theater

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

Simon McBurney in The Encounter
Robbie Jack

The Encounter - conceived of, directed by, and starring, Simon McBurney is currently running at the Golden Theater in New York City. McBurney is a multi-Olivier Award-winning, Tony and SAG Award-nominated actor, writer, director and one of Europe’s most original theater makers. He is co-founder and artistic director of Complicite. The one-man play tells the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre in 1969 - lost in Brazil as he encounters the Mayoruna - a remote people whose ancient traditions are uninfluenced by the western world. In The Encounter , McBurney also shares the story of the creation of this unique piece of theater. Molding and stretching the classic artform of storytelling, McBurney and The Encounter team use specific and immersive binaural audio technology and sound design. Each member of the audience wears headphones which create an experience that uses their ears to trick their brain into telling their body and comprehension that events are happening that - in reality - aren’t; a voice from over your shoulder, a mosquito in your face, a fire nearby, a warm breath a little too nearby.

The Tony-Award winning play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime begins its run at Proctors in Schenectady this afternoon and goes through Sunday, November 27 th . Hailed as “One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Time s, this new play is by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and is directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. Benjamin Wheelright played the role of Christopher on Broadway and is one of the actors playing his on the road.

Between stressing about his theater friends and reconciling his complicated feelings about an inconsistently wonderful New York City, Tony Award–winning playwright and Pulitzer finalist Richard Greenberg also maintains a reputation for being something of a hermit. In Rules for Others to Live By , he shares lessons from his highly successful writing career, observations from two long decades of residence on a three-block stretch of Manhattan, and musings from a complicated and occasionally taxing social life. His new play, The Babylon Line , is in previews at the Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center , it will open on December 5.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt (launching 11/15), joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers. Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts. Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires. We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

Earlier this week the New York premiere of Vietgone , opened at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales, the comedy tells the love story of two refugees from the Vietnam War who have settled in a relocation camp in Middle America - where their “new life” isn’t anything near what they’d hoped. They play isn’t what you might imagine based on that description either - for instance - one of the bios in the Playbill is for Rap Consultant, Miriam Hyman . Miriam is a 2016 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship recipient for Performing Arts. She is a 2012 graduate of Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA in acting and a 2011 Princess Grace recipient of the George C. Wolfe award in Theater. Since graduating she’s worked in film, television, regional, and Off-Broadway Theaters including LaMaMa, The Public, Manhattan Theater Club, and Lincoln Center. Under her moniker, Robyn Hood , she will soon release an EP entitled For Higher .

The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz presents Belfast Blues, a one-woman play written and performed by Geraldine Hughes and directed by Carol Kane, with performances on Oct. 14 th and 15 th at 8:00 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on the New Paltz campus. Belfast Blues is a tapestry of stories told from Hughes’ perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s. Passionate, riveting, often humorous, these stories bear insightful witness to the many faces of “trying to live a normal life” amidst the violence born of the longstanding grudge between Catholics and Protestants.

The award-winning, dance-filled Gershwin musical An American in Paris ended its critically acclaimed Broadway run on Sunday at the Palace Theatre - having played 623 performances. The musical's national tour will open at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady on Friday, starring Garen Scribner and Sara Esty . The new stage incarnation of the classic Gershwin film arrived on Broadway after a Paris world premiere. The new musical, inspired by the Oscar-winning film of the same name, features a score by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Craig Lucas . An American in Paris received 12 Tony nominations, winning awards for Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations, Best Set Design and Best Lighting Design. We are thrilled to have Stuart Oken with us this morning. He leads Elephant Eye Theatrical whose projects have included The Addams Family, Saved and Venice . As Executive VP at Disney Theatrical, he produced The Lion King and Aida . He produced the motion pictures About Last Night, Impromptu, and Queens Logic .

Outside Mullingar , a play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Doubt – brings us on a journey to the farmlands of Ireland. It is now playing through October 16 th at Capital Rep in Albany. Outside Mullingar is the story of an unlikely romance between two rural, middle-aged neighbors: Anthony, an introverted farmer and Rosemary, the woman who vows to have him – at all costs. This morning we meet two of the cast-members - Kenneth Kimmins has a major Broadway/West End resume, with stints in The Music Man and the New York and London companies of Company . On television, Ken spent nine years as series regular Howard Burleigh, on Coach . He was also being a semi-regular on Lois And Clark. Laurie O’Brien has extensive television and film resume includes work on CSI , CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7 , ER, and NYPD Blue .

