The Season opener for the Berkshire Theatre Group (formerly Berkshire Theatre Festival) is a three week run of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter on their Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA. Previews begin June 25 at 8pm and closing is on July 13 at 8pm. Formal opening on June 29 at 8pm.
An epic and humorous tale of political strategy and family dynamics, The Lion In Winter, set during Christmas 1183, tells the story of King Henry II, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John as they play a deadly game of real life chess; winner takes the throne. Who will come out on top as the ruler of England and the ruler of the family? The Lion in Winter proves just how absurd and lethal family rivalries can be.
According to director, Robert Moss, “I have always loved the play. I remember the electricity of the original production, and I produced the play (but did not direct it) at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca when I first became their artistic director. The joy of seeming to be in the 12th century, and having the language be brilliantly modern, quirky and just plain fun is so delightful. It’s a comedy, but at its heart is the mighty love story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. They may fight wars with each other, threaten and plot against each other, but when face to face, they turn each other on intellectually, sexually, and romantically. They are direct descendents of George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Elyot and Amanda of Private Lives. Their passion and the scintillating dialogue make this an unforgettable theatrical experience.”
Treat Williams, who will be portraying Henry, commented, “I’m thrilled to be Playing King Henry this summer in The Lion In Winter at Berkshire Theatre Group. It is, in my opinion, one of the best plays about family ever written. It’s wonderful to follow a dysfunctional royal family (what family isn’t?) for a Christmas holiday in the twelfth century and realize nothing much has changed. They manipulate, cheat, lie, maneuver, seduce and threaten one another throughout, and have great fun doing it. I can’t wait.”
The cast includes Jayne Atkinson as Eleanor, Tara Franklin as Alais, Aaron Costa Ganis as Richard, Karl Gregory as John, Tommy Schrider as Geoffrey, Matthew Stucky as Philip and Treat Williams as Henry.
Tickets to The Lion in Winter are $38-$58, all preview tickets are $38. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield, at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge, by calling (413) 997-4444, or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change. The Berkshire Theatre Group combines the Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Colonial Theatre.
Robert Moss (Director) 2013 has been a busy year, beginning with work on a new play by Laura King at Hollins University in Roanoke. Ongoing new work projects include preparing two plays for projected runs in New York this Fall: Ira FuchsHedgeucation (about the 2008 fiscal collapse in this country) and Logan Medland’s musical Fingers and Toes (about creating a musical in 1939). There is also ongoing work with writer Mary Mott on From Where I Sit slated for October production in the Unicorn. He taught directing at Ithaca College and directed their production of Arthur Miller’s An Enemy of the People. He produced an evening of one-acts at Suny Cortland. Prior to all this, he was the artistic director of Syracuse Stage for twelve years, artistic director of the Hangar Theatre for fifteen years and artistic director of the Queens Theater in the Park for seven years. In 1971 he founded Playwrights Horizons and ran it for its first ten years, which included the now historic move to 42nd Street.
Jayne Atkinson (Eleanor) Film: Handsome Harry, Syriana, 12 and Holding,Psychoanalysis Changed My Life, Revenge for Jolly, g, The Village, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, Psychoanalysis Changed My Life. TV: House of Cards, Criminal Minds, 24,Perception, A Year in the Life, Parenthood, The Practice, The X-Files, The Education of Max Bickford, Law & Order. Broadway: Blithe Spirit; Enchanted April (Tony & Drama Desk Award Nominations, Outer Critics Circle Award Winner); Our Town; The Rainmaker (Tony Nomination); Ivanov (Lincoln Center Theater revival); All My Sons. Off-Broadway: How I Learned to Drive; The Art of Success; Henry VIII (Shakespeare in the Park) The Skriker (Drama Desk Award Nomination); The Vagina Monologues. Regional Theatre: Berkshire Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Stage & Film and The Old Globe. Great thanks to my mom and dad who first introduced me to Lion and my two loves—Michel & Jeremy Gill.
