White, Easton, Ivey Poised for 2008 Williamstown Theatre Fest

Nicholas Martin today announced the programming for Williamstown Theatre Festival's (WTF) 54th Season, the first under his aegis as Artistic Director.

The Main Stage

Nicholas Martin will kick off the WTF Main Stage season with his Huntington Theatre Company production of the Joe Masteroff, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock musical, She Loves Me, running from June 28-July 13.  This much-beloved romantic musical comedy is Martin's 15th WTF production.  "She Loves Me tells the story of two lovesick, anonymous pen pals who work together during the day, totally unaware that they are writing to each other at night," describe press notes. She Loves Me is based on Parfumerie, the play that also inspired the Jimmy Stewart classic The Shop Around the Corner, and the popular Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film You've Got Mail.

Next on the Main Stage will be Three Sisters (July 16-27), Paul Schmidt's translation of Anton Chekhov's classic tale of the decay of the privileged class in Russia, which marks Michael Greif's third staging of Chekhov at WTF (following lauded productions of The Seagull in 1994 and The Cherry Orchard in 2004).  Greif, returning to WTF for the eighth time, is currently represented on Broadway by the iconic, long-running musical, Rent, and Off-Broadway by the new musical, Next to Normal.

Tony Award-winner John Rando will direct A Flea in Her Ear, a new version of George Feydeau's farce by David Ives (July 30-August 10). "Hailed as one of the greatest farces ever written, this 1907 classic tells the outrageously comedic tale of a suspicious wife's attempts to confirm her husband's infidelities," state press notes.  Ives is currently represented on Broadway by his adaptation of Mark Twain's long-lost comedy, Is He Dead?

David Storey's play, Home (August 13-24) directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joseph Hardy (represented Off-Broadway by the new drama Grace), concludes the Main Stage season. "In Home, a hilarious and heartbreaking play, four friends meet in a park to converse about life's events only to slowly reveal the reality of their strange circumstances," explain press notes. The cast will include Richard Easton, Dana Ivey and Paxton Whitehead.

The Nikos Stage

On the Nikos Stage, Campbell Scott will appear in a production of The Atheist by Ronan Noone, directed by WTF Artistic Associate Justin Waldman (June 25-July 6). "This tour-de-force solo play follows the rise and fall of ethics-challenged journalist Augustine Early, who will do anything to get the story," state press notes. Noone, a Boston Magazine Top Young Playwright, has had productions of his work in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London.

Harriet Jacobs (July 9-20), by Lydia Diamond "is an unflinching look at the realities of American slavery, chronicling Jacobs' tumultuous path to freedom. Buoyed by the music and spirituals of her people and the escape she finds in her writing, Harriet perseveres with an unyielding hope for a life beyond.  Based on Jacobs' autobiography, Harriet Jacobs is a touching portrait of the strength of hope and the expanse of the imagination," describe press notes.

In the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's The Understudy (July 23-August 3) directed by Scott Ellis, "a long lost Kafka play is a hit on Broadway, but the real action is happening backstage.  The understudy is more than he's supposed to be, the star wants to be more than he is, and the stage manager, (Tony Award-winner Julie White), just can't take any more," declare press notes. The Understudy – Ellis' eighth WTF production - is Ms. Rebeck's hilarious look at the people for whom the play is the thing. 

Two additional Nikos Stage productions, as well as additional performers and full creative teams for the 2008 WTF Season will be announced at a later date. 

The Williamstown Theatre Festival is located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Festival performances are held at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance of Williams College (1000 Main St., on Route 2, Williamstown). For details and information visit www.wtfestival.org

Julie White (photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd)

Related Articles

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...