WTF HAPPENED IN 2016
Building upon the Festival’s sixty-two-year history of creating excellent work, our 2016 season featured an exhilarating combination of artistic risk-taking and achievement. Marisa Tomei opened the season in a “buoyant, memorable, inventive, and striking” production (New York Times) of Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, with a performance that Observer called “a one-woman fireworks display.” After critically acclaimed runs at WTF, two of our 2016 productions will be produced in New York: Cost of Living will be featured in Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2016/17 season, and Poster Boy will continue its life at The Public Theater. We are thrilled that broader audiences will have the opportunity to experience these WTF-developed world premieres about human identity and connection, and we hope that you are, too.
This year, we debuted an exciting new program designed to engage our local community in the art of making theatre. WTF’s Community Engagement Initiative featured year-round workshops with the diverse constituencies of more than a dozen area not-for-profit organizations and culminated in a free, family-friendly world premiere production, written for and about the Northern Berkshires. The production starred more than 50 community members alongside WTF artists and reached thousands of local residents, more than a third of whom had never experienced the Festival before. The feedback we received was immediate and enthusiastic, and we have already begun planning for 2017.
In our current cultural and political climate, the performing arts are vital. Theatre offers the opportunity for performers, directors, technicians, and audience members alike to broaden their perspectives and to reflect on the themes, issues, and questions raised by a given work. Theatre has the power to transform and to provoke, changing minds and changing lives. We are committed to supporting artists and to producing work that will continue to powerfully influence individuals and the American theatrical landscape while connecting to a deeper cultural conversation.
Everyone at WTF wishes you and yours a happy holiday season and a healthy new year. See you in a few months for our 2017 season!
YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST, NOW SEE IT AGAIN!
Cost of Living by Martyna Majok had its world premiere at WTF in 2016 and will be presented in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival as a part of Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2017 Season. Cost of Living at Manhattan Theatre Club begins previews Tuesday, May 16, 2017 and opens Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
CLICK HERE for more information!
Jill Kargman’s “Stairway to Cabaret” premiered this summer at WTF! Her “one-woman, heavy metal cabaret show” (The Wall Street Journal) will move to New York City’s Cafe Carlyle in 2017.
CLICK HERE for more information about Jill’s upcoming cabaret performances!
Poster Boy had its world premiere at WTF this season and will continue its life at The Public Theater in NYC!
3 NEW WTF PRODUCTIONS RECEIVE NATIONAL AWARDS
World premiere productions at WTF received 3 of the 15 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards. Selected by an independent panel, winning productions receive funding for extra time in the development and rehearsal process with the entire creative team, helping to extend the life of the show after its first run.
CLICK HERE to read the full article in American Theatre Magazine!
2016 EDGERTON FOUNDATION NEW PLAY AWARD RECIPIENTS:
2016 NEW PLAY COMMISSIONING PROGRAM
The New Play Commissioning Program, launched in 2015, commissions and develops three to five projects annually from playwrights, composers, and collaborative devisers from across the career spectrum. Each commission also includes a writing residency at Williamstown Theatre Festival. The 2016 New Play Commissions are graciously supported by Andrew Martin-Weber. The recipients are Matthew Lopez, Benjamin Scheuer, and Lucy Thurber.
2016 L. ARNOLD WEISSBERGER NEW PLAY AWARD
Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park is the 2016 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award recipient. It was read at WTF on July 29, 2016 as a part of the Fridays@3 reading series. Jiehae will also receive The Jay Harris Commission to write a new play, a prize worth $10,000.
Williamstown Theatre Festival administers the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award on behalf of the Anna L. Weissberger Foundation. Championed for the Festival in 1998 by late Trustee Jay Harris, the award honors noted theatrical attorney and avid theatre supporter L. Arnold Weissberger, and it is designed to recognize excellence in playwriting. The recipient of the award receives $10,000 for the winning play, a reading at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and optional publication by Samuel French. The 2016 finalist judges were Becky Ann Baker, Daniel Goldfarb, Donald Margulies, Cynthia Nixon, and Liesl Tommy.
Harrison David Rivers joined us at the Festival as the 2016 Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence. The Playwright-in-Residence is both an artist and a member of the artistic staff, who works and lives at the Festival for the duration of the summer. He or she contributes not only by writing plays that will be seen in the Festival’s reading series and potentially on the Festival stages, but also by creating program dramaturgy for playbills and moderating post-show talkbacks. Harrison David Rivers’s play Where Storms Are Born was read at WTF on July 15, 2016 as part of the Fridays@3 reading series, and his play Sweet received its world premiere at the National Black Theatre in October. He also recently got engaged!
