theater

  The new play Veils opens on Thursday at the Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. This morning we meet the playwright, Tom Coash.

When Intisar, an African American Muslim student, arrives in Cairo for a year abroad, she hopes finally to be understood. She’s quickly enlisted by her liberal Egyptian roommate to help create a controversial blog debating the practice of wearing veils. Soon mounting political unrest threatens their new-found friendship.

Playwright, director, and dramaturg Tom Coash spent four years teaching playwriting at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. He was a Co-founder of the Offstage Theatre in Charlottesville, VA and has worked for such theaters as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Stageworks/Hudson, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

www.anthampton.com

    

The “fourth wall” is the imaginary barrier that separates the actors from the audience in a traditional theater production. When it’s broken, the audience is shocked into an awareness of the role they play in supporting the spectacle at hand.

In British artist Ant Hampton’s new production, The Extra People, the fourth wall is so thin as to be nearly imperceptible, with the line between performer and audience equally unclear. The Extra People was commissioned by EMPAC and will premiere in the space where it was developed via the artist-in-residence program.

The piece will begin at 7 pm tomorrow and cycle on the half hour until 10 pm. Ant Hampton joins us to tell us more.

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/

  Tony and Emmy Award winning star Kristin Chenoweth will perform with The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in The Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood.

Chenoweth most recently wowed audiences in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of On the Twentieth Century. During that run she co-hosted the Tony Awards. Other Broadway credits include You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and Wicked. On television she's popped up often, notably on Glee, The Good Wife, and Pushing Daisies.

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.

Audrey Kupferberg: Salt Of The Earth

Aug 21, 2015


These days, documentary films are in fashion.  As recently as a decade ago, if you were at a cocktail party and began talking about a documentary you had just seen, your friends or colleagues would have moved towards the buffet table to avoid hearing what you had to say.  Documentaries were considered boring.  With the exception the films of Michael Moore, or Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, that could inspire some exciting political conversation, the majority of factual films took a back seat to fiction films.

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.

This past April, Capital Rep announced the winners of its inaugural Young Playwright Contest and the five winning plays are being produced this week and through the weekend.

From costumes to props and sets all designed and built by the REP’s staff, these productions are giving young peoples’ voices a chance to be heard. The plays are directed by Margaret Hall, theREP’s assistant to the artistic director, and performed by theREP’s new Summer Stage Young Acting Company.

Director Margaret Hall and student playwright Jaimie Gaskell join us to discuss how art and community is being fostered and grown.

Gaskell is a tenth grade student at Greenwich Jr./Sr. High School. Her play, Y.A.P.’s Homeless Youth Hostel, takes us into a residence where protagonists from Young Adult novels await the arrival of their prophecy from the United States Post Office.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "Mother Of The Maid"

Aug 13, 2015

The story of Joan of Arc has evoked mythology and themes for centuries, and has inspired numerous playwrights – including Shakespeare, Voltaire, Bertolt Brecht, George Bernard Shaw, and Maxwell Anderson – to craft interpretations of the legends that surround the Maid of Orlean.

  Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson -- forever dubbed "the best thing in it" in review after review – has written a memoir about her life in the theatre, movies and television. My First Hundred Years in Show Business tells Wilson’s story through the eight-year journey of turning a memoir of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland into the career-peak triumph Full Gallop, the show that made Wilson a star in her 60s.

Mary Louise Wilson's numerous award-winning roles include Vera Joseph in 4000 Miles at Lincoln Center, Big Edie in Grey Gardens (Tony Award), Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret (Tony nomination), Queen Elizabeth in The Beard of Avon (Drama Desk nomination) and Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop (Drama Desk Award). Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and she teaches acting at Tulane University. She is fresh from finishing a run on stage in the hit revival of On The Twentieth Century.

This Book Show was recorded at The Morton Memorial Library in Rhinecliff, NY, presented by Oblong Books and Music.

  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.

  The final mainstage production of this summer’s Williamstown Theatre Festival line-up began previews last night. Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield’s inaugural season ends with Eugene O’Neill’s final masterpiece, A Moon for the Misbegotten. The show will run in Williamstown through August 23rd.

Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director at the Long Warf Theatre in New Haven, is directing and brings years of O’Neill experience to this invigorating look at what he calls “one of the great sad love stories in modern dramatic literature.”

A Moon for the Misbegotten stars Audra McDonald as Josie Hogan and Will Swenson as James Tyrone Jr. Married couple McDonald and Swenson are two of the best and most in-demand actors working today. Swenson recently left the Broadway revival of Les Miserables after playing Javert for more than a year, other New York credits include Murder Ballad, Little Miss Sunshine, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and the acclaimed Public Theater production of Hair which ran off-broadway, moved to Broadway for a summer of love, and toured the country. Will was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Berger. He is also a film director.

