A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The last performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Mount in Lenox, MA is August 19. There is a magic seeing this play out of doors, whether  it is early in the morning or later in the day. The comedy includes a mix-up of young lovers, sprites and rude mechanicals. The play is concluding a run that started in the middle of July. The cast features a mix of Shakespeare & Company veterans and newcomers.  Bob and I were fortunate to interview Jonathan Croy, c0-director of the play, who brings insight that is the result of being involved as a director or actor with the play seventeen times.

After listening to the interview, by clicking on the link below

Interview with Jonathan Croy

Click on the the web site Shakespeare.org 

or call Shakespeare & Company’s box office at (413) 637-3353 to find the dates and times of the performances of this family friendly show. There are not many performances left and you don’t want to miss this delightful comedy.

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

 

 

 

Intimate Apparel

Intimate Apparel runs  at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA until August 13. The company has added two matinees on August 8 and 9  for this popular play by Lynn Nottage.

Bob and I spoke with Daniela Varon, the director, and actress Nehassaiu deGannes, who plays Esther, the main character. Their positive feelings for the play were evident. Later when Bob and I saw the play we were transported back to 1905  where the young seamstress  Esther hoped to find a  life  for herself in New York City different from what the South offered African-American women at the time. The dreams and destinies of Esther and her friends, male and female, were shaped by the society that hovers outside the small bedrooms they inhabit. Their world comes alive as we feel their hopes, their pain and their moments of connecting to each other. If you have never seen the play, you should. If you have seen it, revisiting a play is always a joy to see how a new cast offers new insights.

Listen to the interview by clicking below

Intimate Apparel interview

Then go to the website by clicking on the link   or call (413) 637-1199 for tickets.

Shakespeare and Company website

 

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

Every Brilliant Thing

For a unique theatrical experience, go to the Chester Theatre Company’s performance of Every Brilliant Thing which runs through August 13. Each year the Chester Theatre Company transforms Chester’s Town Hall into a theatre. This year, it is offering another transformation mid-season into a  theatre in the round. When Bob and I went, it was almost a full house with the audience surrounding the playing space. This was appropriate since the audience is an essential element in this one-man show. Joel Ripka is an extremely talented and engaging actor.  He tells the story of a man who from childhood onward   makes a list of all the wonderful things worth living for to persuade his mother not to take her life.

Listen to what Bob and I have to say about it by clicking below

Every Brilliant Thing Discussion

Then click on the Chester Theatre Website for tickets and further information about their season.

Chester Theatre Company website

Joel Ripka in performance of Every Brilliant Thing

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

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