Tony winner Nikki M. James, Tony nominee Andy Grotelueschen, Broadway alums Jeannette Bayardelle and Micaela Diamond, and more head to Massachusetts this summer for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The three-production outdoor season begins July 6 with Celebrating the Black Radical Imagination: Nine Solo Plays, curated by 2020 Tony nominee Robert O'Hara (Slave Play).
Celebrating Black artists and their voices through theatrical storytelling, each performance features three of the nine 30-minute world premieres, created by writers Ngozi Anyanwu, France-Luce Benson, J. Nicole Brooks, Guadalís Del Carmen, Terry Guest, Ike Holter, Zora Howard, NSangou Njikam, and Charly Evon Simpson.
The production stars Brian D. Coats, Rosalyn Coleman, Cindy De La Cruz, Antwayn Hopper, Naomi Lorrain, Sharina Martin, Ronald Peet, Portia, and Ashley C. Turner. Wardell Julius Clark, Candis C. Jones, and Awoye Timpo direct with performances taking place on the Front Lawn of the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance through July 25.
The season continues with the world premiere of Row (July 13–August 15), featuring a book by Daniel Goldstein, music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, and direction by Tyne Rafaeli. Inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure, the musical stars Grace McLean as a woman attempting to make her way across the Atlantic solo. Performances take place at the Clark Art Institute.
Starring alongside McLean are Jeannette Bayardelle (Girl From the North Country), Micaela Diamond (The Cher Show), Andy Grotelueschen (Tootsie), Lisa Brescia (Dear Evan Hansen), Nehal Joshi, John McGinty, Zachary Noah Piser, Horace V. Rogers, and Jennifer Sánchez. The creative team also includes music supervisor Julie McBride, music director Geoffrey Ko, copyist Cam Moncur, music contractor Sarah Briggs, and music assistant Noah Teplin, with casting by Patrick Goodwin and Destiny Lilly of The Telsey Office.
The season concludes with Alien/Nation (July 20–August 15), an immersive theatrical experience from two-time Tony nominee Michael Arden (Once On This Island, Spring Awakening) and the company of The Forest of Arden that takes audiences on a journey throughout Williamstown.
Devised in collaboration with writers Jen Silverman and Eric Berryman and featuring members of WTF’s Community Works program, audiences can choose to experience the site-specific performance by foot or by car and plunge themselves into the center of stories inspired by real events that took place in Western Massachusetts in 1969.
The cast includes Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Yeman Brown, Andrei Chagas, Maxwell Dunham, Leigh-Ann Esty, Sara Esty, Chantelle Good, Christopher Hampton Grant, Eriko Jimbo, Matthew Alexander Johnson, Jesse Kovarsky, Renni Magee, Jodi McFadden, Emilio Ramos, Shea Renne, and Lauren Yalango-Grant. Rounding out the company are Julian Abelskamp, Oluwatobiloba Adeyemo, Tim Creavin, Cody Hayman, Austin Phillips, Kallie Pong, Jaime Lee Rodney, Marissa Ruben, Jessica Natalie Smith, Tyqaun Malik White, Ontaria Kim Wilson, and Bekah Zornosa. The creative team also features choreographer Eamon Foley, video editor Edward Michael Rose, and AV coordinator Daniel Hartman.
For more information, visit WTFFestival.org.