Once Upon A Time in the Berkshires

Traditionally, The Williamstown Theatre Festival has offered a free performance to Williamstown residents and others in the area, welcoming anyone who comes to the free event. However, this is the second year when these productions have changed. The Community Engagement Initiative brings together members of the community to work alongside professional actors in the world premiere  of a  play. This play grows out of workshops in playwriting and acting that the Williamstown Theatre Festival conducts for community members in Western Massachusetts in the fall, winter and spring.

In this year’s production, three children ask their grandmother to tell them about a long time ago.  She weaves an exciting tale about magical creatures and warriors and young lovers. The play, written by Lucy Thurber,  is directed by Williamstown Theatre Associate Artistic Director Laura Savia

Lucy Thurber, playwright

.

Laura Savia, Director

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in the season, Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucy and Laura about the play and the process of engaging community members. Their excitement   about it was mirrored by a friend of ours from the Berkshires who told us that she was in it and that we must be sure to see it. We wouldn’t miss it. The play runs from August 13 to August 19 on the Williamstown Theatre Festival Mainstage.

To reserve tickets go to http://wtfestival.org/main-events/once-upon-a-time-in-the-berkshires/ There are only four performances and the opening night is already filled.

Click below for our interview.

Interview with Lucy Thurber and Laura Savia

Rehearsal photos below were taken by Daniel Radar

 

 

 

Enrico Spada: A Life in the Theatre

Bob and I first saw Enrico as an actor in the Shakepeare and Company’s production of The Real Inspector Hound. After that we kept encountering him everywhere in a variety of roles. When we didn’t see him, we noted his name in theatre programs for sound design or graphics. In his role as a producer/director, he founded the Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, now in its fourth year. We have enjoyed the  productions which are free.  We decided it was time to talk with him about all these aspects of his life in the theatre. He is not only a creative artist, but technically adept as well. We discovered this directly as we had left an important piece of equipment at home. Enrico supplied a substitute. We were impressed as always.

Click below to hear our talk with him.

Enrico Spada Interview

Then click below for information about the Pittsifield Shakespeare in the Park which ends on August 6. It is an outstanding performance of Twelfth Night in the open air

Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park

Then click on Enrio’s website

Enrico Spada Website

Twelfth Night

 

Producing Artistic Director- Chester Theatre Company

         Daniel Elihu Kramer

When Bob and I interviewed Daniel Elihu Kramer, we had not yet seen Skeleton Crew which runs until July 23. Having now seen it and I And You  performed  at the Chester Theatre and having talked with Daniel, we know that our initial interest in what this  theatre offers was more than justified. We urge those who have not yet discovered Chester Theatre Company to do so. It lives up to its slogan  Big Stories, Intimate Setting.

Those of us who live in the area of  Southern Vermont and The Berkshires are fortunate in having a selection of outstanding theatres to attend at prices that are reasonable compared to New York City or other   metropolitan areas. Chester Theatre belongs among these theatres in ts mission and in its selection and production of plays that are thought provoking while entertaining. Listen to Daniel talk about the theatre by clicking on the link below and you will understand why you should  go to the website and order tickets for the current play and the two remaining plays in the season.

Interview with Daniel Elihu Kramer

Chester Theatre Company Website

 

Margarette Odette and Christian Henley
Ami Brabson and Daniel Morgan

The Glass Menagerie – Hubbard Hall

The Glass Menagerie is probably Tennessee  Williams most famous  and frequently produced play. When one looks at one’s favorite movies over and over again,  one sees the  performance one remembers. That is not true  seeing a play you have seen before. Each       production is unique. This was evident when I spoke to the director and two actors in Hubbard Hall’s new production of The Glass Menagerie, performing weekends from April 22 to May 7.

Christine Decker, who plays Amanda, the mother in the play, Woodrow Proctor, who is the Gentleman Caller, and Roger Danforth who directed the play, shared their insights into The Glass Menagerie and showed why each production of a play  is new.  If this will be your first time seeing the play, it will be a memorable beginning to  many more visits to this special household.

Listen to their discussion by clicking on the links below and then contact Hubbard Hall to get tickets for the play.

The Glass Menagerie Part 1

The Glass Menagerie Part 2

The Glass Menagerie Part 3

The Glass Menagerie Part 4

Hubbard Hall website

Our Guests

Christine Decker, Amanda
Roger Danforth, Director
Woodrow Proctor, Jim,, The Gentleman Caller

Rehearsal Pictures

Grace Sgambettera as Laura Christine Decker as Amanda
Christine Decker as Amanda and David Snider as Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

              Christine Decker

 

Allyn Burrows: Artistic Director Shakespeare and Company

allynmagesBob and I were delighted to talk with Allyn Burrows about his new job as Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company. We enjoyed interviewing him this past summer when he was acting in Or, a delightful play about the playwright Aphra Behn. We also have fond memories of seeing him in the early days of Shakespeare and Company in Edith Wharton plays at the Mount as well as in Shakespeare productions. We were impressed and engaged by his performance as King John when he returned to the company after having been away for a while.

During his time away from the company, Allyn  was busy. He  acted in film and television as well as on stage where he won an Eliot Norton Award for acting in 2006.   He was Artistic Director of  the Boston-area Actors’ Shakespeare Project for seven years. This is Shakespeare and Company’s 40th season, an important landmark. Allyn shared his vision for the company as it continues its unique contribution to theatre with its  outstanding productions of Shakespeare and contemporary plays and its creative educational  and training programs.

Click below to hear the interview.

Allyn Burrows

 

Allyn Burrows as King John
Allyn Burrows as             King John

 

Allyn Burrrows in Or
                    Allyn Burrows in Or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare and Company

 

Oliver

14705644_10208151320806877_5024379682005716740_nEach fall Mount Anthony Union High School presents a musical production that involves many students. Bob and I also enjoy seeing them because the energy and talent is amazing. This year, the production is Oliver.  The public performances are Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm, Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and 7 pm. There are also school performances.

Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with musical director Lynn Sweet and drama director Tim Foley as well as five of the cast members. Jeremy Boutot is playing Fagin, Abby Hensley is Nancy, Evan Kozierok is the Artful Dodger, Thea Papas is Charlotte and Ben Bushee is Mr. Bumble.

Lynn Sweet and Tim Foley

Oliver Cast Members

 

14947711_10208262168457999_5098011773318812320_n

14947879_10208262168417998_8132288710079705658_n

14956656_10208262168498000_3022814240302007595_n

Williamstown Theatre Directing Interns Program

williamstown_theatre_festivalWilliamstown Theatre Festival not only presents a range of plays in its two theatres over the summer, but it also offers a variety of  educational programs. One of these programs is the Directing Internship Program. In this program the interns are usually recent graduates from undergraduate programs. Each intern assists a professional director with one of the festival’s professional productions. In addition, they work with the apprenticeship program to direct a play. These plays are short and take place in the company’s Directing Studio late at night.

Late in the season Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing two of these directing interns, Mehr Kaur and Lily Riopelle. Listening to them we felt optimistic about the future of theatre. You can hear what they have to say by clicking on the link below.

Williamstown Directing Interns Mehr Kaur and Lily Riopelle

To keep informed of events at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, check their web page Williamstown Theatre Festival

di3-coffee-break_28920460772_o
                                     Coffee Break directed by Mehr Kaur
Intervention directed by Lily Riopelle
                                      Intervention directed by Lily Riopelle