Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director, Announces 2015 Summer Season
Line-up Includes American & World Premiere Plays and Actors Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Kyra Sedgwick, Jessica Hecht, and More
Williamstown, MA (February 9, 2015) – Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield has announced the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2015 Season, the 61st Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and first under Ms. Greenfield’s leadership.
The season, which was announced tonight from the City Winery stage at WTF’s Annual Gala, runs from June 30 – August 23, 2015 with a Main Stage lineup that includes: a world premiere production of William Inge’s “Off the Main Road” (June 30 – July 19), directed by Evan Cabnet and featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick in her WTF Debut; the world premiere of “Paradise Blue” (July 22 – August 2), by 2012 L. Arnold Weissberger Award-winner Dominique Morisseau directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson; and an invigorating new look at Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten” (August 5 – August 23), featuring six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and Tony Award-nominee Will Swenson.
The Nikos Stage season kicks off on July 1 and includes the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb’s “Legacy” (July 1 – July 12), starring Jessica Hecht and Eric Bogosian; the American Premiere of Carey Perloff’s “Kinship” (July 15 – July 25), directed by Jo Bonney and starring Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winner Cynthia Nixon; the world premiere of “Unknown Soldier” (July 30 – August 9) with music & lyrics by Michael Friedman, book & lyrics by Daniel Goldstein, and directed by Trip Cullman; and the American premiere of British plays, including Michaela Coel’s solo play “Chewing Gum Dreams” and Mike Bartlett’s “An Intervention” (August 12 – August 23) directed by Lila Neugebauer.
“I am beyond excited for the upcoming summer at WTF – I am grateful to each artist who has committed to make bold, innovative work at the Festival this year,” Greenfield said. “I imagine that the theater we’ll create, together with the devoted staff and the Non-Equity and Apprentice Companies, will engage and satisfy audiences hungry for artistic adventure, meaning, and fun.”
Additional programming and events, as well as complete casting and creative team information will be announced at a later date. Ticket Bundles are available for purchase now until March 6, 2015 at www.wtfestival.org.
ABOUT THE SEASON
WORLD PREMIERE: “Off the Main Road”
by William Inge; Directed by Evan Cabnet With Kyra Sedgwick
June 30 – July 19
Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick makes her WTF debut in the world premiere of a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Inge. As the second wave of feminism crests in America, the elegant but emotionally-fragile Faye Garrit (Sedgwick) seeks refuge from her husband, a former professional baseball player, by checking into a run-down resort on the outskirts of St. Louis, with her 17- year-old daughter. The future for mother and daughter may look hazy, but personal, political, and sexual awakenings allow them to move forward with new and heartbreaking clarity. Directed by former WTF Foeller and Sagal Fellow Evan Cabnet, this gripping and powerful drama deepens Inge’s legacy of penning rich, emotionally hard-hitting stories populated by complicated and truthful, human characters. “Off the Main Road” was, until recently, a lost work among Inge’s canon – found and reintroduced by the Inge Estate in 2008.
WORLD PREMIERE: “Paradise Blue”
by Dominique Morisseau; directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
July 22 – August 2
Tony and Obie Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs the world premiere of a bracing and charged drama (2012 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Winner) from Dominique Morisseau. Blue, a gifted trumpeter, contemplates selling his once- vibrant jazz club in Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood to shake free the demons of his past and better his life. But where does that leave his devoted Pumpkin, who has dreams of her own? And, what does it mean for the club’s resident bebop band? When a mysterious woman with a walk that drives men mad comes to town with her own plans, everyone’s world is turned upside down. This dynamic and musically- infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future on the foundation of what our predecessors have left us.
“A Moon for the Misbegotten”
by Eugene O’Neill; directed by Gordon Edelstein, with Audra McDonald & Will Swenson
August 5 – August 23
Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and Tony Award-nominee Will Swenson take the stage in Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill’s final masterpiece. When Phil Hogan, a salty tenant farmer, fears he will lose his property, his daughter Josie (McDonald), lures their dissolute landlord, Jamie Tyrone (Swenson), into bed one summer night. Under the glow of the moon, truth comes into focus for these two souls, but what awaits them when dawn breaks? Helmed by Gordon Edelstein and featuring scenic design by the world-renowned Ming Cho Lee, this raw and invigorating new look at O’Neill’s poetic and bitterly romantic A Moon for the Misbegotten assures us of the heart’s capacity for infinite love and forgiveness.
