From June through August, WTF brings Tony awardwinning actors and veterans of television and film to perform in a series of plays — comedies, dramas, musicals, classics and new work.
On two stages, nationally acclaimed actors have performed here for more than 50 years — Leslie Odom Jr., Blythe Danner, Robert Sean Leonard, Frank Langella, Olympia Dukakis, Kate Burton, James Naughton, Christopher Reeve and many, many more.
Off the mainstage, actors also perform at informal cabarets and late-night shows, and the festival hosts community performances, improvisations at WCMA and a free reading series at the Clark Art Institute for works in progress.
They follow in a long tradition. In the winter of 1954, Ralph Renzi (Williams ’43), then news director of Williams College, and David C. Bryant, chairman of the College’s drama program, came up with the idea of hosting theater at the college in the summer.
Nikos Psacharopoulos directed the festival through 33 years, as it grew a national following. WTF has sent productions to New York — some two dozen productions have travelled to Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres across the country, and in 2002 the festival won the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
Under its current director, Mandy Greenfield, WTF has developed new programs to support playwrights and emerging directors, increasing the theater’s body of thought-provoking and timely works you will see nowhere else.