Educating Rita Begins Performances Aug. 21 at Berkshire Theatre Festival

News   Educating Rita Begins Performances Aug. 21 at Berkshire Theatre Festival
Jonathan Epstein and Tara Franklin open in the Berkshire Theatre Festival production of Educating Rita Aug. 21.

Willy Russell's comedy "brings a disillusioned middle-aged English professor named Dr. Frank Bryant together with Rita, an irreverent working-class Liverpool hairdresser," according to production notes. "A course in literature becomes an outrageously funny and poignant story as Rita struggles to reinvent herself through education and her teacher searches for a path back to life."

Richard Corley directs the Berkshire production with a creative team comprising scenic designer Joseph Varga, costume designer Sarah Reever, lighting designer Holly Blomquist and sound designer Joe Cerqua.

Jonathan Epstein most recently starred as Randle P. McMurphy in BTF's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Epstein is a two-time Elliot Norton Award winner. Tara Franklin previously appeared in the BTF productions of Equus and last season's Amadeus as Constanze.

Playwright Willy Russell is known to American audiences for his musical Blood Brothers as well as the Tony and Olivier Award-winning play Shirley Valentine. His screenplay for Educating Rita earned Russell an Academy Award nomination.

Educating Rita runs through Aug. 31. The production will go on hiatus until Sept. 27, when performances resume through Oct. 20. For a detailed performance schedule and tickets, call the BTF box office at (413) 298-5576 or visit

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