Fall Arts Preview: The Huntington Theatre Company’s First Full Season with a New Leader

Four exuberantly thoughtful shows open this autumn, courtesy of artistic director Loretta Greco.

The cast of The Huntington’s Fat Ham, which opens September 22. / Photo by Nile Hawver.

Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has managed to maintain a remarkable level of continuity, with only three artistic directors in its history up until February 2022. That’s when the organization announced its fourth-ever theatrical leader, Loretta Greco, who is also the first woman to fill the role. Though she took over immediately and helped steer productions to great success—like the family saga The Lehman Trilogy, which had to be extended an extra week to meet demand—this season will be the first that she’s programmed singlehandedly.

Photo by Nile Hawyer

And the fall begins with great promise. There’s Prayer for the French Republic (September 7 through October 8), a saga about five generations of a French Jewish family, by Joshua Harmon; Fat Ham (September 22, extended through October 29), the 2022 Pulitzer Prize–winning southern-fried update of Hamlet by James Ijames, featuring a queer Black man as the lead; The Band’s Visit (November 10 through December 10), David Yazbek’s Tony Award–winning musical about a band of Egyptian musicians stranded in an Israeli village in the desert; and Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers (November 21 through December 23), about two recent Asian immigrants celebrating Thanksgiving together.

Photo courtesy of Huntington Theatre

It’s an exuberant yet thoughtful quartet of shows, which is exactly what Greco—who arrived here with a long track record as artistic director of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, where she spent 12 years working with acclaimed playwrights—aims to achieve every time at the Huntington. “There’s a healing power to laughing together, and I want people to leave the theater a little bit different than how they came in,” she says. “There’s so much partisanship out there right now, and coming to the theater reminds us that we’re a lot more alike than we are different.”

First published in the print edition of the September 2023 issue, as part of the 2023 Fall Arts Preview, with the headline, “A New Leader, a New Vision.”