(LENOX, Mass.) — Shakespeare & Company will present its 17th annual Studio Festival of Plays — a mini-marathon of plays never before performed at the Company — running one-day only on Monday, September 5, 2011, in the Founders’ Theatre. Staged readings begin at 11 am and continue through to 11 pm. Company actors and special guest actors will present seven productions throughout the day, in the form of works-in-progress and staged readings.
Tickets for the Studio Festival are a $16 suggested donation per show, or a $60 suggested donation for a Festival Pass, which gives admittance to all six performances. For information, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit Shakespeare & Company.
An annual vehicle for exploring new plays (including plays that may receive full productions in a future season), the Studio Festival is part of Shakespeare & Company’s commitment to nurturing fresh theatrical voices and staging cutting-edge work. The plays are presented as workshop readings with varying degrees of staging and production elements. This year’s Studio Festival features comedic works, such as A.R. Gurney’s The Grand Manner, as well as more cutting-edge fare like Parasite Drag by Mark Roberts, a comic-tragedy about the conflicted relationship between two brothers.
“I am very pleased to include so many new works, directors and actors in the Festival this season,” says artistic director Tony Simotes. “It’s a joy to have long-time Company actors such as Michael F. Toomey and Shawn Cody back in the mix with their provocative and entertaining shows. The number of submissions this season was staggering and I am grateful to Elizabeth Aspenlieder, an Artistic Associate and Gina Kaufman, a Company director, teacher and dramaturge who spent the past several weeks reading dozens of new plays with me in order to make our selection. This year’s Studio Festival of Plays truly runs the gamut of genres and forms, from a raucous new musical (Water Dream) to an elegant comedy about cows (Milk).
Over the past sixteen years, the Studio Festival has featured numerous works that were later given full productions in the Company’s regular season. Last year’s Studio Festival hit, The Memory of Water, is currently receiving a full production directed by Kevin G. Coleman and starring a cast of audience favorites in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.