PITTSFIELD, MASS.: Barrington Stage Company (BSC) has announced its 2021 season, featuring three world premieres and a season split between indoor and outdoor productions. BSC was one of the first companies approved by Actors’ Equity Association for a COVID-era indoor production before state regulations resulted in the production being moved outdoors.
“We were pleased to produce a limited outdoor season last year, and will be offering our patrons another series of magical summer nights under a tent and with music and laughter in the air,” said artistic director Julianne Boyd in a statement. “At the same time, we are so ready to bring live indoor theatre back to the Berkshires. The Boyd-Quinson Stage is all prepared, with stringent protocols that have been in place since last year. We are looking forward to welcoming our audiences once again to gather safely and responsibly and to enjoy shared experiences together.”
The outdoor season, which will take place under a tent at BSC’s Production Center, will open with Who Can Ask for Anything More? The Songs of George Gershwin (June 10-July 3), conceived by Boyd and Darren R. Cohen, with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, and additional lyrics by Ballard MacDonald, Buddy DeSylva, and Gus Kahn. Boyd will direct, with musical direction by Cohen, this celebration of some of the most beloved songs in the Gershwin songbook.
A second production, to run July 9-24, will be announced at a later date.
The third and final outdoor production will be the world premiere of Boca (July 30-Aug. 22), by Jessica Provenz, commissioned through the Sydelle Blatt New Works Commissioning Program. Boyd will direct this comedy that follows a group of bickering, gossiping seniors in Boca Raton, Fla.
The indoor season will open with Chester Bailey (June 18-July 3), by Joseph Dougherty, about a young man who is recovering from catastrophic injuries at the end of World War II and the doctor who tries to lead him away from his denial and back to reality. Ron Lagomarsino will direct this play starring real-life father and son Reed and Ephraim Birney as doctor and patient.
Next up will be Mark St. Germain’s Eleanor (July 16-Aug. 1), which brings to life Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, loves, and passions, from her upbringing to her unorthodox marriage. Henry Stram will direct, with Tony-winning actress Harriet Harris starring.
Following will be the world premiere of Sister Sorry (Aug. 12-29), by Alec Wilkinson, inspired by Wilkinson’s 1993 piece in The New Yorker, “The Confession,” about Wilkinson’s encounters with a conceptual artist who maintained an answering machine on which people were encouraged to confess their crimes. Richard Hamburger will direct the play, loosely based on one stunning confession from a mysterious caller.
The indoor season will close with the world premiere of A Crossing (Sept. 23-Oct. 17), co-conceived by Joshua Bergasse and Mark St. Germain, with music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak. Created in association with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and commissioned through the Sydelle Blatt New Works Commissioning Program, the musical follows the many dangers faced by a group of migrants crossing the southern border.
Additional special events during the season include a streamed virtual reading of the 2020 Burman New Play Award Winner Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back (June 4-6), by Daniella De Jesús; an outdoor performance of Elizabeth Stanley in Concert (June 28); a staged reading of Andy Warhol in Iran (date TBD), by Brent Askari; and an outdoor festival called Celebrating Black Voices (Aug. 3-8).
The mission of Barrington Stage Company, founded in 1995, is to present top-notch, compelling work, to develop new plays and musicals, and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre.
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