Rossum and Lawrence to Play Juliet and Reno at Williamstown

Emmy Rossum and Sharon Lawrence have joined the starry group of performers who will take part in the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Rossum will play the innocent, star-crossed heroine of Romeo and Juliet while Lawrence will play wordly ex-evangelist Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. The festival, in which Malcolm Gets, Kerry Butler, Kathleen Turner, Kristine Nielsen and more will be involved, will run from July 6th through August 27th.

Lawrence appeared as Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago, as well as in the 1990 revival of Fiddler on the Roof and the 1987 revival of Cabaret. Her extensive TV credits include the role of Sylvia Costas Sipowitz on "NYPD Blue" and Maisy Gibbons on "Desperate Housewives."

Rossum, most recently on screen in Poseidon, played Christine Daae in the film version of The Phantom of the Opera. Other film credits include Mystic River and The Day After Tomorrow. Trained as a classical singer, Rossum appeared as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus beginning at age 6. She has appeared in over 20 Met productions.

Anything Goes, directed by Tony Award-winner and Williamstown Artistic Director Roger Rees (...Nicholas Nickleby, A Man of No Importance) will also feature Malcolm Gets (Amour - Tony nomination) as Evelyn, Matt Cavenaugh (Grey Gardens, Urban Cowboy) as Billy Crocker, Nikki Renee Daniels (Nine, Aida and Lestat) as Hope, Catherine Brunell (Big River, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Bonnie, Remy Auberjonois (The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow) as Moonface Martin, Tom Bloom (Henry IV) as Elijah Whitney, Sandra Shipley (Retreat from Moscow, Vincent in Brixton) as Mrs. Harcourt, and Paul O'Brien (Democracy, King Lear, The Crucible) as Captain. The Cole Porter musical, which concerns romantic hijinks on an ocean liner, plays the Main Stage July 5-16.

Sweet Bird of Youth, by Tennessee Williams, directed by David Jones, will feature Derek Cecil ("Push Nevada" and "Pasadena," How I Fell in Love at Williamstown) as Chance Wayne, Ted Koch (The Pillowman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as George Scudder, Beth Fowler (Tony-nominated for The Boy From Oz and Sweeney Todd) as Aunt Nonnie and Betsy Aidem ("Law & Order" and "The High Life") as Miss Lucy. Sweet Bird of Youth, which concerns an aging movie star and the handsome young man in her sway, plays the Main Stage July 19-30.

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare and directed by Will Frears (Pen, Omnium Gatherum), will feature Bill Camp (The Seagull, An American Life) as Friar Laurence, Kristine Nielsen (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Iceman Cometh, Miss Witherspoon) as the Nurse, Daniel Oreskes (Aida) as Capulet, Paul O'Brien as Montague, Sandra Shipley as Lady Montague and Remy Auberjonois as Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet plays the Main Stage August 2-13.

Lucy and the Conquest, the premiere of Cusi Cram's play, directed by Suzanne Agins, will feature Jeanine Serralles (Off-Broadway's Antigone Project and Drama Desk nominee for Hold Please) as Lucy, and Bernard White ("American Dreamz" and "JAG") as Juan Ricardo Santiago. The show, about a young girl visited by the ghost of an ancient Aztec warrior while visiting Bolivia, runs at the Nikos Stage July 12-23.

The Opposite of Sex, the East Coast premiere of the musical by Douglas J. Cohen (No Way to Treat a Lady) and Robert Jess Roth (Lestat), directed by Roth, will feature Kerry Butler (Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Opposite of Sex San Francisco premiere) as DeDee and David Burtka (Gypsy, Opposite of Sex premiere) as Matt. Based on the hit Don Roos film comedy about a spoiled teenage seductress, the musical will be performed on the Nikos Stage August 9-20.

The Festival also announced that its new play reading series, "Fridays @ 3," will conclude with a classic American play. This year, that play is Beth Henley's Pulitzer-prize winning Crimes of a Heart, to be directed by Kathleen Turner (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), who was twice nominated for a Best Actress Tony Award and nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. In addition to directing the reading, Turner will give a master class for young actors in the Festival's training program.

Visit www.wtfestival.org for more information.


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