theater

(Left to right) Stacey Yen, Nance Williamson and Maria-Christina Oliveras in Macbeth
T. Charles Erickson


  Fair is foul, and foul is fair -- more fair than usual in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth - now running in repertory at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.  The fairer for having a cast of only three actors, and all three -women.

Lee Sunday Evans directs Maria-Christina Oliveras, Nance Williamson, and Stacey Yen in the production and we are joined by two-thirds of the trio, Maria-Christina and Stacey, to talk about the production.


  Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests is a brilliant comic trilogy telling the same story from the point of view of three different rooms: Living Together follows the romp in the living room; Table Manners times perfectly to show what happens in the dining room, and Round and Round the Garden depicts desperately funny activities in the garden.

Each play stands completely on its own, but together, they are a triumph of theatrical imagination.

Audience members have traveled from Northern Stage to Dorset Theatre Festival to see the first two plays. Now, Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont presents the third. Richard Gallagher has played Norman in all three productions and he joins us now.

Richard’s Broadway credits include The Lyons and Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Brian Bedford.


  It’s a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls’ soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync – right quad, left quad, lunge – and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the air dome bubble, and back again.

 

The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, is the second mainstage production this season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, runs July 21st through July 31st.

 

The play was a recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Sarah DeLappe joins us to tell us more.

  Constance Shulman is best known as Yoga Jones on Orange is the New Black on Netflix and the voice of Patti Mayonnaise on the cartoon, Doug

She is currently performing at The Williamstown Theatre Festival as The Strega in Tennesse Williams' The Rose Tattoo, starring Marisa Tomei and directed by Trip Cullman. Shulman's daughter, Gus Birney, plays Rosa in the production. 

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!.

Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware / Berkshire Theatre Group


  This is the final week to see Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Stockbridge, MA. It ends it’s run this coming Saturday.

Jim Beaver plays the doomed patriarch of the family, Big Daddy. Beaver is an actor best known for his roles on The CW’s Supernatural and HBO’s Deadwood -- where he played  Ellsworth - a prospector with a good heart and (like everyone else on that show) an incredible affinity for creative cursing. He also recurred on FX’s Justified and several other shows and has appeared in film and on stage. He is playwright, a film historian, and a television and film writer.

  Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was founded in 1995. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people.

On their two stages they present new plays and musicals created by the best theatrical minds working today as well as classics.

Julianne Boyd is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage and she joins us now with an overview of the season.

  Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-ass Wit of Molly Ivins is a staged reading with Nancy Rothman at PS21 in Chatham on Friday night at 8PM.

It’s an election year, so what better time to enjoy a play based on the famous witticisms of political columnist and humorist Molly Ivins? Her satirical insights into the American political system still ring true today, and twin-sister journalists Margaret and Allison Engel have written a very funny show celebrating Ivins’ courage and tenacity.

Nancy Rothman has acted on stages in NYC, regionally and abroad, as well as on film, television and radio. She is also a favorite with local audiences, and has graced the PS21 stage on numerous occasions. Nicola Sheara is directing Nancy in the reading and we welcome them both to The Roundtable.

  Voice Theatre in Woodstock, NY creates new productions and explores relevant dimensions of classic works. From play development readings and in-school workshops, to full-scale productions and international tours, Voice Theatre cuts through barriers of ethnicity, language and nationality, bringing together diverse peoples seeking mutual respect because of their shared experiences of humanity.

They join us to talk to talk about their Summer Youth Workshop which creates a fun supportive environment for young people to explore skills that develop confidence, social skills, focus, independent inquiry and collaboration while having fun in a creative environment.

We are joined by Voice Theatre artistic director Shauna Kanter and ensemble member Christa Trinler.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first Musical Workshop of this Powerhouse season is a brand-new adaptation of The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd. The production involves a commissioned by The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City and is directed by Scott Ellis - responsible for Roundabout’s recent productions of She Loves Me and On the Twentieth Century.

The show will keep its original score by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley -- but replace the duo’s book with a new one by Santino Fontana.

Fontana co-stars as Greg on the CW’s musical television comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was the voice of Hans in that tiny-little Disney movie, Frozen. Broadway and off-Broadway credits include: The Fantasticks, Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A View from the Bridge, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sons of the Prophet, Act One, and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first main stage Powerhouse production this season is Lucy Thurber’s Transfers.

As two young men from the Bronx vie for acceptance to an elite college, their shared past threatens to overshadow their bright futures. Class, ambition, and expectations are called into question when higher education – and its life-changing potential – is just within reach.

Thurber is a Lilly Award winner and won a 2014 OBIE Award for her theatrical cycle, The Hill Town Plays. She was also a member of the influential Obie-winning playwrights’ collective, 13P.

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau


  This month, Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s summer Powerhouse season in Poughkeepsie, NY will present two fully staged productions, three Musical Theater workshops, two Inside Look workshops, and a number of readings. In addition to all of that, their training program is in full swing.

Ed Cheetham is the Producing Director of Powerhouse Theater at Vassar.

Poiwerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Buck Lewis


  Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. This year’s Tony Award winning and nominated shows The Humans, Bright Star, and Hamilton, can all claim incubation periods at Powerhouse.

 

The 2016 season began with a reading festival last weekend and its first main stage show, Transfers by Lucy Thurber, opened last night and runs through July 10th.

>Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us to talk about the 2016 season.

  Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY began this summer season with John Cariani’s Last Gas. The are currently presenting the Hudson Valley premiere of John Logan’s RED – and the season to come includes Miracle on South Division St., 8-Track: Songs of the 70’s, and God of Carnage all of that and the Acting Academy at the Shadowland Stages is entering its ninth year.

Brendan Burke is the Artistic Director at the Shadowland Stages and he joins us. 

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie.

Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet.

However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as part of their season this summer. The show opened on Saturday after a few previews and runs through July 16th.

We are joined this morning by Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Raymond-James – who play Maggie and Brick on BTG’s Fitzpatrick Stage.

Barrington Stage Company’s second St. Germain stage production of this season is Kimberly Akimbo by Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lindsay-Abaire.

Starring Debra Jo Rupp and set in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Kimberly Akimbo is a hilarious and heartrending play about a teenager with a rare condition causing her body to age faster than normal.

When she and her family flee Secaucus under dubious circumstances, Kimberly is forced to reevaluate her life while contending with a hypochondriac mother, a rarely sober father, a scam-artist aunt, her own mortality and, most terrifying of all, the possibility of first love.

Debra Jo Rupp was last seen at Barrington Stage in Dr. Ruth: All the Way and will return to the St. Germain stage later this season to perform in Love Letters with Mark H. Dold. 

  Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

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

  Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school, through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years, to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. 

New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl’s heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.

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.

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2016 Season, the 62nd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and second under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 28th.   

The season runs through August 21st with a Main Stage lineup that includes: Tennessee Williams’ Tony Award-winning play The Rose Tattoo featuring Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei; the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s comedy Romance Novels For Dummies and closes with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter.

The Nikos Stage season kicks-off June 29 with the world premiere of Cost of Living, directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney; and also includes the world premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room by Michael West; the world premiere musical Poster Boy and closes out the summer with the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part featuring Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

  Barrington Stage Company’s world premiere production of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown begins previews in Pittsfield, MA this Friday.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, the new drama examines our nation’s racial divide through the eyes of an estranged, interracial couple. Over the course of one evening, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving their son, the police, and an abandoned car. Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden star as Kendra Ellis-Connor and Scott Connor in the production directed by Barrington Stage’s artistic director, Julianne Boyd.

Actor and producer Tamara Tunie played attorney Jessica Griffin on CBS’ As the World Turns, and medical examiner Melinda Warner on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. She co-produced the original production of Spring Awakening on Broadway and recently won an Obie Award for her work in Familiar at Playwright’s Horizons. Michael Hayden was on the ABC series Murder One. He made his Broadway debut as Billy in the 1994 revival of Carousel and has since starred in many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

John Cariani is the heart at the center of the hit Broadway’s musical comedy Something Rotten!. The Tony-nominated actor stars as Nigel Bottom, a sensitive, aspiring playwright in 1595 who worships Shakespeare and begins a forbidden love affair with a Puritan beauty by the name of Portia.

But, Cariani is also a playwright – having written Almost, Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas.

Cariani's third play, Last Gas is now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville. It is its Hudson Valley premiere and runs through June 19th.

  Chester Theatre Company is getting ready to start their 27th season since the theater was founded in 1990 and the first under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. The four-play season will run from June 30th through August 28th at the Chester Town Hall in Chester, MA.

The season starts with a show, written by Kramer, My Jane, a world premiere
 adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë. It’s Kramer’s newest play, his second for CTC, following Pride@Prejudice in 2011. My Jane weaves Jane’s romantic story with the lives of her readers, all of whom have their own beloved “Jane.”

Daniel Elihu Kramer, joins us this morning along with Camila Canó-Flaviá who is playing Jane in the Chester Theatre production.

Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan, and Keira Knightley in Roundabout Theatre Company's 'Thérèse Raquin'
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


  Tony Award winning scenic designer, Beowulf Boritt received his third Tony nomination last month for his design for the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Thérèse Raquin.

 

His previous designs for Broadway include Rock of Ages, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Scottsboro Boys, Chaplin, and Act One -- for which he won his Tony Award.

He also designed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and On The Town at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, moving those designs to Broadway. He’ll return to BSC this summer, designing their production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert in Presto Change-O at Barrington Stage
Scott Barrow

  Presto Change-O, a new musical with book and lyrics by Eric Price and music by Joel Waggoner, is running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage through June 11th. Directed by Marc Bruni, choreographed by Chris Bailey, the show features a credit not usually seen in your everyday playbill -- illusions by Joseph Waternerchaney.

That’s right - the majority of actors in the piece has to - on top of acting, singing, and dancing - perform parlor and platform magic.

Presto Change-O is a World Premiere from BSC’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab and we are joined by actors Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert - both of whom originated roles in the original Broadway run of Falsettos and have numerous other Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Television and Film credits on their resumes.

www.cirquedusoleil.com/paramour


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a brand new production that opened this week at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art.

Ryan Vona - who was most recently seen on Broadway in Once - plays Joey - in Paramour. We spoke with him a few weeks ago - before the show began previews.

  When a group of 20-something theatre professionals, spearheaded by David Turner, Martha Banta and David King, decided to found a summer theatre in 1994, they wanted to take “the road less traveled” and focus on new work.

Each summer the Adirondack Theatre Festival produces a six week season of theatre for an audience of more than 6,000 using professional artists from New York City and across the country. 

Their 2016 Season begins next month.

Chad Rabinovitz is the Producing Artistic Director of ATF and he joins us now for a preview of their season.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

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