New York, NY (June 6, 2019) – Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) announces additional casting and full creative teams for productions on the Main Stage and Nikos Stage, as well as summer artist residencies and Fridays@3 programming.
Joining the previously announced Main Stage and Nikos Stage casts are: Obie® and Drama Desk® Award winner Deirdre O’Connell (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, A Nervous Smile at WTF) in Before the Meeting, replacing the previously announced Ellen Barkin who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict, Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominee Ashley Park (Mean Girls) in Grand Horizons, Tony Award-winner Frank Wood (The Iceman Cometh) in A Human Being, of a Sort, Catherine Combs (“The Blind Side”, Gloria) in Ghosts, Thom Sesma (Superhero) in Ghosts, and Owen Tabaka (The Music Man) in A Raisin in the Sun.
Fridays@3, a weekly new play reading series that offers the public opportunities to hear new plays read by members of the Festival company will include Tell Them I’m Still Young by Julia Doolittle, directed by Kel Haney, and featuring André Braugher. This reading will be read on July 5 at 3pm at The Clark Auditorium and joins the Fridays@3 lineup of six previously announced readings. After an accident changes their family forever, Allen and Kay’s marriage becomes both a life raft and a battleground. Grasping onto their careers, their youth, and sometimes other people, can this couple rescue their bond amidst unimaginable grief?
The 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival Season Sneak Peek & New Play Reading of Private by Mona Pirnot and directed by Maya Davis, features Abby Awe (“God Friended Me”), Danny Deferrari (“Private Life”, Fifth of July at WTF), Justin Long (“Safe Spaces”, Romance Novels for Dummies at WTF), and Zoë Winters (White Noise). Private will be read on June 6 at 7pm at The Clark Auditorium.
The full creative teams for Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2019 Main Stage and Nikos Stage productions include: Tony Award-winner and Drama Desk-nominee Clint Ramos (Scenic Designer), Alice Tavener (Costume Designer), Alex Jainchill (Lighting Designer), and Elisheba Itoop (Sound Designer) for A Raisin in the Sun (June 25 – July 13); Clint Ramos (Scenic Designer and Costume Designer), Jen Schriever (Lighting Designer), and Obie and Helen Hayes® Award-winner and Drama Desk-nominee Palmer Hefferan (Sound Designer) for Grand Horizons (July 17 – July 28); Obie Award-winner and Tony nominee Dane Laffrey (Scenic Designer and Costume Designer), Obie and Helen Hayes Award-winner James F. Ingalls (Lighting Designer), David Coulter (Composer), and Beth Lake (Sound Designer) for Ghosts (July 31 – August 18); Lawrence E. Moten III (Scenic Designer), Tilly Grimes (Costume Designer), Amith Chandrashaker (Lighting Designer), and Sina Refik Zafar (Sound Designer) for A Human Being, of a Sort (June 26 – July 7); Arnulfo Maldonado (Scenic Designer), Dina El-Aziz (Costume Designer), Jen Schriever (Lighting Designer), and Beth Lake (Sound Designer) for Selling Kabul (July 10 – July 20); Alexander Woodward (Scenic Designer), Tilly Grimes (Costume Designer), Obie Award-winner Isabella Byrd (Lighting Designer), and Palmer Hefferan (Sound Designer) for Tell Me I’m Not Crazy (July 24 – August 3); and Mark Wendland (Scenic Designer), Obie Award-winner Sarah Laux (Costume Designer), Jen Schriever (Lighting Designer), and Tony and Obie Award-winner and Drama Desk-nominee Darron L. West (Sound Designer) forBefore the Meeting (August 7 – 18).
Every summer, through WTF’s New Play and Musical Development Initiative, dozens of artists develop new work for the Festival by participating in residencies and workshops in and around Williamstown. This year’s artists include Aziza Barnes (Blks), Teddy Bergman (K-Pop), Emma Horwitz, Salty Brine (The Living Record Collection), Justin Levine (The Outsiders), Nathan Alan Davis (Nat Turner in Jerusalem), Selina Fillinger (Something Clean), Dave Harris (Everybody Black), Jessica Hecht (The Clean House at WTF), Matthew Lopez (The Inheritance),Carey Perloff (Kinship at WTF), Max Posner (The Treasurer), Tyne Rafaeli (I Was Most Alive With You), Anna Ziegler (Actually at WTF), Abby Rosebrock (Blue Ridge), Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House at WTF), Benjamin Scheuer (The Lion), Al Smith (Diary of a Madman), Paris Monster, and Cody Owen Stine.
