The Cake2018-07-02T12:35:14+00:00

Project Description

Sponsored by Judith Goldsmith

The Cake

By BEKAH BRUNSTETTER
Directed by JENNIFER CHAMBERS

Faith, family and frosting collide in this touching and timely new comic drama starring Debra Jo Rupp (winner of LA Stage Alliance Ovation and Drama Critics Circle Awards for her performance) and written by Bekah Brunstetter, writer/producer for NBC’s This Is Us. Della makes cakes, not judgment calls — those she leaves to her husband, Tim. But when her best friend’s daughter comes home to North Carolina to get married, Della’s life gets turned upside down when she realizes there’s not just one bride, but two. She can’t really make a cake for such a wedding, can she? For the first time in her life Della has to think for herself, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage.

*Contains adult content and partial nudity.

ADDED PERFORMANCE: JULY 11 at 3 PM

Sponsored in part by Art and Terry Wasser & Richard Ziter, MD
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“The performances throughout are compelling and nuanced; rich in humor and honesty…There is not an ingredient missing here.”
– The Berkshire Eagle

“Top-notch production… Rupp delivers such a gem of a performance.”
– The Boston Globe

Debra Jo Rupp is a shining star.”
– Talkin Broadway

“Brilliantly written…​Debra Jo Rupp gives a performance that’s masterful in both humor and deep emotion”
Albany Times Union

“A big, beautiful, comedic special event… it is very hard indeed to find a single aspect of it that doesn’t keep our appetite going for more.”
Berkshire Bright Focus

“Debra Jo Rupp’s outstanding performance may be icing on The Cake, but the ingredients and the chefs would get a top Michelin set of stars (***)… one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.”
– The Westfield News

A strong script and extremely talented actors…I absolutely can’t imagine anyone but Rupp as Della. She manages the fine line between humor and pathos so delicately – what a wonder to watch.”
-The Alt

A theatrical masterpiece…the brilliant Debra Jo Rupp has never been more hilarious.”
-Berkshire Fine Arts

The Cake is a smart, stinging, and eerily timely comedy that feels timeless.”
-The Arts Fuse

“A perfect production…Brunstetter, through Rupp’s glorious performance, has helped us to find a way in these difficult times to look into each other’s hearts and view the humanity we all share.”
-Berkshire On Stage

“insightful and uproarious…Debra Jo Rupp is a marvel as Della…this is a performance to be relished.”
-CurtainUp

The Cake - 2018

CAST

NEMUNA CEESAY (Macy) is thrilled to be making her BSC debut! Regional: The Christians and Tartuffe (PlayMakers Rep), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Roe and Great Expectations (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun and The Comedy of Errors (Cal Shakes). New York: The Unfortunates (Joe’s Pub at The Public), Dracula (Three Day Hangover). International: Major Barbara (Theatre Calgary), The House of Bernarda Alba (Moscow Art Theater). TV: Madame Secretary, Broad City and Forever. Nemuna has an MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theater. nemunarceesay.com.

DOUGLAS REES (Tim) is delighted to be returning to BSC, having last appeared in the 2017 10×10 Festival. He has appeared at numerous theaters throughout the country, but particularly enjoys being at BSC because it affords him the opportunity to spend the summer at his cabin above Queechy Lake! New York City appearances include many appearances at The Mint Theatre Company, and the New York City premiere of Michael Hollinger’s Opus at Primary Stages (having done the world premiere at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia). TV appearances include 30 Rock. Look for Doug later this season in West Side Story. For Janet, comme toujours.

DEBRA JO RUPP (Della) BSC: Love Letters; Kimberly Akimbo; Dr. Ruth, All the Way; To Kill a Mockingbird; Ring Round the Moon; Project Laramie. Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Kathleen Turner. Off Broadway: Becoming Dr. Ruth (Nom: Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Conn Critics Cir); A Girl’s Guide to Chaos; Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire de Lune, The Butcher of Baraboo (Judith Ivey, Second Stage). Recent regional: The Cake (LA Stage Ovation Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award), Deathtrap (Berkshire Theater Group), Madagascar (Chester), Annapurna (Rob Ruggiero, TheaterWorks Hartford), True West, A Flea in Her Ear (John Rando, Williamstown). Film credits include Big, Clockwatchers, Sgt Bilko, She’s Out of My League and over 200 television appearances, most notably: That ‘70s Show, Seinfeld, Friends, NCIS: LA, Elementary. Currently recurring on This Is Us and The Ranch with Sam Elliot (Netflix).

