(Pittsfield, MA–May 18, 2023) – Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) is pleased to announce initial casting for William Finn’s 1998 musical A New Brain, opening Sunday, August 20, 2023 and playing through September 10, 2023 on BSC’s Boyd-Quinson Stage (30 Union Street).
A New Brain will feature Adam Chanler-Berat (Broadway: Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher; HBO Max: “Gossip Girl”; WTF: Animal Crackers) as Gordon, three-time Tony Award nominee Mary Testa (Broadway: Oklahoma!, 42nd Street; Off-Broadway: Bill Finn’s In Trousers; BSC: Sleepless Variations; WTF: Most Happy in Concert) as Mimi, Tally Sessions (Broadway: Company, Anastasia, Bill Finn’s Falsettos) as The Doctor, Demond Green (Broadway: Sister Act; BSC: Funked Up Fairy Tales, Bill Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as The Minister, Dorcas Leung (Broadway: Miss Saigon; National Tour: Hamilton; BSC: Into the Woods) as Rhoda, Joshua Lamon (Broadway: The Prom, Groundhog Day; Off-Broadway: Bill Finn’s A New Brain at Encores!) as Mr. Bungee, Salome Smith (Broadway: 1776) as Lisa, and Justine Horihata Rappaport (National Tour: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Nancy. Additional casting will be announced in coming weeks.
A New Brain features 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 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner 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),with music direction by Vadim Feichtner (BSC: The Royal Family of Broadway; Broadway: Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and choreography by Chloe O. Davis (Paradise Square).
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.
A New Brain will feature scenic design by Paige Hathaway, costume design by Debra Kim Sivigny, lighting design by Jason Lyons, and sound design by Ken Travis. Production Stage Manager is John Godbout. Assistant Stage Manager is Leslie Sears.
As previously announced, the Boyd-Quinson Stage season at Barrington Stage Company will open with John Kander & Fred Ebb’s Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret(June 14-July 8) in a new production directed by BSC Artistic Director Alan Paul and choreographed by Katie Spelman. The Boyd-Quinson season also includes a revival of Blues for an Alabama Sky (July 18-August 5) by Pearl Cleage, directed by Candis C. Jones. The final production will be Steinberg Playwright Award winner Sanaz Toossi’s Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel and Obie Award-winning play English (September 27-October 15).
The St. Germain Stage season at Barrington Stage Company will open with The Happiest Man on Earth(May 24-June 17), by Mark St. Germain, based on Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku’s extraordinary 2020 memoir of the same name, published when Jaku was 100 years old, starring Kenneth Tigar and directed by Ron Lagomarsino. The St. Germain season continues with Mike Lew’s tiny father (June 25-July 22), a co-world premiere play produced by Chautauqua Theater Company and BSC, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. The season concludes with a revival of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer (August 1-27), directed by Julianne Boyd and starring BSC Associate Artists Christopher Innvar, Mark H. Dold and Gretchen Egolf.
BSC casting is by McCorkle Casting (Pat McCorkle, CSA; Rebecca Weiss, CSA).
As previously announced, Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2023 Season will feature the Emmy Award-winning comedian Hasan Minhaj in Experiment Time (July 13-15) as he showcases and prepares new material for his latest work-in-progress; the Tony Award-winning Laura Benanti in a one-performance-only benefit concert on July 16; the return of the inimitable WTF Cabaret (July 20-22, July 27-29, August 3-5); a new Main Stage Reading Series of popular plays and esteemed Festival artists, including Paris, ACTORS! (July 22 & 23) by Hamish Linklater and featuring Linklater and Lily Rabe, Three Sisters (July 29 & 30) by Anton Chekhov and featuring Louisa Jacobson, and The Pillowman (August 5 & 6) by Martin McDonagh; and the renowned Fridays@3 new play reading series, featuring Nick and the Prizefighter (July 14) by Kamilah Bush and directed by Kristolyn Lloyd, Plunder and Lightning (July 21) by Cindy Lou Johnson and directed by Portia Krieger, the 2023 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Winner Chapters of a Floating Life (July 28) by Clarence Coo and directed by Jennifer Chang, and Wipeout (August 4) by Aurora Real de Asua and directed by Maggie Burrows. Additional casting for the WTF Season will be announced soon.
For tickets to A New Brain or the BSC Season, please call the BSC Box Office at 413-236-8888 or visit www.BarringtonStageCo.org/Tickets.
For tickets to the Williamstown Theatre Festival Season, please call the WTF Box Office at 413-458-3253 or visit wtfestival.org.
ABOUT BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Barrington Stage Company (BSC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Alan Paul and Managing Director Meredith Lynsey Schade, is an award-winning theatre located in Pittsfield, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. Co-founded in 1995 by Julianne Boyd, BSC’s mission is to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to engage our community with vibrant, inclusive educational outreach programs. Alan Paul succeeded Ms. Boyd as the company’s Artistic Director in 2022.
BSC attracts over 60,000 patrons annually and has gained national recognition for its superior-quality productions and comprehensive educational programming, including the award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project, the Musical Theatre Conservatory, Youth Theatre, KidsAct! and other initiatives. The company has become integral to the economic revitalization of downtown Pittsfield.
BSC’s reputation for excellence began with a smash revival of Cabaret that moved to Boston in 1997 for an extended run. The theatre’s prominence grew with the world premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (BSC 2004; Broadway 2005-2008, winner of two Tony Awards). Other notable productions include the world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son (BSC 2016; Broadway 2018); Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session (BSC 2009; Off-Broadway 2010-2012); Leonard Bernstein, Comden & Green’s On the Town (BSC 2013; Broadway 2014, four Tony Award nominations); Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company, starring Aaron Tveit (2017); and West Side Story in honor of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’ centenaries (2018).
BSC develops and commissions new work with two programs: PlayWorks, which supports the creation of new plays, and the Musical Theatre Lab, which develops new musicals. Since 1995, BSC has produced 45 new works, 22 of which have moved to New York and major US regional theatres.
ABOUT WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
For seven decades, the Tony Award-recognized Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought emerging and professional theater artists together in the Berkshires to create a thrilling summer festival of diverse, world premiere plays and musicals, bold new revivals, and a rich array of accompanying cultural events.
Artists are drawn to Williamstown Theatre Festival to make great theater in an environment conducive to artistic risk-taking. Matthew Broderick, Audra McDonald, Dominique Morisseau, Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Stroman, Uma Thurman, and Blair Underwood are just a few of the luminous theater artists who have worked at the Festival. Many others, including Sterling K. Brown, Ty Burrell, Charlie Day, Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Brie Larson, Chris Pine, and George C. Wolfe, began their careers at the Festival.
Productions and artists shaped at the Festival fill theaters in New York City and around the world. Recently, Williamstown Theatre Festival was represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally by The Sound Inside, Grand Horizons, The Rose Tattoo, The Visit, Fool for Love, The Elephant Man, Seared, Selling Kabul, Unknown Solider, and Lempicka, to name just a few. Cost of Living, which was developed and premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival, was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and made its Broadway debut last fall.