WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.: Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they will no longer proceed with their 2020 summer season as planned. Instead, the festival has launched a partnership with Audible, which will bring audio versions of the season’s plays to Audible’s platform.
“This virus might get to tell us what we cannot do, but it does not get to dictate what we can do,” said Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Mandy Greenfield in a statement. “The voices of these artists will be heard. Through this alliance with Audible, we keep artists and the generative artistic process centered and steady through this unspeakably difficult moment when public gathering simply isn’t possible.”
Bringing these productions to Audible will preserve a 2020 season that otherwise might have gone unseen (or unheard) while providing continued work for the involved artists and making their work available for Audible listeners around the world. Audible Theater has previously worked to capture Broadway performances of John Leguizamo‘s Latin History for Morons and Sea Wall/A Life by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne. Off-Broadway, they have worked with David Cale’s Harry Clarke and Dennis Kelly’s Girls & Boys. Audible Theater has also commissioned plays as part of their $5 million Emerging Playwrights Fund, which launched in 2017.
Audible will now work with Williamstown Theatre Festival to distribute their 2020 season, which includes A Streetcar Named Desire starring Audra McDonald and Bobby Cannavale, Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, and the world premieres of Leslye Headland’s Cult of Love,Sanaz Toossi’s Wish You Were Here, Shakina Nayfack’s Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club, Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s Animals, and the musical Row with book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes.
“Powerful and transcendent, Williamstown and its artists have consistently produced some of the most memorable theatre of our time,” said Audible artistic producer Kate Navin in a statement. “Deeply dedicated to our mission of bringing more theatre to more people, Audible is thrilled to collaborate with Williamstown in making an extraordinary lineup available to millions of people worldwide. The artists and these poignant works deserve to be experienced and will undoubtedly entertain and inspire audiences everywhere.”
Williamstown Theatre Festival will be announcing audio release dates and casting at a later date.