Accomplished theatermakers to discuss theater in the time of COVID-19

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Berkshire Playwrights Lab's online "Off the Cuff" series continues 6 p.m.Wednesday with guest panelists Tony-, Emmy-, and Golden Globe-winning actor Tony Shaloub; Broadway and TV actor Dan Lauria; Obie-winning theater director, and artistic director at Hartford Stage, Melia Bensussen; and playwright and executive director of the OBIE Award-winning Black Theatre Festival, Kelley Nicole Girod.

The discussion will be co-hosted by BPL co-artistic directors Joe Cacaci and Felicia Harden with participation from BPL co-artistic directors Richard Dresser and James Anthony Tyler.

Areas of discussion will include the impact of COVID-19 on the theater world; whether the theater community has been complicit in or resistant to white supremacy in the industry; the mission of theater looking forward; and how theater defines and purposes itself now and in the future.

Each program in the "Off the Cuff" series examines societal and cultural issues that affect theatergoers and theater-makers alike in these times. The programs are streamed live via facebook.com/BerkshirePlaywrightsLab or https://tinyurl.com/BPL-Youtube before being made available for ongoing viewing.

Participants in the live event will be invited to submit questions to the panelists during the program.

The discussions are free and registration is not required.

The series is produced in collaboration with Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.

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Award-Winning Actors, Writers, and Producers Discuss the Future of Theater with BPLBerkshire Playwrights Lab's Off the Cuff series brings Tony Shaloub, others, to living rooms near and far[Great Barrington, MA] - The second and third installments in Berkshire Playwrights Lab's Off the Cuff series will take place Wednesdays, August 19 and August 26 at 6:00 pm. The August 19 event is a replacement for the discussion originally scheduled for August 5 which was impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias. Both programs will be broadcast live, online, free of charge at BerkshirePlaywrightsLab.org and Facebook.com/BerkshirePlaywrightsLab. Off the Cuff is presented in partnership with the Berkshire Museum. Each program in the Off the Cuff series takes a deep dive into societal and cultural issues that affect theater-goers and theater-makers alike at this consequential moment for both the theater and the country. These expansive, free-wheeling conversations will be streamed live before being made available after the event for ongoing viewing. Participants in the live event will be invited to submit questions to the panelists during the program.The following panelists will join the conversation on August 19:

Tom Fontana, Emmy and WGA-winning writer (Homicide Life on the Streets, Oz)Awoye Timpo, celebrated Off-Broadway director (The Homecoming Queen, The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd)Lillias White, Tony-winning actress and singer and HAPI documentary narrator (Disney's Hercules, The Life, Netflix's The Get Down)

Three new panelists will share their thoughts on August 26:

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Award-Winning Actors, Writers, and Producers Discuss the Future of Theater with BPL

Berkshire Playwrights Lab's Off the Cuff series brings Tony Shaloub, others, to living rooms near and far

[Great Barrington, MA] - The second and third installments in Berkshire Playwrights Lab's Off the Cuff series will take place Wednesdays, August 19 and August 26 at 6:00 pm. The August 19 event is a replacement for the discussion originally scheduled for August 5 which was impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias. Both programs will be broadcast live, online, free of charge at BerkshirePlaywrightsLab.org and Facebook.com/BerkshirePlaywrightsLab. Off the Cuff is presented in partnership with the Berkshire Museum.

Tony Shaloub, Tony Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy-winning actor (Monk, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Band's Visit)

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Dan Lauria, renowned Broadway and TV actor (Lombardi, The Wonder Years)

Melia Bensussen, Obie-winning theater director, Artistic Director at Hartford Stage, and former Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College

Both Off the Cuff events will be co-hosted by BPL co-artistic directors Joe Cacaci and Felicia Harden with participation from BPL co-artistic directors Richard Dresser and James Anthony Tyler. Among the many topics covered, viewers can expect the discussions to include questions such as:

Given its far-reaching effects on every facet of our lives, how will Covid-19 impact the theater world?

Has the theater community been complicit with or resistant to white supremacy?

What should be the mission of the American Theater going forward? Who are we, what do we stand for and where do we go from here?

Both the August 19 and August 26 events are free and registration is not required. Simply visit facebook.com/BerkshirePlaywrightsLab or https://tinyurl.com/BPL-Youtube.


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