Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Additional Details For 2018 Season
In addition to the previously announced Main Stage and Nikos Stage productions and events, the 2018 Festival will also include the return of the legendary Late-Night Cabaret and the free and family-friendly community-engaged theatre program, COMMUNITY WORKS, as well as the addition of The Hot Spot, a new series where the spotlight will focus on an exciting featured performer or group, presented in an intimate, casual atmosphere. Inaugural Hot Spot performers include pop rock band BETTY on August 2 and PigPen Theatre Co. on August 3. Performances will take place in Goodrich Hall and tickets are available now online at wtfestival.org.
Greenfield also announced the recipient of the 2018 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award and the Jay Harris Commission, as well as the artists commissioned under the 2018 Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program. Sylvia Khoury is the recipient of the 2018 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award and Jay Harris Commission for her play Selling Kabul. Additionally, Diana Oh will serve as the Festival's 2018 Playwright-in-Residence. Michael John LaChiusa is the recipient of the James Giddens New Musical Commission. Other commissioned artists include Aziza Barnes, Max Posner, and Sharyn Rothstein.
It was also announced that the recipient of the 2018 Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship is Maggie Burrows, who will direct Damsels, a new play by Jenny Rachel Weiner, in the Directing Studio on August 13-14 at 7pm and 11pm. The 2018 Bill Foeller Directing Fellowship has been awarded to Ken-Matt Martin, who will assist Lila Neugebauer on The Member of the Wedding, as well as direct two productions of his own in the Directing Studio on July 3 and August 4. Donors receive advance access to tickets for Fellowship Projects. Remaining tickets become available one week prior to performances. Reservations are required, and there is limited availability.
In addition to exciting original work developed by members of WTF's Non-Equity Company, a new series, Studio Projects, includes a re-theatricalization of a classic American play. This season, Jason McDowell-Green, Director of WTF's Professional Training Program, will direct A Man's World by Rachel Crothers. Donors receive advance access to tickets for Studio Projects. Remaining tickets become available one week prior to performances. Reservations are required, and there is limited availability.
Williamstown Theatre Festival administers the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award on behalf of the Anna L. Weissberger Foundation. Championed for the Festival in 1998 by late Trustee Jay Harris, the award honors noted theatrical attorney and avid theatre supporter L. Arnold Weissberger, and it is designed to recognize excellence in playwriting. The recipient of the award receives $10,000 for the winning play, a reading at Williamstown Theatre Festival, optional publication by Samuel French, and the $10,000 Jay Harris commission. The 2018 finalist judges were Lileana Blain-Cruz, Vivian Huang, Jane Kaczmarek, Jason Kim, Harrison David Rivers, and Marisa Tomei. The other finalists for the award were How to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson, The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess, Scraps by Geraldine Inoa, and In Old Age by Mfoniso Udofia.
Williamstown Theatre Festival will soon be accepting submissions for the 2019 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award. Nominations are solicited by invitation only.
The Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program, launched in 2015, commissions and develops three to five projects annually from playwrights, composers, and collaborative devisers from across the career spectrum. Each commission also includes at least one writing residency at the Festival. Commission recipients have included Big Dance Theatre, Fernanda Coppel, Nathan Alan Davis, Halley Feiffer, Meghan Kennedy, Justin Levine, Matthew Lopez, Marsha Norman, Zoe Sarnak, Benjamin Scheuer, Lucy Thurber, and Bess Wohl. The Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program is made possible by generous support from James & Virginia Giddens, The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund, and Andrew Martin-Weber.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence works and lives at the Festival for the duration of the summer. They contribute not only by writing plays that will be seen in the Festival's reading series and potentially on the Festival stages, but also by creating program dramaturgy for playbills and moderating post-show talkbacks.
The Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship gives a director the opportunity to develop a new play from an early draft to a workshop production. Festival designers and members of the WTF Non-Equity Acting Company join the team to create a robust and fertile development process, which culminates in a public workshop production in the Directing Studio, the Festival's blackbox theatre.
The Bill Foeller Fellowship provides a full scholarship, including a stipend for living expenses, to an emerging director who is a woman and/or an artist of color in the Directing Assistant corps. Joining the festival for the complete summer season, the director chosen will assist on one of our Main Stage or Nikos Stage productions and will direct two one-act plays in our Directing Studio.
The stars come out at night at WTF's legendary Late-Night Cabaret series. Exhilarating evenings of ensemble and solo performances showcase the virtuosic talents of the Festival artists, from the brightest stars of stage and screen to up-and-coming members of WTF's Non-Equity and Apprentice companies. The beloved Festival highlight runs from July 12-14, July 26-28, and August 9-11.
Community Works is WTF's initiative that brings together local residents and professional theatre artists to make plays for and about the Berkshires. In the fall, winter, and spring, WTF conducts acting and playwriting workshops in Western Massachusetts. This summer, more than a hundred Berkshire area residents will be featured onstage alongside professional actors in the free, family-friendly world premiere play, Taiga in the Berkshires, by Lucy Thurber, directed by Lee Overtree from August 12-15 on the Main Stage. Tickets are free and available now online at wtfestival.org.