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece , by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23. In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May.

Fresh from a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway, Dorset Theatre Festival presents playwright Lanie Robertson’s vivid look into the life and times of jazz great Billie Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill . The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in South Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers ─ including her signature tunes, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child”, “Strange Fruit” and others ─ are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences, revealing a riveting portrait of the lady and her music. Returning to Dorset Theatre Festival after her power-house performance in last season’s play, Intimate Apparel , actress and singer, Marinda Anderson plays Billie Holiday. Making his debut at the theatre musical director and actor, Kenney Green plays Jimmy, Lady Day’s piano player.

Award winning stage and screen actress Mary-Louise Parker’s new book - Dear Mr. You – shows the singular arc of her life through letters composed to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s Summer of 69: No Apostrophe Tour will be at The Palace in Albany, NY tomorrow night at 8. The PG-at-least-13 show displays in song and conversation the couple’s lauded comedic chops and their incredible attraction to each other. Megan Mullally is a two-time Emmy award winning actress - well known for her work as the boozy and shrill-larious Karen on Will & Grace. She’s also a stage actress having most recently appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play. Nick Offerman grumbled into celebrity as the multilayered feminist Libertarian lover of meat and privacy Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. Offerman is also a stage actor, author, woodworker, and writer. He joins us to talk about his varied and satisfying resumé, his wife, Jeff Tweedy, and his one episode of HBO's Deadwood .

What does a ''producer'' actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre.

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor

The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams . Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps , Spring Awakening , American Idiot , and Hedwig and the Angry Inch .
Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.

Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Coffey has joined the company of The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to take over the roles of Rosalind in As You Like It , and Mariana and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure. Staged in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY and framed by stunning Hudson Valley views, As You Like It runs in rep through August 27th, and the final performance of Measure for Measure ’s will be on August 28th.

Jane Kaczmarek stars alongside Alfred Molina in the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival . The play, written by Tom Holloway and directed by Anne Kaufman, opens this week and runs through August 21st. When Pam (Kaczmarek) becomes terminally ill, she and her husband Don (Molina) must face the most difficult decision yet in their long and loving marriage. With passion, fear, strength and even humor, they grapple with how, and if, to say goodbye. On August 22nd, Kaczmarek will participate in a Selected Shorts presentation entitled "Unforgettable Journeys" at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA. Jane Curtin and Robert Sean Leonard will also read that evening in the Berkshires.

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.

Obie-Award winning performance group, The Secret City , will be playing their third annual gathering in Woodstock, NY this Sunday - July 31st at 12 noon. The theme will be PLAY. The Secret City is the brainchild of impresario and Byrdcliffe Resident, Chris Wells, who moved to Woodstock three years ago and felt the small town with its cultural history, inclusiveness and love of community were a perfect setting for this tribal art gathering. The Secret City combines art, food, music, storytelling, meditation, singing, performance and community interaction in an event that is part tent revival, part ceremony, part salon. For their Woodstock gathering they’ll present musical guest Eric Redd, visual art by Jacinta Bunnell, roller derby troupe The Hudson Valley Horrors, food offering by LaGusta of New Paltz, a performance by Percussion Orchestra of Kingston and Energy Dance Company, a reading by Martha Frankel, songs by The Secret City Singers and The Secret City Band and a story by Chris Wells. We welcome Chris and artist Jacinta Bunnell .

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

The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting the World Premiere of playwright Shem Bitterman’s The Stone Witch at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA. It is directed by Drama Desk and Humanities Award-winning theatre & television director Steve Zuckerman and features Tony Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award and Obie Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch. In the play, Peter, an aspiring children’s book author, is sent to the cabin of his idol, Simon, played by Hirsch, a reclusive award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, to help him finish what might be his last book. Desperate to save his own career, Peter hopes to discover the secret of Simon’s genius, but first he must accept the impossible task: helping Simon confront the monsters that populate the woods inside his mind. We are joined by actors Judd Hirsch, Rupak Ginn, and Kristin Griffith.

The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made Janis Joplin a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A Night with Janis Joplin , now running at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY, is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences. The show is created, written and directed by Randy Johnson and stars Kelly McIntyre as Janis Joplin.

(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! .

Pages