Lonny Price, currently represented on Broadway with the critically acclaimed revival of Sunset Boulevard, will direct the new musical A Legendary Romance, which will be part of Williamstown Theatre Festival's 2017 summer season.
Featuring a book by Timothy Prager and music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow, performances are scheduled for August 3-20 at the Massachusetts venue. The musical, according to press notes, “delivers us to the intersection of loyalty, love, and ambition. Back in 1950, film producer Joseph Lindy was on top of the world, making hit after hit with the love of his life and leading lady, Billie Hathaway. Nearly four decades later, retired and forgotten, he must approve for release a version of his abandoned, cinematic masterpiece, an autobiographical film now altered irrevocably by a young producer. Haunted by the choices he made years ago, Joseph’s story hangs in the balance as he reconstructs the film, his memory and, ultimately, his legacy.”
Artistic director Mandy Greenfield announced the the 63rd season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company February 10. The upcoming season, which runs June 27–August 20, will feature four world premieres.
The summer season begins on the Main Stage with a production of a new play by Jen Silverman, The Roommate (June 27–July 16), directed by Mike Donahue and featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek. Sarah Ruhl’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist comedy, The Clean House, will follow, running July 19–29. Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht will star under the direction of Rebecca Taichman. The Main Stage season will conclude with the aforementioned new musical A Legendary Romance.
The Nikos Stage season kicks off June 28 with the world premiere of Jason Kim’s play, The Model American (June 28–July 9), directed by Danny Sharron. The Nikos season also includes the world premiere of Where Storms Are Born (July 12–July 23) by Harrison David Rivers, directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, and starring Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Myra Lucretia Taylor; the world premiere of Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (July 26–August 6) by Halley Feiffer and directed by Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman; and Anna Ziegler's Actually (August 9–20), a co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz.
“We are excited to share these productions – many of them homegrown at the Festival – with our loyal patrons, who join us summer-after-summer to experience the rare and special magic that happens in Williamstown,” Greenfield said in a statement. “This summer, hundreds of theatre artists – expressing the full talent and diversity of our country – will converge in Williamstown to bring life to our 63rd season. Together, through that most human endeavor of storytelling, these artists will aim to make sense of the world, give meaning to the world, and perhaps even provide temporary escape from the world!”
Complete casting and creative team information will be announced at a later date.
Season details, according to Williamstown, follow:
A NEW PLAY
The Roommate | June 27-July 16
by Jen Silverman
Directed by Mike Donahue
with S. Epatha Merkerson and Jane Kaczmarek
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek star in this absorbing comedy about self- discovery. Empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home, Sharon (Merkerson) takes on a roommate, Robyn (Kaczmarek), who has just arrived from New York City. Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life. Book clubs, 80s pop music, and the occasional shared toke complicate their unlikely but enduring relationship, even as they venture into dangerous territory. Mike Donahue directs Jen Silverman’s new play which celebrates unexpected re-invention later in life.
A New Production of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht leads the cast in this heartfelt comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. Lane, an accomplished physician, discovers that her sister Virginia (Hecht) — not her Brazilian housekeeper Matilde — has been cleaning her home every day. Though never close, suddenly the sisters find themselves enmeshed in each other’s lives and in Matilde’s great passion for Portuguese jokes. Rebecca Taichman directs this expressive and lyrical comedy about learning to live with life’s mess.
A NEW MUSICAL
A Legendary Romance | August 3–20
book by Timothy Prager
music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow
Directed by Lonny Price
Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price directs an intimate new musical by composer/lyricist Geoff Morrow and book writer Timothy Prager that delivers us to the intersection of loyalty, love, and ambition. Back in 1950, film producer Joseph Lindy was on top of the world, making hit after hit with the love of his life and leading lady, Billie Hathaway. Nearly four decades later, retired and forgotten, he must approve for release a version of his abandoned, cinematic masterpiece, an autobiographical film now altered irrevocably by a young producer. Haunted by the choices he made years ago, Joseph’s story hangs in the balance as he reconstructs the film, his memory and, ultimately, his legacy.
The Model American | June 28–July 9
by Jason Kim
Directed by Danny Sharron
with Laila Robins
Young, Latino, gay and unapologetically ambitious, Gabriel arrives in New York seeking work, friendship, love and mentorship. But, before he can move forward, he must honestly determine if he is running toward success or away from what he left behind. Developed at WTF under the auspices of the Bill Foeller Fellowship Program in 2016, The Model American asks: what is the price we are willing to pay for a new life?
Where Storms Are Born | July 12–23
by Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Liesl Tommy
with Myra Lucretia Taylor
Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy directs 2016 WTF Playwright- in-Residence Harrison David Rivers’ world premiere play. Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea (Myra Lucretia Taylor) tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go. With wit and empathy, this play reminds us of the courage and resilience it takes to chart a better way forward for the ones we love.
Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow | July 26-August 6
by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman
You’ve known Olga, Masha and Irina for nearly one hundred and seventeen years. But this summer, they are, like, unhappy for reals. Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman directs Outer Critics Circle Award nominee and Theatre World Award Winner Halley Feiffer's world premiere: a contemporary adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. As our heroes search for meaning in their work and love lives -- all the while dreaming of their dear Moscow -- we are invited to examine our own existential longings and unrequited yearnings. Feiffer's bold, unapologetically millennial and bitingly comedic spin on this Russian classic newly reacquaints us with the emotional contours of the beleaguered and beloved Prozorov family. You totes don’t want to miss it.
Actually | August 9–20
by Anna Ziegler
Co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse, Randall Arney - Artistic Director
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Amber and Tom are freshmen at Princeton University, where their experiences so far have only two things in common: drunken parties and a desire to fit in. But when they meet, their common experience becomes anything but, and their moral mettle is put to the test. Lileana Blain-Cruz directs Anna Ziegler’s deeply felt and relevant world premiere play about intimacy and responsibility, power and provocation, privilege and protocol.
For ticket information visit www.wtfestival.org.