playwright

Jason Butler Harner and Janet McTeer in Roundabout Theatre Company's "Bernhardt/Hamlet"
Joan Marcus

Last night, The Roundabout Theatre Company opened a new play by Theresa Rebeck at The American Airlines Theatre in New York City. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, “Bernhardt/Hamlet” is set just before the turn of the 20th Century when the acclaimed and adored Sarah Bernhardt stages a production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” with herself in the title role of the halting and hesitant Prince of Denmark.

In “Bernhardt/Hamlet,” the divine Sarah is inhabited by Golden Globe, Tony, and Olivier Award-winning actress, Janet McTeer. Bernhardt as penned by Rebeck is having an affair with poet and playwright, Edmond Rostand who is played by our guest, Jason Butler Harner.

Harner’s previous Broadway credits include “The Crucible” and “The Coast of Utopia.” He’s performed Off-Broadway, as well, earning OBIE and Drama Desk nominations. His major film debut came in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film “Changeling” and he currently stars on the Netflix series “Ozark.”

"Grant & Twain" At PS21

Sep 24, 2018

"Grant & Twain," a new play by playwright Elizabeth Diggs will have its debut at PS21Chatham this Thursday, September 27th. The play tells the story of a remarkable friendship.

At age 62, Ulysses Grant is bankrupted in a Wall Street swindle. His only hope to restore his honor and save his family is an offer to write his memoirs of the war. News of Grant’s calamity brings his friend Mark Twain to his side. Twain is infuriated by the terms offered by the prestigious publisher.

He makes an audacious proposal: he himself will publish Grant’s book and make it the biggest bestseller in American history. When Grant finally agrees, he is faced with a double enemy: he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and writes in a race with death, and he discovers an enemy close to home.

To tell us more, we welcome playwright Elizabeth Diggs and actor Michael Sean McGuiness who is playing Ulysses Grant in the production.

The 413Heart Music & Arts Festival at The Stationery Factory in Dalton, Massachusetts is celebrating its third year bringing an exciting mix of art to the Berkshires. The festival runs this Thursday through Sunday, August 16-19.

Michael Dowling is a Berkshire-based playwright and screenwriter. His play “Tamarack House” is a comedy/drama about five men struggling to stay afloat when they discover the run-down boarding house they call home is suddenly put on the market. There will be a staged reading of the play at The Stationery Factory on Saturday, August 18.

Our pal Johnny Irion has a new solo record entitled “Driving Friend” – he’ll headline the 413Heart Festival on Friday, August 17.

Theresa Rebeck's new play "Seared" opens on Wednesday night on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - her third play to premiere at WTFest. In "Seared," between the smell of sizzling garlic and balsamic drizzle, tempers are boiling over in an on-stage kitchen. Chef Harry has poured his heart into his intimate Brooklyn restaurant and it is finally paying off. A rave review has New Yorkers flocking through his door and selling out every table, but is this the success he has been dreaming of?

This also marks the start of a string of new productions for Theresa Rebeck. After "Seared," she'll premiere her new Broadway play "Bernhard/Hamlet" starring Janet McTeer followed by a New York premiere of "Downstairs" starring Tyne and Tim Daly and the release of her film, "Trouble" starring Anjelica Houston and Bill Pullman.

Halley Feiffer
Kirk McCoy / LA Times

Halley Feiffer is a writer and actor. Her plays include "I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City," and "How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them." Her play "Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow" had its world premiere at The Williamstown Theatre Festival last summer. She has appeared on Broadway in "The Front Page" with Nathan Lane and "The House of Blue Leaves" with Edie Falco. 

Tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock there will be a Fridays@3 reading of Feiffer's new play, "Saying Goodbye to the People I Love From My Bathtub." Fridays@3 readings take place at The Clark Auditorium.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Emmy Award-winner Lee Kalcheim’s World Premiere, “Coming Back Like a Song!” on The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts June 28 through July 21.

In the play, It’s 1956, and three of America’s great songwriters, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen, are at a crossroads in their lives; rock ‘n roll is now king, and their careers could be over.

