Hymn — New play @ Shakespeare & co.



Shakespeare & Company (70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA 01240, Lenox MA)

‘ranney’ and Kevin Craig West appear in Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti, a soulful new play filled with music that asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son, directed by Regge Life.

Two men meet at a funeral. One knew the person who has died, and one did not. Benny is a loner with a wife and children, while Gil longs to fulfill his potential. They form a deep bond, but cracks appear as they begin to realize that true courage comes in different forms.

‘Rings true from the first note to the last.’ – BBC.com

Lawrence James, ranny and Michael Toomey perform in 'Art' at Shakespeare & Company.
Nile Scott Studios

Lawrence James, ranny and Michael Toomey perform in 'Art' at Shakespeare & Company. Press photo courtesy of the theater.

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The play will run July 22 to August 28, Wednesday to Sunday, indoors at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre (most Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and most Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. — but check the date you want to come, because times can vary.) 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.)

‘ranney’ — (Benny)
‘ranney’ has five decades in the performing arts as a multi-disciplinarian, including his role as Marc in Art at Shakespeare & Company — and Polonius/Gravedigger in Hamlet, Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Troy Maxson in Fences with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He has appeared as Sterling in Two Trains Running and Hambone in Radio Golf with the American Stage Company and as King Hedley in Seven Guitars and Chutes & Ladders in Water By the Spoonful with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, amonng many others, and performed from the American Stage to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Helix in Dublin, Ireland, and Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End.

As a comedian, he has headlined internationally and shared billing with Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, and Paul Mooney. Nine one man shows include And the Horse You Rode In On (Projects Arts Centre, Dublin), Whatever (People’s Improv Theater, NY), Incendiary (The Straz Center, Tampa), and Cufflinks and Jolly Ranchers for Dummies (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland).

Kevin Craig West — Gil

Actor/Filmmaker Kevin Craig West has been seen on stage regionally with Capital Rep (Shakespeare in Love), Oldcastle Theatre (Judevine) and WAM and Central Square Theatre (Pipeline — in the photo aat the top). On screen Kevin portrayed Terrance Bryant on NBC’s hit series Law & Order – Organized Crime, appeared in an episode of NBC’s series, New Amsterdam, CBS’s series, FBI Most Wanted and Netflix’s Oscar nominated film, Don’t Look Up starring Meryl Streep and a host of other stars.

Look for Kevin in a couple of Apple TV+ Projects premiering later this year. West has received multiple nominations for Best Actor for his starring role in the feature film The Way Forward, which won Best Feature Film at the 2021 World Independent Cinema Awards in London. He also received an Actor of the Year nomination from the 2021 International Christian Film and Music Festival.