Posted December 13, 2008

Artistic Director Kate Maguire Lays Out Plans for an Exciting Year

Stockbridge, MA – Berkshire Theatre Festival Artistic Director Kate Maguire is pleased to announce the company’s 2009 season, which will extend from May 21 through December 30 and be the longest-running season in the company’s history. Following up a remarkably successful 80th Anniversary season, Ms. Maguire has assembled a diverse season of plays, ranging from one of the classic dramas of the stage to a black comedy by one of the hottest new playwrights in America The BTF season promises to provide audiences with one of the most enjoyable, thought-provoking summers ever.

Maguire says about the season: “As we navigate through some truly challenging times, Berkshire Theatre Festival is committed to continuing our tradition of doing Theatre that Matters. We are reminded that the theatre fills an important role in our community, one in which it can entertain as well as confront the news of the day. This season represents a wonderful mix of plays that both deal with the issues we face, individually as well as a society, while also providing an entertaining respite from our daily grind. It is a pleasure and a privilege to present this season.”

BTF is proud to announce that it will be dedicating the 2009 season to the memory of William Gibson. Mr. Gibson was a noted playwright, best known for writing The Miracle Worker, based in Stockbridge, MA. Mr. Gibson was also a former Artistic Director of Berkshire Theatre Festival, from 1966 to 1970, and was a long serving member of the Board of Trustees at the Festival. His guiding hand and dedication to theatre continue to inspire the Festival’s work to this very day and his support will be greatly missed.

Note: Opening Nights are also Press Nights, – They will take place this year on Saturdays for all performances.

Main Stage

Berkshire Theatre Festival Main Stage performances are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8pm, Wednesdays at 7pm, with 2pm matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays. Tickets range from $23 to $68.

Broadway by the Year®- Created/Written/Hosted by Scott Siegel with an All-Star Cast
Presented by special arrangement with The Town Hall in New York City.
Previews: June 19
Opening Night/Press Night: June 20
Closes: June 27

Since 2002, this critically acclaimed cabaret series has become what Show Business Weekly deems, "…an invaluable and entertaining jewel in the cabaret crown of New York". For the first time ever, this amazing evening of show tunes from Broadway’s glorious past is presented in the Berkshires. This strictly limited engagement has been called by The New York Times, "Witty, breezily paced. . .informative. . .valuable. . .the right perspective of lighthearted nostalgia.”

The Einstein Project by Paul D’Andrea and Jon Klein
Directed by Eric Hill
Previews: June 30, July 1, 2, 3
Opening Night/Press Night: July 4
Closes: July 18

The Einstein Project humanizes an immortal figure. Through conversations with his son, his wife, and his colleagues, Paul D’Andrea and Jon Klein present a vulnerable, fiendishly intelligent Albert Einstein trapped between his beliefs and his duty. A fascinating portrait of the man who, however reluctantly, ushered in the atomic age. Originally presented in the Unicorn Theatre, BTF Director Eric Hill turns to the Main Stage to re-invigorate this extraordinary production.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon
Directed by Warner Shook
Previews: July 21, 22, 23, 24
Opening Night/Press Night: July 25
Closes: August 8

Mel and Edna Edison, a middle-aged couple living in New York, find their luck is quickly deteriorating during a terrible heat wave and a garbage strike. When Mel cracks under the pressure, his family intervenes in an attempt to nurse him back to his old self, with predictably unpredictable results. World renowned playwright Neil Simon presents a comical, and sometimes sad, look at the pressures placed upon a working class family that ripples with his trademark crisp dialogue and quirky, hysterically memorable characters

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Anders Cato and James Leverett
Directed by Anders Cato
Previews: August 11, 12, 13, 14
Opening Night/Press Night: August 15
Closes: August 29

A woman struggles to keep several terrible family secrets, the implication of which are only worsened by a puritanical Pastor, a lascivious son, and her own guilt-ridden, well hidden past. Full of dark symbols, Ghosts exemplifies Henrik Ibsen’s uncanny ability to overturn Victorian social values by using them as the damning elements in his work. Now, BTF favorites Director Anders Cato and Dramaturg James Leverett present a brand new translation of this classic of the theatre.

Unicorn Theatre

Berkshire Theatre Festival Unicorn performances are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8pm; Wednesday evening at 7pm; and Saturday afternoons at 2pm. The opening and closing productions have slightly different schedules — please see details below. Prices range from $19.50 to $44.

Faith Healer by Brian Friel
Directed by Eric Hill
Previews: May 21, 22
Opening Night/Press Night: May 23
Closes: July 4
Playing Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm through June 20. From June 20-July 4 performances will return to the normal weekly schedule as listed above.

Francis Hardy has an unusual job. He, his wife, Grace, and his loyal manager, Teddy, travel across the British Isles performing a series of almost vaudevillian faith healings. But like any professional, Hardy begins to worry about losing his talent, or whether or not he ever really had one. The strain is felt by his wife, observed by his manager, and so grips Francis that he becomes obsessed with curing the incurable, no matter the cost.

Director Eric Hill says about Faith Healer, “The title is somewhat ironic in that it has multiple layers of meaning. On the surface, it’s a man who travels the country using faith to heal others, but it can also mean a person who goes about healing faith. In that way, the term asks as many questions as it answers, questions about our ability to heal ourselves in moments of crisis.”

