.
Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Executive Director Christopher Mannelli, The Huntington is committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, provides life- changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA.
The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre in fall of 2022 after its transformational renovation, and is currently in phase two of the project; a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the renovation and building project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.