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Williamstown Theatre Festival Creates New Commissioning Programs

Fernanda Coppel, Halley Feiffer and Benjamin Scheuer will receive the inaugural commissions.

Halley Feiffer
Halley Feiffer

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.: In her second summer as artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival and her first season curating the programming, Mandy Greenfield has announced the creation of the New Play and New Musical Commissioning Programs. Fernanda Coppel, Halley Feiffer and Benjamin Scheuer will receive the inaugural commissions, which come with a writing residency at Williamstown.

“For years, Williamstown Theatre Festival has led the industry in identifying, supporting and growing the finest emerging and mid-career actors and directors through programs such as its renowned Apprentice Program, for actors, and its Sagal and Foeller Fellowship Programs, for directors,” Greenfield said in a statement. “I am proud to see those programs continue to thrive, and I am thrilled to launch the New Play and New Musical Commissioning Programs so that we may officially add living writers, from across the career spectrum, to the universe of theatre artists this festival serves and celebrates in meaningful and comprehensive ways.”

Greenfield previously worked with Scheuer on his one-man musical The Lion when it premiered in 2014 at Manhattan Theatre Club, where Greenfield was previously the artistic producer. The musical returned for a run Off-Broadway at the Lynn Redgrave Theater, where it runs through March 29, before launching its national tour beginning at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in August.

Feiffer’s play I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard premiered at Atlantic Theater Company earlier this year, and her play, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City, will premiere at New York’s MCC Theater in May 2016.

Coppel’s play Chimichangas and Zoloft premiered at the Atlantic in 2012, and her play King Liz will premiere at Second Stage Theatre this summer.

The New Play Commissioning Program is funded by the L. Arnold Weissberger Foundation and Mr. Andrew Martin-Weber. The 2015 New Musical Commissioning Program is made possible by Stacey Mindich Productions.

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