Tara Franklin (Alais) BTG: The Puppetmaster of Lodz, Brace Yourself, Birthday Boy, The Guardsman, Ghosts, A Man For All Seasons, Educating Rita, Amadeus, Equus,The Misanthrope, Peter Pan, Dimetos, A Dream Play, The Einstein Project, and Camelot. With the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival: Henry V, Love’s Labours Lost, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet.At the Connecticut Repertory Theatre: Translations, The Trojan Women, Red Noses, The House of Bernarda Alba, Misalliance, The Crucible, A Cry of Players and A Christmas Carol. New York: Me, My Guitar and Don Henley (14th Street Y), Shel’s Shorts and The Secretaries (Project Theater @ the 78th Street Lab). Chicago:Manuscript Found in Saragossa (Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Gravid Water(Improv Olympic). Film: Labor Day. BFA: NYU Tisch, MFA: UConn. Love to J&S.
Aaron Costa Ganis (Richard) New York theater includes ’365 days/365 plays’ (Public Theater), Flanagan’s Wake (Soho Playhouse), The Mnemonist of DutchessCounty (Theater Row), My Nose & Me (The Second City, Chicago), Tartuffe (South Street Seaport), 30 Beats (Kraine Theater); Regional: Katori Hall World PremiereWhaddabloodclot!!! (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Moonchidren, Macbeth, Amadeus, The Night of the Iguana (Berkshire Theatre Festival),Philoctetes (Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, India), Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Oxford Playhouse, UK),How I Learned to Drive (Edinburgh Fringe Festival),In the Native State (BBC), La Chunga, Absolutely! (perhaps), Assassins, (Oxford University Dramatic Society). NYU Grad Acting: Neal Bell World Premiere, Golem, Keith Reddin World PremiereKMT (dir. Mark Wing-Davey), Festen (dir. Robert Woodruff), Mona Mansour World Premiere Across the Water; Upcoming Film: The Music (Writer/Director) with Stephen Spinella, Straight Out Of Tompkins produced by Robby Benson, Double Crossed at SXSW, A New York Love Story. BA: Brandeis, Univ. of Oxford; MFA: NYU Graduate Acting ’12.
Karl Gregory (John) Most recently, Karl was seen Off Broadway in From White Plains (NYT Critic’s Pick, GLAAD Media Award). NYC: Frogs (Fault Line Theatre), Oatmeal and a Cigarette (FringeNYC), BecauseHeCan (Personal Space Theatrics), The Servant of Two Masters (PS122). Regional: Ever So Humble, The 39 Steps (Hangar Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (SFSTL), The Importance of Being Earnest (Trinity Rep). Karl was a Resident Actor with the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca NY for five seasons, appearing in over 40 shows, including: Gutenberg! The Musical! After Ashley, Fully Committed, SantaLand Diaries, Swimming In The Shallows, The Drunken City, as well as title roles in A Perfect Ganesh, The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Servant of Two Masters. BFA- Syracuse University, MFA- Brown/Trinity Rep. Karl is an Award-Winning Actor.
Tommy Schrider (Geoffrey) Previous BTF appearances include The Caretaker, The Einstein Project and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Broadway: War Horse(Vivian Beaumont). Off Broadway: Macbeth (Theatre For A New Audience), Septimus & Clarissa (BPAC/Ripe Time), Close Ties (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Acts of Mercy, St. Crispin’s Day (Rattlestick), She Stoops To Conquer, Pigtown (Irish Rep), RACE (Classic Stage), Abingdon, NYTW, Culture Project. Regional credits include Hamlet, Battle of Black And Dogs, Bossa Nova (Yale Rep), The Importance of Being Earnest (South Coast Rep) as well as productions at Huntington Theatre, Westport Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Williamstown, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, Virginia Stage, Hangar Theatre, Theatreworks Hartford. International: Andrews Lane, Dublin. Film: The…Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom. TV: Person of Interest, Medium, Numb3rs, Law & Order, WHOOPI!, As The World Turns. MFA: NYU. For my gals.
