Berkshire Theatre Group Season to Include Jayne Atkinson in Edith; A Class Act and A Chorus Line Also Planned

By Adam Hetrick
March 23, 2012

The Berkshire Theatre Group will stage the world premieres of Kelly Masterson's Edith (starring Jayne Atkinson) and David Epstein's Brace Yourself (directed by James Naughton) during its 2012 summer season.



The Tony-winning dance musical A Chorus Line will open the Fitzpatrick Main Stage season July 7-21. It has a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban, and a book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante.

Kyle Fabel will direct Herb Gardner's Tony-nominated play A Thousand Clowns, about the relationship with a young boy and his eccentric uncle, which runs July 16-28.

Masterson's Edith will play its world-premiere engagement July 31-Aug. 11. Tony nominee Atkinson will star in the title role as Edith Bolling Wilson, with Jack Gilpin as President Woodrow Wilson and Michel Gill as Vice President Marshall.

According to BTG: "The year is 1919, World War I has ended and President Wilson has recently returned to the United States after signing the Treaty of Versailles. When the President suffers a sudden stroke, it is up to his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, to keep the country from falling to pieces. In this play, we witness the struggle of Edith, a fiercely devoted wife and tough as nails politician, as she battles conspirators, doubters and foreign threats, all in the name of love."

Naughton will stage Epstein's Brace Yourself, which runs Aug. 14-25. Here's how it's billed: "Everyone is preparing for the hurricane to arrive, but at Sunny’s house the storm has already hit. With a huge wedding to plan, an unhappy bride to appease, a promiscuous son to keep track of and a dead aunt to dispose of, it’s no wonder Sunny is a bit tense. However, it’s only once the hurricane finally hits that Sunny learns that it’s ok to let go, in more ways than one."

The Unicorn season will open with Gilles Ségal's WWII-set play about German concentration camps, The Puppetmaster of Lodz, directed by Brian Roff, June 21-July 7 (return run Sept. 13-Oct. 7).

Following will be A Class Act, based on the life of late A Chorus Line lyricist Edward Kleban, which will run July 10-Aug. 4. It has a book by Linda Kline and Lonny Price, with music and lyrics by Kleban. Robert Moss will direct.

William Donnelly's Homestead Crossing will receive its world-premiere staging Aug. 7-Sept. 1 under the direction of Kyle Fabel. According to BTG, "It's a dark and stormy night and suddenly there is a tap at the window. Claudia, a young and lonely woman, seeks shelter in the home of Noel and Anne, an older married couple. Then comes Tobin, Claudia’s young and impulsive lover. While the two couples wait out the storm, they begin to converse about life, love and relationships."

The 7th annual Berkshire Theatre Group Children's Theatre production will be Lionel Bart's Oliver!, running Sept. 7-9.

The Berkshire Theatre Group stages productions at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA; the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA; and the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA.

For tickets visit BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.