williamstown theatre festival

artwork for Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow
Artwork by Ligature Creative

Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman directs Outer Critics Award nominee and Theater World Award Winner Halley Feiffer’s world premiere of Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow: a contemporary adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The show runs at The Williamstown Theatre Festival July 26 through August 6.

Thomas Sadoski plays Andrey. Sadoski currently stars on CBS' Life In Pieces. Previous television credits include HBO's The Newsroom, and NBC's The Slap. Broadway credits include Reckless, Reasons to be Pretty, House of Blue Leaves, and Other Desert Cities.

Micah Stock and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Our next guest has made quite a splash on Broadway. He made his debut in 2014 in Terrance McNally’s It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane. For that role, Micah Stock was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was most recently seen on Broadway in last year’s revival of The Front Page also starring Nathan Lane plus John Goodman and John Slattery.

He is spending his summer in the Berkshires starring in not one, but two productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He just finished up a run in Jason Kim's The Model American. Next up, he plays Tuzenbach in Halley Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (as in Costco) - a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters opening July 26th on the Nikos Stage.

Rebecca Taichman and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Last Month at the Tony’s, for the seventh time in the history of the Tony Awards, a woman’s name was announced as the winner of Best Director of a Play and that woman was Rebecca Taichman, who directed and co-created, along with playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent

Indecent also marked Rebecca’s Broadway debut, after years of directing at major Off-Broadway and regional theatres including her frequent collaborations with playwrights like Sarah Ruhl.

Even though Taichman won the Tony, the show was set to close June 25th. But in a rare turnaround, the producer, citing an outpouring of public support for the show, decided to keep “Indecent” open through August 6th at the Cort Theatre.

Now, she is in Williamstown, MA to direct Jayne Atkinson and Jessica Hecht in The Clean House by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. The show opens July 19th and runs through July 29th on the Main Stage. 

Sarah LaDuke and Myra Lucretia Taylor
Joe Donahue


  Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go.

Where Storms Are Born is a new play by Harrison David Rivers having its world premiere on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA through July 23rd. Rivers was the Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence in 2016.

The play is directed by Saheem Ali and stars Myra Lucretia Taylor as Bethea Solomon - a woman living in grief and demonstrating love and resilience.

S. Epatha Merkerson and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

The Williamstown Theatre Festival season opener on the main stage is Jen Silverman's new play The Roommate. Directed by Mike Donahue, the show continues through July 16th. The cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

Merkerson is cast as Sharon, who is empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home and takes on a roommate, Robyn (played by Kaczmarek). Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life.

S. Epatha Merkerson is best known for her role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on NBC’s Law & Order. She appeared in 391 episodes of the series—more than any other cast member.  She currently stars as Sharon Goodwin, the Chief Administrator of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center Hospital on NBC’s Chicago Med

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2017 Season, the 63rd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company gets underway June 27th - including four world premieres, a new musical, the first production of a WTF commissioned artist, and much more.

The season, running through August 20, 2017, begins on the Main Stage with a production of a new play by Jen Silverman, The Roommate, featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek; continues with Sarah Ruhl’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist comedy The Clean House starring Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht; and closes with a new musical - A Legendary Romance.

The Nikos Stage season kicks off June 28 with the world premiere of Jason Kim’s play The Model American and also includes the world premiere of Where Storms Are by Harrison David Rivers; the world premiere play Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow directed by Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman; and closes out the summer with Actually, a co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse.

Before coming to Williamstown, Mandy Greenfield was the artistic producer of Manhattan Theatre Club and now this is her third season at WTF.

Jeremy Daniel

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, the hit Broadway musical Waitress was directed by Diane Paulus and was nominated for 4 Tony Awards last year. The show has a book by Jessie Nelson and the music and lyrics are by Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

Bareilles is currently making her Broadway debut as Jenna -- a pregnant diner waitress and inventor of pies who needs to stop burying her hope and unhappy marriage in creative ingredients and make a change.

The other half of that unhappy marriage is Earl, the kind of guy who peaked in high school and never got over it. Earl is handsome but gruff, disconsolate, short tempered, beer-soaked -- and currently being played on Broadway by Will Swenson. His last performance at the pie-scented Brooks Atkinson Theatre will be on June 11th. (Sara Bareilles will leave then, too and Betsy Wolfe will begin performances as Jenna on June 13.)

Swenson’s recent Broadway credits include Disaster!, Les Misérables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Hair -- for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. In the summer of 2015 he played Jamie Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - opposite is wife Audra McDonald; and last summer he served up a boisterous and bodacious Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance at Barrington Stage.

Sol Lewitt Installation at Mass MOCA

The five leading cultural organizations in the northern Berkshires have teamed up to help drive awareness and increase economic development and tourism in Western Massachusetts.

  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.


