Auxiliary Workshops at Williamstown Spawn New Work

Auxiliary Workshops at Williamstown Spawn New Work

By Suzy Evans

August 6, 2012


Photo by John Dolan
Jenny Gersten
In 2011, for Jenny Gersten's first summer as the artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, she started an auxiliary workshop program in which artists could spend time at Williamstown and develop new work.

"Sometimes it's just two people working in a room together," Gersten says of the informal program. "And sometimes it's a dance workshop. And sometimes it's a new play reading for a full week. It really varies."

There is no application process, and Gersten simply keeps her ear to the ground for artists to invite.

"We try to provide the resources we have," Gersten says. "We have some dorm rooms. We have some rehearsal spaces. We can provide some support from the stage management interns and from the directing interns. And it gives another opportunity for the non-Equity actors and sometimes even the technical staff to work on projects."

In 2011, Adam Rapp and Karen O brought their in-progress opera "Stop the Virgens," and some apprentices and non-Equity company members who collaborated on the project in Williamstown later worked with the company in New York. Some even performed the project at the Sydney Opera House. "Isn't that crazy?" says Laura Savia, the festival's workshop director. "That's an amazing story."


Auxiliary Workshops at Williamstown Spawn New Work

By Suzy Evans

August 6, 2012


Jenny Gersten
PHOTO CREDIT
John Dolan
In 2011, for Jenny Gersten's first summer as the artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, she started an auxiliary workshop program in which artists could spend time at Williamstown and develop new work.

"Sometimes it's just two people working in a room together," Gersten says of the informal program. "And sometimes it's a dance workshop. And sometimes it's a new play reading for a full week. It really varies."

There is no application process, and Gersten simply keeps her ear to the ground for artists to invite.

"We try to provide the resources we have," Gersten says. "We have some dorm rooms. We have some rehearsal spaces. We can provide some support from the stage management interns and from the directing interns. And it gives another opportunity for the non-Equity actors and sometimes even the technical staff to work on projects."

In 2011, Adam Rapp and Karen O brought their in-progress opera "Stop the Virgens," and some apprentices and non-Equity company members who collaborated on the project in Williamstown later worked with the company in New York. Some even performed the project at the Sydney Opera House. "Isn't that crazy?" says Laura Savia, the festival's workshop director. "That's an amazing story."
 
Subscribe to Back Stage

More Features

ADVERTISEMENT

Unscripted Blog


Visit Unscripted »

Sponsors

Back Stage Video

ADVERTISEMENT