director


  Mike Birbiglia is an award winning comedian, writer, actor, and director known for his autobiographical stand-up tours and one-man shows on Broadway. His first feature film, Sleepwalk with Me, was released in 2012.

His second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday at Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, NY and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY. This story is Birbiglia’s first major work not based on his own life -- in it, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. When not all members of the group start to find success beyond the improv stage -- the group fractures, friendships are strained and feelings are hurt. It’s a funny movie about failure and success -- and how success doesn't always look the way you think it will.

The film is produced by This American Life host and creator Ira Glass, was written and directed by Birbiglia and he stars along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

Rob Burnett
BAFTA/David Beyda

  Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the new Netflix release The Fundamentals of Caring.

Rob Burnett joins us this morning to talk about the film, his life at Letterman’s side and other adventures in television.

Allyn Burrows and Tod Randolph in 'Or,' at Shakespeare & Company, 2016.
Ava G. Lindenmaier

  Liz Duffy Adams' playful comedy Or, is based on the real life of Britain's first female playwright Aphra Behn.

The production runs through September 4 in Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse and is staged in-the-round. Alice Reagan is the director and she joins us along with actors Tod Randolph and Allyn Burrows.


  Michael Mayer is the Tony-Award winning director of plays, musicals, opera, and film and television who helmed the Broadway revival of Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and the original runs of the musicals of Everyday Rapture, American Idiot, Spring Awakening, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He’s also directed revivals of A View From the Bridge, The Lion in Winter, After the Fall, and ‘night Mother. His breakthrough of sorts was Side Man.

 

Side Man had an early production in Poughkeepsie, NY at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater -- it moved to off-Off-Broadway and then to Broadway winning the Tony Award for Best Play in 1999.

 

Michael Mayer has been coming back to Poughkeepsie in the summer for 20 years, working on shows in various stages of development and recently joining the New York Stage and Film board of directors.

He was in the Hudson Valley this summer working on a new musical entitled Head Over Heels which blends Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of seminal 80s girl-group, The Go-Go’s. Jeff Whitty is writing the book and Tom Kitt will provide musical supervision.

James Darrah
Simon Kessler

  Bard SummerScape’s 2016 season presents seven weeks of opera, music, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. 

The prime focus of these offerings is the 27th annual Bard Music Festival, exploring the life and times of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. The rich arts and culture of turn-of-the century Italy inspires a revival of Pietro Mascagni’s art nouveau opera, Iris. 

The production at Bard boasts a new staging and sleek, edgy design and is directed by James Darrah.

  The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning rock, horror, musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, is open for business at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA!

The Berskhire Theatre Group production is directed by Ethan Heard the celebrated, farcical production has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Stanley Bahorek plays Seymour Krelborn. He and Ethan Heard join us. 

This summer, The Williamstown Theatre Festival brings together professional theatre artists with Berkshire residents to create and perform new work. Born of the belief that theatre is central to understanding, building and maintaining community, this initiative invites the people of Western Massachusetts to be a part of the Festival’s creative process — not just as audience members, but on stage!

Obie Award-winning playwright Lucy Thurber puts a new spin on the Orpheus myth, set in Western Massachusetts. When Orpheus, a teenage girl, realizes that something is amiss in her neighborhood, she embarks on a treacherous journey to save her hometown.

Helmed by Festival Associate Director Laura Savia, and developed in collaboration with community partners, this World Premiere features a cast of 75 Berkshire residents performing alongside Festival actors. Performances are July 14-16 at 7:30PM and July 17 at 5PM.

  This Summer, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival presents productions of The Bard’s Measure for Measure, As You Like It, and Macbeth in repertory in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.

Davis McCallum and Annie Purcell join us.

Davis is Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director, he has been in the position for two full seasons. The award winning director has also directed this summer’s production of Measure for Measure -- which stars Annie Purcell as Isabella. Her Broadway credits include The Coast of Utopia, Dividing the Estate, and Awake and Sing!.

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

Brilliant Traces, by Cindy Lou Johnson is a roller-coaster of a play about feelings of isolation and people's need to be understood. Both comic and anguished, Brilliant Traces is set in a recluse's cabin in an Alaskan blizzard where a runaway bride seeks shelter.

Performing Arts of Woodstock is opening a production of the play at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center this week.

The production is directed by Sande Shurin and stars Maria Elena Maurin as Rosannah. They join us along with President of Performing Arts of Woodstock, Adele Calcavecchio.

Becky Mode, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jason Moore
Walter McBride / Getty Images

  Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson opens tonight at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

The play, written by Becky Mode, follows a day in the life of Sam. His job is to man the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known for his Emmy nominated work as Mitchell on ABC’s Modern Family) plays all 40 characters, acting out the coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics of both the would-be patrons and the staff at the very chic eatery.

Jason Moore directs this production which is scheduled for a limited run through July 24th. Moore directed the films Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Pitch Perfect. For Broadway he's directed Shrek The Musical and the Tony Award winning production of Avenue Q.

  Pam MacKinnon is one of America’s most acclaimed theatre directors. In 2013, MacKinnon earned both the Tony Award for Best Direction and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 2010, she won an Obie Award, and was nominated for Tony and Lortel Awards, as the director of Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, which received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.

