Bill Finn Musical A New Brain

Co-Production Barrington Stage and Williamstown Theatre Festival

By: - Mar 07, 2023

Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF), will partner for the first time to present the 1998 musical A New Brain. As previously announced, A New Brain, featuring music and lyrics by BSC Associate Artist William Finn (BSC: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Royal Family of Broadway), book by Finn and James Lapine (Broadway: Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George), and direction by BSC Associate Artist Joe Calarco (BSC: Waiting for Godot, Into the Woods, Ragtime), will play from August 16-September 9 on the Boyd-Quinson Stage (30 Union Street). Opening night is Sunday, August 20.

“Bill Finn and James Lapine’s A New Brain has long been deserving of rediscovery, so it is a wonderful opportunity for our theatres to join forces for the first time to present it for our audiences this summer,” commented BSC Artistic Director Alan Paul and WTF Interim Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, in a joint statement. “Bill is an Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company and a resident of Williamstown and graduate of Williams College, the home of WTF, so we are especially pleased to celebrate one of the most distinct voices in the American theatre, who makes his home here in the Berkshires.”

A New Brain was originally presented in 1998 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, where it won the 1999 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. The largely autobiographical musical is about Finn’s life-threatening experience surviving a neurological brain condition.

For a 2015 production of A New Brain at New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center, Jesse Green, writing for New York Magazine, said, “What makes A New Brain so satisfying is that its almost relentless humor and cynicism are used to promote a very serious and often sad inquiry into key human questions. What do we make of our time here? What do we make of our abilities? Finn’s answer is the obvious one, but no less generous for that. If your brain is wired for it, you make music.”

In A New Brain, Gordon can’t get past his writer’s block when a medical emergency forces him to reassess if his songs (or lack thereof) are more important than his family, his friends or his partner. He needs to navigate a mean nurse, shelves of books and a bossy frog to get to the heart of his music.

Casting and additional creative team for A New Brain will be announced in the coming weeks.

BSC Season Tickets, including A New Brain, are now on sale and offer true flexibility: any show, any theatre, any time. These season tickets allow you to buy tickets in bulk, with a maximum of a 14-Ticket Stack. This means that you can book 14 tickets for any BSC play/musical for any number of tickets per show. You can also use these tickets to bring friends and family to shows. (Ticket Stacks are non-transferrable, but you are welcome to book for guests). Ticket Stack quantities available are packaged to offer the largest discount, savings, and availability to a seven-show season. The final day to purchase season tickets is March 13, 2023. Please call the BSC Box Office for more information at 413-236-8888 or by visiting The BSC Box Office will open for single ticket sales on Tuesday, March 14 at 10:00 am ET.

Additional details about Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2023 Season will be announced soon.