SEE WHAT THE WTF CREW IS UP TO!
Garrett Allen (Directing Intern) is assistant directing Orbiting Human Circus’ The Janitor this fall and Samara at Soho Rep in the spring.
Stafford Arima (Director, Poster Boy) directed A.R. Gurney’s Two Class Acts at The Flea Theater in TriBeCa.
Becky Ann Baker (Cabaret Host) is shooting a film titled “Starbright” in Oklahoma.
Lacey Ballard (Props Intern) has started a year-long props artisan apprenticeship at Phoenix Theatre in Phoenix, AZ.
Cody Bartley (Master Carpenter) is working as a Scenic Carpenter at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT.
Kyle Birdsall (Stage Management Intern) is back at University of Cincinnati’s CCM for his junior year and will be the PSM of Children of Eden this spring.
Jeff Brancato (Resident Stage Manager) is the Assistant Stage Manager of Heisenberg on Broadway, starring Mary-Louise Parker.
Bekah Brunstetter (Playwright, Fridays@3) workshopped her play Cake at Ojai Playwrights Conference and is developing a screenplay adaptation of her musical Smoke On The Mountain for MGM.
Nick Cearley & Lauren Molina (Performers, The Skivvies) co-starred Off-Broadway in Sex Tips… Nick led the co-production of Little Shop of Horrors at Portland Center Stage & Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. He is currently performing in Buyer & Cellar for the sixth time at Bucks County Playhouse.
Ruben Civilus (Apprentice) is in his final year at Greensboro College. He performed in productions of Sugar and Edward Albee’s The Death of Bessie Smith).
Sumiko Cohen (Apprentice) was in a reading of Sarah Ruhl’s new play this fall at Lincoln Center, alongside Sandra Oh and Marisa Tomei (Actor, The Rose Tattoo).
Jillian Coratti (Costume Craftsperson) is currently at Montclair State University teaching “Intro to Technical Theatre” and serving as resident draper and costume shop mentor.
Travis Coxson (Stage Management Intern) is a production assistant on the national tour of The King and I and the assistant stage manager for Buyer and Cellar at the Bucks County Playhouse.
Deborah S. Craig (Actor, Fridays@3) guest starred on the critically-acclaimed TV shows “Better Things” for FX, “Son of Zorn” for Fox and “Workaholics” for Comedy Central.
Jeff Croiter (Lighting Designer, Cost of Living) designed the Broadway productions of Holiday Inn and Falsettos, along with the off-Broadway productions of Sweet Charity and Tiny Beautiful Things, and is currently working on the national tour of Something Rotten.
Trip Cullman (Director, The Rose Tattoo) went straight from WTF to Second Stage, where he directed Leslye Headland’s The Layover. He starts rehearsals this month for Anna Jordan’s Yen at MCC; then he makes his Broadway directorial debut with the transfer of Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, followed directly by the first Broadway revival of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation.
Dan Daly (Assistant Scenic Designer) is designing the scenery for Choir Boy with JAG Productions in White River Junction, Vermont and Side Show at Boston Conservatory.
Alexandra Delano (Print & Graphics Intern) returned to Boston University in September for her junior year where she was recently hired as a student marketing manager for Vans.
Ginna Doyle (Apprentice) is in her final year at Yale University and recently starred in this year’s mainstage production of The Wild Party, directed by Zi Alikhan (Directing Assistant).
Carson Elrod (Actor, The Chinese Room) finished the summer with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, recorded a new podcast called “Life After”, and begins rehearsing the David Ives’ play The Liar for Classic Stage Company next month.
Ben Ferber (Professional Training Program Associate) and his company PowerOut are working on remounting the production of Take the Car he directed at WTF back in summer 2015.
Seth Foster (Apprentice) is currently playing Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Weber State University.
Leslie Fray (Non-Equity Company) had her Off-Broadway debut in the New York Time’s Critics Pick Caught at La Mama Theatre and will appear in ABC’s “Time After Time” and USA’s “The Sinner”, starring Jessica Biel and Christopher Abbott (Actor, The Rose Tattoo).
Maddie Gartenstein (Stage Management Intern) moved to New York City and is a happy working (new) member of Actors Equity Association.
