Williamstown Playwright Has World Premiere Staging at Berkshire Theatre Festival

'Birthday Boy' playwright Chris Newbound (photo by Ogden Gigli)

'Birthday Boy' playwright Chris Newbound (photo by Ogden Gigli)

(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – The Berkshire Theatre Festival will literally be just that, when the comic drama Birthday Boy by Chris Newbound, of Williamstown, Mass., has its world premiere in the Unicorn Theatre at Berkshire Theatre Festival beginning Tuesday, August 30. 2011, running through Saturday, September 3. The play will then reopen on Thursday, September 29 and run through Sunday, October 16. The cast includes Nick Dillenburg, Tara Franklin, James Ludwig and Keira Naughton. The piece is directed by Wes Grantom.

As Matt nears his fortieth birthday, he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. His wife, Arianne, wants to take a mud season vacation to Vermont. His job is safe, though far from stimulating. When he begins a flirtation with a comely colleague, he finds himself discovering just how absurd everyday life can be. Birthday Boy provides a comic look at marriage, life and growing older.

The design team includes Kenneth Grady Barker (scenic), Charles Schoonmaker (costumes), Derek Wright (lights) and Phil Pickins (sound).

Chris Newbound (Playwright) is the author of Birthday Boy, which has received staged readings at Main Street Stage in North Adams, Mass., and in Nashua, N.H., as well as in New York City, at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab and at BTF. His play, Morning, Noon and Night received its world premiere at Main Street Stage in North Adams, Mass., in 2004 and also had a staged reading at BTF in 2009. He is formerly the managing editor of Berkshire Living magazine. He has also worked as a playwright mentor with Barrington Stage Company the past four years.

Wes Grantom (Director) is returning to BTF after directing K2 last summer. Other recent directing credits include Tartuff (Asolo Rep), Mine by Bekah Brunstetter (Slant Theatre Project) as well as the national tours of Click Clack Moo and We the People (TheatreworksUSA). Wes has also worked with Atlantic Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Stella Adler Conservatory. Wes is a recipient of the Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Nick Dillenburg (Julian) has been seen in New York in title roles in Hater (Ohio Theatre) and Into the Hazard: Henry V (Walkerspace) and Taking Leave (MCC Freshplay.) His regional credits include Ferdinand in The Tempest w/Anthony Head (Bermuda), Bertram in All’s Well that Ends Well (Commonwealth Shakespeare), Pride and Prejudice, Resurrection Blues (The Guthrie Theater), Cyrano de Bergerac, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Julius Caesar (Utah Shakespeare Festival).

Tara Franklin

Tara Franklin

Tara Franklin (Melora) has been seen at BTF in The Guardsman, Ghosts, A Man For All Seasons, Educating Rita, Amadeus, Equus, The Misanthrope, Peter Pan, Dimetos, A Dream Play, The Einstein Project, and Camelot. Her New York credits include Me, My Guitar and Don Henley (14th Street Y), Shel’s Shorts and The Secretaries (Project Theater @ the 78th Street Lab).  She was also in Manuscript Found in Saragossa (Lookingglass Theatre Company).

James Ludwig

James Ludwig

James Ludwig (Matt) has recently been seen in God of Carnage at George Street Playhouse, Chapter Two and Same Time, Next Year at Theatre Aspen, McCarter Theatre, and Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot in Las Vegas. His Broadway credits include Spamalot (original company) and Little Shop of Horrors. His Off Broadway credits include De La Guarda and Bubbly Black Girl… at Playwrights Horizons. Film and TV appearances include Lipstick Jungle, Ghost Town, Bury The Evidence and Chapelle’s Show.

Keira Naughton

Keira Naughton

Keira Naughton (Arianne) has been seen at BTF in Macbeth, Faith Healer and The Book Club Play. Her Broadway credits include The Rivals (LCT), Dance Of Death and Three Sisters. Her Off Broadway credits include Hunting And Gathering, Lucy, Indoor/Outdoor and All My Sons. Her regional credits include A Delicate Balance at Yale Rep and Becky Shaw at the Huntington Theater. She has also been seen in the films Cradle Will Rock, Blair Witch 2 and Dumped!

Tickets for the performances are $39. Tickets may be purchased at either the BTF or Colonial Ticket Office. Contact the BTF Ticket Office at 413-298-5576 or visit Berkshire Theatre Festival. The Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

 

 

 

 

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