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Great Barrington Public Theater Premieres Mark St. Germain's PUBLIC SPEAKING 101 Next Week

Public Speaking 101 and will be staged ten times only, from July 14-July 24.

Great Barrington Public Theater Premieres Mark St. Germain's PUBLIC SPEAKING 101 Next Week

The GB Public Theater 2022 mainstage opens with Public Speaking 101 (July 14 - July 24) a fun, turn-the-tables comedy by the much loved, wonderfully accomplished and always engaging Berkshire-based playwright Mark St. Germain.

When a neurotic, amateur actress leads her community college class of terrified adults to compete in their county's First Annual Public Speaking Competition, their cross-currents, tongue-tied quirks and foibles become a tight, repartee comedy, brought to life by a brilliant cast, including Peggy Pharr-Wilson, David Smilow, Nathan Hinton, Brendan Powers and Rachel Burttram. Directed by GBPT Artistic Director Jim Frangione, Public Speaking 101 brings the misfit contest and heartfelt laughter to the McConnell Theater for ten performances only.

Audiences know and love Mark St. Germain's quick, sharp dialogue and knotty situations where characters walk into quicksand of their own making and need to reach out to others for a lifeline. "Mark is a master at comic set-up, timing and real character quirks," director Jim Frangione says. "He can come up with a very funny storyline, and no one gets out until the hang-ups are resolved. This time, Mark gives us a comedy with great heart. Speaking in public is number one phobia for almost everybody. For these people it's absolute terror. We all know the moment, when we wish we would have said something but couldn't find the words." Frangione works closely with St. Germain and directed and played the title role in GBPT's 2021 production of Mark's comedy Dad. "It becomes more than a comic story about a classroom of mixed nuts and lost dogs. It's about finding that sweet spot in your heart that lets you pump yourself up and show yourself off as the prize-winner we all know we are, no matter what. Mark has given us a feel-good story just when the world really needs one."

As St. Germain explains it, "We have a pastor terrified of addressing his congregation and sings to them instead, a cop who dissolves on the witness stand, a mortician more comfortable with the dead than the living and a writer whose every word sounds like drying paint, taught by Sunny Strutt, an aspiring community theater actress whose offstage life is falling apart. It takes us into the hearts of a misfit class struggling to find their own voices."

Mark St. Germain, Jim Frangione and Public Speaking 101 cast members are available for interviews.

Public Speaking 101 and will be staged ten times only, from July 14-July 24, Thurs.-Sun., 3pm and 7:30pm, in the McConnell Mainstage Theater, Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon's Rock, 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Tickets can be reserved on the Great Barrington Public Theater website.




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