Spotlight on Joe Curnutte 

Christopher Borg 


Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Stephanie Wright Thompson
at the 2010 IT Awards Ceremony

2010 was a great year for Joe Curnutte, who, along with fellow cast members Marc Bovino, Michael Dalto, and Stephanie Wright Thompson received the IT Award for Outstanding Ensemble for their critical and audience acclaimed production of  Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War produced by The Mad Ones at the Brick.

2011 holds even more exciting news for the striking Curnette. The original work Unnatural Acts: The Harvard Secret Court of 1920, created by Curnette and his collective, The Plastic Theatre, was hand-picked by The Classic Stage Company for an Off-Broadway run at the end of their new season!

Created from source material hidden in the Harvard University archives and written by a talented and well-healed ensemble, Unnatural Acts tells the true story of an early 20th Century scandal and cover-up during a dark and embarrassing chapter of intolerance in the history of America’s most famous Ivy League School.

In 1920, what began as a discreet inquiry into a student suicide led to the Harvard University Administration launching an intensive investigation of suspected homosexual activity in Perkins Hall. An investigation that became a vicious inquisition to expose and expel all individuals involved in what they termed “homosexualism” that ultimately convicted eight students, an assistant professor, a recent graduate and four men unaffiliated with the institution. Not only were the students asked to leave the school, but all men found “guilty” were forced to leave the city of Cambridge, and their educational and employment efforts were thwarted by Harvard officials for the next fifty years.

The Plastic Theatre was born of the Harvard Project, a group of artists, including designers, dramaturgs, directors, actors, producers and musicians who used improvisation, poetry, song, movement, research and painstaking de-coding of transcripts to create the piece which is described in the publicity as more than just a denouncement of institutional fear and of society’s intolerance, but “a true American tragedy of lost hope and wasted potential.”

Unnatural Acts was conceived and directed by Tony Speciale and written along with Curnette by Catherine Barricklow, Jess Burkle, Frank De Julio, Heather Denyer, Max Jenkins, Zach Kleinsmith, James MacBean, Jerry Marsini, Patrick McCaffrey, Nicholas Norman, Kila Packett, Adam Rihacek and Peter Allen Stone.

For more information about the show, visit the Classic Stage Website.


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