Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces 2005 Schedule July 6 – August 28

Roger Rees, Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF), has announced details for the Festival's 2005 Season, running July 6 through August 28.  The summer season will be the first under the leadership of Rees, who began his tenure as Artistic Director on January 1 of this year.  The season will also mark the much-anticipated debut of WTF's new performance venues in the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College.  The Festival's Main Stage will now be housed in a new 550-seat multi-level auditorium while the renovated Adams Memorial Theatre will be the new home of the Nikos Stage, WTF's second performance space dedicated to new plays. 

The Main Stage season will begin July 6 and include Oscar Wilde's social comedy Lady Windermere's Fan, Caryl Churchill's political drama Top Girls, Tom Stoppard's farcical On the Razzle, and Bus Stop - William Inge's mid-twentieth century American romance.  "Opening a new performance space in your first season as Artistic Director would be on anyone's dream list," said Rees.  "I've selected plays that represent a wide range of styles, periods and cultures – productions that will expand upon WTF's tradition for mounting terrific revivals on the Main Stage."

The Nikos Stage "First Works" season will feature new plays by three fresh voices in the theatre – Etan Frankel, Lucy Prebble, and Oni Faida Lampley.  "As Artistic Director, I feel an obligation to help foster truly talented young theatre practitioners," Rees commented.  The three playwrights represented on the Nikos Stage this year each possess a distinctly unique voice and perspective on the human condition, and I believe their plays speak to our time."

In addition to the Main Stage and Nikos Stage seasons, the Festival will include the popular late-night cabaret, Free Theatre, Greylock Theatre Project and many other activities to round out the summer. Casting for all productions will be announced at a later date.

2005 Main Stage Season

LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN by Oscar Wilde, directed by Moisés Kaufman (July 6 – 17)

Determined not to trust her husband when circumstances suggest he's been unfaithful, the effortlessly desirable Lady Margaret Windermere – modern, independent and deliciously free of self-doubt – resolves to leave him flat.  But the true nature of her husband's relationship with the "other woman" is very different from what young Margaret assumes it to be.  The play is Oscar Wilde's first comedy and, more than a century later, a provocative season-opener for WTF's 2005 season in the hands of cutting-edge director Moisés Kaufman.

Moisés Kaufman is an award-winning writer and director.  His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project have been among the most honored and most widely performed plays in America over the last decade.  He recently directed the Pulitzer and Tony award winning play I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (Obie award for direction, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic's Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations).  Kaufman is the founder and Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project, a laboratory for new works in theater and film based in New York

TOP GIRLS by Caryl Churchill, directed by Jo Bonney (July 20 – 31).

What kind of a victory is women's progress in the workplace?  Or is it a victory at all?  At a dinner party celebrating Marlene's promotion, five women, superstars of the golden ages of history, literature and art, weigh in on the personal sacrifices a woman makes to achieve success.  More potent now than ever, Top Girls is the play that established Caryl Churchill as one of the late 20th century's truly important – and prescient – playwrights.

Jo Bonney's directing credits include: Living Out (Second Stage), Fifth of July (Signature), References to Salvadore Dali...(Public), Humpty Dumpty (McCarter), Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, and Pounding Nails into the Floor with My Forehead.

ON THE RAZZLE by Tom Stoppard, directed by David Jones (August 3 – 14).

While their boss is away, two store clerks have madcap adventures filled with mistaken identities, malapropisms and Tom Stoppard's trademark wordplay.  Freely adapted from Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy's 19th Century farce, Einen Fux will er sich machen (which also inspired Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker), On the Razzle is high-octane non-stop fun.

David Jones most recently directed The Controversy of Valladolid at The Public Theatre.  On Broadway, Jones directed The Caretaker, Taking Sides and No Man's Land.  He was Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (Aldwych) from 1973 to 1978.

BUS STOP by William Inge, directed by Will Frears (August 17 – 28).

Cherie's a hard-up nightclub singer. Bo's a good ol' cowboy.  And when a snowstorm leaves their bus stranded somewhere between Kansas City and Topeka, they spend the night discovering truths and uncovering lies.  This romantic finale to our Main Stage season is a mid-twentieth century classic from William Inge, the author of Come Back, Little Sheba and Picnic.

