Berkshire Theatre Group Presents the World Premiere of CEDARS at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, 7/23-8/9

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Berkshire Theatre Group Presents the World Premiere of CEDARS at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, 7/23-8/9

Berkshire Theatre Group presents James Naughton in the world premiere of Cedars at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge. Opening Night is July 26 at 8pm. Preview performances begin on July 23 at 8pm and the production closes August 9 at 8pm.

Tickets to Cedars are $42-$62, all preview tickets are $42. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield; at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge; by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

In this world premiere, two-time Tony Award Winner James Naughton takes the stage as Gabe in a one-man comedy, a raw and witty exploration of an estranged father-son relationship. Cedars is directed by Naughton's daughter, Keira Naughton who is a long-time BTG artist. She has acted in productions including: Birthday Boy, Macbeth, Faith Healer and The Book Club Play and most recently directed a stage adaptation of Roman Fever by Edith Wharton which featured Kim Taylor and BTG's Artistic Director, Kate Maguire in 2013.

"Erik Tarloff's writing is smart, funny and ultimately very moving," James Naughton said. "It's an exploration of one man's relationships with his family, his work, and his ever-changing place in the world."

Tarloff has written extensively for the screen, both large and small. He has also been featured on the New York Times best-seller list and is a frequent guest writer for publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian Magazine, and Vogue. All Our Yesterdays, Tarloff's new novel, is slated for release in late August.

In Cedars, Gabe, a 50-ish defense lawyer, finds himself on the more unfortunate side of life and now, by his father's bedside at Cedars Hospital. Gabe's many troubles, some self-induced and others thrust upon him, are quickly revealed as he bares all in unbridled, cathartic conversations with his non-responsive father. A broken marriage, past heartbreak, a dwindling career, family struggles, new relationships, and a slew of mid-life crises take center stage as Gabe tries to find solid ground amid the mess of his world.

"From time to time over the past 20 years or so, I toyed with the idea of a monologue featuring a speaker addressing a person who offers no response, and who most likely isn't even sentient," Erik Tarloff explained. "I suspected such a situation might encourage a sort of emotional candor people normally suppress; it felt inherently dramatic, despite (or perhaps because of) the single voice and the confined physical space. The reason I finally began to write it after all that time I can't really say; it certainly wasn't precipitated by any contemporaneous events in my own life. But once I started, I kept hearing James Naughton's voice delivering the lines. That aspect of the process was uncanny. So when I had a finished draft, I sent him the script with a cover note apologizing for my presumption. Fortunately, he responded positively."

Artistic Bios

Erik Tarloff (Playwright, Cedars) Erik Tarloff has written professionally since his college years. Much of his early work was written for the screen, both large and small. His list of credits includes almost one hundred situation comedy scripts, including multiple episodes of M*A*S*H, All in the Family, the Bob Newhart Show, the Jeffersons, Alice, Room 222, Housecalls, My World and Welcome To It, and many others. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award, a Writers Guild Award, and an NAACP Image Award. He is the author of two previous plays, Something to Hide and Another Week-End in the Country. The latter was produced at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the former at the Richmond Shepherd Theater in Los Angeles, where it won the Dramalog Award for Playwriting and First Honorable Mention at the Beverly Hills Theater Guild Awards. He has had fiction published in The Paris Review, Penthouse, Slate, and anthologized in the volume Last Night's Stranger. He has contributed reviews and articles to Earth, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Washington Post Book Review, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, Working Woman, Washingtonian Magazine, San Francisco Focus, Vogue, Salon, The American Prospect, the Jewish Daily Forward, and The Financial Times, among others. He has been a frequent contributor to the British magazine Prospect, where he is a contributing editor. He has also published music criticism (both popular and classical), literary criticism, a diary from the 1996 Democratic Convention, and an assortment of other features in Slate, where he was a regular book critic for several years. He is currently an occasional blogger at The Atlantic Online. He currently lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, economist Laura Tyson.

Keira Naughton (Director, Cedars) BTG: directed Roman Fever in Mary & Edith, and acted in Birthday Boy, Macbeth, Faith Healer and The Book Club Play. Most recently, she appeared in These Paper Bullets at Yale Rep. She has appeared on Broadway in The Rivals (Lincoln Center Theater), Dance of Death, and Three Sisters. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Jammer, Hunting and Gathering, Indoor/Outdoor, All My Sons, Lucy, The American Clock, Tesla's Letters, Roses in December and Hotel Universe, among others. Other regional theatre credits include The Dining Room (Westport Country Playhouse); Becky Shaw (Huntington Theatre); A Delicate Balance (Yale Rep), Proof (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes Award
nomination); Company (Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration); Faith aler, Macbeth, The Book Club Play (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Uncle Vanya, Wonder of the World (Barrington Stage); Shakespeare & Company, Cleveland Playhouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her television and film appearances include The Leftovers (HBO), Body of Proof, 3 Lbs., Law & Order: SVU, Sex and the City, All My Children, Blair Witch 2 and Cradle Will Rock. She is a singer/songwriter in the band The Petersons. She also teaches yoga and acting and received her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

James Naughton (Gabe, Cedars) has appeared on-screen in The Devil Wears Prada playing Meryl Streep's husband, co-starred opposite Barbara Hershey in the independent film Childless, and was also seen in The Weinstein Company's Factory Girl, playing Sienna Miller's father, and Warner Brothers Independent Films Suburban Girl, alongside Sarah Michelle Geller and Alec Baldwin. Naughton has won two Tony Awards as 'Best Actor in a Musical' for Chicago and City of Angels, the latter earned him a Drama Desk Award as well. He starred in the Broadway production of Democracy as Willy Brandt opposite Richard Thomas. Naughton's other theatre credits include Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, I Love My Wife, Whose Life is it Anyway, Drinks Before Dinner and Losing Time. On Broadway, Naughton has directed Arthur Miller's Tony nominated production of The Price and Paul Newman in Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Naughton has also directed Brace Yourself at Berkshire Theatre Group in 2012.

About Berkshire Theatre Group
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Stockbridge, MA and Pittsfield, MA. The Fitzpatrick Main Stage (400 seats), cataloged by the National Register of Historic Places, was originally designed and built by Stanford White as the Stockbridge Casino in 1888. The intimate Unicorn Theatre (122 seats) is a home for emerging artists and new theatrical ideas. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. BTG also performs at the outdoor Neil Ellenoff stage, located on the grounds of BTF in Stockbridge, and at The Garage, a music venue located in the lobby of The Colonial. BTG serves over 100,000 patrons per year and reaches over 17,000 students through its educational and outreach programs. For more information on BTG call (413) 448-8084. To purchase tickets, call (413) 997-4444 or go online to www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.

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