Lady Randy – WAM Theatre

Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, like many daughters of wealthy Americans at the time  married a British nobleman. The women gained a title and the nobleman some additional funds.  The play Lady Randy, written by Anne Undeland, who also plays Jennie Jerome, is an absorbing  look at this remarkable woman. Besides reflecting a particular moment in history, the play is an outstanding theatrical experience with all aspects of the production coming together to keep the audience enthralled.

As you may gather,  Bob and I enjoyed the play. Listen to our discussion of it and then get tickets quickly since it has a short run at the Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare and Company.  It runs Thursdays to Sundays until May 5. For tickets call 413-637-3353

Discussion of Lady Randy

To learn more about WAM theatre and its theatrical mission, check out their website by clicking below on

WAM Theatre

The play was developed at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab with Anne Undeland working with Jim Frangione who directs the play. Click on the link above    to learn more about their work.

 

 

Jim Rangione directing Lady Randy

 

Anne Undeland as Lady Randy

 

 

Mark Zeisler
Mark Zeisler and Anne Undeland

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

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