Ryan Ginter (Costume Intern) returned to school at Baldwin Wallace and has designed his first production there, Callings; The American Worker.
Ellen Goldberg (Assistant Stage Manager, Poster Boy) is currently the Assistant Stage Manager of Sell/Buy/Date at Manhattan Theatre Club.
P.J. Griffith (Actor, Huzzah) is playing Brom Bones in an immersive production of Sleepy Hollow staged inside Sturbridge Village, and Leon Czolgosz in Assassins at Yale Rep in 2017.
Molly Griggs (Non-Equity Company) was seen this fall in Page 73’s Ultimate Beauty Bible at the New Ohio Theater.
Peter Gwinn (Performer, Baby Wants Candy) finished rewrites of a scripted musical, The Story of a Story (The Untold Story).
Ryan Haddad (Non-Equity Company) will perform his autobiographical solo show Hi, Are You Single?, which he workshopped this summer at WTF, in the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival. The show is directed by Laura Savia (Associate Director).
Palmer Hefferan (Sound Designer, Romance Novels for Dummies) designed Tiger Style! at the Huntington and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature.
Katie Lee Hill (Actor, The Rose Tattoo & Poster Boy) workshopped new pieces for Vineyard Theatre and Theatre C., and has an upcoming workshop with Sundance at MassMoCa.
Tom Holloway (Playwright, And No More Shall We Part) has been exciting audiences and dividing critics with his new play Sunshine, which had its world premiere in Melbourne at Red Stitch Actors Theatre.
Antwayn Hopper (Actor, Fridays@3) is in rehearsals with for the Singaporean Literature Festival at the National Opera Centre, where he will be appearing in a play entitled Ovidia Yu Womantree.
Lucas Iverson (Apprentice) is in his final year of undergrad, competing for an Irene Ryan Award, and creating an educational Shakespeare show for high school students.
Maya Jennings (Apprentice) is entering her Junior year as a BFA Theatre Arts major at Hofstra University.
Jeff & Rick Kuperman (Choreographers, Orpheus in the Berkshires) are choreographing an immersive Peter Pan’s Neverland in Beijing for China Broadway Entertainment and Broadway Asia. Their associate choreographer is Melanie Comeau (Associate Choreographer, Orpheus in the Berkshires).
Jesse Lenat (Actor/Writer, Fridays@3) will be appearing as A.J in Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete”, starring Giovanni Ribisi and Bryan Cranston, starting in January.
Katherine Lane (Apprentice) is the artistic intern for The Civilians and is learning how to do the New York acting thing with support from the WTF community.
Billy Luce Jr (Apprentice) is directing a production of Spring Awakening at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dylan Luke (Production Manager) is now a full-time production manager with Tinc Productions, overseeing large Broadway/Off-Broadway productions as well as immersive theater experiences.
Martyna Majok (Playwright, Cost of Living) had her NYC premiere of Ironbound and won the following awards: The Helen Hayes’ Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play, The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Prize, and Ashland New Play Festival’s Women Invitational Prize.
Tyler Matylewicz (Stage Management Intern) joined Actors’ Equity Association this fall as the stage manager for I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard with The REP Company at The Pittsburgh Playhouse.
Alex McNamara (Master Carpenter) is the staff carpenter at Yale Repertory Theatre, where she recently built Scenes from Court Life, or The Whipping Boy and His Prince and just began building Seven Guitars.
Kat McPhail (Props Artisan) is the seasonal props assistant at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany.
Hale McSharry (Apprentice) is producing the play Be Aggressive by Annie Weisman for Northwestern University’s Lipstick Theatre, and will soon be touring local elementary schools in a new adaptation of Robin Hood.
Stephanie “Dozie” Mendoza (Associate Company Manager) can be found causing mischief at George Mason University as the Program & Artist Services Coordinator.
Michelle Michaels (Scenic Art Intern) is the assistant scenic designer for Adelphi University’s Marat/Sade and the scenic designer for Adelphi’s The SeussOdyssey.
Alfred Molina (Actor, And No More Shall We Part) left Williamstown to go straight into a new mini-series for Ryan Murphy. He hopes to come back to the festival very soon.
Ella Mora (Apprentice) participated in a workshop of the new musical Riot Antigone, created and directed by Seonjae Kim (Directing Intern), and is performing in Home For The Holidays at The Grand Theatre in Maryland.
