The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, has named actress, Mila Kunis, as the Woman of the Year award, while the Pudding also announced to moving to gender-neutral casting in next year’s production.
The Woman of the Year is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals oldest honor, bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. Established in 1951, Woman of the Year has been given to many notable and talented entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Debbie Reynolds, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, and most recently Octavia Spencer (who’s been nominated once again for an Oscar this year).
The Woman of the Year festivities, presented by RELATED, began with a parade through the streets of Cambridge. The weather was cold (but not snowy) as usual for Cambridge in January. Following the parade, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals hosted a celebratory roast for the actress at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1888. At the beginning of the event, Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ President Amira T. Weeks came on stage and announced that next year “the Pudding has determined that commencing with the 2019 Hasty Pudding Show, the Hasty Pudding welcomes women to audition for roles in the show and be given equal opportunity to play those roles based on the quality of their individual talents.”
Afterward, Ms. Kunis was brought on stage and had to earn her Pudding Pot. First, she had to recreate her Jim Beam commercials and try to sell products, after inhaling a balloon’s worth of helium. She also had to prove her mettle as a dancer, á la Black Swan, with a dance-off to a fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy. She also had to declare her independence from her on-screen cartoon father, Peter Griffin, by throwing a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts at him. Ultimately, Ms. Kunis was graciously awarded her Pudding Pot.
To close out the festivities, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals members performed several musical numbers from the group’s upcoming 170thproduction, Intermission Impossible.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will celebrate their 52nd Man of the Year, Paul Rudd, on Friday, February 2nd, 2018. The traditional roast and Pudding Pot ceremony will take place at Farkas Hall, as well as the Opening night of HPT 170: Intermission Impossible. The show will be performed at Harvard University’s historic Farkas Hall, located at 12 Holyoke Street, from February 3rd until March 5th. The company then travels to New York to perform at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on March 10th and 11th, followed by performances on March 15th-17th at Hamilton City Hall in Bermuda.
The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute comprises the Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), the Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comédie-Française and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premier performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.