Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues
Shakespeare & Company (70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA 01240)
Shakespeare & Company presents Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues by nationally awardwinning playwright Charles Smith the story of a young African American boy and an aging vaudevillian thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. Golden Leaf Rag Time Blues explores their unusual connection, as discovered through stories and music – illustrating how our basic needs and human emotions cut across the barriers of race, religion, and age.
“An exploration of prejudice and humanism…asks us to confront our human capacity for seeing the ‘content of character’ present in all of us.” – Ian Wolfgang Hinz, Director
The show will run from September 23 to October 30 in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. For indoor live performances, you will need to show a form of ID proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test taken within the last 48 hours. (You can also submit proof electronically.)
About the playwright
He has earned many awards for his work, as theaters around the world have performed his plays — among themthe Joseph Jefferson Award, John W. Schmid Award, two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Princess Grace Theater Fellowship, the Cornerstone National Playwriting Award, the Joyce Award, The National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the Theodore Ward National Playwriting Award, two Black Theatre Alliance Awards for New Work, the NBC New Voices Award and numerous other AUDELCO, Jeff, NAACP and Black Theatre Alliance award nominations.
His plays have appeared at the Goodman Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, New Federal Theatre, The Acting Company, People’s Light, Penumbra Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, Penguin Rep Theatre, Ujima Company, Inc., The Colony Theatre, St. Louis Black Rep, Seattle Rep, Jubilee Theatre, The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, The Robey Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland and Independent Theatre in Adelaide, South Australia, among others.
An alumnus playwright of New Dramatists, graduate of the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and one of the founding members of the Playwrights Ensemble at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, Smith has taught playwriting at Northwestern University, Ohio University, the Prague Summer Program in Creative Writing in the Czech Republic and the Center for Dramatic Art in Groznjan, Croatia.
About the director — Raz Golden (he / him)
Raz Golden is a director of theatre, film, and audio. He focuses on new and classical texts, as well as narratives that explore shared cultural histories and myths and that center people of color. He has developed work with the Mercury Store, Public Theatre, The National Black Theatre, NYU Tisch, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is currently a member of the Drama League Director’s Council and the Roundabout Directors Group.
As a filmmaker he has collaborated on many projects with the creative agency Adventure We Can and recently worked as a videographer and editor for Eisa Davis’ Afrofemononomy. Directing: We Are Proud to Present… (SUNY Purchase), The Tempest (AADA), The Mountaintop by Katori Hall (Weston Theatre Company), Queen of the Night, a new play by travis tate (Dorset Theatre Festival), Macbeth, (HVSF), Associate/ Assistant Directing: Macbeth (dir. Sam Gold) Romeo y Julieta, Shipwreck, Richard II (dir. Saheem Ali).
About the cast
Kristen Moriarty (she / her) — Marsha
S&Co: Jean Hatch (White Savior), Mrs. Reynolds (The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberly), Provost / Mariana (Measure for Measure), Miss Bates (Emma), Olive (The Norwegians), Center for Actor Training Teaching Faculty, Manager of Individual Giving; Chicago: Vitalist Theatre (contributing artist), Lifeline Theatre, Greasy Joan & Co., Emerald City Theatre, Attic Playhouse; Regional: Elsewhere Shakespeare, Montana Repertory Theatre, Montana Actors Theatre, Classic Theatre Co., Tacoma Little Theatre, Toy Boat Theatre, Philipsburg Theatre.
MFA Acting, University of Montana; BFA Acting/Dance, Adelphi University. Kristen began her actor training with Shakespeare & Company in 2011 just before obtaining her MFA. She began her Teacher Trainee journey in 2017 and joined the Center for Actor Training teaching faculty in 2022. Additionally, she has worked full-time in Development since 2019. Kristen lives with her husband Graham and their two daughters in Lenox, where she plays out the best roles ever of wife and mom.
Kevin G. Coleman — Ollie
Kevin is one of Shakespeare & Company’s artistic and administrative leaders. He works in the Performance and Training departments as an actor, teacher, and director, and oversees the mission of the Education department. Kevin has been a guest teacher or director at MIT, Harvard, L.S.U., Stanford, Shenandoah Shakespeare, Q.U.T.-Brisbane, Lincoln Center, the Folger Library, Shakespeare Festivals in both Stratfords, and the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, UK.
Kevin is the Theatre Director at the Austen Riggs Center, where he has directed over 30 productions. In 2016, Kevin was Runner-Up for the Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education. Along with Patrick Toole, Kevin recently produced the soon to be released film, Speak What We Feel, documenting the Fall Festival of Shakespeare.
Glenn Barrett (he / him) — Pompey
Glenn has been performing on stages throughout the Berkshires, New York, Connecticut and abroad since 1969. In New York at La Mama ETC., The Manhattan Theater Club, and in the New York Shakespeare Festival Tony Award winning revival of Threepenny Opera. Regionally with Longwharf Theatre, Riggs Theatre 37, Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, Great Barrington Public Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Walking the Dog Theatre , Mixed Company and Barrington Stage.
As a founding member of The Berkshire Public Theatre , Glenn had the good fortune to work with great directors from Frank Bessell to our very own Kevin G. Coleman who he will share the stage with for the first time this fall. Finally, way back in 1985 with Shakespeare & Co. in their Salon Plays In One Door and Out the Other, Songs from the Heart, and 2019’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.