Artney Jackson


Artney Jackson 
is having its world premiere at the Nikos Theatre at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through June 22.  The play takes place in 2016 in the Break Room at The Cable Company in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is the playwright, James Anthony Tyler’s first play for The Williamstown Theatre Festival although he has had many other plays performed at other theatres. It is always exciting to see a new work and the Williamstown Theatre Festival offers many opportunities to enjoy the work of new playwrights this season.

The play is ninety minutes long without and intermission. Bob and I discuss that and other aspects of the play which you can hear about, by clicking below.

Artney Jackson Discussion 

For tickets and other information about the season, click on Williamstown Theatre’s website

Williamstown Theatre Festival website

For reviews of the play, click below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

 

The Closet

The opening production of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, ruinning through July 14, is the world premier of The Closet, a comedy for our time starring Matthew Broderick. Set in a religious supply company, it tells the tale of a man who is on the brink of losing everything until a stranger enters his life and offers him a unique way out of his dilemma . This comedy     is a commentary on some of our contemporary shibboleths and shows how, with the right moves, matters can be flipped and everything swung  in a different direction. .

Bob and I talked about the play.  Click below for our discussion of the play

Discussion of The Closet

Click on the picture below for a video about the play

The Closet

For tickets and more information about the season

Williamstown Theatre Festival website

For reviews of the play, click below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Williamstown Theatre Festival 2018

Finding out what a theatre has planned for the 2018 summer is exciting. Talking with Antonello Di Benedetto and Kate Hyde of the Williamstown Theatre Festival,  we not only learned about the range of plays and other activities the company will offer, but what goes on during the rest of the year. Antonello is  Director of Audience Engagement, Kate is Communications Manager. They work year round in Williamstown to help prepare for the many activities that take place during the summer.

The development of new plays is an important aspect of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s work under the leadership of Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director. This year, a play that had its premiere production at the Williamstown Theatre in 2016, Cost of Living, won the Pulitzer Prize for best drama. Antonello and Kate talk about the theatre’s development of new plays and  many other topics. Click below to listen.

Interview with Antonello Di Benedetto and Kate Hyde

          Antonello Di Benedetto
                 Kate Hyde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamstown Theatre Website 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprentice Program

Besides producing a season of fine plays each summer, The Williamstown Theatre Festival has a range of other programs, many of which involve preparing the next generation of theatre professionals. Bob and I were fortunate to interview some of those involved in these programs. Because of the number of plays and interviews we do during the season, we didn’t have the opportunity to share these enlightening discussions with the theatre people of the future on our blog. We do so now.

The first interview, with Brendan George,  provides a picture of what life for an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival is like. Often after we finish an interview,  a comment is made  that  adds  to what we  already learned. In this case, Brendan provided insight into how important each person, backstage or onstage, is. In commenting on what his experience working on The Model American meant,  he explained that  he had worked on the floor for the  play. “I won’t get an award for that floor, but I know it was important for the play.”

                    Brendan George

 Interview with Apprentice Brendan George

Williamstown Theatre Festival Work and Learn Programs

A Legendary Romance

A Legendary Romance  plays at the Williamstown Theatre Festival until August 20. It is a new musical that is well worth seeing. Jeff McCarthy is on stage throughout the play as his character remembers his past differently from the film about it an eager,  young producer wants him to approve. Like many contemporary musicals, A Legendary Romance deals with issues that will leave you thinking after the show is over. There is the question of what is true and what is fiction. There is also a political dimension.. These themes are dealt with in ways that keep the audience engaged in the lives unfolding on stage, entertained as well as stimulated.

Bob and I had much to talk about after we saw it. Click below to hear some of our thoughts.

Our discussion of A Legendary Romance

For tickets click on the link to the Williamstown Festival website below.

Williamstown Theatre Festival Website

 

A Legendary Romance Preview

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

 

 

 

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