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.
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.
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.
The play, June Moon…now on the main stage at Williamstown Theatre Festival…is the result of collaboration by George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner. Kaufman was one of the most prolific playwrights in American theater history. For a period of more than 35 years, from 1921 to 1958, at least one Kaufman production – he as the author or the stage director – was being performed on Broadway. Even today, his play, The Man Who Came to Dinner, is a staple of virtually every American community theater.
After decades as the gentle-natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to “cure” gay teens, Walt is packing up his life and preparing for a reluctant retirement. But when his final client quietly disappears into the remote Idaho wilderness, Walt discovers that his previously unwavering moral compass no longer points the way.
A Great Wilderness is a play by Obie Award winner, Samuel D. Hunter. It is directed at Williamstown Theatre Festival by Eric Ting and stars Jeffrey DeMunn. The three join us to talk about the play, which runs on the Nikos Stage at WTF July 9-July 20.
One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming is loved for her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony last July, the President awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist.
Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Over the past few seasons, Ms. Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series for movie theaters and television, and Live From Lincoln Center on PBS.
She will be performing at the Tanglewood opener on Saturday night and later this month, she will stay in the Berkshires to perform her first role in a play. She will make her debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Living on Love, playing an opera diva at odds with her husband over the people they’ve hired to ghostwrite their autobiographies. It runs July 16 through 26th.