Front Porch Arts Collective announces new season lineup
Will include their first solo-produced production
The Front Porch Arts Collective, Boston’s Black theatre company, has announced its two-play 2022-2023 season, which will include the company’s first solo-produced production. As always, the collective works to uplift Black voices and stories and advance racial equity in Boston’s theater community.
Front Porch has been in residence at The Huntington since 2021, working collaboratively with the organization to both advance the smaller company’s goals and foster new opportunities for BIPOC artists within The Huntington. According to Maurice Parent, who is Front Porch’s co-producing artistic director alongside Dawn Simmons, the partnership has been very fruitful on both sides.
The season will open with “Chicken & Biscuits,” a family comedy that debuted on Broadway in 2021. “In 2009, I got my equity card onstage in The Huntington’s ‘Pirates!’” says playwright Douglas Lyons. “To return 12 years later, a playwright with the Boston premiere of “Chicken & Biscuits,” is nothing short of a full-circle blessing. I have even more pride in knowing that a Black-owned theatre company, the Front Porch Arts Collective, will deliver the story with grace, vision and love.”
“Chicken & Biscuits” follows the Jenkins family, whose members reunite for their father’s funeral under family tension. As the experience progresses, family secrets come out and all hope of a peaceful reunion is off the table. Historically, Front Porch has produced performances in collaboration with other companies such as Central Square Theater, Greater Boston Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company. This will be the first show they produce entirely on their own, a huge step for the company.
In 2023, Front Porch will stage the romantic comedy “K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” in partnership with The Huntington. Written by Lenelle Moïse, the story follows a young artist named Lala who’s torn between the love of two twins with very different romantic offerings.
“I think of ‘K-I-S-S-I-N-G’ as a date-night for revolutionary thinkers. Black love lives matter, too,” says Moïse, who grew up in Cambridge. “These are Boston-bred characters. In many ways, ‘K-I-S-S-I-N-G’ is a love letter to my arts teachers at Cambridge Public Schools. They nurtured my creative fire.”
These two plays are both deeply connected to Boston, with narrative and playwright ties to the city. Additionally, they offer portrayals of Black love, joy, family and comedy, further emphasizing the diversity of Black experiences and emotions and dispelling any notion that all Black stories must be tragic.