Sean Martin Hingston

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I am into the third week of rehearsal here in Cambridge at the American Repertory Theater for The Shapes She Makes. It is so great being back here after an intense workshop last summer. The play is tough, emotionally. I play a man with a brilliant mind besieged by the inescapability of his thoughts who turns to alcohol to lower the volume. Having abandoned his wife and baby he returns ten years later, in a vain attempt to insinuate his now sober self back into their lives. The repetition of addiction is tragically and beautifully illustrated with some of the most inventive choreography, by Susan Misner, that I have ever had the pleasure to re-create. Misner (FX’s The Americans) also plays my wife. The poetic play by Jonathan Bernstein and Misner’s emotional movement are entwined to create a breathtaking mixture of pain and beauty told with a unique voice. I have been involved with the development of this play for nearly 10 years. It is such a thrill to see it finally come to fruition in this world premier production here in Boston.

In fall it’s another world premier for me! Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the new musical Little Dancer, which will open in October at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The book/lyrics are by Lynn Ahrens and the music by Steve Flaherty. Boyd Gaines, Tiler Peck (NYCB), Rebecca Luker star and I get to shave my bearded face and return to tails and top hat to play a dashing marquis who crosses paths with the young ballerina in quite dramatic fashion.

Little Dancer

Fourteen years ago I was part of a workshop of a new dance musical that was put together in the rehearsal room of Lincoln Center Theater. The experience was magical and the show, Contact, went on to open later the same year to rave reviews, a Broadway transfer and 4 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Today, another musical that started with a workshop in that same rehearsal room at LCT, Little Dancer, has just been announced for a late 2014 premiere at The Kennedy Center. I have been part of the development of this show for a couple of years and am thrilled for all the creatives involved. Of course I hope to be there in DC, too. Time will tell.

Last week I enjoyed one of the most stimulating experiences of my career. (It just keeps getting better.) A developmental workshop of Andy Blankenbuehler’s fantastic piece Only Gold. This dance musical is simply genius. Andy is onto something very, very special with this show and I am so honored (and proud of my good mate!) to have been a part of it and to have shared that time with a brilliant assortment of acting dancers. We never know where our careers will lead, but had you told me I would be dancing with prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri someday, I’d have scoffed. Yet that is exactly what I have been doing the last month. Here she is with Sting.

Next up for me is a workshop of Ever After, directed by Kathleen Marshall.