Rees unveils debut lineup

Williamstown summer slate will include 'Windermere'

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Berkshires will have a British flair this summer with Roger Rees’ first season as artistic director of the Williamstown Theater Festival.

Oscar Wilde’s social comedy “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” directed by Moises Kaufman, opens the season July 6-17. Caryl Churchill’s political drama “Top Girls,” directed by Jo Bonney, follows July 20-31. Tom Stoppard’s farcical “On the Razzle,” directed by Brit helmer David Jones, is next Aug. 3-14. The season wraps up with an American entry, William Inge’s “Bus Stop,” Aug. 17-28.

All productions play the fest’s new 550-seat theater on the Williams College campus.

A trio of workshops will be offered at the 250-seat Nikos Stage, created from the former Adams Memorial Theater, which has been renovated as a second smaller space. This summer, the emphasis shifts away from new works by established playwrights to focus on works from new writers: Ethan Frankel’s “Create Fate,” July 13-24; Lucy Prebble’s “The Sugar Syndrome,” July 27-Aug. 7; and Oni Faida Lampley’s “Tough Titty,” Aug. 10- 21.

“I’ve selected plays that represent a wide range of styles, periods and cultures,” said the Brit-born Rees. “I don’t think good plays have any nationality.” He sees Williamstown as a training ground for new young talent.

Rees succeeds longtime producing director Michael Ritchie, who now heads the Los Angeles Center Theater Group, which includes the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theater.

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