The final production of Berkshire Theatre Festival's 1999 Mainstage season is David Ives' collection of short plays, Lives of the Saints, opening Aug. 18 and continuing through Sept. 4.
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 will direct, Rando helmed the Philadelphia premiere of Saints, as well as having directed Mere Mortals and Ancient History for Primary Stages.
The cast include four of the five actors in the Philadelphia premiere 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). The Mystery of Irma Vep's Stephen DeRosa joins the cast for The Berkshire production.
For tickets or more information, call (413) 298-5576.
-- By Sean McGrath