  Friend of the show and acclaimed stage actor and singer, Jason Danieley is back in the Berkshires for the summer after playing Billy Flynn in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago on Broadway earlier this year. He is playing Timber Tucker in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, running on the mainstage in Williamstown through August 21st.

Tonight he will perform in Pittsfield at Barrington Stage Company with his wife, Marin Mazzie in a concert entitled Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition.

Facebook: Williamstown Theatre Festival

Comedian and storyteller Ophira Eisenberg is known for her work on public radio as the host of NPR and WNYC’s Ask Me Another quiz show and is a frequent host of the Moth’s Story Slams in New York City.

  Poster Boy is a new American musical inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, In the show, a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.

Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima with movement by Danny Mefford, Poster Boy, is in its world premiere production on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 7th.

Composer and lyricist, Craig Carnelia and bookwriter Joe Tracz join us.

  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.

About a month ago, a full-page story appeared in the Sunday travel section of the New York Times.

  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.

  Derek McLane is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning production designer for stage and screen. He designed the last four consecutive Academy Awards telecasts and all three of NBC’s recent LIVE musical events: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz. He was the production designer for the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols and the European tour, Hans Zimmer Revealed.

McLane’s most recent design to open on Broadway is for Fully Committed written by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore, and starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A selection of previous Broadway show’s on his resume are: Noises Off, Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and 33 Variations -- for which he won his Tony Award in 2009.

In our region he’s worked at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and is designing Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab World Premiere of Presto Change-o, which opens later this month in Pittsfield. He’s a busy guy - that list includes less than half of what he’s done and we didn’t even mention everything he’s working on this week.

This is flyer for MASS MoCA's Summer 2016 season
Jim Levulis / WAMC

A number of Northern Berkshire cultural organizations are previewing their upcoming summer seasons in North Adams Wednesday.

This is a picture of actress Marisa Tomei at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
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An Oscar winner will kick off Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 62nd season this June.

  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.

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.

  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?

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.

Jim Cooper / Associated Press

Roger Rees, a Tony award-winning actor and former artistic director of Williamstown Theatre Festival, died Friday at 71.

In her first season as Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Mandy Greenfield has taken bold steps to establish her own imprint within this much respected and awarded summer theater.

Jim Cooper / Associated Press

Roger Rees, the Tony Award-winning Welsh-born actor and director who appeared on TV's "The West Wing" and was a mainstay on Broadway playing Gomez in "The Addams Family" and Chita Rivera's doomed lover in "The Visit," has died. He was 71.

Facebook: Williamstown Theatre Festival

Featuring numerous well-known performers, the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 61st season gets going Tuesday night.

  Tony Award-nominee Jessica Hecht and Drama Desk Award-winner Eric Bogosian join forces for the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb‘s funny and turbulent Legacy on The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Nikos Stage.

When renowned novelist Neil Abrams is panned by The New York Times, he reopens the conversation with his wife Suzanne about starting a family. As Neil copes with feeling increasingly antiquated and culturally irrelevant, and Suzanne begins a relationship with one of Neil’s brilliant grad students, the equilibrium of their marriage is threatened.

Eric Bogosian is well-known for writing and starring in several one-man shows and plays, including Talk Radio and Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, landing a leading role in the TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent; writing three novels and nabbing several awards, including three Obies, the Drama Desk, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. He last joined us to talk about his new book: Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide.

Jessica Hecht made her Broadway debut in The Last Night of Ballyhoo and has twice been nominated for a Tony for her roles in A View From the Bridge and The Assembled Parties. She is known for her work as Victoria in the indie hit Sideways and had recurring roles on Breaking Bad and Seinfeld and played Susan Bunch on TV’s Friends.

Legacy opens on Wednesday and runs through July 12th.

  Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick makes her Williamstown Theatre Festival debut in the world premiere of a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Inge. Off the Main Road was, until recently, a lost work among Inge’s canon – found and reintroduced by the Inge Estate in 2008. Broadway veterans Estelle Parsons and Becky Ann Baker co-star in the production and join us this morning.

Estelle Parsons is a Five-time Tony nominee. She most recently appeared on Broadway in Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Velocity of Autumn.

She worked as a singer with a band before she became the first Women's Editor on The Today Show in 1952. She won an Oscar for her performance as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. The following year, she garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Rachel, Rachel. On television, she is perhaps best remembered as Roseanne and Jackie's mother on Roseanne.

Becky Ann Baker is a fixture here at Williamstown – this is her 13th season. She made her Broadway debut in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She has also appeared in Broadway’s Titanic, A Streetcar Named Desire, All My Sons, Assassins and The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein. She may be best known for her portrayal of Jean Weir on Freaks and Geeks and currently as Lena Dunham’s mom in HBO’s Girls.

Off the Main Road opens on the Williamstown Main Stage tomorrow night and runs through July 19th. It is a great pleasure to welcome Estelle Parson and Becky Ann Baker to the show.

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