Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) has added a new community immersive theatre project entitled Orpheus in the Berkshires (July 14 – 17), a World Premiere production made by and for the Berkshires, as well as an exciting line-up of special events for their 62nd season.
There’s more that’s new this year as well, and it all kicks-off June 30th with Festival LAWNch!, a special pre and post show experience for the opening productions on the Main Stage and Nikos Stage shows; continues with Ménage à Deux with Tom Fontana & Susie Essman (July 7); Pigpen Theatre Co.: Plugged In (July 11), returning to the Festival with a concert of their unique brand of contemporary folk rock music; for the third summer in a row, the stripped down musical comedy duo The Skivvies (July 17 & 18); comedian Marcus Monroe’s one-man show, The Rise and Fall of Marcus Monroe (July 24 & 25); also making a return to WTF, one of the most-celebrated musical improv shows in the world, Baby Wants Candy (August 3 – 7); and the Williamstown debuts of Jill Kargman: Meta Metal (August 7) and Inside Joke with Ophira Eisenberg (August 8).
2016 NEW INNITIATIVE
ORPHEUS IN THE BERKSHIRES
A WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION MADE BY AND FOR THE BERKSHIRES!
July 14, 15, and 16 at 7:30pm, July 17 at 5:00pm
By Lucy Thurber
Directed by Laura Savia
This summer, WTF 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 Williamstown Theatre 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. Funding for the research and community engagement for Orpheus in the Berkshires is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
2016 SPECIAL EVENTS
June 30 at 6:30pm
Front Lawn/Main Stage/Nikos Stage
$125 Premium orchestra ticket to The Rose Tattoo or Cost of Living and open bar
$95 Orchestra ticket to The Rose Tattoo or Cost of Living and 2 drink tokens
$75 Balcony/rear orchestra ticket to The Rose Tattoo or Cost of Living
(All tickets include access to pre-show reception and post-show party)
Meet on the front lawn to “LAWNch” the 2016 Williamstown Theatre Festival and see the opening Main Stage or Nikos Stage productions. Join WTF family, friends, and artists for the official Festival opening celebration and enjoy a pre-show reception, a performance of The Rose Tattoo or Cost of Living, and a post-show party with the casts.
MÉNAGE À DEUX WITH TOM FONTANA & SUSIE ESSMAN
July 7 at TBA
Long-time Festival favorites Tom Fontana (writer/creator of Borgia, OZ) and the hilarious Susie Essman (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) come together to portray two of France’s literary greats. Sip your wine and be a fly on the wall for this reading of a dialogue between Victor Hugo and Mademoiselle Mars. That is, if Tom and Susie stay on script!
PIGPEN THEATRE CO.: PLUGGED IN
July 11 at 7:30pm
$110 Premium Orchestra
$45 Rear Orchestra/Balconies
After their critically acclaimed run of The Old Man and the Old Moon, PigPen Theatre Co. returns to the Festival for a concert of their unique brand of contemporary folk rock music. “I’m crazy about PigPen and soon you will be too. They’re a great rock band that also happens to put on delightful theatrical shows. Or they’re a great theatrical troupe that also happens to release terrific albums. Take your pick.” — The Huffington Post
July 17 & 18 at 7:30pm
The Skivvies take it all in the Berkshires off for a third summer in a row. Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley return with their mashups of pop songs and show tunes…all while performing in their underwear. Perez Hilton says that the Skivvies are “…a shot of pure joy to the heart…A MUST-see! Repeatedly!!!”
THE RISE AND FALL OF MARCUS MONROE
July 24 & 25 at 7:30pm
Seen by millions on dozens of television shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman, Marcus Monroe comes to WTF, and pours out his soul into a hysterical and heartfelt performance portraying one man’s pursuit of fame as the world’s most notorious juggler.
BABY WANTS CANDY: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL
August 3 – 6 at 8pm, August 6 – 7 at 2pm
Baby Wants Candy, one of the best-known, longest-running, and most-celebrated improvisational comedy shows in the world, is back! A roller-coaster ride of spontaneously choreographed dance numbers, rhyming verses and witty, jaw-dropping comedy, this evening is sure to delight! Bringing together the WTF Apprentice Company and the renowned Baby Wants Candy cast, the show asks the audience for a suggestion of a musical that has never been performed before. And then, you get to see what The New York Times called a “truly amazing!” entertainment phenomenon!
JILL KARGMAN: META METAL
August 7 at 7:30pm
Part culture vulture, part best-selling novelist, part television creator (Bravo’s Odd Mom Out), Jill Kargman teams up with director, and WTF regular, Trip Cullman, for a smokin’ hot evening of metal-lite tunes and comedy. A head-banging, side-splitting show premiering at WTF before making its way to New York City’s Cafe Carlyle in 2017.
INSIDE JOKE WITH OPHIRA EISENBERG
August 8 at 7:30pm
$110 Premium Orchestra
$45 Rear Orchestra/Balconies
Known for her unique ability to seamlessly blend sharp standup with powerful storytelling, Ophira’s new show talks about her hesitant entry into new parenthood and satirizes the trendy, artisanal techno-culture we live in. Welcome the edgy, witty, and self-deprecating Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s and WNYC’s “Ask Me Another,” as she makes her WTF debut that will leave you infused with joy.
All this, plus seven major Man Stage and Nikos productions
As previously announced, WTF’s Main Stage Season will include: Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei in Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo (June 28 – July 17), directed by Obie Award winner Trip Cullman; the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s comedy Romance Novels For Dummies (July 20 – July 31), directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel; and SAG Award winner Kate Walsh in Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter (August 3 – August 21), directed by Evan Cabnet.
On the Nikos Stage: the World Premiere Cost of Living (June 29 – July 10) by Martyna Majok, directed Obie Award winner Jo Bonney; the World Premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room (July 13 – July 23) by Michael West and directed by James Macdonald; the World Premiere of Craig Carnelia and Joe Tracz’s musical Poster Boy (July 27 – August 7) with movement by Danny Mefford and direction by Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima; and Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek in the American Premiere of And No More Shall We Part (August 10 – August 21) by Tom Holloway, directed by Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman.
Lucy Thurber (Playwright) is the author of ten plays: Where We’re Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World, Monstrosity, Dillingham City, The Locus and The Insurgents. Her five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced Off Broadway by Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater in-conjunction with The Cherry Lane Theater, The Axis Theater, and The New Ohio Theatre. The Insurgents was produced at the 2011 Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Bottom of The World and Scarcity were produced at The Atlantic Theater Company. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has produced three of her plays: Where We’re Born, Killers and Other Family, and Stay. Lucy wrote the text for QUIXOTE, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, a site-specific performance with the Psalters made for and with The Broad Street Community, also with Lear deBessonet and produced by 13P, Monstrosity. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre. Thurber is published by Dramatists Play Service. She is an alumni of New Dramatists, A member of 13P, Labyrinth Theater Company, and Rising Phoenix Rep. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, House on The Moon, WET, and Yale Rep. She is the recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, the 1st Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting, and a proud recipient of a LILLY Award and a 2014 OBIE Award for The Hill Town Plays.