ABOUT THE SEASON
A Raisin in the Sun | June 25 – July 13
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Robert O’Hara
with Francois Battiste, Kyle Beltran, Eboni Flowers, Joe Goldammer, Mandi Masden, Nikiya Mathis, S. Epatha Merkerson, Warner Miller, Owen Tabaka
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Broadway opening of Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Francois Battiste breathe new life into this American classic. Lena Younger (Merkerson) and her son Walter Lee (Battiste) are at odds. Lena wants to use her late husband’s life insurance to move her family out of their cramped apartment on Chicago’s South Side. Walter Lee would rather use the funds to start a business and become an independent man. As their dispute intensifies, the powerful and destructive forces of 1950s America come knocking at the Youngers’ front door. Directed by Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara, Hansberry’s fearless interrogation of hope in the face of racial and economic strife is as provocative and powerful today as when it premiered.
A Raisin in the Sun is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Grand Horizons | July 17 – July 28
By Bess Wohl
Directed by Leigh Silverman
with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Priscilla Lopez, Maulik Pancholy, Ashley Park, Thomas Sadoski, Jamey Sheridan, JoBeth Williams
Bill and Nancy French (Tony Award nominee Jamey Sheridan and Academy, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award nominee JoBeth Williams) have been happily married for fifty years. They can finish each other’s sentences and anticipate each other’s every sigh, snore, and sneeze. But there’s one thing nobody could have anticipated: Nancy wants out. As their adult sons Brian and Ben (Emmy Award nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tony Award nominee Thomas Sadoski) descend on the Grand Horizons senior living community, the walls of the French family as-they-know-it come crumbling down. Directed by Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman, Bess Wohl’s world premiere play takes an intimate, funny, and painful look at the nature of love over time.
Grand Horizons is a Williamstown Theatre Festival and Second Stage Theater Co-Commission. WTF Commissions are made possible through the Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program.
Grand Horizons is a recipient of a 2019 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Ghosts | July 31 – August 18
By Henrik Ibsen
Translated from the Norwegian by Paul Walsh
Directed by Carey Perloff
with Catherine Combs, Tom Pecinka, Thom Sesma, Uma Thurman, Bernard White
With great happiness, Mrs. Alving (Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman) welcomes her painter son Oswald (Tom Pecinka) home from years of living abroad. But when he starts to flirt with the family maid (Catherine Combs), she must intercede to save her son and herself from scandals present and past. Mrs. Alving struggles to find joy in a life bound by the strictures of Pastor Manders (Bernard White) and the spectral chains of mistakes from long ago. Directed by Carey Perloff, Henrik Ibsen’s vivid and passionate play asks – even now – how far one mother, caught between duty and desire, can or should go to protect her family.
Originally Commissioned by American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, California; Carey Perloff, Artistic Director – Peter Pastreich, Executive Director
A Human Being, of a Sort | June 26 – July 7
By Jonathan Payne
Directed by Whitney White
with André Braugher, Sullivan Jones, Matthew Saldivar, Keith Randolph Smith, Jeorge Bennett Watson, Antonio Michael Woodard, Frank Wood
It’s 1906, and at the Bronx Zoological Park, an African-American convict named “Smokey” (Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner André Braugher) is guarding the zoo’s most sensational exhibit: Ota Benga (Antonio Michael Woodard), a Congolese pygmy. As the public’s fascination intensifies and protestors call for Ota’s release, Smokey must grapple with the fact that his own freedom depends on another black man’s captivity. Based on a true story, Jonathan Payne’s world premiere play, directed by Whitney White, exposes the complexity of power and compliance in a world where all lives do not seem to matter equally.
