WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL AND AUDIBLE ANNOUNCE COMPLETE CASTING FOR THREE PRODUCTIONS AS REHERASALS & REMOTE RECORDING SESSIONS COMMENCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
COMMENCE REHEARSALS & REMOTE RECORDING SESSIONS
FOR THREE PRODUCTIONS AS THEY ANNOUNCE COMPLETE CASTING
AS PART OF THE UNPRECEDENTED COLLABORATION
TO PRODUCE THE WTF SEASON ON AUDIBLE
ACCLAIMED PLAY BY ANNA ZIEGLER
DIRECTED BY SUSAN STROMAN
ANNA CHLUMSKY JOINED BY
DAVID CORENSWET, STEPHEN KUNKEN,
AASIF MANDVI, OMAR METWALLY, AND BEN ROSENFIELD
WORLD PREMIERE COMEDY BY STACY OSEI-KUFFOUR
DIRECTED BY WHITNEY WHITE
MADELINE BREWER, JASON BUTLER HARNER,
WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER, AND AJA NAOMI KING
“A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE”
BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
DIRECTED BY ROBERT O’HARA
AUDRA McDONALD AND CARLA GUGINO
TO BE JOINED BY
JOEL REUBEN GANZ, JOE GOLDAMMER, CARMEN HERLIHY,
SULLIVAN JONES, BRIAN LUCAS, STACEY RAYMOND,
CESAR J. ROSADO, AND ARIEL SHARIF
New York, NY (August 6, 2020) – Today, Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) and Audible (Kate Navin, Artistic Producer, Audible Theater) announced casting for three productions: Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Susan Stroman; Animals by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, directed by Whitney White; and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, directed by Robert O’Hara. These three plays will all rehearse and have remote recording sessions this month as part of the upcoming Williamstown Theatre Festival season produced by Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks.
In the critically acclaimed new play Photograph 51, previously announced Emmy Award® nominee Anna Chlumsky is joined by David Corenswet, Tony Award® nominee Stephen Kunken, Aasif Mandvi, Tony Award nominee Omar Metwally, and Ben Rosenfield.
The world premiere comedy Animals will feature SAG Award® nominee Madeline Brewer, Jason Butler Harner, 2020 Emmy Award nominee William Jackson Harper, and Aja Naomi King.
A Streetcar Named Desire with previously announced cast members Emmy, Grammy®, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and Carla Gugino, will also feature Joel Reuben Ganz, Joe Goldammer, Carmen Herlihy, Sullivan Jones, Brian Lucas, Stacey Raymond, and Cesar J. Rosado.
For the Audible recording, the role of Stanley will be played by Ariel Sharif. Sharif replaces the previously announced Bobby Cannavale who is unable to participate due to a scheduling conflict.
These three productions join the previously announced world premiere of Shakina Nayfack’s new play Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club directed by Laura Savia which recently completed its remote recording sessions. The complete cast features the playwright alongside Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Liz Lark Brown, SAG Award winner Annie Golden, Bianca Leigh, Telly Leung, Dana Levinson, Pooya Mohseni, Angelica Ross, Ita Segev, Grammy Award nominee Jason Tam, and Samy Nour Younes.
Exact release dates on Audible and additional information about the complete season of seven shows will be announced shortly.
As previously announced, this unprecedented collaboration between two industry leaders, forged during and in response to a fraught moment in history, preserves the Festival season in a different format, provides continued work for the artists involved in the Festival season, and produces a body of work that will be made available for global Audible listeners to enjoy and experience. It also marks the first time that an external theatrical season of work will be produced on Audible. In addition to being available for Audible listeners, the Williamstown Theatre Festival season on Audible will be made available to Williamstown Theatre Festival subscribers and donors. For more information, please visit www.wtfestival.org. For more information about Audible Theater, which makes outstanding performances and powerful storytelling available to millions of people all over the world, please visit www.audible.com/theater.
ABOUT THESE WTF PRODUCTIONS ON AUDIBLE
Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club
By Shakina Nayfack
Directed by Laura Savia
With Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Liz Lark Brown, Annie Golden, Bianca Leigh, Telly Leung, Dana Levinson, Pooya Mohseni, Shakina Nayfack, Angelica Ross, Ita Segev, Jason Tam, and Samy Nour Younes.
In Shakina Nayfack’s world premiere play, a vibrant, international group of transgender women band together at a hotel in Thailand to confront the challenges and joys of gender confirmation surgery. Despite the group’s warm welcome, Kina (Nayfack) prepares for her life-altering operation all alone. But a caring nurse (Ivory Aquino), a wise couple (Kate Bornstein and Annie Golden), and a karaoke-loving bellhop (Telly Leung) may be exactly who she needs to ignite her truest sense of self. WTF Associate Artistic Director Laura Savia directs this spirited comedy about one woman who tests the bonds of an unlikely sisterhood.
By Anna Ziegler
Directed by Susan Stroman
With Anna Chlumsky, David Corenswet, Stephen Kunken, Aasif Mandvi, Omar Metwally, and Ben Rosenfield.
In 1951, chemist Rosalind Franklin (Anna Chlumsky) works relentlessly in her King’s College London lab, closing in on a major discovery that could unlock the mysteries of the DNA molecule. Undermined by her colleague Maurice Wilkins (Omar Metwally), she struggles to compete with rival team Watson and Crick (David Corenswet and Aasif Mandvi) as pressure intensifies to produce results. Following a critically acclaimed run in London, Anna Ziegler’s play is brought to life in a new production directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, honoring the monumental contribution of one scientist with two X chromosomes whom history nearly left behind.
By Stacy Osei-Kuffour
Directed by Whitney White
With Madeline Brewer, Jason Butler Harner, William Jackson Harper, and Aja Naomi King.
Lydia (Aja Naomi King) and Henry (Jason Butler Harner)’s dinner guests (Madeline Brewer and William Jackson Harper) are about to arrive when Henry’s spontaneous marriage proposal threatens to burn the evening to a crisp. Wine bottles and years of unspoken tensions are uncorked, and, before the evening is through, Lydia must confront her long-held fears and feelings if she’s going to commit to a future with Henry. Directed by Whitney White, Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s world premiere comedy marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival.
A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Robert O’Hara
With Joel Reuben Ganz, Joe Goldammer, Carla Gugino, Carmen Herlihy, Sullivan Jones, Brian Lucas, Audra McDonald, Stacey Raymond, Cesar J. Rosado, and Ariel Sharif.
Following his 2019 production of A Raisin in the Sun, celebrated as “an absorbing, watershed revival,” by The New York Times, Robert O’Hara returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival to direct this Tennessee Williams masterpiece. With Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Blanche DuBois alongside Carla Gugino as Stella, O’Hara takes a fresh and visceral look at the emotionally charged relationship between these two iconic sisters. Haunted by her past, Blanche seeks refuge with Stella and Stanley (Ariel Sharif) in New Orleans, where she wrestles with the nature of her sister’s husband, her sister’s denial, and her own unraveling mind.
WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
For over six decades, Williamstown Theatre Festival, recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement, has brought emerging and professional theatre artists together to create a thrilling summer festival of premiere work alongside fresh, new productions of the western canon, accompanying cultural events including COMMUNITY WORKS and Late- Night Cabarets, and readings and workshops of new plays. Under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield, WTF launched the Andrew Martin-Weber New Play and Musical Commissioning Program, through which theatre artists, including Jocelyn Bioh, Nathan Alan Davis, Halley Feiffer, Justin Levine, Matthew Lopez, Jiehae Park, Benjamin Scheuer, and many others, create new work supported by a year-round play development program. WTF runs unmatched training programs for new generations of theatre talent, and artists and productions shaped at WTF fill theatres in New York, London, and around the country each season. Williamstown Theatre Festival’s productions of The Bridges of Madison County, The Elephant Man, Fool for Love, Living on Love, and The Visit enjoyed critically acclaimed runs on Broadway, with The Elephant Man and The Visit receiving Tony Award nominations for Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical, respectively. WTF’s world premiere productions of Cost of Living (winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Actually, Paradise Blue, and Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow played acclaimed Off-Broadway runs. In the 2019-20 theatrical season, Williamstown Theatre Festival is represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally by The Sound Inside, The Rose Tattoo, Grand Horizons, Seared, Selling Kabul, and Unknown Soldier.
Audible Theater makes outstanding performances and powerful storytelling available to millions of people all over the world. As part of this initiative, Audible has produced Girls & Boys with Carey Mulligan, The Half-Life of Marie Curie with Kate Mulgrew, Harry Clarke starring Billy Crudup, Billy Crystal’s Have A Nice Day with Annette Bening and Kevin Kline, the revival of Aasif Mandvi’s Sakina’s Restaurant, and many others at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City. In May 2018, Audible announced that the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village will serve as its creative home for live performances in New York. Audible hosts and produces a wide variety of live performances at the Minetta Lane including dramatic plays, comedic shows, engaging panel discussions, and more, with Audible members receiving exclusive access to discounted tickets and related audio content.
Audible was co-producer for the Broadway transfer of the Tony Award-nominated Latin History for Morons written by and starring John Leguizamo and for Sea Wall /A Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge. The initiative also saw the release of John Lithgow’s Stories By Heart, Judith Light’s All The Ways To Say I Love You, Sharon Washington’s Feeding The Dragon, and more. Since June 2017, Audible has commissioned 25 theater playwrights to receive support from its $5 million Emerging Playwrights Fund dedicated to developing innovative English-language works from around the globe. The $5 million fund enables the creation of original plays driven by language and voice, keeping with Audible’s core commitment to elevating listening experiences through powerful performances and extraordinary vocal storytelling.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the world’s largest producer and provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 525,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.
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