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 the Main Stage
The Closet — June 26 to July 14
A comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, directed by Mark Brokaw, brings Brooks Ashmanskas and Tony Award winner Matthew Brodericktogether in satire inspired by Le Placard, the French comedy by Academy Award nominee Francis Veber.
Martin O’Reilly (Broderick) is stuck in Scranton in a dead-end job. His marriage is over, and his son won’t return his calls. When a stranger (Tony nominee Ashmanskas) sashays into his world, he drags Martin and everyone around him out of their respective closets.
Lempicka — July 19 to August 1
A new musical with book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer and music by Matt Gould, directed by Rachel Chavkin, follows two Russian aristocrats fleeing after the revolution. In Paris, Tamara de Lempicka begins to paint to earn a living and meets Tony Award nominee Carmen Cusack as Rafaela, a prostitute on the fringes of Parisian society
The Member of the Wedding — August 5 to 19
Lila Neugebauer directs this revival of Carson McCullers’ beloved play. On the eve of a family wedding in 1945, housekeeper Berenice Sadie Brown is struggling to protect her 12-year-old charge, Frankie (Tavi Gevinson) from the harsh racially motivated injustices outside their Southern home.
On the Nikos Stage
The Sound Inside — June 27 – July 8
Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Awardwinner Mary-Louise Parker stars in this world premiere by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, directed by David Cromer. Bella Baird is a professor at an Ivy League university who values her solitude. Under pressure, she allies herself with a brilliant student.
Artney Jackson — July 11 to 22
In this world premiere play by James Anthony Tyler and directed by Laura Savia, Artney Jackson is a devoted mentor, a respected employee at the local cable company and an enthusiastic teller of “dad jokes.” On the edge of promotion, he faces chaos as his son plans to move out and his employers and co-workers test his resolve.
Seared — July 25 to August 4
In a new comedy by acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck, directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Chef Harry (Steven Pasquale) is a genius in the kitchen; his scallops are the “it” dish in Brooklyn. His business partner Mike wants to expand their restaurant, but Harry sees that as selling out.
Dangerous House — August 8 to 19
By Jen Silverman | Directed by Saheem Ali
Noxolo is an aspiring footballer from Cape Town who moved to London for a fresh start. With the World Cup coming to South Africa and the mounting sense that her ex-lover is in peril, she is pulled back. Will Noxolo risk her safety to unravel the secrets of a life she swore to leave behind? Saheem Ali directs Jen Silverman’s new play that asks what one woman can do for her people, her nation, and for the love of her life.
Fridays@3 new play reading series, Late Night cabarets and more.
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.