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Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces 2004 Season

By New York City
The Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced that its 50th anniversary season will include world premieres of plays and musicals by Theresa Rebeck, Richard Nelson, Michael John LaChiusa, and Terrence McNally. The season will run from June 23 through August 28, 2004.

The Main Stage Season will begin with Cabaret & Main from June 24 through June 10, which will be directed by Christopher Ashley and will feature a rotating roster of guest performers including Lewis Black, Christopher Fitzgerald, Bill Irwin, James Naughton, and Carol Woods. It will be followed by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 14-25), directed by Nicholas Martin; Noël Coward's Design For Living (July 28-August 8), directed by Gregory Boyd and starring Campbell Scott and Steven Weber; and Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, directed by Michael Greif (August 11-22).

The Nikos Stage Season will kick off with The Water's Edge (June 23-July 4), a play by Theresa Rebeck that concerns a man who returns to the home, wife, and children he left 17 years earlier; the production will be directed by Will Frears and will star Kate Burton. Next up will be Rodney's Wife (July 7-18), written and directed by Richard Nelson, which tells the story of the wife of a movie actor in 1962 Rome and the disorientation, emotional confusion, and desire she experiences while her husband is filming a Spaghetti Western. Michael John LaChiusa's R Shomon follows, July 21-August 1; suggested by the short stories of Ryonosuke Akutagawa, the musical will be directed by Ted Sperling and will star three-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. Closing out the Nikos season will be Terrence McNally's Dedication, or The Stuff of Dreams (August 11-22), about a married couple that runs a children's theater. The production will be directed by Scott Ellis.

Several free-of-charge events will also be offered during the Festival; for example, the Greylock Theatre Project (June 28 and July 27) brings North Adams youngsters together with Festival artists to create original theater. There will also be free admission to the Boris Sagal Fellow Show (August 4-6), a production showcasing Williamstown's non-Equity company members; Haroun and the Sea of Stories (August 5-14), a Festival family favorite, to be directed by Evan Cabnet; and ensemble theater productions featuring the Festival's Act I company (July 9, 10, 30, 31, and August 20, 21).

There will also be special events and new play readings on the Nikos Stage on select Friday afternoons -- July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and August 6 and 13 -- at 3pm and performances by the experimental dance-theater troupe Mad Dog, inspired by the works of science-fiction icon Stanislaw Lem, on August 20 and 21. And on Saturday, August 28, a one-night-only 50th anniversary celebration will have artists from the Festival's past and future gathering to relive theatrical moments, stories, and memories; directed by Nicholas Martin, the performance will be followed by dinner and fireworks.

All Main Stage performances will be held in the 520-seat Adams Memorial Theatre (Williams College, Route 2, Williamstown, MA). Tickets for Main Stage productions range from $20 to $55. Kids' Nights, which offer one free adult ticket to a Main Stage production for each full-price kids' ticket purchased, will be held on July 2, July 16, July 30, and August 13 only. Rush tickets will be available for every Thursday evening Main Stage performance beginning at 6pm on the day of the show, and those tickets may be purchased for $15 each ($20 for Cabaret & Main). Tickets for Nikos Stage productions range from $22-24.

Season brochures will be mailed in early May. Mail orders only will be accepted before the box office at the Adams Memorial Theatre officially opens on June 15 at 11am; from that day forward, tickets may be purchased by calling 413-597-3400 or by visiting the box office in person. To request a season brochure or for other information, visit www.WTFestival.org.


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