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Gregg Edelman, “Coming Back Like a Song!” features Tony Award-nominee David Garrison as Irving Berlin, Philip Hoffman as Harold Arlen and David Rasche [rah-shee] as Jimmy Van Heusen.

We are joined by playwright Lee Kalcheim, Director Gregg Edelman, and actor David Garrison.

Hailed as “crackling, resonant, humorous” by NPR and written by Emmy Award-nominated Jason Odell Williams, “Church & State” is a provocative, fast-paced and witty look at the life of a politician, whose belief system gets shaken to the core three days before his bid for re-election.

Directed by Charlotte Cohn founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival and Mainstreet Musicals, “Church & State” intends to have you talking and Tweeting long after the curtain closes – which is why all shows feature a talkback following the performance.

“Church & State” runs through June 30th at the Unicorn Theatre and features: Judy Jerome, Keira Naughton, Graham Rowat, and Andy Talen.

We welcome Graham Rowat, Director Charlotte Cohn and playwright Jason Odell Williams.

"Typhoid Mary" - a new play by Mark St. Germain - is playing at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA through June 16.

The play tells the true story of Mary Mallon, one of the most infamous women in America, she was incredibly stubborn, ambitious, and in fierce denial of any wrongdoing. Master storyteller Mark St. Germain ("Freud’s Last Session" and "Dancing Lessons") has captured the woman behind the myths while exploring the battle between science and religion.

St. Germain has another play running in our region. "Relativity" is running at Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, NY through June 10.

It is always exciting to find out what the Musicians of Ma’alwyck are up to. The groups is a professional chamber music ensemble performing in and around Schenectady, NY

This morning, we find out about their productions of "Aleda or the Flight of the Suff Bird Women" an opera in one act by Max Caplan, commissioned and produced by Musicians of Ma’alwyck and paired with "The Burden of the Ballot," an original one-act play about Albany’s Anti-Suffrage movement by Krysta Dennis.

We welcome Ann-Marie Schwartz, Director of the Musicians Of Ma'alwyck; composer Max Caplan; and stage director and creator of the opening play "Burden of the Ballot," Krysta Dennis.

John Cariani in "The Band's Visit"
Matthew Murphy / Playbill.com

The new musical, "The Band’s Visit," is currently running at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Based on the film of the same name, "The Band’s Visit" features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses, and is directed by David Cromer. The New York Times called the show “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low.

Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is begrudgingly taken in by the locals.

John Cariani plays Itzik, one of the citizens of Beit Hatikva and he joins us. Cariani’s previous Broadway credits include “Something Rotten!” and the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He’s also performed at nearly all of the regional theatres in our area you can think of and as a playwright is responsible for the praised and oft-produced plays, “Almost, Maine;” “Last Gas;” “Love/Sick;” and “cul-de-sac.”

Olana
Sarah LaDuke

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with The Ancram Opera House, will present Performing Olana, an original play throughout the Olana landscape, on Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24. 

Performing Olana has been written by nationally recognized playwright and TV writer, Darrah Cloud and co-directed by the Ancram Opera House creatives Jeffrey Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi along with The Olana Partnership’s Director of Education Amy Hufnagel. The three theater artists have been working for months to design an immersive, promenade style theater production to be delivered in the landscape at Olana while the audience follows the story through the historic site. 

It is a play that takes the interpretation of Olana to another level- both in terms of costumed “interpretation” but also in the untold and imagined stories between the lines of letters and journals in the Church archive.

We welcome Paul Ricciardi, Co-Director of The Ancram Opera House. Playwright Darrah Cloud, and Amy Hufnagel, Director of Education for The Olana Partnership. 

Brave New Jersey

Aug 3, 2017

The new movie – Brave New Jersey – is a comedy about the small New Jersey town of Lullaby on the night of Orson Welles' legendary 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, which led millions of listeners to believe the U.S. was being invaded by aliens.

The film is co-written by Berkshire based screenwriter and playwright Michael Dowling and Jody Lambert. Lambert also directs. Having had a successful tour of film festivals, the movie opens in select cities nationwide tomorrow.  

Brave New Jersey will run in the Berkshires at the Cinema at the Berkshire Museum from August 18 to August 21.