Will Frears returns for his sixth season at WTF, where he most recently directed The Water's Edge on the Nikos Stage.  A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he has directed off-Broadway (Terrorism, Omnium Gatherum) and at major regional theatres such as Steppenwolf and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

2005 Nikos Stage Season

CREATE FATE by Etan Frankel, directed by TBD (July 13 – 24).

Nathan Penney has lots of everything.  A bank account worth millions, a super-sized waistline, a multitude of vintage muscle cars.  So why shouldn't he hire a private eye to get him some sugar and spice that's extra nice?  Why shouldn't Nathan Penney go out and buy himself the love of his life, the girl of his dreams?  Why shouldn't Nathan Penney, master of his domain, create his own fate?

Etan Frankel is a graduate of Duke University and The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. His most recent play, Paralyzed, was given a reading at Primary Stages featuring Cynthia Nixon. Other readings and workshops include New York Stage & Film, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Underwood Theater, Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick, and Huntington Theatre Company.  Mr. Frankel has twice been honored with Lincoln Center Theater's Lecomte du Nouy Award and also received the Dasha Epstein Playwriting Award.

THE SUGAR SYNDROME by Lucy Prebble, directed by Maria Mileaf (July 27 – August 7).

Seventeen-year-old Dani surfs internet chat rooms searching for someone who is honest and direct.  What she finds is a man twice her age who thinks she is an eleven year-old boy.  With richly textured writing and humor, it's Lucy Prebble's play that's honest and direct.  And fierce.  And devastatingly, disarmingly, disturbingly funny.  The Sugar Syndrome contains adult subject matter and is intended for mature audiences.

Lucy Prebble's debut play, The Sugar Syndrome, won the prestigious George Devine Award 2004 and the Theatre Management Association Award for Best New Play in October 2004.  She also won the 2004 London Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.   Lucy was also nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the Olivier Awards 2004, and is now under commission to both The National Theatre and The Royal Court Theatre.  The WTF production of The Sugar Syndrome marks Ms. Prebble's American debut.

TOUGH TITTY  by Oni Faida Lampley, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright (August 10 – 21)Diagnosed with breast cancer, trying to stay married, raise two small sons and endure poisonous treatments, Angela confronts her childhood ideas about God and goodness, and wrestles with the haunting question, "What did I do wrong?"  Funny, poignant – and tough.

Oni Faida Lampley has written two previous plays, Mixed Babies and The Dark Kalamazoo.  Also an accomplished actress, Lampley's Broadway credits include Arthur Miller's The Ride

Down Mount Morgan, and August Wilson's Two Trains Running.

More Festival Activities

Late-Night Cabaret (July 14 – 16, August 11 – 13)

A wildly popular series featuring singing, dancing, stand-up comedy and spontaneous performances by stars both local and national, established and emerging. Performances are held in Goodrich Hall, just a few blocks from the Main and Nikos Stages, the Cabaret provides an opportunity to see another side of the extraordinarily versatile performers at WTF in a relaxed and fun-filled atmosphere.


Free Theatre Production TBA, directed by Amanda Charlton (July 25 – 31)

WTF's Free Theatre brings vibrant productions to family audiences free of charge as a way of saying thank you to the community that supports the Festival so graciously.  This year, the Free Theatre will move inside to the Festival's new Main Stage for performances Monday, July 25 – Sunday, July 31 at 11 a.m. with additional late-night shows Friday, July 29 at 11 p.m. and Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m.


Greylock Theatre Project (July 7, July 25, August 8)

The Greylock Theatre Project (GTP) is an outreach program that brings together professional theatre artists with kids ages 9-18 from neighboring North Adams to create theatre.  The summer portion of the project offers the One-on-Ones, Playmaking and Teen Ensemble.  Performances are given free of charge at  5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on July 7 (Teen Ensemble, location TBD), July 25 (Playmaking @ Goodrich Hall), and August 8 (One-on-Ones @ Goodrich Hall).


leapFROG (August 18 – 20)

leapFROG is a new program that pairs talented young writers and composers with the Boris Sagal and Bill Foeller Directing Fellows and our Act I ensemble to create two new works – a play and a musical.  Developed throughout the summer, the finished works will be given public performances free of charge in Goodrich Hall August 18 – 20.


