Williamstown Theatre Festival 2017
Broadway in the Berkshires
By: Charles Giuliano - Feb 10, 2017
The Williamstown Theatre Festival season, running from June 27 – August 20, 2017, begins on the Main Stage with a production of a new play by Jen Silverman,The Roommate, (June 27 – July 16) directed by Mike Donahue and featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson (WTF Debut) and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek (4th season at WTF); continues with Sarah Ruhl’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist comedy The Clean House (July 19 – July 29), starring Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht (10th season at WTF) and directed by Rebecca Taichman; and closes with a new musical A Legendary Romance (August 3 – August 20), with music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow and book by Timothy Prager and directed by Lonny Price.
The Nikos Stage season kicks off June 28 with the world premiere of Jason Kim’s play The Model American (June 28 – July 9), directed by Danny Sharron; and also includes the world premiere of Where Storms Are Born (July 12 – July 23) by Harrison David Rivers, directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, and starring Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Myra Lucretia Taylor (10th season at WTF); the world premiere play Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (July 26 – August 6) by Halley Feiffer and directed by Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman; and closes out the summer with Actually (August 9 – August 20) by Anna Ziegler, a co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. All four of this season’s Nikos Stage productions have been commissioned by or developed at Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Additional programming and events, as well as complete casting and creative team information will be announced at a later date. Ticket Bundles are now available for purchase at www.wtfestival.org.
The Roommate | June 27-July 16
by Jen Silverman
Directed by Mike Donahue
with S. Epatha Merkerson and Jane Kaczmarek
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek star in this absorbing comedy about self-discovery. Empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home, Sharon (Merkerson) takes on a roommate, Robyn (Kaczmarek), who has just arrived from New York City. Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life. Book clubs, 80s pop music, and the occasional shared toke complicate their unlikely but enduring relationship, even as they venture into dangerous territory. Mike Donahue directs Jen Silverman’s new play which celebrates unexpected re-invention later in life.
The Clean House |July 19-July 29
by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
with Jessica Hecht and Priscilla Lopez
Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht leads the cast in this heartfelt comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. Lane, an accomplished physician, discovers that her sister Virginia (Hecht) — not her Brazilian housekeeper Matilde — has been cleaning her home every day. Though never close, suddenly the sisters find themselves enmeshed in each other’s lives and in Matilde’s great passion for Portuguese jokes. Rebecca Taichman directs this expressive and lyrical comedy about learning to live with life’s mess.
A Legendary Romance | August 3 - August 20
A New Musical
book by Timothy Prager
music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow
Directed by Lonny Price
Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price directs an intimate new musical by composer/lyricist Geoff Morrow and book writer Timothy Prager that delivers us to the intersection of loyalty, love, and ambition. Back in 1950, film producer Joseph Lindy was on top of the world, making hit after hit with the love of his life and leading lady, Billie Hathaway. Nearly four decades later, retired and forgotten, he must approve for release a version of his abandoned, cinematic masterpiece, an autobiographical film now altered irrevocably by a young producer. Haunted by the choices he made years ago, Joseph’s story hangs in the balance as he reconstructs the film, his memory and, ultimately, his legacy.
The Model American | June 28 - July 9
by Jason Kim
Directed by Danny Sharron
with Laila Robins
In 2016, what does it take for an immigrant to achieve the American dream? With humor and humanity, playwright Jason Kim (HBO’s “Girls”) explores this question in his timely world premiere play. Directed by Danny Sharron and featuring Laila Robins, The Model American follows Gabriel, a young, gay, Colombian man, as he finds friendship, love, and ambition in the U.S. Developed at WTF under the auspices of the Bill Foeller Fellowship Program in 2016, this play questions the price we are willing to pay for success.
Where Storms Are Born | July 12 - July 23
by Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Liesl Tommy
with Myra Lucretia Taylor
Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy directs 2016 WTF Playwright-in-Residence Harrison David Rivers’ world premiere play. Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea (Myra Lucretia Taylor) tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go. With wit and empathy, this play reminds us of the courage and resilience it takes to chart a better way forward for the ones we love.
Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow | July 26-August 6
by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman
You’ve known Olga, Masha and Irina for nearly one hundred and seventeen years. But this summer, they are, like, unhappy for reals. Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman directs Outer Critics Circle Award nominee and Theatre World Award Winner Halley Feiffer's world premiere: a contemporary adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. As our heroes search for meaning in their work and love lives -- all the while dreaming of their dear Moscow -- we are invited to examine our own existential longings and unrequited yearnings. Feiffer's bold, unapologetically millennial and bitingly comedic spin on this Russian classic newly reacquaints us with the emotional contours of the beleaguered and beloved Prozorov family. You totes don’t want to miss it.
Actually | August 9 - August 20
Co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse, Randall Arney - Artistic Director
by Anna Ziegler
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Amber and Tom are freshmen at Princeton University, where their experiences so far have only two things in common: drunken parties and a desire to fit in. But when they meet, their common experience becomes anything but, and their moral mettle is put to the test. Lileana Blain-Cruz directs Anna Ziegler’s deeply felt and relevant world premiere play about intimacy and responsibility, power and provocation, privilege and protocol.
Ticket Bundles are now available at www.wtfestival.org. Single tickets for the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will be available in April through the WTF website and by mail order using WTF’s season brochure (call 413-597-3400 to join the mailing list). The WTF Box Office will open in June 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.