williamstown theatre festival

  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.

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2015 Season, the 61st Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and first under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 30th.

    In 1921, a tightly knit band of killers set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide. They were a humble bunch: an accountant, a life insurance salesman, a newspaper editor, an engineering student, and a diplomat. Together they formed one of the most effective assassination squads in history. They named their operation Nemesis, after the Greek goddess of retribution.

Eric Bogosian tells their never-before-told story in his new book, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide.

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Three productions seen on stages in the Berkshires in the past few years were nominated for The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards this week.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival recently released the lineup for its 2015 season which runs from June 30th to August 23rd. There will be a total of seven shows, some featuring performances by Kyra Sedgwick, Cynthia Nixon, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson. The festival sold 35,000 tickets in 2014, the highest total in four years. The 61st season will be led by artistic director Mandy Greenfield who took over Jenny Gersten last year.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced its 2015 summer lineup, which features numerous well-known performers. It’s also the first full season for artistic director Mandy Greenfield after taking over for Jenny Gersten. 

John Dolan

The former director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival is stepping down from a position she took eight months ago with a New York City-based company.

Enrico Spada / Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park

As the days of August tick away, many Berkshires performance venues are closing the curtains on their summer sessions.

Rogovoy Report for August 8, 2014

Aug 8, 2014

Half a dozen friends who met at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2008 decided to put on a show. No, this is not a joke. The next thing you know, they form a theater company - a grassroots, low finance, but high-tech troupe that stages original stories based on traditional forms like fables and myths, using time-tested theatrical devices including shadow screens, puppetry, flashlights, and original live music performed by the actors.

  The final show on The Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer is a magical lo-fi musical storytelling feat created and co-directed by PigPen Theatre Co. - The Old Man and the Old Moon runs from August 6th to August 17th.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of music, film, and theatre as freshman at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2008. They have produced their original plays Off-Broadway and at regional theaters around the country.

Rogovoy Report For August 1, 2014

Aug 1, 2014

There was a lot going on – a lot to see, a lot to hear, a lot to process all at once – onstage at the Doris Duke Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow last night, where “Chalk and Soot” by Dance Heginbotham and Brooklyn Rider, featuring Shara Worden and Gabriel Kahane, had its world premiere performance.

    In The Visit, her Williamstown Theatre Festival debut, Broadway legend Chita Rivera embodies Claire Zachanassian, the oft-widowed richest woman in the world, who returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but the carefully plotted renewal she offers carries a dreadful price.

Sardonic and morally complex, The Visit asks: What can your heart afford?

Rivera is joined by Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, and Judy Kuhn and directed in this Kander and Ebb musical by John Doyle.

Here she speaks with Joe Donahue about working on the show, her reverence for a productions creative team, and keeping her sense of humor - always.

T. Charles Erickson

Anna Chlumsky is in Williamstown, MA co-starring in Living on Love, a play about an opera diva - played by Renée Flemming, her mastro husband played by Douglas Sills, and the autobiography ghostwriters - played by Chlumsky and Justin Long - who come between them. The show runs at WTF through July 26th.

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