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Berkshire Actor’s Theatre 2012 Season

Auditions for Doubt Slated for March 17

By: BAT - 03/10/2012

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Berkshire Actors Theatre comes to Pittsfield this summer with auditions on March 17.
Berkshire Actors Theatre comes to Pittsfield this summer with auditions on March 17.

The Berkshire Actors Theatre (BAT) 2012 summer season will pair two shows by John Patrick Shanley, both performed at Berkshire Museum. The season will open June 21 with Doubt: A Parable, Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play. Opening one week later will be a remount of last season’s successful production of Four Dogs and a Bone, which will be performed in repertory with Doubt: A Parable.

Berkshire Actors Theatre is generously sponsored in part by Berkshire Bank. For more information on Berkshire Actors Theatre, visit www.berkshireactorstheatre.org.

Doubt: A Parable will be performed June 21 through July 14; Four Dogs and a Bone will be performed June 30 through July 15. Tickets are $25 for general seating; for advance purchase, call 413.443.7171, ext. 10, or visit the Museum’s front desk.

The Play explores its characters’ struggle to hold on to their deeply held beliefs within the confines of a Bronx Catholic School in 1964, while four Dogs and a Bone is a hilarious send-up about the movie making business.

“The idea of running these two plays in repertory appealed to me as a way to create a striking juxtaposition between theatre that makes you think deeply about important issues and theatre that allows you to simply be entertained,” says Artistic Director Clover Bell-Devaney. “The chance to experience two totally different sides of one renowned playwright’s work is a unique opportunity for actors and audience alike, and I’m so pleased to have John Patrick Shanley on board to consult with about his work during the creative process.”

Shanley who also wrote and directed the 2008 Oscar-nominated film version starring Meryl Streep, as well as being an Oscar-winner for the movie Moonstruck is excited to see his work being performed by BAT. “Clearly, theatre is alive and kicking at Berkshire Actors Theatre,” Shanley said, calling BAT a “vibrant new theatre company.” Plans are in the works to arrange a talk-back after one of the performances this summer at the Berkshire Museum, which the playwright hopes to attend.

Auditions scheduled for March 17

Auditions for two roles in the season opener Doubt: A Parable will be held on Saturday, March 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. by appointment only, at the Berkshire Museum. All positions are paid, and contracts for both Equity and non-Equity actors are available. Housing is not provided. Actors should prepare a short dramatic monologue and may be asked to stay and read from the script as well. To make an audition appointment, call Berkshire Actors Theatre at 413.347.9849.

The character breakdown for the roles to be cast is as follows:

  1. Father Flynn: Male, Caucasian, late 30s-late 40s, clean-cut, able to speak with “New England” dialects.
  2. Mrs. Muller: Female, African-American, mid 30s-mid 40s, able to speak with New York dialects.

Four Dogs cast returns

The cast of Four Dogs and a Bone (Bell-Devaney, Michael Foster, Daniel Popowich, and Deann Halper) will be back to reprise their roles this summer, as will director Andrew Volkoff, and many of the designers. “The second person I went to with the repertory idea, after Shanley was my set designer Brian Prather. I was prepared to hear ‘Are you crazy?’ but to my delight, he was actually excited by the challenge of creating two rotating, moveable sets that interact with each other but are distinctly different.”

Last summer’s successful production of Four Dogs and a Bone persuaded Bell-Devaney to remount the piece this year. “Four Dogs and a Bone ran for three weeks last August, and garnered 11 raves out of eleven reviews. For every one person that says it was the best thing they saw last summer, there are ten people who missed it and wish they’d seen it. It makes sense to bring it back for that reason, it also fits our budget, and creates a striking contrast to Doubt; both pieces are riveting, but Four Dogs is literally laugh after laugh.”

New performance venue

Bell-Devaney has ambitious plans for her still-new company; this is the second season for the group. “We’re moving towards becoming an equity company, and will be casting a mix of equity and non-equity actors this season. We also have a new performance venue this year.” Berkshire Actors Theatre will be performing at Berkshire Museum for the 2012 season, utilizing the Museum’s 250-seat theater.

“The Berkshire Museum is committed to using our unique resources to contribute to the cultural fabric of the Berkshires and we are delighted to host Berkshire Actors Theatre for its second season,” says Van W. Shields, Berkshire Museum’s executive director.

At the forefront of Bell-Devaney’s mind is her mission for BAT. “We want to continue to select pieces that give actors the spotlight, without sacrificing production values, and to offer work opportunities to local theater artists first, before looking in New York or elsewhere. I have become particularly committed to the idea of making Pittsfield our home. I think the energy happening here right now is phenomenal and we want to be a part of its artistic resurgence.”

Performance schedule

Performances of Doubt: A Parable are Thursday, June 21 (preview), at 8 p.m.; Friday, June 22 (opening night), at 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 24, at 5 p.m.; Saturday, June 30, at 2 p.m.; Sunday, July 1, at 5 p.m., with a talk-back to follow; Thursday, July 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 7 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 8 at 5 p.m.; Monday, July 9, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m.; and closing on Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m.

Performances of Four Dogs and a Bone are Friday, June 30 (opening night), at 8 p.m.; Monday, July 2, at 8 p.m.; Friday, July 6, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 7, at 2 p.m.; Friday, July 13, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m.; and closing on Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m.

For more information on Berkshire Actors Theatre, visit www.berkshireactorstheatre.org.

 

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