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THEATER

‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ to open Huntington season

Huntington Theatre Company artistic director Peter DuBois.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Huntington Theatre Company artistic director Peter DuBois.

Huntington Theatre Company announced Thursday that its season-opening production this fall will be a new stage adaptation of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’’ the 1967 film that starred Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

Slated for Sept. 5-Oct. 5 at the Boston University Theatre, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’’ will be directed by David Esbjornson, who also helmed a recent production of the play at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. The adaptation of William Rose’s screenplay is by playwright Todd Kreidler.

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The film version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’’ is about the reaction of an affluent white couple who consider themselves liberal (played by Tracy and Hepburn) when their daughter brings home her African-American fiance (played by Poitier).

Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois said he initially greeted the idea of a stage adaptation with skepticism. “Then once I got inside the adaptation I found it not only relevant but incredibly moving,’’ he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The story of family is what really rises to the surface, as opposed to ham-fisted politics.’’

Though the play is set in 1967, “There’s something very fresh and contemporary about it,’’ he said, adding that Kreidler’s adaptation made a significant change to the movie’s ending and “drew out each of the different characters.’’ Casting for the Huntington production will be announced at a later date.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’’ will kick off a Huntington season that will also include the following previously announced productions: “Ether Dome’’ (Oct. 17-Nov. 16), “Awake and Sing!’’ (Nov. 7-Dec. 7), “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’’ (Jan. 2-Feb. 1, 2015), “The Second Girl’’ (Jan. 16-Feb. 15, 2015), “The Colored Museum’’ (March 6-April 5, 2015), “Come Back, Little Sheba’’ (March 27-April 26, 2015), and “after all the terrible things I do’’ (May 22-June 20, 2015).

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com
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