Shakespeare and Company’s Fall Festival

Kevin Coleman and students

This year marks the 30th year of Shakespeare and Company’s Fall Festival. Education artists from Shakespeare and Company work with ten high schools in Massachusetts and New York to mount  90 minute productions of Shakespeare’s plays. First the productions are presented at the participating schools. Then all the schools present at The Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. This event usually takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year the dates are November 15 to 18. Due to the predicted snow storm, one of Thursday’s performances is rescheduled for Sunday.

As an audience member, you not only enjoy the productions, but also the audience of high school students cheering on each other’s work. This is not a competition, but a sharing of Shakespeare’s work.  In his book, Shakespeare: A Way to Learn, Bob wrote that this audience was as close as one could get to an original Shakespearean audience as it responds to the plays with a fresh enthusiasm.

The Festival is primarily the work of Kevin Coleman, Shakespeare and Company’s Education Director. We have interviewed Kevin about the Festival numerous times on our radio program and on our blog.

Click below for our first interview with Kevin. He also talks about programs other than the Fall Festival

Kevin Coleman on the Fall Festival, 2012

The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association awarded Kevin and Shakespeare and Company The Larry Murray Award for Community Outreach and Support through Theatre this year.

Click below to see more about the awards.

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

 

The Music of The Glass Menagerie

The Music of the Glass Menagerie:

black and white closeup of typewriter's keys  which have typed The Glass Menagerie

One of the elements that makes the current production of The Glass Menagerie  at Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Theatre special is the lovely viola music that is played live  throughout the performance.  Integrated with the lyricism of Tennesse Williams poetic language, it adds to the magic of the play.  As a part of Barrington Stage’s outreach into the community, Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd, along with composer Alexander Sovronsky and violist, Susan French talked about this music at the Berkshire Athenaeum  on Thursday, October 11.  Bob and I  recorded the discussion which you can listen to by clicking below. The insights that the discussion provided in terms of how music is integrated into a play are valuable in terms of deepening one’s appreciation of the process in the creation of a production.  The Glass Menagerie  runs through October 21 and should not be missed.

Discussion of The Music of The Glass Menagerie

For tickets to the play, click on the Barrington Stage website. On October 17 and 18, Berkshire Residents receive a 25% discount.

Barrington Stage website

Julianne Boyd
           Alexander Sovronsky
                Susan French

 

 

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The Glass Menagerie – Barrington Stage


The Glass Menagerie 
plays at Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Theatre through October 21 in a remarkable production that captures the magic and the poetry of Tennesse William’s memory play. Narrated by Tom Wingfield, we see Tom, his sister Laura, his mother Amanda and a Gentleman Caller as they exist   in Tom’s memory. This is a play you can see many times and still be freshly absorbed in the story and the characters.  In every production, the cast offers their unique vision that engages you once more. Bob and I were fortunate to interview the full cast after we had seen the play.

Click below to listen to our interview

The Glass Menagerie Cast Interview

Then go to the Barrington Stage web site or call 413 236 8888. Check on their special ticket prices for Berkshire residents and others.

Barrington Stage website

Read what the critics said

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Watch these videos

https://youtu.be/BsFQ-WnUdeQ

https://youtu.be/WO60bphdhrQ  

 

 

 

Two Trains Running

Two Trains Running by August Wilson plays at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, VT through October 21. This production is a part of Weston Playhouse’s annual production of a classic play at the end of their summer theatre season. The company’s motto is Celebrating the Classics and Nurturing the New.  Started in 1935, The Weston Playhouse is Vermont’s oldest professional theatre. The playhouse is also unique in having a trio of producing directors,  Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort and Steve Stettler, who have worked together for thirty years offering outstanding productions of a range of plays each summer. The culmination of their collaboration is the Walker Farm Theatre where Two Trains Running is now performing.  This is an intimate second stage not far from the main theatre.  In this, their last year as a producing team, the trio has outdone itself with the season’s offering, culminating in this production. The theatre will continue and be able to do much more year around thanks to their leadership.

Over the past several years Bob and I have enjoyed interviewing a variety of people involved in the productions or when that was not possible, discussing the plays which we do with Two Trains Running. You may click on our discussion below. There is one correction that needs to be made to the discussion. The play takes place in a diner. Several times I mistakenly refer to it as a dinette. These terms are not interchangeable, so when you hear me say dinette in this discussion, mentally correct it to diner.

Discussion of Two Trains Running

After listening to us, click on the website below to order tickets. While you are at the site, you might want to explore some of the company’s history and also see the other events that they present.

Weston Playhouse website

See what the critics said about the play by clicking below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Witness for the Prosecution

The Dorset Players present Witness for the Prosecution October 5th  to 7th and  October 12th  to 14th. Written by that master of all detective writers, Agatha Christie, this  play has many surprises.  Match your wits with the prosecuting and defending attorneys about the nature of the crime. Bob and I interviewed director, Janet Groom, and actor, Drew Davidson, about their work preparing this intriguing drama.

Listen to what they have to say, by clicking below

Witness for the Prosecution interview

Then order your tickets by clicking on the Dorset Players website or call  802.867.5570

You can also find out about the rest of the season.

Dorset Players website

 

 

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Oldcastle Theatre presents Long Day’s Journey Into Night from October 5 to 14. This play by Eugene O’Neill is one of the great American plays about family. First produced in 1956, it has kept audiences enthralled with many productions on stage, film and television.

Bob and I had the good fortune to talk to the complete cast when they had a break in their rehearsal schedule. Nigel Gore who has appeared at Oldcastle in The Lion in Winter and The Ride Down Mount Morgan plays the father, Christine Decker, an Oldcastle favorite, is the mother. Martin Jason Asprey who was in last year’s Broadway Bound, as well as The Lion in Winter,  is the older son, Jamie. Newcomer Brendan McGrady plays the younger brother, Edmund, and Piper Goodeve is Kathleen, the servant. Discussing the play and the challenges they met  bringing their characters to life gave us insights into the play and into the process by which exciting theatre is created.

Listen to what they have to say, by clicking below.

Interview with Long Day’s Journey…cast

Then go to the Oldcastle website to order tickets or phone 802-447-0564

Oldcastle website

 

 

 

Ann

WAM Theatre presents Ann At the Tina Packer Playhouse October 19 to 28 in Lenox, MA. The play,  a co-production with the Dorset Theatre Festival, ran in Vermont earlier in the season. Bob and I  interviewed Kristen van Ginhoven when the play was running at the Dorset Theatre. As always it was a pleasure talking with Kristen about a play and about the work of WAM Theatre. WAM’s motto is Where Arts and Activism Meet.

Ann, a one woman play about former governor of Texas Ann Richardson starring Jayne Atkinson, exemplifies the type of work that WAM does.  Among their range of activities such as play readings and a girls ensemble, the company offers thought provoking and entertaining plays about women.

Listen to our interview with Kristen by clicking below

Interview with Kristen van Ginhoven

Then go to the WAM website for tickets and further information about their work

WAM Theatre website