The summer's most acclaimed new play, The Best of Enemies, by Mark St. Germain (author of Freud's Last Session), returns to Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson, for a run from tonight through 16 at the BSC Mainstage, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield. The press opening is Saturday, October 8 at 8pm.
BSC's fall production of Lord of the Flies, originally scheduled for an October run, will be presented in October 2012.
We're thrilled that The Best of Enemies broke all box office records as the most attended Mainstage play in our 17 year history," said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. "Many people in the Berkshire community were not able to see this powerful new play because of its limited summer run."
Directed by Julianne Boyd, The Best of Enemies received its world premiere July 21 through August 6. The production starred John Bedford Lloyd as C. P. Ellis, Aisha Hinds as Ann Atwater, Clifton Duncan as Bill Riddick, and Susan Wands as Mary Ellis.
The October production will once again feature John Bedford Lloyd, Aisha Hinds and Susan Wands. Clifton Duncan has a previous commitment; casting for the role of Bill Riddick will be announced at a later date.
Inspired by the best-selling book by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis (a Grand Cyclops of the KKK) and Ann Atwater (an African-American civil rights activist) during the desegregation of the Durham, NC schools in 1971. The Best of Enemies exposes the poison of prejudice in the hearts of Atwater and Ellis who, by facing each other, are forced to face the worst, and best, in themselves.
The Best of Enemies is designed by David M. Barber (sets), Scott Pinkney (lights), Kristina Lucka (costumes), and Brad Berridge (sound). Michael Andrew Rodgers is production stage manager.
John Bedford Lloyd (C.P. Ellis) Broadway: Some Americans Abroad, The Rainmaker, Tartuffe. Carnegie Hall: Showboat. Off-Broadway: Ethan Coen's Offices at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Williamstown: six seasons. Guthrie Theatre: Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues (world premiere). Westport Playhouse: The Drawer Boy. Television: John Adams, The Bronx is Burning, Blue Bloods, Pan Am, A Legal Mind, Remember WENN (Screen Actors Guild Award nomination). Film: Super Troopers, Crossing Delancey, Tough Guys Don't Dance, Nixon, The Abyss, Bourne Supremacy, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, The Hoax, Wall Street 2. Volunteer with Rehabilitation Through the Arts, a theatre outreach program operating inside New York State prisons.
Aisha Hinds (Ann Atwater) Brooklyn born and educated at the University of Miami, Aisha is thrilled to return to the stage in The Best of Enemies, after a nine year hiatus. Hinds work in television and film includes notably HBO's True Blood, ABC's Detroit 187, TNT's HawthoRNe, Showtime's Weeds, and recently appearing with Russell Crowe in The Next Three Days and Denzel Washington in Unstoppable, truly feels most honored to humbly pay homage to the life, work, and service of Ann Atwater in this role. Some of Hinds' stage credits include Fences, Anything Goes, Tartuffe, Boy Times Man, Colored Museum, Mighty Gents, and Mame.
Susan Wands (Mary Ellis) has acted on Broadway, Off & Off-Off Broadway. In regional theater she has worked at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Old Globe Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Rep, Merrimack Rep, Virginia Stage and others. Favorite roles include: Margery Pinchwife in The Country Wife (directed by Julianne Boyd), Hermione, Blanche, Imogen, Camille, Rosalind, Sally Talley, Isabelle, Cressida, Helena, Doll Tearsheet and Mrs. Cheveley. Television roles include guest lead appearances on several daytime dramas, the "Law & Order" series and in the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire."
Julianne Boyd (Director) founded the Barrington Stage Company in January, 1995. Her directorial credits at BSC include last season's critically acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Streetcar Named Desire (2009), the 2005 production of Follies, the world premiere musical The Game, based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Mack and Mabel, A Little Night Music, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1997 she directed BSC's smash hit production of Cabaret, which won six Boston Theatre Critics Awards and transferred to the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge for an extended run. Ms. Boyd conceived and directed the Broadway musical Eubie!, a show based on the music of Eubie Blake which starred Gregory Hines and garnered three Tony nominations. She also co-conceived and directed (with Joan Micklin Silver) the award-winning Off-Broadway musical revue A...My Name Is Alice (Outer Critics' Award) and its sequel A...My Name Is Still Alice. She has also worked extensively in regional theatres, including the Old Globe Theatre, the McCarter Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Syracuse Stage. From 1992 to 1998 Ms. Boyd served as President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the national union representing professional directors and choreographers in the U.S.
Mark St. Germain (Playwright) wrote Freud's Last Session, Barrington Stage Company's longest running play. Now playing Off-Broadway, it has passed its 300th performance and will be performed nationally and internationally next season. He's written Ears on a Beatle (BSC), The God Committee (BSC) and Out of Gas on Lover's Leap. Other plays include Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award) and Forgiving Typhoid Mary. His new play, Mrs. Lincoln's Seance, will have a reading at BSC this summer. Mark co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard's Warner Brothers film, Duma. He most recently directed and produced the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story, featuring Richard Gere, Lynn Redgrave and Glenn Close among many others. It was chosen to be the first documentary shown on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Television credits include Writer and Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show, Life Stories and Dick Wolf's Crime and Punishment. With Randy Courts, he has written the musicals The Gifts of the Magi, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, winner of an AT&T "New Plays for the Nineties Award," both produced at the Lamb's Theater, NYC. Jack's Holiday was produced at Playwrights Horizons. Mark's musical, Stand By Your Man - The Tammy Wynette Story was created for Nashville's Ryman Theater and has toured nationally. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists where he was given the Joe A. Callaway Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer's Guild East. He was awarded the "New Voices in American Theatre" award at the William Inge Theatre Festival. Mark is a Board Member and Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company.
Osha Gray Davidson (Author) has been a regular contributor to Rolling Stone magazine. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New Republic, Salon.com, The Washington Post, Woman's Day, Popular Science and Grist. He is the author of five books of non-fiction, covering topics from sea turtles (Fire in the Turtle House) to the National Rifle Association (Under Fire) to the nexus of race and class in America (The Best of Enemies). Osha also co-wrote the screenplay for the IMAX documentary Coral Reef Adventure. He publishes the The Phoenix Sun, a syndicated online news and analysis site covering solar power from the American Southwest.
The fall production of The Best of Enemies is made possible through the generous support of Sydelle and Lee Blatt.
The Best of Enemies will be presented at the BSC Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Additional matinees Saturday, October 8 at 2pm and Wednesday, October 12 at 2pm. Opening Night: Saturday, October 8 at 8pm. Tickets: $15-$40. Seniors: $25 all matinees. Youth 18 and under $15 for all performances. Matinees for student groups will be held October 5, 7, 11 and 14 at 10:30am. For more information on student group sales, contact Kate Ivey at 413-236-8888.
About Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage's mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre-especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it workshopped, and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway's Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it won two Tony Awards and played more than 1,000 performances. In 2009/2010 Barrington Stage produced the world premiere of Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session, which later moved Off-Broadway to the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater. Barrington Stage was voted "Best Live Theatre" by The Berkshire Eagle readers in 2011 and was named "Best Theatre Company" in Metroland's Best of the Capital Region 2009-2011.
For more information, log on to www.barringtonstageco.org.