Post image for Theater: WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL (2020 Season)

by Gregory Bernard on November 4, 2020

in Theater-New York,Virtual


It’s been said that radio is the invisible medium that has the greatest effect in stimulating the imagination of listeners, especially when it is a dramatization (versus narration). The imagination is aroused such that the listener becomes involved. The potential afforded to you by listening to a play stems from the very feature it does not possess: images. Studies have shown that listening actually has a calming effect; concentrating on imagination tunes out the mind’s blather.

So I’m thrilled that Williamstown Theater Festival is going to record their 2020 season for us. These plays, starring serious Broadway stars, will be available to you via professional recordings produced by Audible. This is the first time that an external theatrical season of work will be produced on the online platform. The WTF season will also be made available to subscribers and donors. For more information, please visit Williamstown Theater Festival.

Get ready to be transported by this special sonic enterprise. Here are the plays, casts and their Audible start dates:

DECEMBER 3, 2020

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Robert O’Hara
With Joel Reuben GanzJoe GoldammerCarla GuginoCarmen M. HerlihySullivan JonesBrian LucasAudra McDonaldStacey RaymondCesar J. RosadoAriel Shafir

Following his 2019 production of A Raisin in the Sun, celebrated as “an absorbing, watershed revival,” by The New York Times, O’Hara returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival to direct this Tennessee Williams masterpiece. With McDonald as Blanche DuBois alongside 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 (Shafir) in New Orleans, where she wrestles with the nature of her sister’s husband, her sister’s denial, and her own unraveling mind.


DECEMBER 10, 2020

By Anna Ziegler
Direction by Susan Stroman
With Anna ChlumskyDavid CorenswetStephen KunkenAasif MandviOmar MetwallyBen Rosenfield

In 1951, chemist Rosalind Franklin (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 (Metwally), she struggles to compete with rival team Watson and Crick (Corenswet and Mandvi) as pressure intensifies to produce results. Following a critically acclaimed run in London, Ziegler’s play is brought to life in a new production, honoring the monumental contribution of one scientist with two X chromosomes whom history nearly left behind.


DECEMBER 17, 2020

By Stacy Osei-Kuffour
Directed by Whitney White
With Madeline BrewerJason Butler HarnerWilliam Jackson HarperAja Naomi King

Lydia (King) and Henry (Harner)’s dinner guests (Brewer and 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. This comedy marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival.


DECEMBER 29, 2020

By Shakina Nayfack
Directed by Laura Savia
With Ivory AquinoKate BornsteinLiz Lark BrownSamy FigaredoAnnie GoldenBianca LeighTelly LeungDana LevinsonPooya MohseniShakina NayfackAngelica RossIta SegevJason Tam

In 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 (Aquino), a wise couple (Bornstein and Golden), and a karaoke-loving bellhop (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.


Date TBA

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
With André HollandKristolyn LloydSimone MissickKeith Randolph SmithBlair 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 (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 (Holland and Smith), Blue faces an uncertain future as he reckons with his troubled past. When Silver (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.


Date TBA

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 AndersonJohn Ellison ConleeNehal JoshiTamika LawrenceJohn McGintyGrace McLeanKathryn O’RourkeLance RobertsSean StackSally Wilfert

Tori (McLean) aims to be the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic. As a child, she raised her younger brother Lamar (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. This uplifting world premiere musical interrogates and reveals the resilience, fear, and ambition inside one individual undeterred by the odds.


Date & Cast TBA

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, this timely piece shines a light on the daring potential of friendship amid the relentless aftershocks of political upheaval.


Program and casting subject to change

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