Morning After Grace

Shakespeare and Company is starting its 41st season with the New England premiere of Morning After Grace by Carey Crim. Talking with the cast and the director a week before the play opens on May 24 was enlightening.  As the actors shared their understanding of the people they play, we became eager to see the play. Reggie LIfe, the director, also shared his insights about the production.   We have enjoyed  Corinna May’s work in a variety of plays over the years at Shakespeare and Company. However, Steve Barkhimer and Kevin Vavasseur were new to us. Their approach to this contemporary comedy increased our interest in seeing this team of actors working together. Their shared insights promise a delightful evening in the theatre with  added understanding of some of life’s transitions.

Click below to listen to the interview

Interview with cast and director of Morning After Grace

The watch this brief video of the director.

Reggie Life on Morning After Grace

After that, click below to order tickets.

Shakespeare and Company website

                               Steven Barkhimer, Corinna May, Kevin Vavasseur
                                 Steven Barkhimer, Kevin Vavasseur. Corinna May

 

The Seagull – Bennington College

Bob and I saw an outstanding production of The Seagull by Anton Chekov at Bennington College. Like many college productions, it had a brief run and we did not get to interview anyone before it opened. However, Jean Randich, the play’s director, suggested a post production interview. We have rarely done one, but much can be learned by listening to the reflections of those who have created the drama we enjoyed.  We found it enlightening to talk with Jean, Michael Rancourt the technical director,  the costume designer Atalaya Botner who is a student, and Teddy O’Mara, the sound designer, also a student. We gained a great deal of insight talking with them and are happy to share it with you.

Click below to listen to these four talented people share their experiences.

The Seagull Interview

We are always eager to find new ways for people to experience theatre that is affordable. Colleges with theatre programs provide an opportunity to do this. Bennington College does not charge admission and Williams College charges between three and five dollars.  People in the Bennington area are fortunate to have such resources available. Whereever you are, check for the nearest college and follow the events calendar so that you don’t miss out on some of the fine work that is done at colleges.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Each year The Dorset Players end their season with a musical. Having provided their audiences with a range of drama, comedy, one acts, new plays and old, the company is concluding its successful 90th Anniversary Season with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee May 18th to May 27th. Bob and I talked with director, Todd Hjelt, stage manager, Patty Green, and actor, Dan Silver about the production. As a community theatre, this company offers opportunities for all members of the community, to participate in creating productions that  excite participants and audiences alike.

Ninety years of productions is an impressive achievement for any organization, but for a company consisting of volunteers who take on all the  jobs involved in a production, it is remarkable.  Community theatre is also affordable for an audience. This not only means volunteers contributing many hours of work, but  finding sponsors and advertisers who help with the  inevitable costs of a producing plays and maintaining a theatre.  Over the years that we have enjoyed the Dorset Players, Bob and I have been impressed by the quality of the work and the dedication of the company’s members. You can be a part of the company or a member of the audience. Either way, you will have a wonderful time.

Listen to Todd, Patty and Dan talk about their experience, but clicking below.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Interview

Look at this video,

Spelling Bee video

Contact their box office and have a great time attending the play.

The Dorset Players website 

 

Williamstown Theatre Festival 2018

Finding out what a theatre has planned for the 2018 summer is exciting. Talking with Antonello Di Benedetto and Kate Hyde of the Williamstown Theatre Festival,  we not only learned about the range of plays and other activities the company will offer, but what goes on during the rest of the year. Antonello is  Director of Audience Engagement, Kate is Communications Manager. They work year round in Williamstown to help prepare for the many activities that take place during the summer.

The development of new plays is an important aspect of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s work under the leadership of Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director. This year, a play that had its premiere production at the Williamstown Theatre in 2016, Cost of Living, won the Pulitzer Prize for best drama. Antonello and Kate talk about the theatre’s development of new plays and  many other topics. Click below to listen.

Interview with Antonello Di Benedetto and Kate Hyde

          Antonello Di Benedetto
                 Kate Hyde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamstown Theatre Website 

 

 

 

 

 

WAM 2018

WAM Theatre is starting its ninth year.  Inspired by the book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM Theatre has not only devoted itself to telling women’s stories through play readings, productions and educational programs,  it also has  donated a percentage of its profits from productions to women’s groups throughout the world. In 2017, The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association awarded artistic director  Kristen van Ginhoven and WAM Theatre The Larry Murray Award for Community Outreach and Support Through Theatre.

Bob and I interviewed Kristen  in WAM’s office in Lenox  to learn about what this season offers in the way of play readings and productions. One of the unique aspects of WAM is that it does not have its own theatre space, but works collaboratively with other theatre companies in the region, sometimes renting space, other times co-producing plays. Besides heading  WAM, Kristen also directs for other theatre companies. Listen to what she shares about the coming season by clicking below.

Kristen van Ginhoven

Interview with Kristen van Ginhoven 2018[

Then go to WAM’s website for more information and to order tickets.

 WAM’s website

 

WAM video

The Berkshire Theatre Group 2018

                    The Colonial Theatre

The Berkshire Theatre Group is celebrating its 90th year, an impressive landmark. With three theatres and an additional performing space in the Garage which is part of the Colonial Theatre, there are many productions and events to look forward to seeing.

The Colonial Theatre is in PIttsfield. The Fitzpatrick and The Unicorn Theatres are in Stockbridge. All three theatres have a long and illustrious history in providing outstanding theatrical productions over the years.

                The Fitzpatrick Theatre

 

                   The Unicorn Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob and I had the opportunity to talk about the range of productions in the three theatres  with Nick Paleologos, Executive Director, and Travis Daly who is directing two musicals this season.   Taking time out of their busy schedules, they  shared their excitement about the work they do at the Theatre Group. With Lion King Junior about to open, Travis gave us information about the extensive educational programs that the Berkshire Theatre Group has in the community. Nick shared information about the work of an executive director and the  upcoming theatrical season.

           Nick Paleologos
Travis Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to listen to the interview.

Nick Paleologos and Travis Daly

Click below for the Berkshire Theatre Group website for more information and tickets.

Berkshire Theate Group

For the history and stories about the theatres, click below for their blog

Berkshire Theatre Group Blog

King Lear- A Timeless Play

Dennis Krausnick as King Lear

Before Bob and I started our blog, we had a radio program that started in 2011 and which just ended this past September. When we started our blog, we felt that our interviews with theatre people reached a wider audience and also allowed us to provide supplemental materials. However, we regretted that so many of the wonderful interviews we had recorded earlier remained in the radio archives. We are now reposting some of them because the insights theatre people gave us were not limited to the particular productions we were discussing.

One of those programs that was always most vivid in our memories was our interview with Dennis Krausnick, Kevin Coleman and Jonathan Croy about their production of King Lear. King Lear has always been a favorite of mine. It was one of the first Shakespeare productions I saw in my life of theatre going. When I was at Bennington College I co-taught a three week unit on King Lear with a member of the literature faculty and a member of the drama faculty. Besides seeing many theatrical productions of Lear, I have also watched every film and television production of the play available. Yet this interview remains the most memorable of many discussions of Lear over the years.

King Lear Interview 2012

 

Image result for King Lear Shakespeare and Company 2012
Dennis Krausnick as Lear and Kevin Coleman as The Fool

 

Jonathan Croy as Gloucester