Ashley Austin Morris (Actor, Romance Novels for Dummies) just finished shooting the film “Block Island”. After WTF, Ashley went to Sweden to shoot a commercial and is busy working on her solo show while raising money for seniors in need.
Gregg Mozgala (Actor, Cost of Living) will reprise the role of John in Martyna Majok’s The Cost of Living at the Manhattan Theatre Club this spring.
PigPen Theatre Co. (Guest Performers) is presenting the world premiere of their new play The Hunter and the Bear at Writer’s Theatre!
Will Pullen (Actor, The Rose Tattoo & An American Daughter) spent the fall performing in Sweat at The Public Theater and will be transferring with it to Broadway in the spring.
Harrison David Rivers (Playwright in Residence) received the world premiere of his play Sweet at the National Black Theatre. He also got engaged.
Barbara Rosenblat (Actor, The Rose Tattoo) just finished shooting an episode for the fifth season of “House of Cards”. Doing The Rose Tattoo at WTF was one of the highlights of her professional career.
Benjamin Scheuer (Commissioned Artist) continues performing his award-winning show The Lion across the country. His album “Songs from The Lion” was shortlisted for the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.
Troy Segala (Apprentice) is now living in NYC, where he is acting and has begun writing two short plays.
Madeline Seidman (Apprentice) is in her senior year at Williams College, where she will be performing in Uncle Vanya and directing a musical in the spring.
Medina Senghore (Non-Equity Company) is in her final year of training in the Juilliard Drama Division where she was seen last in Marisol.
David Shocket (Lighting Intern) has been assistant lighting designer for off-Broadway and Regional shows in the NYC area, and continues to design productions in NYC as well.
Maya Sokolow (Apprentice) is majoring in Theatre and Written Arts, rehearsing two new plays, writing new plays, working as a carpenter to pay for books, training for a half-marathon, and still catching up on sleep.
Nate Stephenson (Apprentice) will be playing the role of Katurian in The Pillowman at Bates College, before studying abroad in Nantes, France.
Taylor Trensch (Actor, Poster Boy) will be playing the role of Barnaby Tucker in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce.
Mike Turner (Non-Equity Company) is currently producing/co-starring in “Bumbling”, a series he co-wrote with Talking Back Pictures. He was also recently inducted into Rattlestick’s Middle Voice Theater Company.
Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Director, Romance Novels for Dummies) directed the northeast premiere of Mike Lew’s Tiger Style! at the Huntington Theatre and is gearing up for the Broadway revival of Present Laughter by Noël Coward, starring Kevin Kline.
Rachel Valliere (Props Intern) is about to enter her last semester of college at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she is studying Arts Management.
Michael West (Playwright, The Chinese Room) adapted The Seagull for the Dublin Theatre Festival in October. His version of The White Devil will play The Globe in 2017.
Justin White (Non-Equity Company) is in his final year at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Acting MFA program, where he will be performing in The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard.
Alexander Woodward (Scenic Design Supervisor) recently earned his MFA from Yale. His designs can be seen across the country, most recently the regional premiere of Ugly Lies the Bone at the Alliance in Atlanta.
Pirronne Yousefzadeh (Boris Sagal Directing Fellow) participated in One Coast Collaboration with Charise Castro Smith, directed The Electric Baby at Fordham University, and continued developing Utopia, Minnesota at The Drama League.
Noah Zachary (Actor, Poster Boy) just got back from Seattle where he played the role of Steve Jobs in the new musical The Crazy Ones, written by Zack Zadek and Alex Pototsky as part of 5th Avenue Theaters NEXTFEXT 2016.
Anna Ziegler (Playwright, Fridays@3) won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play for Photograph 51 in the West End. Her plays The Last Match and Boy premiered at The Old Globe and Keen/EST, respectively.
HIRING AND RECRUITMENT FOR THE 2017 SEASON
WTF is now accepting applications for our prestigious training programs for the 2017 Season. WTF’s Professional Training Program gives invaluable on-the-job learning opportunities for performers, directors, writers, designers, technicians and administrators. If you know someone who’s considering a career in the theatre, a summer in Williamstown in the best place to start. Every season, more than 200 early career actors, directors, designers, technicians, and administrators come to WTF for what is frequently the most challenging and rewarding summer of their lives.
Williamstown Theatre Festival is committed to telling diverse stories and to fostering an inclusive environment both onstage and off. For all of our educational, professional and artistic positions, WTF actively seeks talented artists and administrators from all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. In addition, Williamstown Theatre Festival – in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiative – offers scholarships for interns between the ages of 18-22 with disabilities.
