Speech & Debate Joins Ragtime and Company at Barrington | Playbill

Regional News Speech & Debate Joins Ragtime and Company at Barrington The Pittsfield theatre has announced its complete 2017 season.
Austin P. McKenzie and Sarah Steele Haley Rynn Ringo

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company (BSC) has announced the shows that will join its 2017 season, which includes the previously announced award-winning Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally musical Ragtime, as well as Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s celebrated collaboration, Company.

BSC will present the world-premiere reading of a new musical about a ballet dancer, titled Butterflies, with a book and lyrics by Kate Chadwick, music by Josh Freilich, and direction by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele (The Visit); Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate; and a Youth Theatre Program production of the Tony-winning musical Bye Bye Birdie.

Butterflies tells the story of Jessica, a former dancer, and her complex relationship with her ballet teacher, Miss Yvonne. After the death of Yvonne, Jessica loses herself in memory and dreams, recalling the ballet world she used to be immersed in and the female role models who made her who she is. A reading will be presented July 28 at 2 PM with a limited number of seats available to the public.

Beginning July 13, BSC will stage Speech & Debate by Tony winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Karam with direction by Jessica Holt (Alliance Theatre’s Ugly Lies The Bone). The play, which has just been adapted into a feature film, follows three adolescent outcasts in Salem, Oregon, who unexpectedly find friendship within a hastily assembled speech and debate team. The production will open July 16 and is scheduled to run through July 29.

The youth production of Bye Bye Birdie, with direction and choreography by Julianne Katz, will be staged in the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield from July 26 to August 13. Michael Stewart, Lee Adams, and Charles Strouse’s 1959 Broadway musical recounts the story of teen idol Conrad Birdie’s visit to Sweet Apple, Ohio—sending the town into a tailspin.

The season will kick off with the play Kunstler by Emmy nominee Jeffrey Sweet (Flyovers), directed by Meagen Fay (Second City in Chicago). Chicago star Jeff McCarthy will play the title role, lawyer and civil rights activist William Kunstler, whose clients included the Chicago Seven and members of the American Indian Movement. Performances are set to run May 18–June 10 on the St. Germain Stage.


The season also includes Conor McPherson’s The Birds, directed by BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd, and the play Gaslight (Angel Street) by Patrick Hamilton.

For more information visit Barringtonstageco.org.


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