Selling Kabul | July 10 – July 20
By Sylvia Khoury
Directed by Tyne Rafaeli
with May Calamawy, Omar Metwally, Marjan Neshat, Babak Tafti
Produced in association with Playwrights Horizons
Taroon (Babak Tafti), a former interpreter for the US military, lives in hiding from the Taliban in his sister Afiya’s (Marjan Neshat) home in Kabul, Afghanistan. As Taroon restlessly awaits news from the hospital on the eve of his first child’s birth, his brother-in-law Jawid (Omar Metwally) works to protect him from dangers lurking outside the apartment walls. In this world premiere drama directed by Tyne Rafaeli, Sylvia Khoury examines loyalty, empty promises, and what it means to be left behind.
Selling Kabul is the recipient of the 2018 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award, administered by Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Selling Kabul is a recipient of a 2019 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Tell Me I’m Not Crazy | July 24 – August 3
By Sharyn Rothstein
Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
with Mark Blum, Mark Feuerstein, Jane Kaczmarek, Nadine Malouf
Forced into retirement and unsettled by the changing world around him, Sol Koening (Mark Blum) buys himself a gun—and his family is up in arms. His wife Diana (Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek) thought they’d spend more time together and with the grandkids, but Sol’s new hobby puts a bullet in that plan. Meanwhile, their son Nate (Mark Feuerstein) is trying to be a good stay-at-home dad while his jet-setting wife Alisa (Nadine Malouf) climbs the corporate ladder, and school is calling with concerns about their kid. Directed by Tony Award nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Sharyn Rothstein’s world premiere comedy asks how one small firearm redefines a family and how two generations confront what it means to succeed and to sacrifice in America today.
Tell Me I’m Not Crazy is a Williamstown Theatre Festival Commission. WTF Commissions are made possible through the Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program.
Tell Me I’m Not Crazy is a recipient of a 2019 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Before The Meeting | August 7 – August 18
By Adam Bock
Directed by Trip Cullman
with Cassie Beck, Kyle Beltran, Midori Francis, Jason Butler Harner, Deirdre O’Connell
Every day, Gail (Deirdre O’Connell) and the regular members of her early morning group set up for their meeting in the exact same way: Nicole (Midori Francis) makes the coffee, Gail arranges the chairs, and Ron (Jason Butler Harner) complains. As they forge a path toward sobriety and well-being, they come to rely on the routine and each other. But when Gail’s estranged granddaughter reopens old wounds, Gail knows it will take more than coffee, chairs, and companionship to keep her life from falling apart. Trip Cullman directs Adam Bock’s world premiere play, which examines how to truly make amends on the road to recovery.
Before the Meeting is a recipient of a 2019 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
The WTF Box Office is now open. Tickets may be purchased online at www.wtfestival.org, by phone at 413-458-3253, or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 01267.
ABOUT WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
For over six decades, Williamstown Theatre Festival, recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement, has brought emerging and professional theatre artists together to create a thrilling summer festival of premiere work alongside fresh, new productions of the western canon, accompanying cultural events including COMMUNITY WORKS and Late-Night Cabarets, and readings and workshops of new plays. Under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield, WTF launched the Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program, through which theatre artists, including Jocelyn Bioh, Nathan Alan Davis, Halley Feiffer, Justin Levine, Matthew Lopez, Jiehae Park, Benjamin Scheuer, and many others, create new work supported by a year-round play development program. WTF runs unmatched training programs for new generations of theatre talent, and artists and productions shaped at WTF fill theatres in New York, London, and around the country each season. Williamstown Theatre Festival’s productions of The Bridges of Madison County, The Elephant Man, Fool for Love, Living on Love, and The Visit enjoyed critically acclaimed runs on Broadway, with The Elephant Man and The Visit receiving Tony Award nominations for Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical, respectively. WTF’s world premiere productions of Cost of Living (winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Actually, and Paradise Blue played acclaimed Off-Broadway runs. In the 2019-20 theatrical season, Williamstown Theatre Festival will be represented on and off Broadway by Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, The Sound Inside, The Rose Tattoo, Seared, Grand Horizons, Unknown Soldier, and Selling Kabul.