Shakespeare & Company in Lenox Center, MA, opens its 25th anniversary season with the world premiere of William Gibson's one-woman play, Golda's Balcony, a revised version of his large-cast Golda — about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir — beginning previews May 3.
Gibson (Two for the Seesaw, The Miracle Worker) met with Meir in New York City and Israel when he first researched his subject. He penned the original play in the 1970s and it had a Broadway run (billed as "a partial portrait") starring Anne Bancroft in the 1977-78 season, under Arthur Penn's direction.
According to Shakespeare & Company, the playwright's "recent work on the text refined the play and shifted the play's title to Golda's Balcony, which references a little-known and frightening element of Israel's national defense in 1973."
Gibson has been refining the script with the company in recent months through a series of invited readings. Annette Miller stars in the title role. Daniel Gidron directs. The play is an intermissionless 90 minutes and is performed through Aug. 25 at the 99-seat Spring Lawn Theatre. Opening night is May 18.
The play revolves around the bloody 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Meir was facing a desperate situation: Egyptian and Syrian armies are gaining ground in their surprise attack and the fate of Israel is at stake. "While awaiting word from the White House and dreading a potential Doomsday scenario, Meir reflects on her life and the difficult personal and political decisions that have led her to office," according to production notes. Designers are Govane Lohbauer (costumes), Stephen Ball (lighting), Lauren Kurki (scenic) and Mark Huang (sound).
Tickets range $24-$42. For information, call (413) 637-3353 or visit shakespeare.org.