Smart, Colin, Hecht, Marshall-Green and Nielsen Part of Williamstown Season

News   Smart, Colin, Hecht, Marshall-Green and Nielsen Part of Williamstown Season Initial casting has been announced for the 2005 Williamstown Theatre Festival—the first with new artistic director Roger Rees at the helm. Among the names to play the festival's newly constructed stages are Isabel Keating, Jean Smart, Becky Ann Baker, Jessica Hecht, Ellen McLaughlin, Margaret Colin, Logan Marshall-Green and Kristine Nielsen.
Jean Smart
Jean Smart

The festival will run July 6 through Aug. 28, beginning a bit later than the customary late-June start.

The season kicks off on the Mainstage (the Center for Theatre and Dance) with the revival of Wilde's comedy about marital suspicion, Lady Windermere's Fan, running July 6-17, and directed by Moises Kaufman. Starring are Isabel Keating as Duchess of Berwick, Adam Rothenberg as Lord Darlington, Sandra Shipley as Lady Jedburgh, Jean Smart as Mrs. Erlynne, Samantha Soule as Lady Windermere, Benjamin Walker as Cecil Graham, and Chandler Williams as Mr. Dumby.

Next up, July 20-31, is Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, in which famous women from different ages compare notes at a fantasy dinner party. Jo Bonney, who has directed such recent New York shows as Fifth of July and Living Out, will look after Reiko Aylesworth as Lady Nijo/Win, Becky Ann Baker, Brienin Bryant as Waitress/Kit/Shona, Jessica Hecht as Marlene, Ellen McLaughlin as Pope Joan/Louise, and Elizabeth Reaser as Patient Griselda/Nell/Jeanine.

On the Razzle, Tom Stoppard's take on Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy's 19th century farce, Einen Fux will er sich machen (which also inspired Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker), will run Aug. 3-14, with English director David Jones (The Caretaker and No Man's Land on Broadway) in the director's chair. The cast will feature Margaret Colin as Frau Fischer, John Lavelle as Christopher, Aasif Mandvi as Melchior, Sandra Shipley as Gertrud, Robert Stanton as Weinberl and Benjamin Walker as Sonders.

The final slot on the Mainstage is American William Inge's classic naturalistic drama Bus Stop. Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum) directs the Aug. 17-28 stay of the tale of a group of misfits and loners temporarily stuck at a roadside diner, to be played by Elizabeth Banks as Cherie, Bill Camp as Dr. Gerald Lyman, Logan Marshall-Green as Bo Decker, Laura Heisler as Elma Duckworth, Kristine Nielsen as Grace Hoyland, and David Zayas as Will Masters. The Nikos Stage will feature Create Fate by Etan Frankel (July 13-24), The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble (July 27-Aug. 7) and Tough Titty by Oni Faida Lampley (Aug. 10-21). The latter, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, will feature Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Jay Fernandez, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Kreppel, Antoinette LaVecchia, Brenda Pressley and Shona Tucker.

Casting for the other two Nikos plays is yet to be announced.

Tickets may be purchased beginning June 17 by calling (413) 597-3400, or by visiting the box office in person. *

The WTF 2005 season, in brief, is as follows:

Main Stage Season:


  • Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde, directed by Moisés Kaufman, July 6-17
  • Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, directed by Jo Bonney, July 20-31
  • On the Razzle by Tom Stoppard, directed by David Jones, Aug. 3-14
  • Bus Stop by William Inge, directed by Will Frears, Aug. 17-28 Nikos Stage Season:


  • Create Fate by Etan Frankel, July 13-24
  • The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble, directed by Maria Mileaf, July 27-Aug. 7
  • Tough Titty by Oni Faida Lampley, Directed by Charles Randolph Wright, Aug. 10-21