She is an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, as well as an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theater Company, executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and board chair of Clubbed Thumb, a New York City downtown theatre company dedicated to new American plays.

She will deliver the 20th annual Burian Lecture at the University at Albany on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m., MacKinnon will hold an informal seminar, which will also be held in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany uptown campus.

  Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer who is currently creating a 24-hour durational concert called, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

6 hours of the project, representing the six decades between 1836 and 1896, will be performed at MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts this Saturday, April 9th from 4 to 10pm. Audience members are encouraged to come and going during the performance.

Taylor Mac was recently name-checked in a New York Magazine article about why New York Theater is thriving and The New York Times said “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”

Calendar Girls At HMT

Apr 6, 2016

  Based on a true story, Calendar Girls tells the tale of best friends Annie and Chris, who resolve to raise money for their local hospital** by persuading four fellow members of their women’s club to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar.

Home Made Theater closes their 31st season with Tim Firth’s heartwarming comedy - the show runs weekends April 15th through May 1st at the Spa Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

We are joined by the production’s Director, Dianne O’Neill Filer; and actors Devra Cohen-Tigor and Joan Meyer who play Annie and Chris respectively.

  Darius Clark Monroe, award-winning film director, producer, and screenwriter, will provide commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening of his film, Evolution of a Criminal this Friday in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus.

The film reexamines, in strikingly candid fashion, an event from Monroe’s own teenage years: his participation in a 1997 Texas bank robbery and his subsequent incarceration. The film includes a variety of interviews with Monroe’s family members, teachers, and law enforcement officials. Monroe also talks to the two men who robbed the bank with him and stages a reenactment of the crime.

The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with the School of Criminal Justice’s Crime, Justice, and Social Structure film series.

  Upstate New York Women In Film & Television (UPWIFT) and The Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, will present a screening of the film, Racing Daylight on Friday, March 18th, at 8:00 p.m. The event will feature a conversation with director Nicole Quinn afterward. The movie is part of the Reel Women in Film series sponsored by UPWIFT and The Linda.

Racing Daylight was filmed in the Hudson Valley and features Oscar award-winning Ulster County resident Melissa Leo as well as Oscar nominated actor David Straithairn. It is a ghost story, a murder mystery and a love story which crosses time.

Nicole Quinn joins us.

  Award-winning actress Drew Barrymore shares funny, insightful, and profound stories from her past and present told from the place of happiness she's achieved today in her new memoir, Wildflower.

In the book, she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14, saying goodbye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today.

It is the first book Drew has written about her life since the age of 14.

  Following a near-fatal car accident, a world-famous novelist finds himself in a strange house being nursed back to health by his doting, self-proclaimed Number One Fan. But as her love for his work turns to dangerous obsession, he realizes he must plot his greatest story yet: how to escape with his life.

Stephen King’s novel, Misery, was adapted for the screen in 1990 directed by Rob Reiner and starring James Caan as Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in an Academy Award and Golden Globe hobbling -- ahem, winning -- performance.

Misery is back in a new Broadway adaptation written by two-time Academy Award winner William Goldman with action film star Bruce Willis making his Broadway debut as Paul Sheldon and Laurie Metcalf picking up Annie Wilke’s bottles of Novril ... and sledgehammer.

Will Frears directs the production which is running at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City through February 14th.

  Fresh from their starring roles in Cymbeline at the Delacorte Theater in New York, real life couple Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater will appear together at Shakespeare & Company in a special Staged Reading of Shakespeare's great historical tragedy Richard III, to benefit the Company's performance, training and education programs.

This special event will take place on Saturday, October 10 at 2 p.m. in the Tina Packer Playhouse. Ms. Rabe will portray Queen Elizabeth, opposite Mr. Linklater who is cast in the title role. The reading will be directed by Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Croy.

Hamish Linklater and Jonathan Croy join us.

  Legendary dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly brought astonishing grace and athleticism to the movies. His engaging onscreen personality is so accessible we feel like we know him. In fact, we know very little.

In her one-woman show Patricia Ward Kelly—his wife and biographer—gives us the real story. Taking audiences behind the scenes, she presents an intimate portrait of this innovative artist who gave us such iconic works as An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain.

Gene Kelly: The Legacy – An Evening With Patricia Ward Kelly will be at The Egg in Albany, NY on September 19th.

Enrico Spada

  An imagined version of true events, Red Velvet is the story of Ira Aldridge, the first African-American actor to play Othello on the English stage in 1833. In the story lines are blurred between race, friendship, betrayal and art.

The powerful play is currently running at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and stars OBIE Award-winning actor John Douglas Thompson as Ira Aldridge. 

Red Velvet was written by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed at Shakespeare & Company by Daniela Varon.

  This week, Albany Civic Theater opens a production of Patrick Hamilton’s suspenseful drama, Angel Street.

Angel Street tells the story of the Manninghams who live on Angel Street in 19th Century London. As the curtain rises, all appears the essence of Victorian tranquility. It is soon apparent however, that Mr. Manningham, a suavely handsome man, is slowly, intentionally, driving his devoted wife, Bella, to the brink of insanity.

