J. Michael Friedman Fellowship
In honor of the late American lyricist and composer J. Michael Friedman, the Fellowship identifies an early-career theatre artist of exceptional talent, versatility, impact, and humanity who has demonstrated an artistic commitment to Williamstown Theatre Festival and invites them to make new work for a summer. The purpose is for the Fellow to create or collaborate on work deemed important and meaningful to the Fellow’s artistic and career development and to the life and culture of the Festival.
Michael Friedman began his career at Williamstown in 1999, as the Music Intern, composing (and performing) shows that never started before midnight. He came back the next summer to write the music for the Free Theatre production of A Servant of Two Masters – written by Carlo Goldoni and directed by Will Frears – and returned every summer, for the next fifteen years, in various but always critical capacities. He provided music or music services for several productions at the Festival including The Blue Bird (2001, by Maurice Maeterlinck, directed by Annie Dorsen), The Winter’s Tale (2001, by William Shakespeare, directed by Darko Tresjnak), Landscape of the Body (2003, by John Guare, directed by Michael Greif), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2004, by William Shakespeare, directed by Nicholas Martin), The Cherry Orchard (2004, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Michael Greif), The Water’s Edge (2004, by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Will Frears), Bus Stop (2005, by William Inge, directed by Will Frears), Romeo and Juliet (2006, by William Shakespeare, directed by Will Frears), Three Sisters (2008, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Michael Greif), Knickerbocker (2009, by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Nicholas Martin) and The Rose Tattoo (2016, by Tennessee Williams, directed by Trip Cullman) among others. The first workshop of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was in Williamstown in 2006 and, in 2015, the Festival produced the world premiere of his musical, Unknown Soldier, with book by Daniel Goldstein, directed by Trip Cullman. His frequent collaborators included Steve Cosson, Nicholas Martin, Bess Wohl, Trip Cullman, Annie Dorsen, Will Frears, Daniel Goldstein, John Guare, Alex Timbers, Darko Tresjnak, Carolyn Cantor and Michael Greif, and his relationship to the Festival spanned five artistic directors: Michael Ritchie, Roger Rees, Nicolas Martin, Jenny Gersten, and Mandy Greenfield.
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