Williamstown’s “Poster Boy” set to open despite a last minute cast change

The conflicted relationships between Taylor Trensch as Tyler Clementi (l) and Levin Valayil as Dharun (r) are the subject of "Poster Boy".

The conflicted relationships between Taylor Trensch as Tyler Clementi (l) and Levin Valayil as Dharun (r) are the subject of “Poster Boy”.

For those in the LGBTQ community, there has been much anticipation of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s new musical Poster Boy. Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director slated the opening night for the third Nikos Stage production of the 2016 Season to take place Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 8:00pm. The world premiere musical begins with previews July 27, and runs until August 7.

There is a change of casting from our earlier preview (link) – due to a family emergency, Rohan Kymal withdrew from the production during rehearsals. Levin Valayil (Bollywood and Vine) replaces him in the role of Dharun.

Inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi (Taylor Trensch), a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, Poster Boy is a new American musical by Tony Award-nominated composer Craig Carnelia and playwright Joe Tracz. A community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life. Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima, and movement by Danny Mefford, this provocative and moving new musical lays bare the complexity of protecting our privacy, identity and humanity in the digital era.

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Poster Boy Opening Night – The Cast and Creative Team. Pictured (L to R): Stephen Wallem, Mandy Greenfield, Craig Carnelia, Seonjae Kim, Stafford Arima, Katie Lee Hill, Jose Llana, Danny Mefford, Noah Zachary, Levin Valayil, Taylor Trensch, Joe Tracz, Jerry Dixon, and Ned Riseley. Photograph Daniel Rader.

The cast includes Jerry Dixon (If/Then), Katie Lee Hill (The Wilderness), Jose Llana (The King and I), Taylor Trensch (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime), Stephen Wallem (“Nurse Jackie”), Levin Valayil (Bollywood and Vine) and Noah Zachary (I am Anne Hutchinson/I am Harvey Milk).

On Sunday, July 31 at 1:15 pm, Rainbow Seniors‘ founder Ed Sedarbaum will join the show’s creators,Tony Award-nominated composer Craig Carnelia and playwright Joe Tracz, in a “Lawn Talk” conversation about the tragedy that riveted the nation’s attention on the plague of cyber-bullying that drove Tyler to take his own life. “Lawn Talks” are free and open to the public. They take place on the theater’s front lawn. There are still a few tickets available for the performances. For availability check www.wtfestival.org.

There will also be a post-show talkback after the August 2nd performance.

TICKETS AND SCHEDULE

Tickets for all Williamstown Theatre Festival productions can be purchased online at wtfestival.org, by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 01267.

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