Race Drama The Best of Enemies, a Summer Hit for Barrington, Will Return in Fall

News   Race Drama The Best of Enemies, a Summer Hit for Barrington, Will Return in Fall
The Best of Enemies, the most-attended mainstage play in the history Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts, will return there in October.

Julianne Boyd
Julianne Boyd

Directed by BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd, The Best of Enemies received its world premiere July 21-Aug. 6. The play is being brought back, Boyd said in a statement, because many people in the Berkshires community were not able to see the work due to its limited summer engagement.

The coming return of the fact-inspired Mark St. Germain play roughly follows the pattern set by the writer's hit BSC Stage 2 play Freud's Last Session, which was popular in 2009 and returned there three times (twice in 2009 again in 2010) before moving to its current Off-Broadway run.

The Best of Enemies will return Oct. 5-16 at the BSC Mainstage, 30 Union Street, in Pittsfield, MA. One cast member will not return, due to a booking conflict. BSC's fall production of Lord of the Flies, originally scheduled for an October run, will be presented in October 2012. Enemies will officially open Oct. 8.

"Inspired by the best-selling book by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis (a Grand Cyclops of the KKK) and Ann Atwater (an African-American civil rights activist) during the desegregation of the Durham, NC, schools in 1971," according to BSC notes. "The Best of Enemies exposes the poison of prejudice in the hearts of Atwater and Ellis who, by facing each other, are forced to face the worst, and best, in themselves."

The production featured John Bedford Lloyd as C. P. Ellis, Aisha Hinds as Ann Atwater, Clifton Duncan as Bill Riddick and Susan Wands as Mary Ellis. The October production will once again feature Lloyd, Hinds and Wands. Duncan has a previous commitment; casting for the role of Bill Riddick will be announced at a later date. The Best of Enemies is designed by David M. Barber (sets), Scott Pinkney (lights), Kristina Lucka (costumes) and Brad Berridge (sound). Michael Andrew Rodgers is production stage manager.

St. Germain's other plays include Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee, Out of Gas on Lover's Leap, Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award) and Forgiving Typhoid Mary. His new play, Mrs. Lincoln's Seance, will have a reading at BSC this summer.

For more information, visit www.barringtonstageco.org.

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