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WTF SEASON ON AUDIBLE

ABOUT THE WTF SEASON ON AUDIBLE

In an innovative collaboration devised to meet the challenges posed by the global health pandemic, the 2020 season will be the first-ever complete theatre season released by Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks. The WTF Season on Audible is being produced in an audio-only format safe to elevate, entertain, and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes.

Our collaboration with Audible for the 2020 season presents new artistic opportunities that we are embracing head-on as we produce this work. While this season will be different, it is being made with the spirit of invention that has long been a hallmark of the Festival. We hope you will listen to the work so we can transport you into the world of Blanche DuBois in 1940s New Orleans, into a hotel in Thailand where Kina prepares for gender confirmation surgery, onto Tori McClure’s rowboat as she rows solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and so much more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is Audible?

Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary, is the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 525,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.

Why Audible?

Translating our season into audio-only productions is a new artistic opportunity that our artists are embracing. These works were written for the stage, but by reimagining what is possible we will take their characters and stories and transport our audience through an entirely sonic experience. This is not a replacement for live theatre, but, as artists, we must continue to put a mirror up to society and reflect the current moment out to the world, and this moment is pushing us to create in a new and exciting way.

How do I get access to the WTF Season on Audible?

Anyone, almost anywhere in the world, will be able to transport themselves through the brilliant artistry of our playwrights, actors, directors, and Audible’s incredible producers, for a sensational experience. The opportunity to bring the healing power of theatre to a broader audience is an unexpected silver lining in a time of great uncertainty and turmoil in our world.

The WTF Season on Audible will be available to the general public on Audible. Special access to all seven titles in the WTF Season on Audible will be made available to eligible WTF donors; click here for more information. Complimentary access to the WTF Season on Audible will be made available to new donors at the $600 level (and higher) and to current donors at the $600 level (and higher) who sustain or increase their support this year. Additional information about when and how donors can access the WTF Season on Audible will be shared at a later date.

 

WTF SEASON ON AUDIBLE UPDATE

Rehearsals and remote recording sessions are well underway for all seven productions in the WTF Season on Audible.

Release dates have been announced for the season’s first four titles:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire on Thursday, December 3
  • Photograph 51 on Thursday, December 10
  • Animals on Thursday, December 17
  • Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club on Tuesday, December 29

When each title releases, it will be available on Audible. Special access to all seven titles in the WTF Season on Audible will be made available to eligible WTF donors; click here for more information.

Scroll to learn more about the shows in the season, and stay tuned to this page for more information and exciting updates about the WTF Season on Audible!

 

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

Available on Audible December 3, 2020

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Robert O’Hara
With Joel Reuben Ganz, Joe Goldammer, Carla Gugino, Carmen M. Herlihy, Sullivan Jones, Brian Lucas, Audra McDonald, Stacey Raymond, Cesar J. Rosado, and Ariel Shafir

Following his 2019 production of A Raisin in the Sun, celebrated as “an absorbing, watershed revival,” by The New York Times, Robert O’Hara returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival to direct this Tennessee Williams masterpiece. With Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Blanche DuBois alongside Carla Gugino as Stella, O’Hara takes a fresh and visceral look at the emotionally charged relationship between these two iconic sisters. Haunted by her past, Blanche seeks refuge with Stella and Stanley (Ariel Shafir) in New Orleans, where she wrestles with the nature of her sister’s husband, her sister’s denial, and her own unraveling mind.

A Streetcar Named Desire is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., on behalf of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

Photograph 51

Photograph 51

Available on Audible December 10, 2020

By Anna Ziegler
Direction by Susan Stroman
With Anna Chlumsky, David Corenswet, Stephen Kunken, Aasif Mandvi, Omar Metwally, and Ben Rosenfield

In 1951, chemist Rosalind Franklin (Anna Chlumsky) works relentlessly in her King’s College London lab, closing in on a major discovery that could unlock the mysteries of the DNA molecule. Undermined by her colleague Maurice Wilkins (Omar Metwally), she struggles to compete with rival team Watson and Crick (David Corenswet and Aasif Mandvi) as pressure intensifies to produce results. Following a critically acclaimed run in London, Anna Ziegler’s play is brought to life in a new production directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, honoring the monumental contribution of one scientist with two X chromosomes whom history nearly left behind.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

