Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Stripped Down 2023 Summer Offerings | Playbill

Regional News Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Stripped Down 2023 Summer Offerings

Their summer season will focus on readings and cabaret as they work to rebuild their working culture.

Laura Benanti

Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced the lineup for its 2023 summer season, including a series of cabarets, readings, and other special events. 

This season will focus on minimally staged productions in order to focus their resources on reimagining the Festival's operations in light of many current and former employees speaking out against the festival's work culture.

Said Jenny Gersten, the interim artistic director of the festival, “Williamstown Theatre Festival’s economic model is steeped in a summer stock tradition that needs to be rethought in order for the Festival to continue to thrive for another 70 years. We have made the responsible, strategic decision to not produce full productions this summer, but instead are creating a very special season that requires a smaller footprint. We’re looking forward to using the found capacity to think about how we meet the future and sustain ourselves as an organization. This summer is the beginning of a wonderful journey. I’m full of optimism for the future, and I love that this summer we spend time with family and new exciting voices while we undertake this purposeful work in order to return in 2024 to full productions on the campus of Williams College.”

The 2023 season will begin with comedian Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj), who will work through his new material in Experiment Time. The six performance engagement will play from July 12 to 15. He will be followed by Tony winner Laura Benanti, who will present a one-night-only concert engagement July 16.

The remainder of the summer season will consist of a single stage performance roster, on which the Williamstown Theatre Festival cabaret series and the new Main Stage Reading Series will be conducted. Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald will curate the cabaret series over three successive weekends: July 20-22, July 27-29, and August 3-August 5. 

Titles for the festivals reading series will include Paris, ACTORS! by Hamish Linklater (starring Linklater and Lily Rabe), Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (starring Louisa Jacobson), and The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. Information on creative teams, and additional cast members for the reading series will be announced at a later date, as well as participants in the cabaret series.

The festivals Fridays@3 developmental reading series will include Chapters of a Floating Life by Clarence Coo and directed by Jennifer Chang, Plunder and Lightning by Cindy Lou Johnson, and Wipeout by Aurora Real de Asua and directed by Maggie Burrows. A fourth reading will be announced at a later date, in addition to casting and information on creative teams.

This year's Artists in Residence are Breaking the Binary Theatre, who will develop TWITCH by Liliana Padilla, Nightdrive, who will develop Society by Skylar Fox and Simon Henriques, Waterwell, and Plate Spinner Productions, who will develop A Good Day to Me Not to You by Lameece Issaq alongside Waterwell.

For more information, visit WTFestival.org.

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