Audra McDonald has won a record 6 Tony Awards - one for her work in each of the following: Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. She is the only person to have won one in each acting category. She’s also a television and film actress, featured in the new Meryl Streep movie, Ricki and the Flash, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme.

  The world Premiere of Mother of the Maid is now playing at Shakespeare & Company’s Bernstein Theatre through September 6th.

Penned by the Emmy award-winning writer of HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, Jane Anderson, this powerful and wry comedy follows the tale of Joan of Arc, as seen through the eyes of her mum who is doing her very best to accept the fact that her daughter is different.

Parenthood, religion, sexuality and politics all play a role. Tina Packer stars as the Mother of the Maid. We are joined now by the writer Jane Anderson and director Matthew Penn.

Shervin Lainez

  Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow’s new musical, Noir, is the final Martel Musical of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater season. Sheik and Jarrow previously worked together on the musical Whisper House.

Noir tells the tale of a heartbroken man in LA who discovers and involves himself in a mystery unfolding just beyond his paper-thin walls.

Duncan Sheik joins us to talk about Noir; the Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening (his Tony Award winning show penned with Steven Sater) coming to Broadway in the fall and about his musical version of American Psycho (with book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) which comes to Broadway early in 2016.

  At their childhood home after their mother’s funeral, Nate gets high and Jeremy focusses on work waiting for him in the city -- both brothers trying to send their minds anywhere but where they are.

This is the starting point of A Little More Alive - a Musical Theatre Lab production currently running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA through August 8th.

The musical, directed by Sheryl Kaller and featuring actors Van Hughes, Daniel Jenkins, Nicolette Robinson, Michael Tacconi, and Emily Walton, tells the story of dealing not only with the devastation of loss but the revelation that the person who has died had a secret. A secret that warps all of their memories of her and both monumental and mundane moment in their lives.

Nick Blaemire wrote the show - book, music, and lyrics. We speak with him here about the process.

  I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile is a world premiere play by Suzanne Heathcote currently running at The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA. The production is directed by Jackson Gay world premiere, co-produced by New Neighborhood.

This is Rebecca’s life: she wakes up, eats a sensible breakfast, wraps herself in three layers, drives to the train station, commutes to her bookkeeping job in the city, watches the clock, goes home, cooks dinner for her domineering mother, watches TV, and falls asleep grieving for her dead dog. Every day is the same as the next until Rebecca’s underachieving brother begs her to take care of her troubled niece—and she does what she always does—she lets it happen. In an unforgivingly bitter month, three generations of women with nothing in common, except a deeply buried ache, try to keep the cold away.

I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile features longtime BTG artist Keira Naughton as Rebecca, as well as Linda Gehringer, and Ariana Venturi who join us.

*The audio for this interview is lower quality than our other posts. Our first recording failed and we had to retrieve this from a back-up source. 

Paul Fox / courtesy Williamstown Theatre Festival

  

In a haunting new musical created by writer Daniel Goldstein, Obie Award-winning composer Michael Friedman, and director Trip Cullman, Ellen Rabinowitz sets out to understand her past after she discovers an enigmatic photograph while cleaning out her deceased grandmother’s home in Troy, NY.

As she chases the truth about the soldier featured in the photo, Ellen is drawn into a tangle of historical facts and mysteries that lead her to surprising love stories and unexpected truths.

The world premier musical, Unknown Soldier, will run on The Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA July 30th through August 9th.

We are joined at The Linda by cast-members Lauren Worsham, Jessica Phillips, and Clara Young as well as composer and lyricist, Michael Friedman and Music Director, Marco Paguia.

Facebook: Silverthorne Theater Company

A symposium this weekend at Greenfield Community College will explore stereotyping and underrepresented cultures in American theater.

Lucinda Kidder of the Silverthorne Theater Company believes American theater has been slow in recognizing plays produced by minority communities. To further that discussion, the company is hosting a symposium titled “I’m Not Who You Think I Am.”

  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.

  Blair Underwood stars as Blue in the new play, Paradise Blue - a drama by Dominique Morisseau receiving its World Premiere on the Mainstage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The production is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and runs through August 2nd.

Blair Underwood is known for his roles on L.A. Law, The Event, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and is currently on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. He was last on Broadway playing Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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?

www.dorsettheatrefestival.org

  It has already been a great season at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, Vermont.

Next up is John Patrick Stanley’s unlikely Irish romance Outside Mullingar, in its regional premiere opening July 30th and running through August 15th. Then comes Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet (Aug. 20–Sept. 5), about a young television actor who grudgingly accepts the role of Hamlet, only to be haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore in full costume.

Dina Janis, DTF’s Artistic Director, joins us.