World Premiere Animals

Animals

Available on Audible December 17, 2020

WORLD PREMIERE
By Stacy Osei-Kuffour
Directed by Whitney White
With Madeline Brewer, Jason Butler Harner, William Jackson Harper, and Aja Naomi King

Lydia (Aja Naomi King) and Henry (Jason Butler Harner)’s dinner guests (Madeline Brewer and William Jackson Harper) are about to arrive when Henry’s spontaneous marriage proposal threatens to burn the evening to a crisp. Wine bottles and years of unspoken tensions are uncorked, and, before the evening is through, Lydia must confront her long-held fears and feelings if she’s going to commit to a future with Henry. Directed by Whitney White, Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s world premiere comedy marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

World Premiere Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club

Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club

Available on Audible December 29, 2020

WORLD PREMIERE
By Shakina Nayfack
Directed by Laura Savia
With Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Liz Lark Brown, Samy Figaredo, Annie Golden, Bianca Leigh, Telly Leung, Dana Levinson, Pooya Mohseni, Shakina Nayfack, Angelica Ross, Ita Segev, Jason Tam

In Shakina Nayfack’s world premiere play, a vibrant, international group of transgender women band together at a hotel in Thailand to confront the challenges and joys of gender confirmation surgery. Despite the group’s warm welcome, Kina (Nayfack) prepares for her life-altering operation all alone. But a caring nurse (Ivory Aquino), a wise couple (Kate Bornstein and Annie Golden), and a karaoke-loving bellhop (Telly Leung) may be exactly who she needs to ignite her truest sense of self. WTF Associate Artistic Director Laura Savia directs this spirited comedy about one woman who tests the bonds of an unlikely sisterhood.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

Paradise Blue

Paradise Blue

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
With André Holland, Kristolyn Lloyd, Simone Missick, Keith Randolph Smith, Blair Underwood

It’s 1949 in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, and there’s no better place to hear or play jazz than Paradise Club. Blue (Emmy Award winner, Grammy Award winner, and 2020 Tony Award nominee Blair Underwood), club owner and trumpeter, can wail like no other, but as forces outside the club conspire to irreparably change life inside and outside Paradise’s walls, he must decide whether to stay or sell. Beholden to his girlfriend (Grammy Award winner Kristolyn Lloyd) and fellow bandmates (André Holland and Keith Randolph Smith), Blue faces an uncertain future as he reckons with his troubled past. When Silver (Simone Missick), a smooth and mysterious newcomer from Louisiana, steps onto the scene, everyone in Paradise must choose how to survive and if they can thrive. Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau‘s drama, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, had its world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2015.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

World Premiere Musical Row

Row

WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL
Book by Daniel Goldstein
Music & Lyrics by Dawn Landes
Directed by Tyne Rafaeli
Inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
With Kerstin Anderson, John Ellison Conlee, Nehal Joshi, Tamika Lawrence, John McGinty, Grace McLean, Kathryn O’Rourke, Lance Roberts, Sean Stack, Sally Wilfert

Tori (Grace McLean) aims to be the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic. As a child, she raised her younger brother Lamar (John McGinty), defending him against discrimination and neighborhood bullies. Now, with nothing but her body and a hand-built boat, she squares off with her own tormentor: the ocean. Inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure, this uplifting world premiere musical, directed by Tyne Rafaeli with a book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, interrogates and reveals the resilience, fear, and ambition inside one individual undeterred by the odds.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the WTF Season on Audible.

World Premiere Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

WORLD PREMIERE
By Sanaz Toossi
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Nazanin and her friends are on the brink of adulthood. As they prepare for a wedding, outside their living room the Iranian Revolution simmers and threatens to alter the course of their lives. Set over the course of 14 years, Sanaz Toossi’s timely world premiere play, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, shines a light on the daring potential of friendship amid the relentless aftershocks of political upheaval.

Program and casting subject to change

Click here for information about how you can receive special access to the 2020 WTF Season on Audible.

Box Office

Please Note: In support of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, our physical offices are closed and our staff is working remotely during the coming weeks.

The Box Office Hotline will be closed during this time. If you call 413-458-3253, you will be forwarded to our voicemail system. Please leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and loyalty.

Find Us

By Phone: 413.458.3200
By Email: wtfinfo@wtfestival.org
By Snail Mail: PO Box 517
Williamstown, MA 01267