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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 ZooStory 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.
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.