Edward Herrmann, Dana Ivey, Jayne Atkinson, Linda Edmond and Justin Kirk will star in upcoming productions in the second half of the Williamstown Theatre Festival's summer season, which includes new plays by A.R. Gurney and Jonathan Marc Sherman, as well as classics by Sheridan and N. Richard Nash.
Dana Ivey will play the famous role of Mrs. Malaprop in Roger Rees' mainstage production of Sheridan's The Rivals (Aug. 5-16). Also in the impressive cast is Edward Herrmann as Sir Anthony Absolute, Tom Bloom as Lucius O'Trigger, and Kate Burton as Julia Melville. Other roles are filled by John Ellison Conlee, Denis Holmes, Rich Holmes, Deirdre Lovejoy, Mark McKinney, Sandra Shipley, and Jake Weber.
Jayne Atkinson will play Lizzie Curry, the spinster at the center of Nash's The Rainmaker (July 22-Aug. 2), while Chris Meloni as Starbuck, the handsome stranger who drifts into town and changes her life. David Aaron Baker co-stars as Lizzie's brother, Jim. Meanwhile, Michele Shay will lead the chorus in Carey Perloff's mainstage production of Euripides' Hecuba (Aug. 19-20) starring Olympia Dukakis.
Marin Hinkle, who starred in Jonathan Marc Sherman's Wonderful Time at New York's WPA Theatre a few seasons back, will appear in Sherman's latest, Evolution (July 29-Aug. 9), on WTF's smaller Nikos Stage. The comedy is about a Harvard student who knows nothing about popular culture yet becomes a hot property in Hollywood. Matt McGrath plays the student. Justin Kirk completes the cast. Nicholas Martin directs.
Gurney's Far East (July 15-26), also at the Nikos, will feature Linda Edmond, recently seen in New York in Craig Lucas' The Dying Gaul. Also in the play, directed by Daniel Sullivan, are Scott Wolf, Paul Fitzgerald, Tohoru Masamune and Bill Smitrovich. Set in the 1950s, Far East tells of a young naval officer looking for fun in Japan before Voice of America calls him home. The final slot in the Nikos Stage season is filled by David Rabe's Corner (Aug. 12-23), about how a man's free sex life gets him into trouble. The drama is directed by Scott Ellis and featuring Victor Argo and Bruce MacVittie.
Williamstown Festival tickets are sold at the box office or by calling (413) 597-3400. WTF's 24-hour information line is (413) 597-3399.
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz