(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Christopher Boy’s Communion, a new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, will receive its East Coast premiere in a staging by the new Great Barrington Public Theater at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock College from June 17 to July 5, 2020, directed by the Public’s artistic director Jim Frangione.
“This new play touches on themes Mamet has grappled with many times over his storied career — persecution, prosecution, guilt, innocence and absolution,” says Frangione.
Mamet is best-known for plays including Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow, Lakeboat, The Water Engine, The Woods, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Mamet has also enjoyed success as a screenwriter and film director in works including The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, and The Untouchables.
Great Barrington Public Theater’s 2020 season begins with Bear Tales, an innovative solo performance festival of new works, running from May 28 to June 7. Frangione says, “Bear Tales will feature the best of area talent and will showcase new and established local playwrights, performers, storytellers, musicians, singers and puppeteers. Every performance will be a rich panoply of solo performances from the comic to the ethereal, music to mime, real true stories to bio plays.” The full list of Bear Tales titles, playwrights and performers will be announced at a later date.
Bear Tales and The Christopher Boy’s Communion will be staged at the Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road, in Great Barrington, Mass.
David Mamet (Playwright) is the author of the plays: The Anarchist, November, Boston Marriage, Faustus, Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, Race, The Old Neighborhood, Life in the Theatre, Speed-the- Plow, Edmond, Lakeboat, The Water Engine, The Woods, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Reunion and The Cryptogram (1995 Obie Award). His translations and adaptations include Faustus, Red River by Pierre Laville and The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov. His films include The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, The Untouchables, House of Games (writer/director), Oleanna (writer/director), Homicide (writer/director), The Spanish Prisoner (writer/director), Heist (writer/director), Spartan (writer/director) and Redbelt (writer/director). Mamet is also the author of Warm and Cold, a book for children with drawings by Donald Sultan, and two other children’s books, Passover and The Duck and the Goat. His most recent books include True and False, Three Uses of the Knife, The Wicked Son, Bambi Vs. Godzilla, The Secret Knowledge and the shoot-em-up novel of Prohibition, Chicago.
Jim Frangione (Artistic Director) After more than ten years developing new plays with Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Jim is excited about the emergence of Great Barrington Public Theater as it heads into its second season. He directed Anne Undeland’s acclaimed new play, Lady Randy, at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox; David Mamet’s Romance at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; Private Life at HERE Arts in NY; and An Evening of Shorts by Mamet, Pinter and Silverstein at the ART/Harvard Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. Jim’s play Breakwater, the second if his trilogy of Cape Cod plays received its premiere last June at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock (Berkshire Theatre Critic’s Nomination) His play, Flight of the Monarch, received its world premiere at Gloucester Stage Company in 2017. Jim has acted for over 35 years; Off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theater in the original production of Oleanna, as well as the National Tour; in many plays with the Atlantic Theater Company, on Broadway and at regional theaters such as The Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf, Alley Theater, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville—and most recently in David Mamet’s Prairie Du Chien at Atlantic and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Shakespeare & Company. Jim’s film work includes Joy; Transamerica; Spartan; Heist;, State and Main; The Spanish Prisoner; Homicide; Suits; Claire Dolan and Maryam
Deann Simmons Halper (Executive Director) is an actor, director and producer. She has produced several New York and Regional productions including the OBIE-nominated Incommunicado and The Vagina Monologues. Halper has served on the board of directors for Circle Rep, New York Stage and Film, TriArts’ Sharon Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company and Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and she is currently on the board of directors for Space on Ryder Farm and Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Most recently Halper has appeared in QWERTY at Mixed Company; Death and the Maiden at New Stage; Four Dogs and a Bone with Berkshire Actors Theatre; and The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls at WAM Theatre, among many others.
Great Barrington Public Theater was founded by Jim Frangione and Deann Simmons Halper to create opportunities for theater artists in the Berkshires and neighboring regions. Great Barrington Public Theater recognizes the many excellent playwrights, actors, directors, designers, administrators and technicians living in the Berkshires and surrounding areas. Our objective is to bring a mix of new and contemporary plays to the stage in a variety of formats; to generate and foster creative and rigorous opportunity for local theater artists, while engaging our theatergoing public with new and contemporary readings, workshops, and fully staged productions, involving local talent as often as possible, and keeping ticket prices affordable.