Williamstown Theatre Festival Season Announced: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Robert Sean Leonard in PYGMALION and More

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Williamstown Theatre Festival Season Announced: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Robert Sean Leonard in PYGMALION and More

Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced at a press conference in Williamstown today the roster of Main Stage and Nikos Stage productions for the 2013 Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) Season, the Festival's 59th season and third under Ms. Gersten's leadership.

The 2013 season runs from June 26 - August 18, with a Main Stage lineup that includes: the highly anticipated World Premiere of Bridges of Madison County, a new musical by Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman; a madcap revival of Animal Crackers; and a Nicholas Martin-directed production of George Bernard Shaw's classic Pygmalion. On the smaller Nikos Stage, audiences will see revivals of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood along with productions of Bess Wohl's American Hero (a World Premiere) and the new musical Johnny Baseball by Richard Dresser (book), Robert Reale (music) and Willie Reale (lyrics). The season will also see the return of many Williamstown veterans including Kate Burton (in Hapgood), and Robert Sean Leonard (in Pygmalion), plus first-time Festival directors Bartlett Sher, and Leigh Silverman.

"This is without question one of the most ambitious seasons in Williamstown Theatre Festival history - three musicals and a terrific lineup of plays, all of which engage different sensibilities, Gersten said in a statement. "I especially enjoyed putting together this season's slate because, ultimately, it embodies what makes the Williamstown Theatre Festival distinctive, providing artists with great opportunities, and allowing audiences to join us in our summertime joys and adventures."

Each year, WTF also presents a free outdoor production for family audiences at Poker Flats Fields. Gersten announced today that Dracula, written by Bram Stoker and adapted by Steve Lawson, will be the Free Theatre Production, running July 10 - 19, 2013.

The last Nikos Stage production and additional casting for all 2013 WTF shows will be announced at a later date.

For a complete listing, see below:

MAIN STAGE

June 26 - July 14, 2013
ANIMAL CRACKERS
Book by George S. Kaufman & Morrie Ryskind
Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby
Adapted and Directed by Henry Wishcamper

The intrepid African explorer, inveterate womanizer, and interminable jokester hobnobs with high society as the guest of honor at a swanky soiree. But when a priceless painting is pilfered, he and the guests are swept up in a screwball search for the thief. This new interpretation of the Marx Brothers' hit Broadway musical and classic film "overflows with mirthful melodies, dynamite dancing, and seriously silly slapstick."

July 17 - 27, 2013
PYGMALION

By George Bernard Shaw
Directed by
Nicholas Martin
With
Robert Sean Leonard

With all the parallels of a modern reality-show makeover, an impoverished flower seller is taken in hand by a linguistics professor who attempts to change her accent and pass her off as the epitome of English society. For a wager. Described as a "sharp satire on class and women's independence, Shaw's century-old masterpiece features Robert Sean Leonard as Henry Higgins in an uproarious, poignant, and unforgettable battle of wits between two of theatre's most iconic characters."

August 1 - 18, 2013
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
Book by Marsha Norman
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by
Bartlett Sher
WORLD PREMIERE

"In 1992, a rural American romance by an unknown author became a literary phenomenon. Millions of readers have been captivated by the simple story of Francesca, a beautiful Italian woman who marries an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy. Her new life in Iowa is common until she encounters Robert, a loner and artist, whose photography at National Geographic shields him from commitment and connection. Their three days of flirtation, memories of Naples, food, and laughter inspire a timeless love, and an impossible choice. Lushly transforming the best-selling novel into an intimate musical work for the stage, Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown have added new resonance to a lyrical portrait of true love, loss, sacrifice, and devotion."


NIKOS STAGE


June 26 - July 7, 2013
AMERICAN HERO
By
Bess Wohl
Directed by
Leigh Silverman
WORLD PREMIERE

"Three ounces of meat. Two ounces of cheese. Four ounces of lettuce. Seventeen-year-old Sheri and her co-workers at a new submarine sandwich franchise have honed their skills making everything from the Turkey Torpedo to the Big Kahuna Tuna exactly as specified in the corporate manual. But when the franchise owner mysteriously disappears, they are forced to improvise, and Sheri takes charge of the ragtag band of "sandwich artists." See just how far they'll go to keep their shop afloat in
Bess Wohl's hilarious, surreal tale of the struggle for optimism in tough times, the power of sandwiches, and the glorious, messy American Dream."

July 10 - 21, 2013
HAPGOOD
By
Tom Stoppard
Directed by
Evan Yionoulis
With
Kate Burton

"Treacherous twins and double (or triple?) agents abound in a twisty-turny look at the unlikely interrelation of quantum physics and international espionage. Simultaneously channeling John le Carré, Albert Einstein, and Mel Brooks, Tom Stoppard's Cold-War thriller boasts equal shares of brains, guts, and sly humor. WTF mainstay Kate Burton takes on the tour-de-force title role, the brilliant but eccentric British intelligence chief working to expose a Soviet double agent while attempting to keep her personal life under wraps."

July 24 - August 4, 2013
JOHNNY BASEBALL

Book by Richard Dresser
Music by Robert Reale
Lyrics by Willie Reale
Directed by Marc Bruni

"The infamous Curse of the Boston Red Sox is brought to life through the changing fortunes of three orphaned souls: Johnny O'Brien, a hard-luck right-hander on the 1919 Sox; his idol, Babe Ruth; and Daisy Wyatt, a dazzling African-American blues singer and the love of Johnny's life. The mystical intertwining of their fates reveals both the source of the Curse and the secret to its triumphant end off Big Papi's bat in 2004. Packing a resonant commentary on social history into a quintessentially American musical, Johnny Baseball will bring cheers and tears to baseball fans and theatre lovers alike."

August 7 - 18, 2013
TBA

The fourth Nikos Stage show, a revival, will be announced soon.


FREE THEATRE

July 10 - 19, 2013
DRACULA
By Bram Stoker
adapted by Steve Lawson

"Bram Stoker's 1897 novel comes alive under the stars in a new adaptation by WTF veteran and Free Theatre co-founder Steve Lawson. One of the most haunting figures of our common imagination, "the Count" has stalked his nightmarish way through literature, art, theatre, and film, never failing to leave an impression, as well as the marks of his fangs. This dynamic new stage version of Stoker's iconic tale is sure to hold audiences rapt. Leave your nerves at home...but bring the whole family and a picnic. (Garlic provided.)"

For tickets or more information, visit http://www.wtfestival.org/.

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