The Tempest

The Tempest is always filled with magic. Part of the magic in Shakespeare & Company’s  production is the setting, out of doors in the Shakespeare Garden. Watching it in the early evening was enchanting. The other magic is the actors and Shakespeare. This play has everything, treachery, love and the most hilarious clowns ever.

Bob and I interviewed Allyn Burrows, the director, during rehearsals.  After the interview, he invited us into the garden to watch a rehearsal. That was fun, but seeing the play with the wonderful costumes and Ariel in the trees was even better.

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link to the interview. Then click on the Shakespeare and Company website. Don’t worry if it rains. The play will be under the tent in the Rose Footprint just down the path.

Interview with Allyn Burrows

Shakespeare and Company website

 

 

 

 

This

This plays at Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Theatre until August  27.  This should not be missed. The audience drops in on a group of old friends who like to play games. That is what they are doing when the play opens. In some ways this is a metaphor for their relationships throughout the rest of the play. An outsider enters the picture and provides some perspective. What looks like an episode of  Friends morphs into something quite different.

Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing the entire cast. Their discussion of their work and the actor’s life is worth sharing. To hear it, click on the links below

This Part 1

This Part 2

For tickets and information about the rest of Barrington Stage’s season, click on their website below

Barrington Stage

Erika Dorfler, Paris Remillard, Eddie Boroevich and Mark Dold

 

Mark Dold and Julia Coffey

 

The Legend of Georgia McBride

The Legend of Georgia McBride runs until August 19 at the Dorset Theatre Festival.  There are matinees on Wednesdays,  Saturdays and  Sundays. The play runs for ninety minutes without intermission and gives the audience a glimpse into a world that most people don’t know too much about. This is the world of the drag queen. There have been some plays and television shows that offer a glimpse into this world. However, this play provides a unique perspective.

Bob and I were eager to see the play since we  greatly admired The Whipping Man by Lopez which also had a production at the Dorset Theatre Festival a few seasons ago. We talked with Sam Levitt, one of the company’s dramaturgs about The Legend of Georgia McBride. You can hear that talk by clicking  on the link below.

The Legend of Georgia McBride Interview

However, that did not prepare us for the experience of seeing the play. We were struck by the set as we settled in our seats. When the play began, we were absorbed in the lives unfolding before us. Lopez is a playwright who enables an audience to experience the humanity of people they do not know, but get to know and understand  in new ways.

Curious to know more about the playwright, I went to his website. There are scenes from productions of his other plays that makes me hope that the Dorset Theatre Festival will bring more of his work to their stage.

After you order your tickets for The Legend of Georgia McBride,  by clicking on their website below, visit Matthew Lopez’s web page.

Dorset Theatre Festival Website

 

Matthew Lopez website

Matthew Lopez

Matthew Lopez 

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

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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

 

 

 

Circle Mirror Transformation

The Living Room Theatre  presents Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation in the Carriage Barn of the Park McCullough House through August 19. This play is set in  an acting class in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont. Jacqueline Jacobus, who plays the teacher in the play, teaches acing technique at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City.. She is making her Living Room Theatre debut as is Oona Roche who was a student in director Chris McCann’s class at SUNY/Purchase. Ken Forman, also in the play, holds the record for doing the most Living Room Theatre plays. Allen McCullough, co-founder of the Company along with his wife, Randolyn Zinn, is also in the play. Lizzie King-Hall was in the Strindberg-Shaw program last season. All are skilled actors.Whether one has taken an acting class or not, the audience will be engaged by the lives that unfold as the characters go through their  acting exercises.

Annie Baker

Annie Baker, who wrote the play, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for her play Flick. Circle Mirror Transformation is one of three plays set in the Shirley. Annie Baker also wrote a version of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya set in Vermont.

Bob and talked about the play before we had seen it. You can hear our discussion by clicking on the  link  Circle Mirror Transformation

We recommend that you click on the Theatre’s website to reserve seats or phone 802 442-5322.  Seating is limited. The play is pay-what-you-will. The play, the acting, the setting offer a unique theatrical experience that should not be missed.

Living Room Theatre Website

Jacqueline Jacobus and Oona Roche
Chris McCann (director) with actors Allen McCullough and Lizzie King-Hall
Oona Roche and Ken Forman

At Home at the Zoo (Zoo Story)

 

At Home at the Zoo (Zoo Story) runs at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge until August 26. These two one-acts by Edward Albee show the playwright dealing with the same issues at two different points in his career. The Zoo Story is a one-act play written at the beginning of the famous playwright’s career. At Home at the Zoo was written later as Albee wanted to explore the character of Peter who is primarily silent in The Zoo Story, but who is  essential to the play.

The Unicorn Theatre is one of our favorite theatrical spaces.  It is small and intimate with every seat a good one. A part of  The Berkshire Theatre Group, The Unicorn is often the venue for challenging material which Zoo Story certainly was when it was first produced.

Bob has a history with The Zoo Story since he was involved in its first production at The Actors Studio where he was stage manager and also a member of the playwright’s group. For more details about that, listen to our discussion.

Discussion of Zoo Story

Then check out the Berkshire Theatre Group website for tickets and more information about their season.

Berkshire Theatre Group website

Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow

Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow plays until August 6 on the Nikos Stage at the     Williamstown Theatre Festival. This variation on Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters may elicit different responses from members of the audience, depending on how they feel about the original play.

Bob has a long history with the play. When we were first married many years ago, Bob stage managed Three Sisters at the off-Broadway Fourth Street Theatre in New York for seven months, one of the play’s  longest  runs. Since then we have seen many productions of the play including John Housman’s Acting Company’s production with Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers. We also enjoyed the Nikos Psacharopoulos’  Chekov productions at the Williamstown Theatre Fesrtival.

Seeing Halley Feiffer’s version was intriguing, like visiting old friends who have shed many of the inhibitions of the past. They are familiar, the same and different with a new vocabulary.

Click below to see what Bob and I have to say about it.

Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow Discussion

Then click on the Williamstown Theatre website to order tickets and see what else is being performed.

Williamstown Theatre Festival website