Richard Easton's first post-Tony stage role will be in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme by Frank McGuinness at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, running Aug. 8-19. Nicholas Martin will direct.
Richard Easton, a journeyman actor of decades standing, achieved sudden fame this year by playing poet A.E. Houseman in the Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's intellectual meditation on the relation between the classical mind and the romantic heart, The Invention of Love. Easton scored a minor upset by winning a Tony Award for best actor in a play, beating out Gary Sinise of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
McGuinness, the author of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, saw his The Factory Girls produced at Williamstown in 1999. Ulster is about eight Irish nationalists who volunteer for service at the opening of World War I.
Joining Easton on the battle lines will be David Aaron Baker (Once Upon a Mattress), Christopher Fitzgerald (Saturday Night), Jason Butler Harner, Rod McLachlan, Justin Theroux, Jon Patrick Walker, Jonathan Walker, and Scott Wolf.
* Actors from film and stage back up movie star and heartthrob Chris O'Donnell in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Arthur Miller's seldom seen, early play The Man Who Had All the Luck, which began performances on July 18. Among the names are Mason Adams ("Lou Grant," Lake Hollywood) as Dan Dibble; Sam Robards, son of Jason, as Gus; James Rebhorn (whose many film credits include "The Talented Mr. Ripley") as Pat; and Jennifer Dundas, known to New York theatregoers from Arcadia, Shopping and Fucking and Good As New, as Hester.
Completing the cast are Ed Hyland, Dan Moran, Richard Riehle, Ryan Shively, Barbara Sims and David Wohl.
The famous 1944 Broadway flop that preceded All My Sons and Death of a Salesman is directed by Scott Ellis. Ellis directed the recent mounting of The Rainmaker as WTF which eventually made its way to Broadway. The show will run on the Main Stage through July 29.
The remaining season will run as follows:
• Street Scene, by Elmer Rice, directed by Michael Grief, Aug. 1-12. Rice's gritty tale of a hot June day and its impact on the inhabitants of a cramped tenement. A cast of 50 is advertised.
• Philadelphia, Here I Come!, by Brian Friel, directed by Kyle Donnelly, Aug. 15-26. Friel's tale of an young Irish man (and his alter ego) trying to make peace with his homeland and his father before setting off for America.
• Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme, by Frank McGuinness, directed by Nicholas Martin, Aug. 9-19. A drama about eight Irish nationalists serving in World War I.
—By Robert Simonson