Turner, Wong, Burton and More on Tap for Williamstown Theatre Festival

News   Turner, Wong, Burton and More on Tap for Williamstown Theatre Festival
B.D. Wong, Kathleen Turner and Kate Burton are among the artists scheduled to participate in the 2007 Williamstown Theatre Festival season this summer in Williamstown, MA.
B.D. Wong will star in Herringbone at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
B.D. Wong will star in Herringbone at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Photo by Ben Strothmann

Wong will star in Herringbone with a book by Tom Cone, music by Skip Kennon and lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh. The musical runs June 14-24 at Center Stage, a black box theatre that joins the festival this year as its third stage. It complements the Main Stage, the festival's largest, and the Nikos Stage.

Roger Rees, the festival's artistic director, will direct Herringbone, which went up at Playwrights Horizons in 1982 and which is a "one-man musical that recounts the childhood of vaudeville wunderkind George after he is possessed by the angry spirit of a toe-tapping midget," according to press notes.

Turner will direct the classic play Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, which will run from July 25-Aug. 5 on the Nikos Stage. Turner directed a reading of the play at last year's festival.

Burton will star in director Nicholas Martin's revival of Emlyn Williams' play The Corn is Green from Aug. 1-12 on the Main Stage. Burton will play Miss Moffat, a Welsh schoolteacher in a poverty-stricken coal mining town who transforms an illiterate, bully of a teenager into a brilliant student. Burton's son, Morgan Ritchie, will play the teenager.

The world premiere of Dissonance by Damian Lanigan will run June 27-July 8 on the Nikos Stage. The play, directed by Amanda Charlton, is about a string quartet with artistic differences. Rees starred in a public reading of the play at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2003. A revival of The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, the classic play set in a Chicago newsroom, will go up July 4-15 on the Main Stage. A director is to be announced.

The world premiere of Villa America, written and directed by Crispin Whittell, will be presented July 11-22 on the Nikos Stage. The play is about Gerald and Sara Murphy, who were at the center of the circle of artists — including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso — who migrated to France in the 1920s. Coincidentally, the Murphys and their circle will also be celebrated in an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art that will run at the same time as the play.

David Jones will direct Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden, which will run July 18-29 on the Main Stage. The play is about seven friends confronting middle age at a summer resort on the Gulf of Mexico in 1949.

The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, translated by James Kirkup and directed by Kevin O’Rourke, will go up Aug. 7-18 at Center Stage. The play is about three inmates in a sanatorium who believe they are the physicists Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Johann Mobius. The work is presented in association with the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab.

The world premiere of Party Come Here, a musical with a book by Daniel Goldfarb and music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, will go up Aug. 8-19 on the Nikos Stage. Christopher Ashley directs the musical, in which "a nervous groom, a statue of Christ and a 500 year-old Jewish caveman converge to make miracles happen during a tropical storm on one magical night in Rio," according to press notes.

Maria Mileaf will direct a play to be announced on the Main Stage, which will run Aug. 15-26.

Other events will include:

  • A July 30 presentation of What You Will — An Evening by and About the Bard, created by and starring Rees, which will premiere March 30–April 1 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, as part of the Shakespeare in Washington Festival
  • A new adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Birds by Gordon Cox, with music by Kris Kukul, directed by Suzanne Agins, which runs July 9-14
  • A July 2 reading of George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell
  • WTF's leapFROG program, in which young writers and directors are paired with members of the leapFROG non-equity Company to develop an original play, which runs July 16-19, and a musical, which runs August 13-16
  • An Aug. 6 performance by the Greylock Theatre Project, in which professional theatre artists collaborate with kids from neighboring North Adams The Fridays @ 3 series, which runs on Fridays from July 6–Aug. 17 at 3 PM on the Nikos Stage, will include:

  • A reading of Etan Frankel's Truth and Reconciliation, which won WTF's Weissberger Playwriting Award
  • A reading of a new play, commissioned by WTF, written by Dan O’Brien and directed by Tyler Marchant
  • Seven of the works in 365 Days/365 Plays, Suzan-Lori Parks' series of short plays. Parks wrote a play a day for a year and the plays are currently being presented across the country. WTF is a regional hub for this national event. For more information visit www.wtfestival.org.

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