Kelly Masterson, who also wrote the screenplay for the film "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," penned the play that will be directed by Michael Sexton. Edith officially opens Aug. 4 for a limited run through Aug. 11.
Atkinson (Blithe Spirit, Enchanted April) is joined by Dan Butler ("Frasier," Olive and the Bitter Herbs) as Thomas Marshall, Jack Gilpin (The Elephant Man, Beyond Therapy) as Woodrow Wilson, RJ Hatanaka as Edmund Starling, Walter Hudson (The Pirates of Penzance, The Human Comedy) as Henry Cabot Lodge, Peter Rini (South Pacific, A View from the Bridge) as Joseph Tumulty, Steven Skybell (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pal Joey) as Cary Grayson and Samantha Soule (The Philanthropist, Dinner at Eight) as Margaret Wilson.
Here's how the play is billed: "The year is 1919, World War I has ended and President Woodrow Wilson has recently returned to the United States after signing the Treaty of Versailles. When the President suffers a sudden stroke, it is up to his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, to keep the country from falling to pieces. Challenged by the likes of Henry Cabot Lodge and Joseph Tumulty, Edith's strength and loyalty are tested. However, not even these politicians can destroy her determination and devotion. In this play, we witness the struggle of Edith, a fiercely devoted wife and tough as nails politician, as she battles conspirators, doubters and foreign threats, all in the name of love. With a cast of historical and political heavy weights, Edith presents a side of history, rarely seen; the woman's point of view."
Masterson's plays also include Against the Rising Sea, Touch, Armageddon North Dakota, The Word is Out, True Story and Dare Not Speak Its Name. His new film, "Snowpiercer," starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer and John Hurt, is aiming for a 2013 release.
Tickets may be purchased by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.