WORLD PREMIERE: “Legacy”
By Daniel Goldfarb; Directed by Oliver Butler With Eric Bogosian, Halley Feiffer, Jessica Hecht, & Greg Keller
July 1 – July 12
Tony Award-nominee Jessica Hecht and Drama Desk Award-winner Eric Bogosian couple up for the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb’s funny and turbulent Legacy. When renowned novelist Neil Abrams (Bogosian) is panned by The New York Times, he reopens the conversation with his wife Suzanne (Hecht) about starting a family. As Neil copes with feeling increasingly antiquated and culturally irrelevant, and Suzanne begins a relationship with one of Neil’s brilliant grad students (Feiffer), the equilibrium of their marriage is threatened. Directed by Obie Award-winner Oliver Butler, this thoughtful drama exposes the cost of trying to will our own legacy.
AMERICAN PREMIERE: “Kinship”
by Carey Perloff; Directed by Jo Bonney With Cynthia Nixon
July 15 – July 25
Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winner Cynthia Nixon makes her Festival debut in Carey Perloff’s gripping and sexy new drama. The tightly wound lives of a fiery newspaper editor (Nixon), an upstart journalist, and an overly-protective mother unravel when a passionate entanglement turns into an intense power struggle. Helmed by Obie Award-winning director Jo Bonney, Kinship explores the deep, often funny, and always intense pursuit of total happiness.
WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL: “Unknown Solider”
Book & Lyrics by Daniel Goldstein; Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman Directed by Trip Cullman
July 30 – August 9
In this haunting new musical created by writer Daniel Goldstein, Obie Award-winning composer Michael Friedman, and director Trip Cullman, Ellen Rabinowitz sets out to understand her past after she discovers an enigmatic photograph while cleaning out her deceased grandmother’s home. As she chases the truth about the soldier featured in the photo, Ellen is drawn into a tangle of historical facts and mysteries that lead her to surprising love stories and unexpected truths. Bringing together three WTF alumni, “Unknown Soldier” delves into memory and family mythology, asking how – or even whether – the past shows us who we are.
DOUBLE HEADER of TWO AMERICAN PREMIERES of BRITISH PLAYWRIGHTS:
“Chewing Gum Dreams” and “An Intervention”
August 12 – 23
Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett’s “An Intervention” will run simultaneously with fast-rising writer/performer Michaela Coel’s “Chewing Gum Dreams.” Lila Neugebauer, former WTF Foeller Fellow, directs.
“Chewing Gum Dreams”
Written and Performed by Michaela Coel Fourteen-year-old Tracey Gordon is rude, crude, and riotous. Who can blame her? Every which way she turns, she’s constantly failed by those who should be looking out for her. But beneath her tough exterior lies a very real fear that the future holds very little for her. Explosive, thoroughly honest, and devilishly funny, Michaela Coel’s award-winning “Chewing Gum Dreams” recalls the last days of innocence before the onrush of adulthood for a girl from the rough part of a tough city.
By Mike Bartlett; Directed by Lila Neugebauer; with a rotating cast
A whole lot of booze, a new girlfriend, and government involvement in a foreign war are just some of the factors that threaten to drive a massive wedge between two people. Can they close the ever- widening gap in their relationship, or have they reached a breaking point? Featuring rotating pairs of world-class actors, each performance of “An Intervention” will reveal new meaning inside this theatrical, mischievous, and engrossing two-hander fromOlivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett that puts personal and political intervention under a magnifying glass.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Ticket Bundles are available through March 6 at www.wtfestival.org. Single tickets for the 2015 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will be available in April through the WTF website (www.wtfestival.org) and by mail order using WTF’s season brochure (call 413-597-3400 to join the mailing list). The WTF Box Office will open on June 2 at which point tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.
ABOUT WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
Every summer since 1955, the Festival has brought America’s finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires to produce unique experiences for artists and audiences alike. The Festival creates bold, innovative theatre, hosts dynamic development opportunities for new plays and musicals, and offers a rich array of accompanying cultural events such as Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, Comedy, and One-Night Concerts. With offices in both Williamstown and New York City, WTF creates vibrant work that feeds the wider theatrical landscape. The artists and productions shaped at the Festival each summer often go on to reach diverse audiences nationally and internationally. The Festival is currently represented by The Elephant Man, Living on Love, and The Visit on Broadway this season and Fool for Love next season, as well as Here Lies Love in London. WTF is also home to one of the nation’s top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. The Festival is a recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the Massachusetts Commonwealth Award for Achievement.