Edward Albee's AT HOME AT THE ZOO Coming to BTG's Unicorn Theatre This Month
Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) presents Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee's (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?), At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story), directed by Eric Hill (BTG: The Homecoming, Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), and featuring David Adkins (BTG: Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), Joey Collins (The Glass Menagerie; BTG: The Homecoming) and Tara Franklin (BTG: The Homecoming, Lion in Winter, Equus). At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) runs from July 19 through August 26 at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA. Opening night is set for Saturday, July 22.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?), At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) delves deep into the complex nature of human loneliness and social disparity. Set in New York City, Act 1, Homelife opens with a look inside the isolated marriage of wealthy textbook company executive, Peter, played by David Adkins, and his articulate, Upper East Side wife, Ann, played by Tara Franklin. Unable to communicate their feelings to each other, the foundation of their marriage is built on unspoken agreements. Somehow, they find comfort in their boring relationship, yet, they are never truly on the same page. Act 2, The Zoo Story, follows Peter to Central Park. While sitting on a park bench, Peter encounters forlorn and forsaken stranger, Jerry, played by Joey Collins. This stranger, who appears desperate for human contact and connection, forces Peter to listen to his stories, as he digs deep into Peter's life, and his own.
Director Eric Hill says, "I was inspired by the opportunity to work on The Zoo Story again after many years, and to explore the new Albee one-act that is the first half of this evening (Homelife), to create Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story). This new piece not only provides a brilliant backstory to The Zoo Story, but it also stands alone as a vintage piece of Albee, with all the gender tension of his great plays." In a 2011 interview with The Boston Globe, playwright Edward Albee states, "The Zoo Story is a good play...But it's a play with one and a half characters. Jerry is a fully developed, three-dimensional character. But Peter is a backboard. He's not fully developed. Peter had to be more fleshed out,' he continues, "it took me several years to get back to doing the proper first act, but it only took me a few weeks to write.'
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. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Eric Hill (Director) in his forty-year career, Eric has worked as an actor, director, writer and producer. He has served as the Artistic Director of StageWest in Springfield, MA; the Founding Artistic Director of the Blue Hill Performance Ensemble in Stockbridge, MA; and, for the past twenty years, an Artistic Associate with Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, MA. Productions at BTG include: The Homecoming by Harold Pinter, Thoreau or, Return to Walden by David Adkins; Poe by Eric Hill; Benefactors by Michael Frayn; MacBeth By William Shakespeare; Endgame by Samuel Beckett; Faith Healer by Brian Friel; The Einstein Project by Jon Klein and Paul D'Andrea; Amadeus by Paul Schaeffer; The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams; and The Caretaker by Harold Pinter. Eric has acted in several roles at BTG, including eleven performances as Ebeneezer Scrooge in his own adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Eric served as the Director of Performance at the University of Connecticut, as well the Sachar Chair of Theater at Brandeis University. He worked for over a decade with Japanese experimental director Tadashi Suzuki and the Suzuki Company of Toga, Japan. He is married to Artistic Director, Kate Maguire.
David Adkins (Peter) has performed in over 20 productions at the Berkshire Theatre Group where he is an Artistic Associate, has worked on and off Broadway, and in resident theaters across the country. He's also guest starred extensively on television most recently on Blacklist, Homeland, The Good Wife, The Americans, Happy-ish and more.
Joey Collins (Jerry) BTG: The Homecoming. Broadway: The Glass Menagerie, Rock n' Roll and The Lonesome West. Off-Broadway: Straight Faced Lies, St. Joan of the Stockyards, Vieux Carré, Bug, Beasley's Christmas Party, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Apartment 3A, The Antigone Project. World Premieres: Mark St. Germain's Scott & Hem at Contemporary American Theater Festival & Barrington Stage; Custody of the Eyes, by Anthony Giardina at Cleveland Playhouse; Beat Generation, the lost play by Jack Kerouac and Oceanside, by Nick Gandiello, Merrimack Rep. Regional theaters: Rep. Theatre of St. Louis, Triad Stage, Berkeley Rep.,Yale Rep., Pioneer Theatre, The Old Globe, Cape Playhouse, A.C.T. in San Francisco, Cincinnati Playhouse and others. Film: Dottie's Thanksgiving Pickle with Olympia Dukakis, Bittersweet, The Number 36, Double Take. Television: Law and Order, Kidnapped, All My Children, Guiding Light, As the World Turns. www.joeycollins.net @MrJoeyCollins
Tara Franklin (Ann) BTG credits include: The Homecoming, Mary & Edith, The Lion In Winter, The Puppetmaster of Lodz, Birthday Boy, The Guardsman, Ghosts, A Man For All Seasons, Educating Rita, Amadeus, Equus, The Misanthrope, Peter Pan, Dimetos and A Dream Play. Off Broadway: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk). Regional: Sister Play (Chester Theatre), Burning Desire (Seven Angels), Henry V, Love's Labors Lost, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Nebraska Shakespeare Festival), Translations, The Trojan Women, Red Noses and Misalliance (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Gravid Water (Improv Olympic). Film: Labor Day. Tara holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Connecticut.
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. In 2010, under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, the two organizations merged to form Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG). Berkshire Theatre Group's mission is to support wide ranging artistic exploration and acclaimed performances in theatre, dance, music and entertainment. Every year, BTG produces and presents performances to over 68,000 attendees and, through our Educational Program, serves over 13,000 Berkshire County schoolchildren annually. BTG's celebrated stages reflect the history of the American theatre; they represent a priceless cultural resource for the community.