After a long break, we’ve got a lineup of interesting interviews heading down the wire. We’ll be checking in with three figures from the national theatre scene – two playwrights and an artistic director.
First up is Seattle playwright Robert Schenkkan, whose play THE GREAT SOCIETY (part two of an epic about President Johnson) is just finishing up a sold out run at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If you missed it there (or even if you didn’t), do not miss the chance to see both of Schenkkan’s LBJ plays (ALL THE WAY and THE GREAT SOCIETY) together in rep at Seattle Rep starting in November. There is sure to be a lot of excitement around this celebration of the hometown playwright. Schenkkan’s Tony for ALL THE WAY is one of the biggest theatre honors Seattle has ever won, and Rain City likes a team to root for. Time it right and catch a Seahawks game while you’re there.
Then it’s Brooklyn playwright Lynn Nottage, who is currently working on SWEAT, a new play commissioned by OSF’s American Revolutions program that opens next summer. For this project Nottage spent several years doing research and interviews in Reading, PA. Her topic is the de-industrial revolution. What happens to the people when a town moves beyond heavy industry? Nottage’s last two plays have been simply spectacular, though very different. RUINED (2009) tells the story of Mama Nadi and a group of women in a brothel in war torn Congo. BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK (2011) is a fast-moving, very funny look at race and Hollywood in the 1930s and then 1970s. According to her web site, Nottage is a self described “writer, theatremaker, activist”, and that special combination is felt in her work.
Finally, we check in with Mandy Greenfield, the new Artistic Director of Williamstown Theatre Festival. Formerly second in command at Manhattan Theatre Club, Greenfield brings a wealth of new play knowledge and big city producing expertise to her new job. WTF – once upon a time, THE summer theatre festival in New England – has cycled through a few AD’s in recent years and has been losing ground to other outfits in the area. Greenfield looks to be the perfect person to breathe new and vital life into this Berkshire power house.