Good Men Wanted at Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre
Buck Lewis

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre’s second mainstage show this summer is Good Men Wanted. The new play is about women who - for varied reasons and to varied ends - disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.

The drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences - choreographed by Ani Taj and set to contemporary pop music. They play is written by Kevin Armento and directed by Jaki Bradley who joins us.

Lauren Yee
laurenyee.com

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre presents an Inside Look Workshop of Lauren Yee’s new play, The Great Leap July 7-9.

The play is set in San Francisco in the Spring of 1989.  Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a "friendship" game.  His background is a mystery, but he can sink 100 free throws in a row, so who cares?  When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history.

Josh Radnor
Cary Mosier / Vassar College's Flickr

The star of How I Met Your Mother, Josh Radnor, is premiering his new play, Sacred Valley at New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's Powerhouse Theater in Poughkeepsie from June 29th to July 9th.

Sacred Valley is about Narby and Natalie, two lifelong friends. Their friendship becomes tested when Narby takes Natalie’s husband Brian out for his first mushroom trip. The next day, a confused Brian leaves Natalie, an enraged Natalie blames Narby, and three people are forced to ask themselves the deepest questions about love, friendship, and growing up.

Aside from playing Ted on How I Met Your Mother, Radnor has written and directed two films, Happythankyoumoreplease, and Liberal Arts

The Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairs, under the direction of Resident Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The production opens Thursday and runs through July 8th.

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. She is the screenwriter and director of the upcoming film Trouble, starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, and David Morse. Adrienne Campbell-Holt is the Associate Director of the Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and was also the assistant director of Dead Accounts.

Jeff Carpenter


  Ernest Shackleton Loves Me is an inventive new musical adventure running off-broadway at 2econd Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre in New York City.

 

The show stars GrooveLily’s electro-violinist Valerie Vigoda and Wade McCollum; it’s directed by Obie Award® winning director Lisa Peterson and features with music composed by Brendan Milburn and lyrics by Valerie Vigoda. The book is by Joe DiPietro.

 

DiPietro won two Tony Awards for Memphis, his other work includes The Second Mrs. Wilson, Nice Work If You Can Get It,  All Shook Up, Living on Love. The Toxic Avenger, Over the River and Through the Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

John Cariani is an actor and a playwright. He has appeared on and Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in several films and television shows.

He’s been nominated for a Tony Award. He’s done movies with Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Ed Asner. Most people seem to know him from Law & Order, where he played Forensics Tech Beck from 2002-2007.

He started writing plays when he moved to New York City in the late nineties. They include Almost Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas. His second play, Cul-De-Sac is being produced by the Half Moon Theatre in Poughkeepsie beginning this Saturday through May 14th.                        

When playwright Kieron Barry and his longtime girlfriend broke up, he was stunned.  It took him a long time to process the ‘why’ and the ‘what did I do wrong’.  To try and sort it out, he wrote. 

The result is The Official Adventures of Kieron and Jade a comedy with its world premiere taking place at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill tomorrow night. 

And that’s what the play is about. Not the break up, but the pros and cons of writing about the break up.

Barry is best known for his one act comedy, Numbers.  He has also been showcased locally in the enormously successful 2012 production of Tomorrow in the Battle at Stageworks/Hudson. 

We welcome him to The Roundtable this morning along with Bridge Street Theatre founder/co-owner, John Sowle.

What would you do if your 80-year-old father dragged you into his search for new romance after 50 years of marriage? David, a resolute bachelor learns more about love than he bargained for and as his father's wingman and screener, sees some things he'd like to forget. It is the subject of the play Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad, now at The Rep through February 19th.

Based on Bob Morris’s award winning memoir, it is a heartfelt and hilarious true tale of a year of dating dangerously. Here to tell us more – we welcome Director Gordon Greenberg and author Bob Morris.

Between stressing about his theater friends and reconciling his complicated feelings about an inconsistently wonderful New York City, Tony Award–winning playwright and Pulitzer finalist Richard Greenberg also maintains a reputation for being something of a hermit.

