The Berkshire Theatre Festival presents My Buddy Bill, written and performed by Rick Cleveland, who won an Emmy and a Writer's Guild Award for his writing on ABC's The West Wing and served as both writer and executive producer on HBO's Six Feet Under. He is also a founding member of Chicago's American Theater Company.
When Cleveland was writing for The West Wing, he and several other writer-producers were invited to the Clinton White House. According to his play, during a chance encounter with the President's chocolate brown lab Buddy, Rick not so humbly offered the President a suggestion on how to train the dog not to "piddle" on the Presidential Seal on the Oval Office's rug. Cleveland's hilarious one-man narrative in this workshop production traces the friendship that continued to develop as the two met in L.A., Little Rock, London, and Amsterdam.
Their relationship, writes Cleveland, revealed that he and the 42nd President had a lot more in common than Buddy, including white trash childhoods, a love of nonfiction ecology books, and an affinity for pick-up trucks and all things Elvis. Whether or not My Buddy Bill, a workshop production directed by William Payne, is a totally truthful account of what it feels like to be an F.O.B. (Friend of Bill), is beside the point for Cleveland whose credits include his feature film Jerry and Tom, an official select ion at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals, and his occasional stint as an NPR commentator on All Things Considered.
Additional matinees at 2 pm on August 13 and 20.