This summer, the American Theatre Wing awarded the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF), the annual on-campus summertime celebration of the performing arts, with the 2002 Regional Theatre Tony Award, one of the highest honors the theatre community can bestow. Such a Tony is given to the regional theatre company who contributes significantly to the development and enhancement of theatre on a national level. This marks the first time a summer festival has ever received the award.
Every year, the WTF presents five performances on the Adams Memorial Theatre MainStage and another five on the smaller Nikos Stage. They also produce numerous workshops and collaborations with local theatre programs, including the Greylock Theatre Project, a program for North Adams elementary schoolchildren. The WTF runs from mid-June through August annually. In past years, the WTF stages have showcased scores of familiar faces, including Blythe Danner, Christopher Reeve, James Belushi, Olympia Dukakis, Gwyneth Paltrow and Marisa Tomei.
In their press release, the American Theatre Wing commended “WTF’s many training programs [which] offer nearly 200 aspiring theatre artists and managers an opportunity to study acting or serve as interns with professional designers, directors and administrators.”
At the close of this year’s festival, the WTF hosted Alfred Urhy’s “Without Walls,” Steve Lawson’s “A Distant Country Called Youth,” Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Lackawanna Blues” and Michel Tremblay’s “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again.”