Jayne Atkinson Will Play First Lady Edith Wilson in Berkshire Playwrights Lab Reading

News   Jayne Atkinson Will Play First Lady Edith Wilson in Berkshire Playwrights Lab Reading
Tony Award-nominated actress Jayne Atkinson will head the cast of a staged reading of Kelly Masterson’s Edith, about the life of First Lady Edith Wilson, which will take place July 27 under the wings of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab.

Atkinson (The Rainmaker, Enchanted April) will step into the title role of the play, which explores Wilson's life and the belief that she was effectively the first female U.S. President after she guided her husband through a stroke during his presidency.

Joe Cacaci will direct the 7:30 PM reading at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

The cast will also include Michel Gill, Jack Gilpin and Bob Jaffe. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

According to BPL, "On October 2, 1919, when her husband suffered a massive stroke, Edith Wilson effectively became the first female President of the United States. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson married Woodrow Wilson while he was in office. She became his confidante, companion, champion and, during crisis, his fiercest protector. Edith guarded the door of Woodrow's White House sick room, allowing access to no one, not even his Chief of Staff. With only the collusion of the family doctor, Edith kept the truth of Wilson's debilitation from the unknowing public and an increasingly suspicious opposition. With powerful political foes amassing support to defeat Wilson’s dream of a League of Nations, Edith fought to hold onto the strings of power to complete her husband's term and achieve his goals. Edith tells her story."

Masterson penned the screenplay for "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," "Good People" and "Mixed Blood." He is also at work on an update of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour. His play Against the Rising Sea was seen at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab and at the Queens Theatre in the Park. For reservations phone (413) 528-0100 or visit the Mahaiwe box office, located at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA.

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