Barrington Public Theater bows in mid-June

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Berkshire Eagle staff

GREAT BARRINGTON — A new theater company is coming to town. It's called Barrington Public Theater and it debuts June 13 with Jim Frangione's "Breakwater" in the McConnell Theatre in the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College of Simon's Rock.

The production is scheduled to run through June 23.

Kelly Galvin is directing a cast that includes Leigh Strimbeck, Ryan Winkles, David Joseph, Anne Undeland, and newcomer to the Berkshire theater scene, Raya Malcolm.

Set in 1990 Cape Cod, "Breakwater" is the story of Bobbi Herring, a combustible, 28-year-old taxi driver struggling to overcome the deep wounds of her past and solve her life's biggest question. And then JFK suddenly appears in the backseat of her cab.

Created by Frangione (artistic director), Deann Simmons Halper (executive director) and Anne Undeland (artistic associate), Barrington Public Theater is designed, the founders say in a news release, "to generate and foster creative and rigorous opportunity for local theater artists, while engaging the Berkshire's theatergoing public with new and contemporary readings, workshops, and fully-staged productions — all involving local talent with affordable ticket prices."

Barrington Public's inaugural season will consist of a June residency at the Daniel Arts Center. As part of this residency, Barrington Public will present a reading series of new work in its Wet Ink Reading Series:

- "Dark Meat on a Funny Mind" by Wesley Brown (June 4)

- "There Are No Words" by Andrew R. Reynolds (June 5)

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- "Bollywood 9/10" by Lonnie Carter (June 18)

- "I'm Dying Up Here" by Danny Klein (June 19).

The Wet Ink readings are free to the public and will be at 7 p.m. in the Liebowitz Black Box Theatre in the Daniel Arts Center.

"I've been working with local playwrights for several years in South County, helping to create the Radius Festival and Berkshire Voices," said Frangione, former co-artistic director of Berkshire Playwrights Lab. "My hope is that Barrington Public Theater will go a step further, giving area playwrights, actors and theater artists the opportunity to bring their work to full production. We're passionate about creating this opportunity."

"I could not be more excited for this new endeavor," said Halper. "Jim's play is ... funny and brilliant, and really showcases the talent of our community. Barrington Public has big plans for our local playwrights."

Frangione is an actor, director and playwright. "Breakwater" is the second in a trilogy of plays set on Cape Cod. "Flight of the Monarch" received a world-premiere production at Gloucester Stage Company in 2017. Frangione is a founder and former artistic director of Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and most recently directed WAM Theatre's production of Anne Undeland's "Lady Randy" at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company.

Halper is an actor, director and producer. She has produced several New York and regional productions including the OBIE-nominated "Incommunicado" and "The Vagina Monologues." Most recently Halper has appeared in "QWERTY" at Mixed Company; "Death and the Maiden" at New Stage; "Four Dogs and a Bone" with Berkshire Actors Theatre; and "The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls" at WAM Theatre. Halper has served on the boards of directors for Circle Rep, New York Stage and Film, TriArts' Sharon Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company and Berkshire Playwrights Lab. x

Undeland is an active member of Berkshire Voices and Howl Playwrights out of Rhinebeck, N.Y. where two of her 10-minute plays, "The Sisterhood" and "Bob Dole for President," received public readings. Her short plays, "The Kiss" and "Another Party of the Wood," were selected for BPL's 2018 and 2019 Radius Festivals. "The Kiss" won best play at Writer's Voice Ten Minute Play Festival at the West Side Y in New York. Undeland is working on "Touch," an evening of sketches featuring a woman over 45 "who drives the action and gets the bulk of the funny lines." "Lady Randy," her first full-length play, just completed its world premiere run at WAM Theatre.

Additional information is available online at BarringtonPublicTheater.org


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