Politics Played Out
Upcoming plays in the area that address political issues
It’s an election year (2016), and three Berkshire theaters are taking on politics.
Berkshire Theatre Group opens the summer with the award-winning musical Fiorello!—about the New York congressman and mayor who took on Tammany Hall and won. Fiorello La Guardia was a Republican who supported FDR, defended labor unions, and stood up for immigrant rights. “Great government leaders come to mind at times like this,” says artistic director Kate Maguire, who will lead a young cast playing energetic activists, reminding her of today’s young voters.
Barrington Stage Company, under artistic director Julie Boyd, will present American Son, a play about a racially mixed couple who confront the police and their brilliant 18-year-old boy, a student at West Point who goes missing. Barrington Stage held a reading of the play last summer and invited the local black community to see it. “They said people need to see this play,” Boyd says. At a time when people are upended, “plays are asking questions. It is up to us to answer.”
And with the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award–winning An American Daughter, on stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the audience will witness partisan politics play out as one woman risks ruin to become the surgeon general.
Barrington Stage Company
American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown
June 17 to July 9
Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield
Weekend symposium on race and violence, July 2 and 3, 2016
Berkshire Theatre Group
Fiorello! by Jerome Weidman, George Abbott, Jerry Bock
June 15 to July 23, 2016
Unicorn Theatre, 6 East St., Stockbridge
Williamstown Theatre Festival
An American Daughter by Wendy Wasserstein
August 3 to August 21, 2016
Mainstage, ’62 Center, Williams College
1000 Main St., Williamstown