Stoltz & Dundas Up in Arms at Williamstown, July 23-Aug. 3

News   Stoltz & Dundas Up in Arms at Williamstown, July 23-Aug. 3
 
Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA, launched its 1997 season June 25 with Jon Robin Baitz' 1985 drama The Film Society, starring Tony-winner Cherry Jones.

Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA, launched its 1997 season June 25 with Jon Robin Baitz' 1985 drama The Film Society, starring Tony-winner Cherry Jones.

The star-power continues with George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man (July 23-Aug. 3), directed by Barry Edelstein, who last summer directed the WTF production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, recently at NY's Roundabout Theatre. Christopher Evan Welch (Scapin, London Assurance) and Eric Stoltz (Our Town, The Three Sisters; The Importance Of Being Earnest Off-Broadway) star, along with Jennifer Dundas (Arcadia), Deborah Rush (Noises Off), Rebecca Creskoff, Michael Gaston, and Steven Gilborn. Sets are by Narelle Sissons, costumes by Kaye Voyce, lighting by Rui Rita and sound by Christopher Todd.
Shaw's tale of a fugitive tempting a woman of nobility has its official press opening July 24.

Williamstown's 43rd season also includes premieres by Albert Innuarato and Donald Margulies, plus a production that is the fruit of a collaboration between American and Russian playwrights. The directors selected include a mix of old time Williamstown directors such as Joanne Woodward, and newcomers like Roger Rees, who has directed Jones in The Film Society.

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz said, "What drew me to Williamstown in the first place and why I'm going back this summer is that it provides an opportunity to reconnect to a play that has been sitting dormant and to share it with an audience who is interested and charitable." Baitz's The Film Society ran through July 6 on the Mainstage.

Margulies (Sight Unseen) unveils Broken Sleep: Three Plays on WTF's Other Stage. The production, running July 16-27, will feature underscoring and songs written by Michael John LaChuisa (Hello, Again). Also on the Other Stage is Dreading Thekla (July 30-Aug. 10), by Innaurato (Gemini) is about an unusual love triangle involving a writer, her gay best friend, and the title character. (See separate story on that show.)

The Mainstage will host the American premiere of Misha's Party, Aug. 20-31, co-written by American playwright Richard Nelson and Russian playwright Alexander Gelman, which received major productions at both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Moscow Art Theatre. The serio-comic season finale takes place in Moscow, 1991, one night when a family tries to reconcile problems in the home, while outside, a putsch occurs.

Johnny On a Spot by Charles MacArthur is the fifth Mainstage production, which satirizes American politics with its portrayal of a brilliant campaign manager whose Senate candidate is not altogether there. James Naughton will leave Broadway's hit Chicago to direct this Mainstage show, Aug. 6-17.

WTF favorite Joanne Woodward returns to the Other Stage to direct it's season finale La Ronde, Aug. 13-24, Arthur Schnitzer's sexually charged ensemble play. Last year at WTF, Woodward received critical acclaim for her direction of Odets' Rocket to the Moon.

For tickets or more information, please call (413) 458-3200, or refer to the Williamstown Theatre Festival summer theatre listing on Playbill On-Line.

--By Blair Glaser and David Lefkowitz

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