VIRGINIA VALE (Jen) BSC Debut! Regional: Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (South Coast Repertory, World Premiere); Future Thinking (SCR, World Premiere); A Doll’s House, Part 2 (SCR, World Premiere, Nom. Robbie Award); Barefoot in the Park (Bucks County Playhouse, Inaugural Reopening); 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson) and The Dark Pines (Cape Cod Theatre Project). Film/TV: Mysteries of Laura (NBC). Recipient of The John Houseman Award. Training: The Juilliard School.

Creatives

BEKAH BRUNSTETTER (Playwright) Plays include The Cake [The Echo Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Alley Theater, upcoming, MTC 2019], Going to a Place where you already are [South Coast Repertory], The Oregon Trail [Portland Center Stage, O’Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V], Cutie and Bear [Roundabout commission], A Long and Happy life [Naked Angels Commission], Be A Good Little Widow [Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe], Oohrah! [The Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theater/London], Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) [Waterwell productions], House of Home [Williamstown Theater Festival] and Miss Lilly Gets Boned [Ice Factory Festival]. She is an alumni of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages writes group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright’s Realm, and the Women’s Project Lab. She has previously written for MTV’s Underemployed, ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, and Starz’s American Gods. She is currently a Supervising Producer on NBC’s This Is Us. BA UNC Chapel Hill; MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.

JENNIFER CHAMBERS (Director) has directed the world premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan’s Bed and Jessica Goldberg’s Better, all for The Echo Theater Company, where she was Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Director of The Echo Writers Lab. Other credits include Continuity by Bess Wohl for SCR NewSCRIPTS series, I Get Restless by Caroline McGraw for SCR’s Pacific Playwright’s Festival, Princess Diana in Auschwitz by Deborah Stein at CalArts, Daryl Watson’s Unbound at IAMA Theatre Company, the world premiere of Stephen Belber’s The Muscles in Our Toes, The Pain and The Itch by Bruce Norris, Playdates by Sam Wolfson and the world premiere of Complete by Andrea Kuchlewska. She assisted Jonathan Moscone on Shaw’s Man and Superman at Cal Shakespeare and Liz Diamond on Catherine Trieschman’s Crooked at The Women’s Project. Upcoming: The Cake at The Geffen. She has a BS in theatre from Northwestern University and an MA in counseling psychology/drama therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. jennifergchambers.com

TRICIA BARSAMIAN (Costume Designer) BSC: This, Kimberly Akimbo. Off Broadway/NY: KPOP (Lortel Award nomination), Sweetee, Paradiso, Yank! A WWII Love Story, Sistas: The Musical, Empire Travel Agency 1.0, Does it Hurt When I do This?. Regional: The Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, Virginia Stage Company, John W. Engeman Theater, TheaterWorks. Select associate costume design: Mean Girls (Broadway), Madonna Rebel Heart Tour, American Psycho (Broadway), Something Rotten! (Broadway), The Queen of the Night (The Diamond Horseshoe), Annie (Broadway), Taylor Swift Speak Now Tour, Wicked (National Tour). Tricia holds an MFA from NYU and a BFA in design from North Carolina School of the Arts.

TIM MACKABEE (Scenic Designer) BSC: Broadway Bounty Hunter, Kimberly Akimbo. Broadway: The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper), Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (dir. Spike Lee). West End: The Elephant Man. Off Broadway: Guards at the Taj (2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Set Design), Our New Girl (Atlantic); Vietgone, Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (MTC); Heathers the Musical; Luce (Lincoln Center Theater); Gigantic (Vineyard); Much Ado About Nothing (Public Theater). Dance: Doug Varone & Dancers, Cedar Lake Dance. TV: Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, Gotham, Smash, The Today Show. Education: North Carolina School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama. timothymackabeedesign.com

Trent Pcenicni (Wig Designer) BSC: Typhoid Mary. Trent is a costume, wig and makeup designer whose work has been seen all over the US and the world including Avenue Q (Off Broadway), The Phantom of the Opera (International tour), Gateway Playhouse, Triad Stage, Open Space Café Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, City Arts Drama Center, The Wick Theatre, Twin City Stage and Greensboro Opera. He has an extensive film and video resume, including projects for the History Channel, Showtime Television Network, NYU School of Film and Soomo Publishing. He designed the costumes and hair for the Emmy Award-winning short Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage. His passion for non-western theatre has taken him to Dubai, China, Thailand and Indonesia, where he was able to continue his research and collaboration with theatre artists from around the globe.

