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Williamstown Theatre Festival

Friday, July 24, 2009


Sunday, August 2 at 7:00pm, WTF presents a staged reading of Blanche and Beyond Adapted and Directed by Steve Lawson with Richard Thomas

Blanche and Beyond is the sequel to A Distant Country Called Youth (WFF, 2002), which Lawson adapted from the early letters of Tennessee Williams. Whereas Distant Country portrayed a young man battling the odds to become a writer, Blanche focuses on the playwright trying to hold on to what he's achieved as he faces the seismic shock of international fame.

During the course of the play which spans the years 1945 to 1957, the actor moves between three sites - New York, the South, and Abroad - as he corresponds with the likes of Elia Kazan, Gore Vidal, Carson McCullers as well as agents, friends, and lovers.

Both pieces premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and have been published by Samuel French. Tennessee Williams was in residence at WTF twice - in 1979 for Camino Real and in 1982 for the epic two-night Tennessee Williams: A Celebration, which Lawson helped create.

Steve Lawson is Executive Director of the Williamstown Film Festival and has degrees from Williams College and Yale School of Drama. His television writing credits include "St. Elsewhere" (first teleplay on AIDS), Edith Wharton: Looking Back, The Elephant Man, and the Emmy-winning documentary on the Group Theatre. As a journalist he has written for The New Republic, Travel & Leisure, and The New York Times. 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of his first season at WTF where he is an Honorary Associate, served as the first Literary Manager, has written 15 adaptations, and co-founded the Cabaret and Free Theater.

Richard Thomas is a veteran of stage, screen, and television. He won an Emmy Award playing John-Boy on "The Waltons" and will start in David Mamet's new play Race on Broadway this fall. He appeared in the 2005 premiere of Blanche and Beyond at MTC. His films include Winning opposite Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Last Summer, Wonder Boys, and Ang Lee's upcoming Taking Woodstock. 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of Thomas' first WTF season in 1984 when he appeared in Williams' play Vieux Carre. He M.C.'d the Festival's 50th-anniversary gala As Dreams Are Made On, which Lawson wrote.

Ticket are $25.00 and may be purchased by calling or visiting the box office, or on our website.

Poster graphic design used by arrangement with THE KENNEDY CENTER
[photo] T. Charles Erickson. Pictured: Richard Thomas in BLANCHE AND BEYOND, Adapted by/written and Dir. Steve Lawson
© [Graphic Design | The Kennedy Center]

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