“Trumbo”, the Off-Broadway hit from 2003-04 theatre season, will be the opening production of the Barrington Stage Company’s 2008 season in Pittsfield. Julianne Boyd will direct Thom Christopher and Brian Hutchison in the story about Dalton Trumbo, the screenwriter who was one of the Hollywood Ten, the group of film professionals called to testify in 1947 before the House Un-American Activities Committee about communist subversion in the film industry.
He was convicted of Contempt of Congress for refusing to give information, served eleven months in prison and was blacklisted in the Hollywood film industry, where he had been a highly-paid and Oscar-nominated screenwriter. The press opening will be Saturday, February 16 at 8:00pm.
“Trumbo” brings the blacklist to life from the inside — focusing on what it was like to live in movie industry exile, and the wisdom gained in the aftermath, for one particularly fiery artist. Called “thrilling, ferocious, and hilarious” by The New York Times and “moving and evocative” by The New Yorker, this riveting Off-Broadway drama by playwright Christopher Trumbo is a homage to the playwright’s legendary screenwriter father, Dalton Trumbo, a spirited American who took on Congress, Hollywood, and a fearful nation…and won.
Legendary author of Spartacus, Roman Holiday, Exodus, Papillon, and Johnny Got his Gun, Dalton Trumbo was at the top of his game, when in 1947, he stood up to the House Un-American Activities Committee and was thrown into prison and blacklisted as one of the infamous “Hollywood Ten.” In a script born from his brilliant and razor-sharp letters to family, friends and former friends, “Trumbo,” is a fascinating, funny, yet chilling retelling of one man’s struggle to defend his freedom, his family and his livelihood during the McCarthy era.
Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976) wrote or co-wrote dozens of feature films, including Exodus, Spartacus, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Kitty Foyle, Gun Crazy and Papillon. Using fronts and aliases, he won two Academy Awards while blacklisted: Roman Holiday and The Brave One. He wrote four novels, including the National Book Award-winning Johnny Got His Gun and the acclaimed stage play “The Biggest Thief in Town.” Trumbo’s work continues to inspire contemporary artists as diverse as Steven Spielberg (Always was a remake of Trumbo’s A Guy Named Joe) and Metallica (their Grammy-winning “One” was based on Johnny Got His Gun).
Christopher Trumbo (Playwright) has worked as a writer, primarily in the motion picture and television industries, for the last 35 years. He shared a writing credit with his father on the television film “Ishi: The Last of His Tribe,” completing the project after his father died. His most recent project is the motion picture script of “Sinatraland,” to be directed by Peter Bodanovich. He began working in motion pictures in 1960 as an assistant director on Otto Preminger’s production of “Exodus.” His screen adaptation of “TRUMBO” is scheduled for release in the spring.
Emmy Award-winning actor Thom Christopher returns to BSC following his acclaimed performance as Pablo Picasso in “A Picasso.” Daytime television viewers have seen him on “The Edge of Night,” “Guiding Light,” “Loving” (Emmy nomination) and especially “One Life to Live” (for which he won an Emmy Award). His Broadway credits include “Caesar and Cleopatra,” “Noel Coward in Two Keys” (Theatre World Award) and “Emperor Henry IV.” Off-Broadway credits include “Tamara – The Living Movie,” “The Changeling” at TFANA and “The Triumph of Love” at CSC. Regional credits include “King Lear” at Portland Center Stage, “Zorba” at Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, North Shore Music Theatre, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Fans of Sci-Fi TV will remember Christopher for his performance as Hawk in “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” Other television credits include “Law & Order,” “Murder She Wrote,” “TJ Hooker,” “Simon and Simon.” Brian Hutchison, who made his BSC debut in “Wonder of the World,” is currently starring in The Flea Theatre production of “Oh, the Humanity…and other exclamations” through February 2. Last summer he was in “The Front Page” at Williamstown Theater Festival. Broadway: “The Invention of Love” and “Proof.” Off-Broadway credits include “Mr. Marmalade” (Roundabout), “People Be Heard” (Playwrights Horizons), “Indoor/Outdoor” (Summer Play Festival, DR2 Theatre), “The Hiding Place” (Atlantic Theater), “Theophilus North” and “Can’t Let Go” (Keen Company), “She Stoops to Conquer” (Irish Rep), and “Seven Rabbits on a Pole” (Urban Stages). Recent regional theatre credits include “The Unmentionables” and “Black Snow” (both at Yale Rep), “Burn This” and “The Rivals” (Huntington Theatre), and “Role Play” (Pittsburgh Public). Old Globe: several productions including “All My Sons,” “Blue/Orange” and “The Hostage.” Film and TV credits include the upcoming “Ghostown,” “Dealbreaker” (Sundance 2006), and guest appearances on “Hope & Faith,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “Criminal Intent.” MFA Old Globe/USD.
“Trumbo” originally was presented Off-Broadway in the 2003-04 Season at the Westside Theatre in New York, directed by Peter Askin, and featuring a rotating cast of stars including Nathan Lane, F. Murray Abraham, Chris Cooper, Brian Dennehy, Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Durning, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Loggia, Roger Rees, and Gore Vidal.
Special Events “TRUMBO” ON THE ROAD! BSC will present “TRUMBO” for one night only at the Venable Theater, MCLA (North Adams) on Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm; tickets are $25.
JOIN US! Following the February 21 performance of “TRUMBO”, Alan Chartock President and CEO of WAMC Radio and noted Berkshire Eagle columnist, will host a post-show talkback.
“TRUMBO” is sponsored by SPICE Restaurant.
Barrington Stage Company is located at 30 Union Street, in Pittsfield. For tickets, call 413-236-8888 or purchase online at www.barringtonstageco.org.
“Trumbo” Performance schedule and ticket prices:
- Thursday, February 14, 7pm (preview) $15;
- Friday, February 15, 8pm (preview) $15;
- Saturday, February 16, 8pm (Press Opening) $25;
- Sunday, February 17, 3pm $25;
- Wednesday, February 20, 7pm, at MCLA’s Venable Theater, $25;
- Thursday, February 21, 7pm $25;
- Friday, February 22, 8pm $25;
- Saturday, February 16, 4pm $15;
- Saturday, February 23, 8pm $25;
- Sunday, February 24, 3pm $25.
$10 student (21 years and under) tickets available for all performances except Saturday evening.
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity theatre, located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by artistic director Julianne Boyd. BSC’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre. BSC garnered national attention with William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s Tony Award-winning musical hit “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which began as a workshop at BSC in February, 2004, was produced in its world premiere to critical acclaim that summer season, prior to taking New York by storm at Second Stage Theatre and later transferring to Broadway’s Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it finished an acclaimed run of over 1,100 performances. For more information, log on www.barringtonstageco.org.