MATTHEW RICHARDS (Lighting Designer) BSC: Kimberly Akimbo, Art, Elegies. Broadway: Ann. Opera: Macbeth at L.A. Opera. Off Broadway: Is God Is at Soho Rep; Absolute Brightness…, and The Curvy Widow at Westside Arts; The Killer, Tamburlaine and Measure for Measure at Theatre For a New Audience; A Funny Thing… at MCC. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville; Arena Stage; Baltimore Center Stage; Cincinnati Playhouse; Cleveland Playhouse; Dallas Theater Center; Ford’s Theatre; The Goodman; Hartford Stage; The Huntington; La Jolla Playhouse; Long Wharf; The Old Globe; Shakespeare Theatre; Westport Playhouse; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Yale Repertory Theatre.

ALEXANDER SOVRONSKY (Sound Designer/Composer) is a Berkshire-based theater artist whose design credits include BSC: Typhoid Mary, 10×10 New Play Festival (2017, 2018). Broadway: Cyrano de Bergerac (starring Kevin Kline). Off Broadway: Bottom Of The World (Atlantic); Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theatre); King Lear, Three Sisters (Classical Theatre of Harlem); As You Like It (Happy Few Theatre Co); Cyrano de Bergerac (Resonance Ensemble). Regional: Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theater Festival, WAM Theatre, Hartford Stage, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Wharton Salon, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Alexander is also an accomplished actor/musician, and teaches workshops on the dramatic function of music & sound in Shakespeare’s plays. www.AlexanderSovronsky.com

ROBIN GRADY (Production Stage Manager) This is Robin’s first show at BSC. Regional credits include Trinity Repertory Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Gamm Theatre, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Ocean State Theatre Company, Wheelock Family Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Theatre By The Sea, Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Fiddlehead Theatre Company. Robin has a B.F.A. in stage management from the University of Rhode Island and is a proud member of AEA.

MCCORKLE CASTING LTD; PAT MCCORKLE, Katja Zarolinski (Casting) (C.S.A.) Casting actors for Barrington Stage for 15 years. Pat McCorkle is pleased to be an Associate Artist at BSC. Broadway: Over 50 productions including On the Town, Amazing Grace, End of the Rainbow, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, She Loves Me, A Few Good Men. Off Broadway: highlights — Clever Little Lies; Sheer Madness; Tribes; Our Town (Barrow Street); Freud’s Last Session; Toxic Avenger; Almost, Maine; Driving Miss Daisy. Feature film: Premium Rush, Ghost Town, The Thomas Crown Affair, Die Hard with a Vengeance, School Ties, etc. Television: Twisted, St. George, Sesame Street, Hack, Californication, Max Bickford, Chappelle’s Show, Strangers with Candy, Barbershop, etc. mccorklecasting.com

CHARLIE SIEDENBURG (Berkshire Press Representative) joined the Barrington Stage family in 2005 and has represented over 80 BSC productions. His work has led to features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, USA Today and American Theatre Magazine. He began working as a publicist in 1990 at the Barn Theatre in August, MI, working with folks like Marin Mazzie and Tom Wopat. His many PR credits include the Metropolitan Opera (Live in HD), Paper Mill Playhouse (1999-2004), George Street Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Musicals, Long Wharf Theatre and Two River Theatre Company. Charlie is personal publicist to Broadway’s Leslie Kritzer and Patrick Page. Charlie serves as National Press Rep for Chautauqua Theater Company, Project Shaw, Surflight Theatre and Wagner College Theatre. Charlie is a 1995 Theatre/Arts Administration graduate of Wagner College on Staten Island, where he currently teaches Theatre Appreciation.