“Africa Then and Now” – a Free Talk with Lee Blessing at Barrington Stage

Africa Then and Now
With Going to St. Ives playwright Lee Blessing
Sunday, July 3 at 1pm

More than being just a presenter of plays, Barrington Stage Company (BSC) likes to explore their subject matter in depth. And while there won’t be a seminar on how to beat the odds in a crap shoot (Guys and Dolls) there will be some serious talk about several other topics this summer, including the politics and dynamics of Africa. The first talk which kicks off their 2011 Free “Conversations with…” series kicks off this Sunday, July 3 with Lee Blessing

The playwright, shown above, wrote Going to St. Ives which is now playing at the Company’s Stage 2. He will share his story of what attracted him to the political subject matter of that opus and how it mirrors what is happening in Africa today. Blessing will discuss the play’s two characters and the moral dilemma that lies at the heart of the work.

About Lee Blessing:

Gretchen Egolf (l) and Myra Lucretia Taylor (r) in Going to St. Ives at Barrington Stage Company. Kevin Sprague photo.

Lee Blessing’s play A WALK IN THE WOODS was produced on Broadway and London ‘s West End. His Off-Broadway productions include A BODY OF WATER, Primary Stages; GOING TO ST. IVES, Primary Stages (Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Best Play, Obie for ensemble performance); THIEF RIVER, Signature Theatre (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); COBB, Lucille Lortel Theatre (Drama Desk award, best ensemble); CHESAPEAKE, New York Stage and Film at Second Stage; ELEEMOSYNARY, Manhattan Theatre Company, and DOWN THE ROAD, the Weissberger Group at the Atlantic Theatre.

The Signature Theatre dedicated its 1992-93 season to his work, consisting of FORTINBRAS, LAKE STREET EXTENSION, TWO ROOMS, and the world premiere of PATIENT A. Recent world and regional premieres of his work include an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s HEAVEN’S MY DESTINATION which had its world premiere at the Cleveland Play House in Spring 2009, GREAT FALLS in the 2008 Humana New Play Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville, A BODY OF WATER at the Guthrie Theater and the Old Globe Theatre, LONESOME HOLLOW, FLAG DAY, and WHORES at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, THE SCOTTISH PLAY at La Jolla Playhouse, BLACK SHEEP at Florida Stage, and THE WINNING STREAK at George Street Playhouse. Other plays include INDEPENDENCE, RICHES, OLDTIMERS GAME, NICE PEOPLE DANCING TO GOOD COUNTRY MUSIC, and PERILOUS NIGHT.

Productions of Blessing’s plays have earned awards such as The American Theater Critics Circle Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, The Great American Play Award, The Humanitas Award, and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award, among others. He has received nominations for Tony and Olivier awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. Blessing is married to playwright and TV writer Melanie Marnich and lives in New York . He heads the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University .

While all “Conversations with…” events are free, reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. (I understand this one is close to capacity already) So it’s important to make a reservation, call the Box Office at 413-236-8888.

All seating is general admission.

The event takes place at BSC Stage 2, 36 Linden Street , Pittsfield , MA 01201

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