Typhoid Mary

Mark St. Germain is one of our favorite playwrights. We have admired and enjoyed all of his plays at Barrington Stage that we have seen.  Unfortunately, we seem to have missed a few of the earlier ones. Currently, his latest play, Typhoid Mary, is at  Barrington Stage’s  St. Germain Theatre on Linden Street in PIttsfield through June 16. Do not miss it! This is a play that captures you emotionally and intellectually, giving you much to think about as the performance lingers in your mind.

Barrington Stage often provides special programs so that their audiences can learn more about the productions and the issues that emerge from the plays. These programs are free and open to the public.  Bob and I were fortunate enough to interview Mark St. Germain before the discussion he and Julie Boyd, the company’s Artistic Director, had about the play. We also recorded their discussion.  We were not able to get the audience’s comments and questions except for one participant.

Click below to hear our interview.

Interview with Mark St. Germain

Then click below to listen to the discussion between Mark St. Germain and Julie Boyd

Mark St. Germain and Julie Boyd Discussion

To order tickets click on

Barrington Stage’s website

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.

American Buffalo

American Buffalo plays at the Dorset Theatre Festival until September 2. This production stars Treat Williams who has appeared in many films and television programs as well as on stage. The play by David Mamet had its Broadway production in 1977 and was made into a film starring Dustin Hoffman. Besides writing plays and books. Mamet has also written for film and television, producing some of his own films. He has lived in Vermont for many years. His plays primarily focus on urban life and are known for their distinct language.

David Mamet

Bob and I had an opportunity to talk with Matt Kirby who is a  Dramaturg  at the Dorset Theatre Festival and Assistant Stage Manager Abby Schneck about this production.

Click below to hear the interview

American Buffalo Interview Part 1

American Buffalo Interview Part 2

To contact the Dorset Theatre festival to order tickets, click on website below.

Dorset Theatre Festival website 

 

Click on picture below to hear director John Gould talk about American Buffalo

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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

 

 

 

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

Taking Steps

Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn plays at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield until August 5. As Julie Boyd, Artistic Director of Barrington Stage, noted when she introduced the play, “Sometimes it is just good to laugh.”

In the play an assortment of characters find themselves in an old house the owner is eager to sell. This house has three floors. all of which are represented on a flat stage while the actors go up and down the stairs in front of us. Not those stairs suspended above the stage, but those the characters and the audience create together. As happens in Ayckbourn’s plays, life is not  smooth as misunderstandings are complicated by the knowledge that the house is supposedly haunted by a ghost from the days when the house had been a brothel.

Listen to our brief discussion of the play, by clicking below.

Discussion of Taking Steps

Then click on Barrington Stage’s website to order tickets for an afternoon or evening of laughter.

Barrington Stage Website

Then listen to the playwright by clicking on the photo below.