Candide Music by Leonard Bernstein, Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler, Lyrics by Richard Wilbur
Other lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John LaTouche
Directed by Ralph Petillo
Previews: July 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Opening Night/Press Night: July 11
Closes: August 15

Plays the normal Unicorn Schedule; however the schedule on Thursday will feature a 2pm show and an 8pm show while Saturday will feature a 10am show and an 8pm show.

Based on Voltaire’s novella, Candide is the story of a young man’s journey of self-discovery as he tries to find his place in a world that appears to be growing increasingly hostile. Alternately funny and poignant, Candide features some of the most recognizable music in the American canon and has proven to be a crowd favorite.

Sick by Zayd Dohrn
Director TBA
Previews: August 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 @ 2pm
Opening Night/Press Night: August 22 @ 8pm
Closes: September 6
Regional Premiere!

A small home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is the only safe haven for the children of the Krebs family. But despite Mrs. Krebs’ attempts to protect her family with scrubbers, masks, and isolation, the delicate balance is brought to the breaking point when her husband’s academic career brings a stranger into their safe house. In its Northeast Premiere, Sick seeps onto the stage as a terrifying family drama filled with dark comedy, mistrust, and shocking realism.

Red Remembers by Andrew Guerdat
Directed by John Rando
With David Garrison (Married. . . With Children)
Previews: September 11, 12 @ 2pm
Opening Night/Press Night: September 12 @ 8pm
Closes: November 1
Playing Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.
World Premiere!

Well into retirement, Red Barber, the former announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, invites the audience into an intimate, beautifully nostalgic story about his life, the history of baseball, and the core values of humanity in an ever changing world. The honor, loyalty, and perseverance of America and its favorite pastime are not lost upon Red, and he ensures they shall not be lost to us.

Theatre for Young Audiences

Note: The following productions are not part of the subscription series.

The Wind in the Willows adapted by E. Gray Simons from the novel by Kenneth Grahame
Directed by E. Gray Simons III
July – August at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield
$7 children, $10 adult (discount for museum members)
For ticket information, call the Berkshire Museum at 413-443-7171
Playing Wednesday through Saturday 11am

Berkshire Theatre is proud to return to the Berkshire Museum for The Wind in the Willows. This classic Children’s tale deals with the eccentric Mr. Toad and his three friends, Mole, Ratty, and Mr. Badger. Exciting as well as educational, this is a production the whole family will love.

Peter Pan: The Musical
Based on the play by J. M. Barrie
Directed by E. Gray Simons III and Travis Daly
With a cast of children and adults drawn from the local Berkshire community
At the BTF Main Stage
Opening Night/Press Night: September 4
Closes: September 13
Playing Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.
$10 students, $25 adults

Proceeds to benefit Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Berkshire County Educational Enrichment Initiative and BTF PLAYS!, Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Year-Round Education Program.

Head towards the “second star to the right” and re-discover this wonderful tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. BTF is proud to once again stage a production cast completely from the Berkshire County community. Join the Darling children, the Lost Boys, and evil Captain Hook for an evening of music, merriment, and wonder.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Eric Hill
Directed by Eric Hill and E. Gray Simons III
At the Unicorn Theatre
Previews: December 10, 11, 12@2pm
Opening Night/Press Night: December 12@8pm
Closes: December 30

Playing December 10 – 15, December 17 – 22, and December 26 – 30 at 7pm. There will be 2pm matinee performances on December 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27. 10am matinee performances will be held on December 15 and 17. There will be no performances December 23-25. $20 child/student, $36 - $39 adult

BTF’s fourth annual production of the classic Dickens’ tale. A holiday tradition that the whole family will love.


Season passes to either the Main Stage or the Unicorn are still available. This year, Main Stage subscribers get guaranteed Main Stage lot parking. All subscribers also receive discounts on additional single tickets. Contact the BTF Box Office at 413-298-5536 ext. 33 or visit for more information.

Single ticket vouchers to any of our shows are available for purchase as well. Each voucher guarantees you a seat in the theatre for the night of the show you wish. Starting in January, voucher holders will be given seats for their shows.

All plays, schedules, and prices are subject to change.

New for 2009

This season BTF will be changing its performance calendar slightly. Due to popular demand, all shows on Wednesday will be at 7pm, not 8pm, in the Main Stage and the Unicorn. Additionally, for The Wiz our Saturday matinees will be at 10am, not 2pm.

About Berkshire Theatre Festival

Founded in 1928, Berkshire Theatre Festival is one of the oldest professional regional theatres in the United States and the longest-running cultural organization in the Berkshires. Now under the helm of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, BTF presents theatre that matters—world premieres, contemporary works, and classics that speak to who we are in our world today. The Main Stage (408 seats), cataloged by the National Register of Historic Places, was originally designed and built by Stanford White as the Stockbridge Casino in 1888. The mission of BTF’s second stage, the intimate Unicorn Theatre (122 seats), is to provide a home for emerging artists and new theatrical ideas. BTF’s education program, BTF PLAYS!, reaches over 10,000 children annually through school residencies, touring performances, and summer performance training and writing programs. During the summer months BTF opens its doors to over 75 administrative, acting, and technical interns and apprentices. For more information about Berkshire Theatre Festival, please visit

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