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The Williams College Museum of Art and The Williamstown Theatre Festival Invite You to Celebrate the Fourth of July in Williamstown, MA

For immediate release: June 27, 2012

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) and the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) invite you to grab your American flags, tinsel, and Uncle Sam hats for a day of events celebrating The Fourth of July in Williamstown, MA.  The day will commence with a Fourth of July Parade at 11:00 a.m. with appearances from stars of the Williamstown Theatre Festival 2012 season followed by the annual Reading of the Founding Documents at WCMA at 1:30 p.m.  The celebration comes to a close with a performance of David Hyde Pierce’s hilarious new production of The Importance of Being Earnest at 7:30 p.m.

The Fourth of July Parade will kick off the festivities at 11:00 a.m. on Spring Street.  Residents of Williamstown will march alongside stars from the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2012 season in this quintessential New England tradition.  Everyone is invited to wear red, white, and blue and bring their American flags to wave as the parade makes its way through the streets.

WCMA, WTF, and Chapin Library are pleased to present A Reading of the Founding Documents, an annual Williamstown tradition at 1:30 p.m. on the lawn outside WCMA (15 Lawrence Hall Drive). Heather Lind (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”) and Finn Wittrock (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman), both currently featured in WTF’s World Premiere production of The Blue Deep, will read the Declaration of Independence followed by a reading of the British reply by comedian and WTF favorite Lewis Black, reprising his appearance from last year. The museum will be open during this special event from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Robert Volz, the Custodian of the Chapin Library, will be available in the Museum after the reading to explain and answer questions concerning the Founding Documents.  Admission is free and families are encouraged to attend.  The event will take place rain or shine, with a rain location inside the museum.

End the day with a performance of the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at 7:30 p.m.  In this hilarious new production directed by Tony and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce, a family of Guys and Dolls-style gangsters move to Downtown Abbey-style London in order to escape certain, shall we say, entanglements.  What happens when two of these wise guys fall hard for two tough dolls and the formidable dame who runs the aforementioned criminal family develops an appetite for cucumber sandwiches?  This production gives us Oscar Wilde’s hilarious high society satire in a very new way.

The Williams College Museum of Art
WCMA is the temporary home of Williams College’s collection of documents relating to the founding of the United States of America. Normally on display in the Chapin Rare Book Library, the collection includes extremely rare copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as important copies of the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights, and The Federalist, among others. These documents will be on view at WCMA during the college’s renovation of the Chapin Library, scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.

The Founding Documents are currently part of the exhibition Don’t Fence U.S. In: Crossing Boundaries in American Art, one of the five exhibitions included in WCMA’s reinstallation project Reflections on a Museum. Don’t Fence U.S. In explores the many ways that early American and modern art have emerged from the crossing of borders­­—whether physical, political, or aesthetic.

WCMA Admission and Schedule
The Williams College Museum of Art is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The museum will be open 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on July 4. The museum’s normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. Admission is FREE. For more information, contact the museum at (413) 597-2429 or visit wcma.williams.edu.

Williamstown Theatre Festival
Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America’s finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to one of the nation’s top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.

WTF Tickets and Schedule
Tickets to the Williamstown Theatre Festival may be purchased online (www.wtfestival.org), by phone at (413) 597-3400, or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.

The Festival’s Nikos Stage is an intimate 173-seat venue that regularly sells out in advance from within the pool of Festival donors.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL

2012 SEASON SUMMARY

 

MAIN STAGE:

 

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by David Hyde Pierce

June 26 – July 14, 2012

 

Far From Heaven

Book by Richard Greenberg

Music by Scott Frankel

Lyrics by Michael Korie

Directed by Michael Greif

July 19 – 29, 2012

 

A Month in the Country

By Ivan Turgenev

Translated by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Directed by Richard Nelson

August 1 – 19, 2012

 

NIKOS STAGE:

 

The Blue Deep

By Lucy Boyle

Directed by Bob Balaban

June 27 – July 8, 2012

 

Last of the Red Hot Lovers

By Neil Simon

Directed by Jessica Stone

July 11 – 22, 2012

 

The Elephant Man

By Bernard Pomerance

Directed by Scott Ellis

July 25 – August 5, 2012

 

WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!

By Katori Hall

Directed by May Adrales

August 8 – 19, 2012

 

ADDITIONAL PRODUCTIONS

 

THE HUNTER CENTER AT MASS MOCA

Here Lies Love

Written by David Byrne

Music by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim

Directed by Alex Timbers

June 20 – 24, 2012

 

FREE THEATRE

At Poker Flats

The Valley of Fear

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Steve Lawson

Directed by Lila Neugebauer

July 11 – 14, July 17 – 20, 2012