The final production of Berkshire Theatre Festival's 1999 Mainstage season, David Ives' collection of short plays, Lives of the Saints, ends its scheduled run Sept. 4 after opening Aug. 18.
The play received its world premiere in January 1999 from The Philadelphia Theatre Company and has been extensively revised by Ives from that production. Remaining from the Philadelphia production are the playlets: Babel's In Arms, Enigma Variations, Soap Opera, and Lives of the Saints or Polish Joke. New playlets for The BTF production include The Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage and Pilgram's Progress.
Ives made his reputation by writing one-act comedies for the annual play marathons at the Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. In 1994, his full evening of one-acts, All in the Timing won the Outer Critics Circle Award and ran for 600-plus performances Off-Broadway. His second collection of one-acts, Mere Mortals ran at Off-Broadway's Primary Stages during the 1997-98 season. Ives' longer plays have included The Red Address and Ancient History.
BTF artistic associate John Rando directs, Rando helmed the Philadelphia premiere of Saints, as well as having directed Mere Mortals and Ancient History for Primary Stages.
Among cast members in Lives are Stephen DeRosa (off-Broadway's recent The Mystery of Irma Vep), plus four of the five actors in the Philadelphia premiere of Saints, including Arnie Burton (Amadeus), Annie O'Sullivan (Blithe Spirit), Nancy Opel (Anything Goes, Evita, Triumph of Love) and Danton Stone (Fifth of July, Angels Fall and Balm in Gilead). For tickets or more information, call (413) 298-5576.
-- By Sean McGrath