Esparza, Baker, Etc. Join Williamstown Summer Line-Up

The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams begins on the Williamstown Theatre Festival's Main Stage on August 1st.

"Set in a Welsh mining town, the play tells the story of Miss Moffat, a strong-willed schoolteacher, played by three-time Tony-nominee Kate Burton (Hedda Gabler, The Constant Wife), and her relationship with a bullying teenager Morgan Evans, played by Burton's son, Morgan Ritchie," state press notes. Nicholas Martin (Butley, Match, Hedda Gabler) directs.

"In the play, Miss Moffat is hellbent on offering the illiterate locals the fundamentals of a decent education. She converts her own home into a classroom and becomes deeply committed to one of her students in particular – Morgan Evans – a bully who reveals true promise once Miss Moffat helps him to discover the joys of learning. The distinguished lineage of actresses who have played Miss Moffat includes Ethel Barrymore in the original Broadway production, Bette Davis in the film, Katharine Hepburn in the made-for-TV movie and Cicely Tyson in the Broadway revival. Adding to the poignancy of this production, Kate Burton is the goddaughter of playwright Emlyn Williams, and Burton's daughter, Charlotte Ritchie, plays one of the town's children."

The cast of The Corn is Green also includes Becky Ann Baker (Assassins, Titanic, film: Spider Man 3), Dylan Baker (La Bete, Eastern Standard, Spider Man 2 and 3), Tom Bloom, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Barnett Cohen, Jordan Dean, Ginnifer Goodwin (Walk the Line; TV: "Big Love"), Greg Hildreth, Patrick Lynch, Kathy McCafferty, Rod McLachlan, Blake Segal and Joe Tippett.

Costume design is by Jeff Mahshie. Lighting design is by Frances Aronson. Scenic design is by James Noone. Sound design is by Drew Levy

Tickets are available at www.wtfestival.org, 413.597.3400 and the Festival box office.  The production runs August 1 to August 12 with performances Tuesdays to Fridays at 8:00, Saturdays at 8:30 with matinees Thursday at 3:00, Saturdays at 4:00 and Sundays at 2:00. Tickets are $48 to $57 depending on the performance.

In addition, "What You Will - An Evening By and About the Bard," created by and starring Roger Rees, runs July 23 on the Main Stage. Roger Rees created and stars in this one-man show celebrating Shakespeare's works. What You Will is presented one night only – Monday, July 23rd on the Festival's Main Stage.

In "What You Will," Tony Award-winner and Williamstown Artistic Director Rees (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, A Man of No Importance) "incorporates hysterical, historical and histrionic observations on the Bard by notable personalities, ranging from David Garrick to George Bernard Shaw to Stevie Wonder." The show premiered earlier this year at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC as part of the Shakespeare in Washington Festival.

Tickets are $25 and are available at wtfestival.org, 413.597.3400 and the Festival box office. Proceeds from the show benefit the Festival.

Also, The Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced that Tony Award-nominee Raúl Esparza (Company, Taboo, Cabaret) reading the part of the "Stage Manager" in Thornton Wilder's Our Town on Friday, August 17th at 3pm on the Festival's Main Stage.

The recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938, Our Town is "an American classic set in the fictional community of Grover's Corners in the 1930s. Grover's Corners is modeled on several New Hampshire towns in the Mount Monadnock region, a short distance from Williamstown."

Tickets to the reading are $5 and are available at 413.597.3400 and the Festival Box Office.  

Festival performances are held at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance of Williams College at 1000 Main Street (Route 2) in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The theatre is wheelchair accessible.  Assistive listening devices are available.

Visit www.wtfestival.org for more information.

Photos - 1) By Andy Tew - Kate Burton, Morgan Ritchie and Charlotte Richie; 2) By Andy Tew - Nicholas Martin, Kate Burton, Morgan Ritchie and Charlotte Ritchie; 3) By Walter McBride/Retna Ltd. - Raul Esparza


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