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S. Epatha Merkerson and Jane Kaczmarek in "The Roommate" at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017. (Photo by Daniel Rader)

Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces 2019 Season

The summer slate, including 5 world premieres, will feature performances by Uma Thurman, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Kaczmarek, S. Epatha Merkerson, and more.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.: Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced its 2019 summer season, including five world premieres.

“In the course of just eight weeks, we will create world-premiere work with some of the most thrilling theatremakers in this country and breathe new life into the all-too-resonant words of cherished playwrights of the Western theatrical cannon,” said artistic director Mandy Greenfield in a statement.

The season will start with A Raisin in the Sun (June 25-July 13), by Lorraine Hansberry, about a Black family living in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood in the 1950s. S. Epatha Merkerson and Francois Battiste will lead the cast, and Robert O’Hara will direct.

Next up will be the world premiere of Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons (July 17-28), about a French couple whose happy 50-year marriage comes to a surprising end at the eponymous senior living community. The cast will feature Mary Steenburgen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Leigh Silverman will direct.

Following will be Ibsen’s Ghosts (July 31-Aug. 18), in a new translation by Paul Walsh, about a mother who intervenes when her son returns home and begins to flirt with the family maid. The production will star Uma Thurman, and Carey Perloff will direct.

The season will also include the world premiere of Jonathan Payne’s A Human Being, of a Sort (June 26-July 11), based on the true story of an African American convict tasked with guarding a Congolese pygmy at the Bronx Zoological Park in 1906. As protesters call for the animal’s release, the convict grapples with his own captivity. Whitney White will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul (July 10-21), a drama about a former interpreter for the U.S. military living in hiding from the Taliban. The cast will include Omar Metwally, Marjan Neshat, and Babak Tafti. Tyne Rafaeli will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Tell Me I’m Not Crazy (July 24-Aug. 3), a comedy by Sharyn Rothstein about a man’s purchase of a firearm and how it forces two generations of his family to confront what it means to succeed and sacrifice in America today. The cast will feature Mark Feuerstein, Jane Kaczmarek, and Nadine Malouf. Moritz von Stuelpnagel will direct.

The summer lineup will conclude with the world premiere of Adam Bock’s Before the Meeting (Aug. 7-18), about a woman whose road to recovery is upended when her estranged granddaughter reopens old wounds. The cast will include Jason Butler Harner, and Trip Cullman will direct.

Founded in 1955, Williamstown Theatre Festival brings directors, designers, playwrights, and performers to the Berkshires each summer to produce and develop classic plays and new works.

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