In Rules for Others to Live By, he shares lessons from his highly successful writing career, observations from two long decades of residence on a three-block stretch of Manhattan, and musings from a complicated and occasionally taxing social life.

His new play, The Babylon Line, is in previews at the Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, it will open on December 5.

  Poster Boy is a new American musical inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, In the show, a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.

Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima with movement by Danny Mefford, Poster Boy, is in its world premiere production on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 7th.

Composer and lyricist, Craig Carnelia and bookwriter Joe Tracz join us.


  Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests is a brilliant comic trilogy telling the same story from the point of view of three different rooms: Living Together follows the romp in the living room; Table Manners times perfectly to show what happens in the dining room, and Round and Round the Garden depicts desperately funny activities in the garden.

Each play stands completely on its own, but together, they are a triumph of theatrical imagination.

Audience members have traveled from Northern Stage to Dorset Theatre Festival to see the first two plays. Now, Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont presents the third. Richard Gallagher has played Norman in all three productions and he joins us now.

Richard’s Broadway credits include The Lyons and Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Brian Bedford.


  It’s a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls’ soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync – right quad, left quad, lunge – and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the air dome bubble, and back again.

 

The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, is the second mainstage production this season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, runs July 21st through July 31st.

 

The play was a recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Sarah DeLappe joins us to tell us more.


  In her one woman show, Forever, Pulitzer prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.

Forever opens tonight on Weston Playhouse’s OtherStages in Weston Vermont, directed by Steve Stettler.

This summer, The Williamstown Theatre Festival brings together professional theatre artists with Berkshire residents to create and perform new work. Born of the belief that theatre is central to understanding, building and maintaining community, this 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!

Obie Award-winning playwright Lucy Thurber puts a new spin on the Orpheus myth, set in Western Massachusetts. When Orpheus, a teenage girl, realizes that something is amiss in her neighborhood, she embarks on a treacherous journey to save her hometown.

Helmed by Festival Associate Director Laura Savia, and developed in collaboration with community partners, this World Premiere features a cast of 75 Berkshire residents performing alongside Festival actors. Performances are July 14-16 at 7:30PM and July 17 at 5PM.

Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware / Berkshire Theatre Group


  This is the final week to see Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Stockbridge, MA. It ends it’s run this coming Saturday.

Jim Beaver plays the doomed patriarch of the family, Big Daddy. Beaver is an actor best known for his roles on The CW’s Supernatural and HBO’s Deadwood -- where he played  Ellsworth - a prospector with a good heart and (like everyone else on that show) an incredible affinity for creative cursing. He also recurred on FX’s Justified and several other shows and has appeared in film and on stage. He is playwright, a film historian, and a television and film writer.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first main stage Powerhouse production this season is Lucy Thurber’s Transfers.

As two young men from the Bronx vie for acceptance to an elite college, their shared past threatens to overshadow their bright futures. Class, ambition, and expectations are called into question when higher education – and its life-changing potential – is just within reach.

Thurber is a Lilly Award winner and won a 2014 OBIE Award for her theatrical cycle, The Hill Town Plays. She was also a member of the influential Obie-winning playwrights’ collective, 13P.

John Cariani is the heart at the center of the hit Broadway’s musical comedy Something Rotten!. The Tony-nominated actor stars as Nigel Bottom, a sensitive, aspiring playwright in 1595 who worships Shakespeare and begins a forbidden love affair with a Puritan beauty by the name of Portia.

But, Cariani is also a playwright – having written Almost, Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas.

Cariani's third play, Last Gas is now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville. It is its Hudson Valley premiere and runs through June 19th.

  Chester Theatre Company is getting ready to start their 27th season since the theater was founded in 1990 and the first under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. The four-play season will run from June 30th through August 28th at the Chester Town Hall in Chester, MA.

The season starts with a show, written by Kramer, My Jane, a world premiere
 adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë. It’s Kramer’s newest play, his second for CTC, following Pride@Prejudice in 2011. My Jane weaves Jane’s romantic story with the lives of her readers, all of whom have their own beloved “Jane.”

Daniel Elihu Kramer, joins us this morning along with Camila Canó-Flaviá who is playing Jane in the Chester Theatre production.

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