In the Works Features New Plays at Williamstown, July 15-Aug 19

 In the Works, a series of readings of new plays, will be held at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA on Fridays, July 15th, 22nd, 29th, and August 5th, 12th and 19th at 3 PM; all plays will be read in the 173-seat Nikos Stage in the newly-renovated Adams Memorial Theatre.

An integral part of the Festival and a perennial favorite In the Works provides selected playwrights with a venue, actors and noted directors to mount readings of their newest plays.

In Cusi Cram's Lucy and the Conquest, "Pill popping Lucy Santiago heads to her family home in Bolivia after being fired from the syndicated hit 'Beach Detectives.' All she wants to do is forget her troubles, but her wildly eccentric family and a mysterious spirit that lives under Simon Bolivar's campaign bed won't let her. Lucy is forced to confront her own troubled history as well as the history of a conquered people." The show, which will be presented on July 15th, is directed by Suzanne Agins.

Dominic Leggett's Goldfish will be directed by Rosemary Andress on July 22nd. "Tom and Alice have invited Karol for dinner. He's an old friend of theirs – a dissident dramatist from Eastern Europe turned minister and businessman. Tonight he'll appear on Tom's talk show to promote his biography – written by Alice. But the cozy arrangement turns sour when he arrives much the worse for wear, with an erotic dancer in tow – and when they disappear into the garden, events spiral out of control."

Barry Levey's Critical Darling, which will be read on July 29th, is also directed by Agins. "Reaching the cusp of improbable celebrity is not without its anxieties for Frank and Evie, two aging British expatriates seeking literary fame in 1939 New Mexico. Marriage presents one solution; a young Czech émigré proposes another." Roger Rees, the new artistic director of Williamstown who is best known for his appearances in such shows as The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, A Man of No Importance and Indiscretions, will star in the play.

Jordan Harrison's Act a Lady will be presented on August 5th, and is directed by Tom Bloom. "When the men of a small Prohibition-era town don petticoats to perform a period melodrama, nobody but the accordion teacher raises an eyebrow. But as opening night approaches, the play-within-the-play begins to spill off the stage: purloined emeralds, silk snoods, and vengeful ghosts descend upon the Midwestern cattle farmers. By the time the show goes up, one has to wonder: who is on which side of the red velvet curtain?"

Drawing Monsters by Shawn Nacol is "A modern gothic about cleavage, carnage, and the Queen of the Pulps. From 1933 to 1938, Mrs. Margaret Brundage created the covers for Weird Tales magazine. In 100 pictures of nude women being tortured, raped, and disemboweled, Brundage used her own daughters as models. Inspired by true events, Drawing Monsters unveils a family of women who were drawn to death." The reading will be held on August 12th, and will be directed by Michael Barakiva.

Robert O'Hara's Antebellum recounts how "On the evening of the world premiere of Gone with the Wind, a woman shows up on a farm outside Atlanta while a world away, a man shows up in a detention center outside Berlin and a romance unfolds." Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, the piece will be presented on August 19th.

The Adams Memorial Theatre is located at Williams College, 1000 Main St., Route 2, Williamstown, MA. Ticket prices are $3 and are available through the Box Office (413-597-3400) or online at www.wtfestival.org.

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