David Butow - Los Angeles Times

Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of San Francisco's legendary American Conservatory Theater has written a memoir entitled Beautiful Chaos: A Life in Theater which is an impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today's technology infused world.

  Perloff's personal and professional journey—her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change. Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership, and power.

Her new play is Kinship, which had its world premiere last year in Paris. It's having its American debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in a Jo Bonney production starring Cynthia Nixon running on the Nikos Stage through July 25th.

  Everyone is a suspect in the Capital Rep production of Murder For Two, a musical murder mystery with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects and they both play the piano.

The show is a blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery. The New York Times calls it “Ingenious! A snazzy doubt act,” while Entertainment Weekly describes it as “A charmingly frenetic all-stops out musical comedy.”

We welcome two actors from the production: Kyle Branzel and Ian Lowe.

Michelle McGrady

  The Tony Award-nominated musical that made Judy Holliday a star, Bells Are Ringing is a classic comedy with a sweet heart.

Written by seven-time Tony Award-winners Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Bells Are Ringing was originally directed by five-time Tony Award-winner Jerome Robbins and choreographed by Robbins and eight-time Tony Award-winner Bob Fosse.

The fetching and farcical love story includes notable show tunes, "Long Before I Knew You," "Just in Time," and "The Party's Over."

Bells are Ringing is currently running at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA as part of The Berkshire Theatre Group’s summer season.

Telephone service operator, Ella Peterson, played by Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin is not your typical phone operator. Using a variety of comical personae’s, Ella meddles with her clients’ lives as she takes and delivers their phone messages. Ella’s busybody ways trigger trouble when she falls for one of her customers, Jeff Moss, played by Kate Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat. The show is directed by BTG Alum, Ethan Heard.

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat join us.

  Tonight through Sunday, Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater presents a staged-reading of Rain - a new musical with book by Sybille Pearson and music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa. The musical is based on a 1920s short-story by Somerset Maugham and is directed by Barry Edelstein. Two stars of this weekend’s performances join us now - Jennifer Westfeldt and Jason Danieley.

Jennifer Westfeldt is a Tony Award nominee for her work in Wonderful Town. She’s also the writer and star of the indie-hit film Kissing Jessica Stein and the writer, director, and star of the film Friends with Kids. In addition to performing in Rain while in Poughkeepsie, Jennifer is also mentoring as part of Powerhouse’s eight-day Filmmakers' Workshop.

Jason Danieley played Frederich Kuhn in the recently closed Kander and Ebb musical The Visit on Broadway - a role he also played last summer at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. His other Broadway credits include Next to Normal, Curtains!, Full Monty, and Candide. Jason also frequently performs as a soloist with the nation’s leading orchestras.

  The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival engages the widest possible audience in a fresh conversation about what is essential in Shakespeare’s plays. Founded in 1987, HVSF’s primary home is a spectacular open-air theater tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.

This season they present The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest by The Bard; The Arabian Nights by Mary Zimmerman, adapted from The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night; and HVSF’s first solo show starring Kurt Rhoads in An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare, adapted from Homer's Iliad.

Davis McCallum is Artistic Director of HVSF - appointed in May 2014. He joins us now along with actors Susannah Millonzi and Jason O’Connell.

  Deathtrap is a classic piece of theatre – a two-act, five-character play written by Ira Levin that garnered a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Play and was awarded a Special Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America.

It holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway and was adapted into a 1982 movie starring Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine and Dyan Cannon.

It is now the latest production from the Berkshire Theatre Group on the Fitzpatrick Stage in Stockbridge, running through July 25th. Here to tell us more are two of the stars of the show: Gregg Edelman who plays Sidney Bruhl and Tom Pecinka who plays Clifford Anderson.

  As immigration policy is hotly debated around the country in terms of national and cultural security Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America presents the human stories of why immigrants and refugees have migrated to the US and what their experiences have been since they came here pre- and post- 9/11.

Based on Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan’s critically acclaimed book, actor/writer Judith Sloan channels many of the people that the couple interviewed on their three-year journey around the world through the borough of Queens, New York.

Crossing the BLVD will open The Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA on Friday, July 10th.

Judith Sloan joins us now to tell us more.

  Vermont's oldest professional theatre company has a new slogan: "Celebrating the classics. Nurturing the new." The 2015 Weston Playhouse season is underway and the Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler joins us this morning to talk about the current season with a spotlight on two upcoming shows

Susan Haefner also joins us - she is playing Julianna, the lead role in The Other Place by Sharr White - a touching and witty play where a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, the past collides with the present, and the elusive truth about a successful neurologist boils to the surface.

Our final Weston guest is Matthew Wilkas who is playing the role of Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher - winner of five 2012 Tony Awards, the play with music asks the century-old question, "How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?"

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