Matthew Stucky (Phillip) Off Broadway: An Error of the Moon (Theatre Row) Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Richard III, School for Wives, Loves Labors Lost, Titus Andronicus, The Beaux’s Stratagem, Enemy of The People (The Shakespeare Theatre Company DC), Les Liaisons Dangerouses, Wist Side Story, Hamlet (Syracuse Stage), Grey Gardens, History Boys (Studio Theatre),Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare and Company), Bleeding Kansas, The Secret Garden, 10 Blocks on the Camino Real, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Crowbar(Hangar Theatre), Hot ‘N’ Throbbin’ (Kitchen Theatre), Pericles (Kitchen Theatre)Othello (Mile Square Theatre), Incident at Vichy, Number the Stars, Miracle on 34th Street (NYSTI), Three Sisters (SU Drama). Training: BFA Syracuse University, The Globe, London.
Treat Williams (Henry) Treat Williams began his career on Broadway as Danny Zuko in Grease. His first important film role was the part of Berger in the film version of Hair. Treat’s other film work includes The Ritz, The Eagle Has Landed, Prince of the City, 1941, Smooth Talk, which won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival,Once Upon A Time in America, Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending, Deep Rising, The Outrageous Critical Bill in Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead, The Phantom, Deep End of the Ocean, The Devils Own, What Happens In Vegas, Howl, 127 Hours,and Deadfall. He will next be seen in Reaching For The Moon with Miranda Otto, andBarefoot with Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman. Treat has appeared in multiple Broadway productions such as Over Here, Once in a Lifetime, Love Letters,Pirates of Penzance, and Steven Sondheim’s Follies (Theatre Guild Award). Off Broadway; Bus Stop, Some Men Need Help, Captains Courageous (Theatre Guild Award), David Mamet’s Oleanna and Bobby Gould in Hell. His television credits include Streetcar Named Desire, Hoover, Dempsey, The Late Shift, Max and Helen, Law & Order: SVU, and The Simpsons, as himself. For four seasons he starred as Dr. Andy Brown in the critically acclaimed series Everwood for which he was twice nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award as best actor. Treat is currently appearing in White Collar, Hawaii 50, and Chicago Fire. He has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy, and has won two Theatre Guild Awards. Most recently, he won Best Actor for L’estate Di Martino at the Sicilian Film Festival. Treat has also experienced success as a director, as his short film TEXAN, by David Mamet, was awarded best film at three film festivals. A pilot with over ten thousand hours in the cockpit, Mr. Williams has been flying airplanes and helicopters of all shapes and sizes for over 30 years. He currently lives in Vermont with his wife and two children.
The Lion in Winter
by James Goldman
directed by Robert Moss
With scenic design by Brett J. Banakis, costume design by David Murin, lighting design by Solomon Weisbard and sound design by Scott Killian.
Tuesday, June 25 at 8pm (Preview)
Wednesday, June 26 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, June 27 at 8pm (Preview)
Friday, June 28 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, June 29 at 2pm
Saturday, June 29 at 8pm (Opening/Press Night)
Monday, July 1 at 8pm
Tuesday, July 2 at 8pm
Wednesday, July 3 at 7pm
Thursday, July 4 at 8pm
Friday, July 5 at 8pm
Saturday, July 6 at 2pm
Monday, July 8 at 8pm
Tuesday, July 9 at 8pm
Wednesday, July 10 at 7pm
Thursday, July 11 at 8pm
Friday, July 12 at 8pm
Saturday, July 13 at 2pm
Saturday, July 13 at 8pm
For more information and tickets go to www.berkshiretheatregroup.org
About Berkshire Theatre Group
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Stockbridge, MA and Pittsfield, MA. The Fitzpatrick Main Stage (400 seats), cataloged by the National Register of Historic Places, was originally designed and built by Stanford White as the Stockbridge Casino in 1888. The intimate Unicorn Theatre (122 seats) is a home for emerging artists and new theatrical ideas. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. BTG also performs at the outdoor Neil Ellenoff stage, located on the grounds of BTF in Stockbridge, and at The Garage, a music venue located in the lobby of The Colonial. BTG serves over 100,000 patrons per year and reaches over 17,000 students through its educational and outreach programs. For more information on BTF call (413) 298-5536 and on The Colonial call (413) 448-8084. To purchase tickets, call (413) 997-4444 or (413) 298-5576 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.