David Adkins, Corinna May, Barbara Sims & Walton Wilson Star in Berkshire Theatre Group's BENEFACTORS, Now thru 7/26

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Michael Frayn's Benefactors, a summer stages critic's pick by The New York Times at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Opening Night is July 12 at 8pm. Preview performances begin tonight, July 9 at 7pm and the production closes July 26 at 8pm.

Tickets to Benefactors are $48, 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.

"I'm thrilled to be working on a major play by Michael Frayn, a leading playwright, and with four extraordinarily talented actors," director Eric Hill said. "The play's complexity and beauty are a perfect fit for the Unicorn Theatre."

The acrimonious give and take of life sets up the premise for Michael Frayn's (Noises Off and Copenhagen) Tony Award-nominated Benefactors. In 1960s London, visionary architect David, played by long time BTG alum David Adkins, struggles to follow his dream of transforming the slums at Basuto Road into affordable mass-housing projects as his firm pressures him to design McMansion-style apartments instead.

David and his wife, Jane, played by Adkins' real-life partner Corinna May, are also trying to salvage the troubled marriage of their neighbors played by real-life married couple, Walton Wilson as Colin a retired journalist and Barbara Sims as Shelia, a hopeless romantic and retired nurse. Skillfully examining the fragility of human relationships, Benefactors sketches an intricate portrait of 1960s idealism and the toll political and psychological sacrifice has on hope, friendship, and love.

A New York Times' Summer Stages Pick
by Michael Frayn
directed by Eric Hill

at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Sponsored by Crowne Plaza, Pittsfield; Furlano & Arace PC; and Haddad Dealerships
Previews July 9-July 11
Press Opening/Opening Night: July 12 at 8pm
Talkback: July 14
Closing: July 26
Tickets: Preview: $42; A: $48

Performance Dates:
Wednesday, July 9 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, July 10 at 8pm (Preview)
Friday, July 11 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, July 12 at 2pm & 8pm (Opening Night)
Monday, July 14 at 8pm (Talk Back)
Tuesday, July 15 at 8pm
Wednesday, July 16 at 7pm
Thursday, July 17 at 8pm
Friday, July 18 at 8pm
Saturday, July 19 at 2pm & 8pm
Monday, July 21 at 8pm
Tuesday, July 22 at 8pm
Wednesday, July 23 at 7pm
Thursday, July 24 at 8pm
Friday, July 25 at 8pm
Saturday, July 26 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Artistic Bios:

Eric Hill (Director) directed Berkshire Theatre Group's production of A Christmas Carol, Oklahoma!, A Chorus Line, The Who's Tommy as well as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Neil Ellenoff Stage at the Mount. Additional BTG directing credits include Macbeth, Endgame, Faith Healer, The Einstein Project, Amadeus, The Glass Menagerie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Caretaker. Previous acting credits include the title role in A Christmas Carol, A Man for All Seasons, Dimetos and The Father.

David Adkins (David) 20 seasons at BTG including: Same Time, Next Year, Homestead Crossing, Sylvia, No Wake, Faith Healer, Waiting for Godot, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Misanthrope, The Father, The Middle Ages (by A.R. Gurney), Hasty Heart, and Charley's Aunt. Broadway: National Actors Theater: St. Joan; Manhattan Theater Club: Boy Gets Girl; Primary Stages: Sabina, Immaculate Misconception; Aquila Theatre Co.: Agamemnon (Olympia Dukakis). Women's Project: Transfigures. Regional: Barrington Stage, San Jose Rep: Mandrake Root (Lynn Redgrave); Merimack Rep: Seafarer (IRNE nomination); Goodman Theater, George St. Playhouse, Kennedy Center, ACT - San Francisco; Huntington; Center Stage; Long Wharf, Denver Center Theatre,. Theater; and others. TV: The Americans, Without A Trace;Trinity; Chicago Hope; Law & Order; L & O SVU; BlaqJaq (Forrest Whitaker); PBS: Ben Franklin; the New York Soaps. Juilliard.

Corrina May (Jane) is delighted to be returning to the BTG for her fourth season. BTG: Same Time, Next Year (Doris), Homestead Crossing (Anne), Two-Headed (Lavinia). National Broadway Tour: The Graduate with Jerry Hall/Linda Gray/Lorraine Bracco/ Kelly McGillis/Morgan Fairchild (Mrs. Braddock, u/s Mrs. Robinson). NYC: premiere of Thirty Story Masterpieces by Tommy Smith. Regional: Merrimack Rep, Portland Stage Homestead Crossing; Redhouse Frozen; Syracuse Stage The Smell of the Kill, Romeo & Juliet; Capitol Rep The Smell of the Kill; Repertory Theater of St. Louis Misalliance; Studio Arena The Dining Room, Season's Greetings; Virginia Stage Co. Terra Nova, Twelfth Night, Blithe Spirit; Philadelphia Theater Co. Sight Unseen. Shakespeare & Company (22 seasons): 28+ productions including King Lear, The Memory of Water, Twelfth Night, A Winter's Tale, A.R.Gurney's Ancestral Voices, Enchanted April, Roman Fever, Jack and Jill, Betrayal, Songs from the Heart, Fortune and Misfortune, House of Mirth, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing. Wharton Salon: Xingu, Autre Temps. Film: Split Ends (starring); Speck's Last; Rain Without Thunder. Television: Unforgettable (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); Evening at the Pops (PBS); Bourbon Street (indie pilot). Playwright: Dancing with the Czar. Designated Linklater voice teacher, Guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner. Proud to be a union member!

Walton Wilson (Colin) is delighted to return to BTG for a second season following last summer's Anna Christie. New York stage credits include: productions at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Culture Project, La Mama, Lincoln Center/Clark Theatre, PS 122, Public Theatre/NYSF, and Vineyard Theatre. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alley Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, The Empty Space, Stages Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Festivals of Dallas, Houston, Santa Fe, and St. Louis, Swine Palace, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is a long-time member of Shakespeare & Company.

Barbara Sims (Sheila) has appeared in the Broadway productions of Noises Off, Entertaining Mr. Sloan, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Arms and the Man, and Off-Broadway in Juno and the Paycock, Trip to Bountiful, Laura Dennis, Communion, and Entertaining Mister Sloan. Regional credits include Berkshire Theatre Group (standby/performed for Jayne Atkinson in last season's The Lion in Winter), Williamstown Theatre Festival, GeVa Theatre, Alley Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare and Co. Film /Television: Law and Order SVU, Guiding Light, One Life to Live. She is Co-Curator of "Made in the Berkshires," an annual arts festival that celebrates and produces original work from a wide variety of artists and storytellers who live in Berkshire County.

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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