Fridays @ 3 New Play Series (July 15 – August 19)

The Fridays @ 3 New Play Series offers readings of the latest works by talented writers featuring Festival and guest actors and directors.  Readings are held on the Nikos Stage every Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.  Tickets are $3



Twenty minutes prior to every Main Stage matinee, a member of WTF's apprentice company will discuss the upcoming performance from the stage, offering background about the play and information specific to WTF's production and their experience working on the show.


Two into Three

To offer a more meaningful theatre experience and encourage interaction between our audience and the WTF company, the Festival is offering patrons the option of ordering an extra ticket for a play during the 2005 season for a member of the Festival's training company.  Patrons participating in this program will be matched with a young theatre talent who will join them for the performance and, if desired, a meal before or after the show.  Contact the Box Office for more details.


Q&A Discussions

Held with cast members and special guests following selected performances. Dates TBA.  Admission is free. 

Ticket & Schedule Information

2005 season brochures will be mailed in early May.  Only mail orders will be accepted until June 10, and tickets must be ordered on the ticket order form included in the brochure.

WTF Members, contributors to WTF's Annual Fund, will receive their brochures in advance of the general public, and all members' ticket orders will be filled first if mailed by May 15.  To request a season brochure, or for information on becoming a WTF Member, visit WTF's official website at www.WTFestival.org.

Tickets will go on sale online at the Festival's official website, www.WTFestival.org, on Friday, June 10.  Mail orders received prior to June 10 will be processed before internet sales begin. 

The Festival Box Office at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance will open for telephone and in-person ticket sales on Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m.  Hours through July 5 are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  As of July 6, the box office will be open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Box Office is closed on Monday.  Tickets may be purchased beginning June 17 by calling (413) 597-3400, or by visiting the Box Office in person. 

Exact seating locations will be available for internet and phone orders.  All mail, internet, and phone orders are subject to a $5 service charge per order.

All Main Stage performances are held in the 550-seat auditorium in the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance, Williams College, Route 2, Williamstown, MA.  Ticket prices for Main Stage productions range from $20 to $52, depending on the performance date, time and seating location.  Main Stage performance times are Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturday evenings at 8:30 p.m.  Matinees are Thursdays at 3 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.  The Main Stage is handicapped accessible, and is equipped with assistive listening devices for the hard of hearing.

Kids' Night: Kids under 18 attend the Main Stage free of charge every Friday night when accompanied by an adult.  Limit one free kids' ticket per full price adult ticket.

General Rush Tickets are available for every Thursday evening Main Stage performance beginning at 6 p.m. on the day of the show.  Anyone may purchase general rush tickets for $15 each.  Limit two rush tickets per person.  Must be purchased in person at the Main Stage Box Office window, cash only, subject to availability.

Student Rush Tickets, at $15 each, are available beginning two hours prior to curtain for every Main Stage performance except Saturday evenings.  Limit one ticket per person, students must show valid student i.d., must be purchased in person at the Box Office, cash only, subject to availability.

Nikos Stage productions are held in the 203-seat Adams Memorial Theatre.  Ticket prices for Nikos Stage productions are $33 or $35, depending on performance date.  Nikos Stage performance times are Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturday evenings at 8:30 p.m.  Matinees are Thursdays at 3 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.  The Main Stage is handicapped accessible, and is equipped with assistive listening devices for the hard of hearing.

Cabaret performances are held in Goodrich Hall on the Williams College campus.  All tickets for Cabaret performances are $25.  Cabaret performance times are Thursday and Friday evenings at 11 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 11:30 p.m.  Goodrich Hall is handicapped accessible.

Williamstown Theatre Festival 2005 Season Summary

WTF 2005 Main Stage Season

Lady Windermere's Fan
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Moisés Kaufman
July 6 - 17

Top Girls
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Jo Bonney
July 20 - 31

On the Razzle
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by David Jones
August 3 - 14

Bus Stop
By William Inge
Directed by Will Frears
August 17 - 28

WTF 2005 Nikos Stage Season

Create Fate
By Etan Frankel
Directed by TBD
July 13 - 24 

The Sugar Syndrome
By Lucy Prebble
Directed by Maria Mileaf
July 27 – August 7

Tough Titty
By Oni Faida Lampley
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
August 10 - 21

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