Award-Winning "Educating Rita"
At The Huntington

Huntington Theatre Company kicks off its Spring season March 11 - April 10 with "Educating Rita" by Willy Russell ("Shirley Valentine," "Blood Brothers"). For this production, the theater will welcome back celebrated British director Maria Aitken. Aitken previously staged the pre-Broadway, Tony nominated American premiere of "Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps" at the Huntington.

In "Educating Rita," Rita (Jane Pfitsch) is a brash, young hairdresser with a free spirit, hungry to improve her lot in life. When she enrolls at the local university, she discovers a passion for literature and turns the life of her boozy and burnt-out her professor (Andrew Long) life upside down.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, "Educating Rita" was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, premiered in London in the Summer of 1980, and was adapted into a film in 1983 starring Julie Walters and Sir Michael Caine.

Aitken commented, “I am so happy to be returning to the Huntington with 'Educating Rita,' a showcase for the actors and a quirky homage to the 'Pygmalion' story. If you think you saw it when you saw the film, think again.”

Playwright Willy Russell was born in Whiston, near Liverpool and left school at fifteen. He began his career as a songwriter and transitioned to playwriting in the late 1960s. "Educating Rita" premiered in London at The Warehouse Theatre in 1980. His other plays include "Keep Your Eyes Down," "John Paul George Ringo and Bert ," "One For The Road," "Stags and Hens," "Blood Brothers," and "Shirley Valentine."

Related Events

Post-Show Audience Conversations
Led by members of the Huntington staff. After most Tuesday - Friday, Saturday matinee, and Sunday matinee performances throughout the season. Free with a ticket to the performance.

Out & About Club
Thursday, March 17, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Join GLBT audience members at a post-show party. Use code OUT to purchase discounted tickets at $40 to this performance online.

ASL-Interpreted Performance
Thursday, March 24, 10 a.m.
Friday, April 8, 8 p.m.
For deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members. Call 617 273-1558 for more information.

Actors Forum
Thursday, March 24, following the 10 a.m. performance
Thursday, March 31, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Wednesday, April 6, following the 2 p.m. performance
Participating cast members answer questions from the audience.

Humanities Forum
Sunday, March 27, following the 2 p.m. performance
A post-performance talk exploring the context and significance of "Educating Rita."

For tickets and information, stop by the box office, call 617-266-0800 or visit

Photo: Paul Marotta

-- OnStage Boston



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