Joan Littlewood

The Royal Shakespeare Company presented a musical, Miss Littlewood, about the director Joan Littlewood, at the Swan Theatre in the summer of 2018. This inspired our son , Paul, when he visited  on Thanksgiving,  to interview Bob about the time we spent with her in London and when she visited us in Vermont.  Bob had not only spent time with her when we were in London where he was researching British theatre for his doctoral dissertation, but he had  gone back when she was working on The Projector, supposedly an eighteenth century play that mirrored a contemporary building disaster that had happened in the East End of London. Bob also talked about introducing Joan to Tina Packer, whose work at Shakespeare & Co., was influenced by Joan’s, when Joan visited us in Vermont.

Click below to listen to the interview.

Bob Talking About Joan Littlewood

Then watch the trailer for Miss Littlewood

Joan Liittlewood and Bob 1968 

 

Tina Packer and Joan 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bennington Community Theatre – The Curious Savage

The Bennington Community Theatre will be performing The Curious Savage at Oldcastle Theatre on December 7 and 8. Bob and I had the opportunity to talk to some of the eleven actors and director Christine Decker before a rehearsal. We set up in the lobby of the theatre and spoke to Chris and the performers as they were available. Besides enjoying what they shared about their experiences  rehearsing the play, we learned more about the play which had been produced on Broadway in 1950.  Lillian Gish played the role of Mrs. Savage who is trying to keep  her money from her greedy step-children. It sounds like a fine plot for a comedy, particularly since there are so many charmingly eccentric characters. .

Click below to hear the interview

Interview with cast members of The Curious Savage

Then click on the Oldcastle Theatre website for tickets

Oldcastle Theatre website

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