After a Half Century on the Shelf, a Lost William Inge Play Gets World Premiere Tonight at Williamstown

News   After a Half Century on the Shelf, a Lost William Inge Play Gets World Premiere Tonight at Williamstown
 
The Williamstown Theatre Festival will host the world premiere of Off the Main Road, a play by William Inge. It opens the 2015 Williamstown summer season, which includes the anticipated staging of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten starring Audra McDonald and Will Swenson.

Blair Underwood
Blair Underwood

"Girls" actress Becky Ann Baker will join Kyra Sedgwick for Off the Main Road; with Blair Underwood ("Sex and the City," A Streetcar Named Desire) lining up for Dominique Morisseau's Paradise Blue; Justin Long ("New Girl") has been added to Daniel Goldfarb's Legacy; and Oscar winner Estelle Parsons ("Bonnie and Clyde," August: Osage County) and Tony-nominated A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder star Lauren Worsham have joined the cast of the new musical Unknown Soldier.

Season details, according to Williamstown, follow:

Main Stage

WORLD PREMIERE

Off the Main Road | June 30 – July 19

By William Inge; Directed by Evan Cabnet

With Becky Ann Baker, Aaron Costa Ganis, Howard W. Overshown, Estelle Parsons, Kyra Sedgwick and Mary Wiseman

"Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick makes her WTF debut in the world premiere of a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Inge. As the second wave of feminism crests in America, the elegant but emotionally-fragile Faye Garrit (Sedgwick) seeks refuge from her husband, a former professional baseball player, by checking into a run-down resort on the outskirts of St. Louis, with her 17-year-old daughter. The future for mother and daughter may look hazy, but personal, political, and sexual awakenings allow them to move forward with new and heartbreaking clarity. Directed by former WTF Foeller and Sagal Fellow Evan Cabnet, this gripping and powerful drama deepens Inge’s legacy of penning rich, emotionally hard-hitting stories populated by complicated and truthful, human characters." Additional Casting: Daniel Sharman ("The Originals") as Victor Burns, Jeremy Davidson (“Army Wives” and Blood and Gifts) as Manny Garrit, Joseph Huffman as Red, and Jonothon Lyons as Police Officer.

Off the Main Road was, until recently, a lost work among Inge’s canon – found and reintroduced by the Inge Estate in 2008.

WORLD PREMIERE

Paradise Blue | July 22 – Aug. 2

(2012 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Winner)

By Dominique Morisseau; Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

With De'Adre Aziza, Andre Holland, Keith Randolph Smith and Blair Underwood

"Tony and Obie Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs the world premiere of a bracing and charged drama from Dominique Morisseau. Blue, a gifted trumpeter, contemplates selling his once-vibrant jazz club in Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood to shake free the demons of his past and better his life. But where does that leave his devoted Pumpkin, who has dreams of her own? And, what does it mean for the club’s resident bebop band? When a mysterious woman with a walk that drives men mad comes to town with her own plans, everyone’s world is turned upside down. This dynamic and musically-infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future on the foundation of what our predecessors have left us."

A Moon for the Misbegotten| Aug. 5-23

By Eugene O’Neill; Directed by Gordon Edelstein

With Aaron Costa Ganis, Howard W. Overshown, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson

"Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and Tony Award-nominee Will Swenson take the stage in Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill’s final masterpiece. When Phil Hogan, a salty tenant farmer, fears he will lose his property, his daughter Josie (McDonald), lures their dissolute landlord, Jamie Tyrone (Swenson), into bed one summer night. Under the glow of the moon, truth comes into focus for these two souls, but what awaits them when dawn breaks? Helmed by Gordon Edelstein and featuring scenic design by the world-renowned Ming Cho Lee, this raw and invigorating new look at O’Neill’s poetic and bitterly romantic A Moon for the Misbegotten assures us of the heart’s capacity for infinite love and forgiveness."

Nikos Stage

WORLD PREMIERE

Legacy | July 1-12

By Daniel Goldfarb; Directed by Oliver Butler

With Eric Bogosian, Halley Feiffer, Jessica Hecht and Justin Long

"Tony Award-nominee Jessica Hecht and Drama Desk Award-winner Eric Bogosian couple up for the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb's funny and turbulent Legacy. When renowned novelist Neil Abrams (Bogosian) is panned by The New York Times, he reopens the conversation with his wife Suzanne (Hecht) about starting a family. As Neil copes with feeling increasingly antiquated and culturally irrelevant, and Suzanne begins a relationship with one of Neil's brilliant grad students (Feiffer), the equilibrium of their marriage is threatened. Directed by Obie Award-winner Oliver Butler, this thoughtful drama exposes the cost of trying to will our own legacy."

AMERICAN PREMIERE

Kinship | July 15-25

By Carey Perloff; Directed by Jo Bonney

With Penny Fuller, Chris Lowell and Cynthia Nixon

"Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winner Cynthia Nixon makes her Festival debut in Carey Perloff’s gripping and sexy new drama. The tightly wound lives of a fiery newspaper editor (Nixon), an upstart journalist, and an overly-protective mother unravel when a passionate entanglement turns into an intense power struggle. Helmed by Obie Award-winning director Jo BonneyKinship explores the deep, often funny, and always intense pursuit of total happiness."

WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL

Unknown Soldier| July 30 – Aug. 9

Book & Lyrics by Daniel Goldstein; Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman

Directed by Trip Cullman

With David Greenspan, Erik Lochtefeld, Chris Lowell, Estelle Parsons and Lauren Worsham

"In this haunting new musical created by writer Daniel Goldstein, Obie Award-winning composer Michael Friedman, and director Trip Cullman, Ellen Rabinowitz sets out to understand her past after she discovers an enigmatic photograph while cleaning out her deceased grandmother’s home. As she chases the truth about the soldier featured in the photo, Ellen is drawn into a tangle of historical facts and mysteries that lead her to surprising love stories and unexpected truths. Bringing together three WTF alumni, Unknown Soldier delves into memory and family mythology, asking how – or even whether – the past shows us who we are."

DOUBLE HEADER of TWO AMERICAN PREMIERES of BRITISH PLAYWRIGHTS

Chewing Gum Dreams An Intervention | Aug. 12-23

"Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett’s An Intervention will run simultaneously with fast-rising writer/performer Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum Dreams.  Lila Neugebauer, former WTF Foeller Fellow, directs."

Chewing Gum Dreams

Written and Performed by Michaela Coel

"Fourteen-year-old Tracey Gordon is rude, crude, and riotous. Who can blame her? Every which way she turns, she’s constantly failed by those who should be looking out for her. But beneath her tough exterior lies a very real fear that the future holds very little for her. Explosive, thoroughly honest, and devilishly funny, Michaela Coel’s award-winning Chewing Gum Dreams recalls the last days of innocence before the onrush of adulthood for a girl from the rough part of a tough city."

An Intervention

By Mike Bartlett; Directed by Lila Neugebauer

With a rotating cast

"A whole lot of booze, a new girlfriend, and government involvement in a foreign war are just some of the factors that threaten to drive a massive wedge between two people. Can they close the ever-widening gap in their relationship, or have they reached a breaking point? Featuring rotating pairs of world-class actors, each performance of An Intervention will reveal new meaning inside this theatrical, mischievous, and engrossing two-hander from Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett that puts personal and political intervention under a magnifying glass."

Visit WTFestival.org.

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