Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Two Special Events and Additional Casting for the 2019 Summer Season

“LORRAINE HANSBERRY – A LIVING LEGACY / NEW ARTISTS AND NEW VISIONS” – A PUBLIC CONVERSATION FEATURING JOI GRESHAM, SOYICA COLBERT, TALVIN WILKS, AND TRACEY SCOTT WILSON WILL TAKE PLACE JULY 10

 

READING OF THE SOAP MYTH FEATURING ED ASNER AND TOVAH FELDSHUH TO BENEFIT THE WTF PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM WILL TAKE PLACE JULY 22

 

3-TIME GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD WINNER RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN, TONY AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KATRINA LENK, AND MORE JOIN FRIDAYS@3 CASTING

 

New York, NY (June 12, 2019) – Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) has announced two special events for the 2019 season as well as additional casting for the Nikos Stage and Fridays@3.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Broadway opening of A Raisin in the Sun, the 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will include a special public conversation: Lorraine Hansberry – A Living Legacy / New Artists and New Visions, featuring Hansberry Literary Executor, Joi Gresham, Hansberry biographer Soyica Colbert  author of the forthcoming LORRAINE HANSBERRY: ARTIST/ACTIVIST (Yale University Press, 2019), and playwrights Talvin Wilks and Tracey Scott Wilson. Participants will explore the persistent resonance of Lorraine Hansberry’s signature work, A Raisin in the Sun, sixty years after its Broadway premiere and speak to how the writer, artist, intellectual, and activist has influenced their own creative works and identities as artists-activists. This free event will take place on Wednesday, July 10th at 10am at the Clark Auditorium (225 South Street). Reservations are required.

The 2019 season will also include a special reading of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen, directed by Pam Berlin, and starring 7-time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) and 2-time Emmy and 4-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh (Golda’s Balcony). It will be followed by a talkback with the playwright and cast, as well as Williams College professor and author of Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion, Jeffrey Israel. Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman (Ed Asner) implores historians and journalists alike to record the specific Nazi atrocities he witnessed. In the face of a Holocaust denier (Tovah Feldshuh) and complicated journalistic practices, Milton will not relent in his quest to ensure the world reckons with the truth. The Soap Myth explores what it means to be a survivor and who has the right to write history. This event will take place on Monday, July 22nd at 7pm on the Main Stage. Tickets are $15 and proceeds benefit the Williamstown Theatre Festival Professional Training Program.

Joining the previously announced Nikos Stage casts is: Nicole Villamil (Network, The Rose Tattoo at WTF) in Tell Me I’m Not Crazy (July 24 – August 3), replacing the previously announced Nadine Malouf who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict.

 

Casting for Fridays@3, a weekly new play reading series that is open to the public, will include Mia BarronRichard ChamberlainKatrina Lenk, and Tom McGowan in For Nina (July 12), Kate BornsteinSamy El-NouryDana LevinsonShakina Nayfack, and Ianne Fields Stewart inChonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club (July 26), and Michele Pawk joins previously announced André Braugher in Tell Them I’m Still Young(July 5).

LORRAINE HANSBERRY – A LIVING LEGACY / NEW ARTISTS AND NEW VISIONS

July 10, 10am

With Soyica Colbert, Joi Gresham, Talvin Wilks, Tracey Scott Wilson

Clark Auditorium (225 South Street)

Lorraine Hansberry believed that theater serves a vital social function to motivate, mobilize and lead us to imagine alternative possibilities, a new social order. Her living legacy challenges us as audience, artists, thinkers and can-be activists.  The challenge asks,” What is the purpose of art? How can art position us to act? What is the necessary give-back to the communities of which we are a part?” In this public conversation with Hansberry Literary Executor, Joi Gresham, biographer Soyica Colbert, and contemporary playwrights Talvin Wilks and Tracey Scott Wilson. Participants will explore the persistent resonance of her signature work, A Raisin in the Sun, sixty years after its Broadway premiere.  Each participant will speak to how the writer, artist, intellectual and activist has influenced their own creative works and identities as artists-activists.

SPECIAL READING OF THE SOAP MYTH

July 22, 7pm

By Jeff Cohen

Directed by Pam Berlin

with Ed Asner, Tovah Feldshuh

Main Stage

Holocaust survivor Milton Saltzman (Ed Asner) implores historians and journalists alike to record the specific Nazi atrocities he witnessed. In the face of a Holocaust denier (Tovah Feldshuh) and complicated journalistic practices, Milton will not relent in his quest to ensure the world reckons with the truth. The Soap Myth explores what it means to be a survivor and who has the right to write history. It will be followed by a talkback with the playwright and the cast.

 

TICKETS AND SCHEDULE

The WTF Box Office is now open. Tickets may be purchased online at www.wtfestival.org, by phone, or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 01267. The WTF Box Office phone number is 413.458.3253.

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 CountyThe Elephant ManFool for LoveLiving 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 in New York, Williamstown Theatre Festival will be represented on and off Broadway by several shows that originated on our stages, including Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow MoscowThe Sound InsideThe Rose TattooSearedGrand HorizonsUnknown Soldier, and Selling Kabul.

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