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THE ELEPHANT MAN Opens at Williamstown Theatre Festival Tonight

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THE ELEPHANT MAN Opens at Williamstown Theatre Festival Tonight

Williamstown Theatre Festival Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced the opening of The Elephant Man, which opens on the Nikos Stage July 26 following performances beginning July 25.

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance is directed by Scott Ellis (WTF's The Understudy, Broadway's Harvey). The cast features Patricia Clarkson (WTF's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Pieces of April) as Mrs. Kendal, Bradley Cooper (WTF's The Understudy, Limitless) as John Merrick, the titular Elephant Man, Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein) as Ross/Bishop How/Snork, Scott Lowell ("Queer as Folk") as Will/Lord John/Earl, Alessandro Nivola (WTF's As You Like It, Coco Before Chanel) as Frederick Treves, Marguerite Stimpson (Butley) as Sandwich/Countess/Alexandra, and Henry Stram (WTF's The Importance of Being Earnest) as Carr Gomm/Conductor.

From a desperate existence in a Victorian freak show to his days as the toast of London high society, the life of John Merrick, The Elephant Man, has fascinated the world for well over a century. Though his disfigurement brought notoriety, it was his unblemished inner humanity that most astonished those around him, compelling examinations of their own prejudices and beliefs. Shattering our illusions of normalcy, The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance weaves Merrick's tale into a parable on beauty, innocence, and human dignity.

The creative team includes Timothy Mackabee (Scenic and Projections Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Philip Rosenberg (Lighting Design), Tom Kochan (Original Music/Co-Sound Design), Drew Levy (Co-Sound Design), and Charles LaPointe (Hair & Wig Design). Davin DeSantis is the Production Stage Manager.

Williamstown Theatre Festival also announced a Ticket Lottery policy for the run of The Elephant Man. Starting 2.5 hours prior to each performance, patrons will be given the opportunity to enter their name into a ticket lottery for available seats or standing room spots. Each patron may place ONE entry (per performance) into the ticket lottery. Winners will be drawn two hours prior to the performance and must be present with valid ID to claim their tickets. Each winner may purchase a maximum of two tickets. The standard pricing of $45 (seated) and $20 (standing room) will apply. The lottery will take place in front of the WTF Box Office.

As previously announced, the complete 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival season runs from June 26 - August 19, 2012 and includes Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, a Preview Production of the new musical Far From Heaven, and a new translation of Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country on the Main Stage, with Lucy Boyle's The Blue Deep, Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, and Katori Hall's WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! on the Nikos Stage. The season also included a special workshop production of David Byrne's Here Lies Love, which played at nearby MASS MoCA.

Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America's finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, 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. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and The Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.

Tickets to the Williamstown Theatre Festival may be purchased online (www.wtfestival.org), by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.

The Festival's Nikos Stage is an intimate 173-seat venue that regularly sells out in advance from within the pool of Festival donors.

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