In one of the most unexpected bookings of the summer – and the most welcomed – comes news that New York City’s famous (among the theaterati) QWAN Company is planning a single performance at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on August 20 at 7:30 PM.
Randy Harrison Jenn Harris and Chris Coulson
QWAN (Quality Without a Name) means that Randy Harrison (Broadway’s Wicked, Showtime’s “Queer as Folk”) will be back in his favorite summer home, and with him will be Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.) and Jenn Harris (Confessions of a Shopaholic), all Berkshire Theatre Festival alum, and members of the impromptu and inventive QWAN Company.
Jack Ferver, Phillip Taratula and Matthew Wilkas too!
QWAN Company (Quality Without A Name) is coming to the Colonial to present two of their favorite dramatic parodied readings. Don’t miss NOTES!!!, based on the film Notes on a Scandal and SWAN!!!, based on the film Black Swan.
Inspired by the movie Black Swan, SWAN!!! finds a goldmine of material to parody. In the SWAN!!! satire, Nina (Jenn Harris) is freaking out. She is freaking out because she really wants to play the Swan Queen in the new production of Swan Lake.
She is also freaking out because she is crazy. And so is her mother (Randy Harrison). And so is the choreographer (Christian Coulson) she works under, and we mean works under. And so is the former prima ballerina Winona Ryder, we mean Beth (Matthew Wilkas). The pressure is a lot, and she finds a little release, and we mean release, when she meets hot new bad ballet girl in town, Lily (Jack Ferver). However, she gets a little more than nervous when it seems Lily may want her part. Things boil up and over, and there is self-mutilation and violence towards MOM — and cunnilingus and jetés.
NOTES!!! is a Parody of Notes on a Scandal
An over-the-top, insane evening of lesbian lust, sociopath school teachers, and outlandish fighting, sex, and more fighting — all done with British accents! Played with camp hysteria (and quite a bit more actually) of the 2006 film that it parodies, this reading features stars of film, television, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and… contemporary dance?
Middle-aged, lonely, and bitter teacher, Barbara, played by Philip Taratula (The Lily’s Revenge), falls for the young, lonely, and idealistic new teacher on the block, Sheba, played by Jack Ferver (Strangers With Candy). However, Sheba is married. Not a lesbian. And into her 15-year-old student. When Barbara discovers Sheba’s transgression, what ensues is a tense tête-à-tête of two desperate women. There will be tears before bedtime.
Both pieces are created and performed by Christian Coulson, Jack Ferver, Jenn Harris, Randy Harrison, Phillip Taratula and Matthew Wilkas. Time Out NY’s Adam Feldman calls NOTES!!! “Uproarious…pure camp gold.”
QWAN and BTG
In many ways QWAN is a forced marriage between Forbidden Broadway and Outrageous Hollywood. The members of the company are almost all alumni of the Berkshire Theatre Group from the days when it was the Berkshire Theatre Festival. They live and work in NYC, and have used the small company as a vehicle to explore the comic possibilities of high culture while honing their skills in improvisation, theatre writing and having fun at the same time.
Many members of the Berkshire Theatre family are in the QWAN company, including Jenn Harris who is currently starring is Silence: The Musical off-Broadway. Christian Coulson last appeared in the Berkshires in last year’s Dutch Masters. Randy Harrison had the title role in the sensational 2011 Tommy, and has appeared annually in Stockbridge for the past six years in plays as diverse as Equus, Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Ghosts. He recently completed a double run of Red to rave reviews at New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse and the Cleveland Playhouse.
Tickets to QWAN Company Presents SWAN!!! and NOTES!!! are $20-$45. Tickets are on sale to members Friday, July 6 and on sale to all on Monday, July 9. Contact the Stockbridge Campus Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, by calling 413-298-5576 or the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets can also be bought online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.