Inspector Rough from Scotland Yard is convinced that Manningham is a homicidal maniac.

Gradually the inspector restores Bella's confidence in herself and as the evidence against Manningham unfolds, theater goers are treated to some of the most brilliant, suspenseful sequences in modern theater

The production at Albany Civic Theater is directed by Jennifer Van Iderstyne who joins us now along with Kevin MacNamara who plays Jack Manningham in Angle Street and John Sutton who plays Inspector Rough.

  The New York New Work Theatre Festival brings aspiring playwrights and Broadway producers together in a room with new plays and musicals in an combination elimination-by-audience vote competition and workshop.

One show in this year's festival is Hotel California: The Musical. A half-hour version of a full-lengthy musical that tells a new story using the timeless music of The Eagles. Our friend Jayne Atkinson directs and performs in the piece and it is written by Denise Lynn McQueen.

Hotel California: The Musical will be performed on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m. at The Elektra Theatre at the Times Square Arts Center in New York, NY.

The bewildering journey of finding love in the modern world sets the premise for Terrence McNally’s bittersweet comedy, Frankie And Johnny In the Clair de Lune. The show is running on the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Mainstage in Stockbridge, MA through August 22nd.

After a one-night rendezvous in Manhattan's West Side, Johnny, a compulsive, starry-eyed, short-order cook, is convinced he has found his life companion in Frankie, a wisecracking waitress.

Frankie’s poor history with men leaves her hesitant to commit, but as the night progresses, she lets her guard down and an unlikely romance begins to blossom.

The contemporary love story stars Angel Desai and Darren Pettie and is directed by Karen Allen.

  Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is presenting an adaptation of Homer’s epic An Iliad for one actor that is making the rounds in the Valley this August.

HVSF's first solo show stars Kurt Rhoads as the ageless Poet who unleashes the fury of an ancient story he has told for centuries - creating heroes and battles before our eyes, challenging us to contemplate both the heroism and horror of war.

The New York Times said this OBIE Award-winning play is "spellbinding...an age-old story that resonates with tragic meaning today."

The show is directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch and features longtime HVSF actor Kurt Rhoads.

The show will be performed at Basilica Hudson on 8/16, on Bannerman Island on 8/22 and 8/23, and at the HVSF tent at Boscobel House and Gardens on 8/21 and 8/24.

  Now through August 2nd, New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse theatre presents The Light Years, a new play by award-winning play-making company The Debate Society.

Spanning 40 years and set at the Chicago World’s Fair, The Light Years has been developed over several years through the unique collaboration process The Debate Society Members writer/performer Hannah Bos, writer/performer Paul Thureen, and director/developer Oliver Butler.

Oliver Butler’s recent directing credits include Will Eno’s The Open House at the Signature Theatre Company - for which he won an OBIE Award for Direction; the New York City Center Encores! Off-Center production of Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick, Boom starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Karen Olivo and the world premieres of Daniel Goldfarb’s Legacy at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - which was part on their Nikos Stage mere days ago.

He joins us to talk about The Light Years, what is required from a director for a quick switch between projects, and audiences' intense reaction to musicals.

Tony-Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson was at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2002 with his amazing one-man show, Lackawanna Blues. He returns to WTF this summer directing Blair Underwood, De’Adre Aziza, and Andre Holland in the world premiere of Paradise Blue - a drama from Dominique Morisseau.

Blue (Underwood), a gifted trumpeter, contemplates selling his once-vibrant jazz club in Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood to shake free the demons of his past and better his life. But where does that leave his devoted Pumpkin, who has dreams of her own?

http://www.broadwayworld.com/

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's first Powerhouse mainstage show of this summer is Keith Byunin's The Unbuilt City. The production opened last night and runs through July 12th.

The show stars Beth Dixon and Carter Hudson and is directed by Tony Award nominee, Sean Mathias.

Writer, actor, and director, Sean Mathias directed the film Bent and numerous acclaimed plays all over the world - including London, New York City, Cape Town, Sydney, and Los Angeles.

  Thoreau or, Return to Walden is a world premiere play running at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

Longtime BTG Alum, David Adkins takes the stage as transcendentalist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. BTG Artist, Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, is directing this production.

The writing of Henry David Thoreau comes to life in this dramatic and uplifting tale as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience.

We are joined by David Adkins.

roundabouttheatre.org

  In Joshua Harmon’s new play, Significant Other, Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself. The play takes an often funny and alternately heartbreaking look at what it’s like to be single when all of your close friends are marrying themselves off (and even worse than that - sometimes having destination weddings that you attend, even though it destroys your budget).

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman, has been in previews for a few weeks and officially opens at The Laura Pels Theatre in New York City this coming Thursday night.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s relationship with Joshua Harmon began when his play Bad Jews was selected for the inaugural Roundabout Underground Reading Series for Emerging Playwrights in February 2012. The play then premiered at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in Fall 2012, in a sold-out extended run and then moved upstairs to the 420-seat Laura Pels Theatre - where Significant Other is performed now.

We spoke with Joshua Harmon and Trip Cullman recently about Roundabout, the play, and working together.

Pages