2018 Summer Arts Preview: 2018 Williamstown Theater Festival June 26-August 19 | Summer Arts Preview | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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2018 Summer Arts Preview: 2018 Williamstown Theater Festival June 26-August 19 

click to enlarge Katy Sullivan and Wendell Pierce in 2016 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of “The Cost of Living.” - PHOTO BY DANIEL RADER
  • Photo by Daniel Rader
  • Katy Sullivan and Wendell Pierce in 2016 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of “The Cost of Living.”
To many people these days, the initials “WTF” stand for something rather untoward and are commonly uttered after “OMG.” But since 1955, long before such currently fashionable acronyms were in the parlance, the initials WTF have stood for Williamstown Theater Festival, which picked up a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in 2002. (Read about the other theater festivals and shows happening throughout the region >>)

Known for its approach toward revisiting classic-repertoire plays using innovative new productions, developing new original musicals and plays, and training aspiring new actors and theater personnel, WTF is a nation-wide magnet for superior talent and delighted audiences. The festival’s list of alumni includes such award-winning names as Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Walken, Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Dreyfus, E.G. Marshall, Christopher Reeve, Blythe Danner, Nathan Lane, Richard Chamberlain, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Cooper, Calista Flockhart, and many others. Festival founder and executive artistic director Nicholas Psacharopolis oversaw its operation for more than 30 years and steered it away from the standard summer stock repertoire, concentrating instead on cultivating a cosmopolitan, international atmosphere that performed works by such playwrights as George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekov, Bertholt Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Tom Stoppard, and Jean Anouilh.

click to enlarge Marisa Tomei in “The Rose Tattoo,” at the  Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016. - PHOTO BY DANIEL RADER
  • Photo by Daniel Rader
  • Marisa Tomei in “The Rose Tattoo,” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016.
This summer’s shows feature four plays making their world premieres at the festival: the comedies “The Closet” by Douglas Carter Beane (starring Tony-winning actor Matthew Broderick of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame) and “Artney Jackson” by James Anthony Tyler; the musical “Lempika” by Carson Kreitzer (music by Matt Gould); and the drama “The Sound Inside” by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp. Rounding out the docket are a revival of Carson McCuller’s beloved, coming-of-age classic “The Member of the Wedding”; the new culinary comedy “Seared”; and the new drama “Dangerous House.”

In addition to the headline productions and a one-night-only solo concert by Broadway legend Chita Rivera to benefit WTF’s New Play & Musical Development Initiative (July 9), the festival will once again offer an appetizing array of supplementary cultural events. Among these are its year-round Community Works program for Berkshire residents of all ages and backgrounds; the Late-Night Cabaret (July 12-August 11); readings; workshops; backstage tours; Sunday Lawn Talks with the actors; educational programs; and other attractions.

Ensconced on the campus of Williams College in the charming Western Massachusetts town of Williamstown—also home to the Clark Art Institute and adjacent to Mass MoCA in North Adams—Williamstown Theater Festival adds to the area’s status as a weekend-worthy destination for art and culture mavens.
Location Details The Williams College Museum of Art
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