CLICK HERE for more details and application information for the 2017 season.
If you missed the 2016 Company Lip Dub, CLICK HERE to see it again!
THEATRE BY AND FOR THE BERKSHIRES
In July of 2015, Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield charged Associate Director Laura Savia and Obie Award-winning playwright Lucy Thurber with creating a multi-year initiative that would build meaningful relationships with our neighbors in the Berkshires. The resulting Community Engagement Initiative invites the people of Western Massachusetts to be a part of the Festival’s creative process – not just as audience members, but on stage! Now in year two, the Community Engagement Initiative has brought together participants from diverse economic and social backgrounds and has made the Festival more accessible than ever.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Community Engagement Initiative.
Additional support for the Community Engagement Initiative provided by:
The Feigenbaum Foundation
Ellen J. Bernstein
This program is supported in part by grants from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires and the Pittsfield Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GUILD!
We would love to give a huge shout-out to the Williamstown Theatre Festival Guild! The Festival Guild is a local volunteer organization that works to foster a closer relationship between the Williamstown community and the members of the WTF company. Now with more than 50 active members, the Guild makes company meals, promotes the Festival in the community, and provides local knowledge and assistance to the artists, technicians, staff, and their families, creating a fun, engaging, and memorable experience for all.
We could not do what we do without the WTF Guild! If you’d like to learn more about how you can participate, please contact Emily Bourguignon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLICK HERE more information about the WTF Guild and how to join!
2017 GALA IN NYC
Please join us for the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival Gala at Tao Downtown in New York City (92 Ninth Avenue) on Monday, March 13, 2017. Cocktails begin at 6:30pm, with dinner and fun following at 7:30pm.
Honoring Trustee James Giddens and his steadfast support of new American musicals, the evening will feature special appearances by Festival artists including Phillipa Soo (Amélie, Hamilton) and Steven Pasquale (The Robber Bridegroom, The Bridges of Madison County).
Additional special appearances to be announced.
CLICK HERE for more information about the 2017 Gala!
THE 2016 SEASON
WTF IS HAPPENING EVENTS
MÉNAGE À DEUX WITH TOM FONTANA & SUSIE ESSMAN
LINDSAY MENDEZ & MARCO PAGUIA
PIGPEN THEATRE CO.; PLUGGED IN
ORPHEUS IN THE BERKSHIRES
LATE NIGHT CABARET
BENJAMIN SCHEUER: LATE NIGHT
AT THE LOG
THE RISE AND FALL OF MARCUS MONROE
BABY WANTS CANDY
JILL KARGMAN: STAIRWAY TO CABARET
INSIDE JOKE with OPHIRA EISENBERG
MAJOR SEASON SUPPORT
Henry N. Flynt Jr.
Perry & Marty Granoff
Doris Duke Charitable Trust
Jessica & Matt Harris
Valerie & George Kennedy
Elizabeth & Scott Delman
James & Virginia Giddens
Jennifer Mascarenhas & Wade Davis
Anna L. Weissberger Foundation
Caren Pasquale Seckler & Mike Seckler
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Harris Family Foundation
Joan & Jim Hunter
Kristen Johanson & Tom Green
Chip & Cindy Elitzer
Maxine & Gary Levine
Anne & Josh Morris
Jamie Fowler & Pamela Milam
Courtney Smith & Graham Duncan
The Feigenbaum Foundation
Fox Theatricals & Barbara Whitman
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires
Pittsfield Cultural Council
3 anonymous donors
BUSINESS MEMBERS & LOCAL SUPPORT
The Williamstown Theatre Festival expresses our enormous gratitude to Williams College, our host and partner for 62 summers. We are deeply grateful to all the Williams College faculty & staff who support our work with grace and generosity.
Pictured (L to R): Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek. Photograph by Daniel Rader. BETWEEN THE LINES – AND NO MORE SHALL WE PART: A weekly look… Read More
Pictured (L to R): Richard Poe, Stephen Kunken, Diane Davis, Jason Danieley. Photograph by Daniel Rader. BETWEEN THE LINES – AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER: A weekly look… Read More
Pictured (L to R): Taylor Trensch and Jose Llana. Photograph by Daniel Rader. BETWEEN THE LINES – POSTER BOY: A weekly look at the creative process through… Read More
’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
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