There was a lot of enthusiasm around the piece. NAMT’s Festival was our chance to get back on the map. Our show had been floundering for a while and our NAMT presentation helped to jump start our world premiere production.
We took what we learned at the Festival—simplifying and streamlining our storytelling—and brought those lessons to the rest of the script. In some ways, the 45 minute restriction helped us to siphon our work down to the essentials.
What has made Williamstown a great developmental partner as you prepare for the show’s world premiere?
Lempicka needs a chance to be put on its feet. At a certain point, you can’t learn about your show from behind music stands anymore. Williamstown has thrown the weight of their resources behind letting us see our show the way we envisioned it. And Mandy Greenfield has a fantastic eye for dramaturgy! It’s been invaluable and we’re really excited!
Lempicka’s work gained popularity in a time where film and photography were helping to create stars and celebrities. Lempicka was a master at using the media and her celebrity to sell her work. With this in mind, the design for the show draws heavily on inspiration from film studios and white photography studios. Like a canvas, the stage is a place where anything can happen and anything can transform into any location. In our current world where politicians and artists manipulate images to tell their stories it feels like an apt metaphor.
Why should everyone make their way up to the Berkshires to see Lempicka?
We’re living in the age of Trump where there is a growing mistrust of institutions and a rise of fascist and racist tendencies. This show is a look back to a similar time. I hope that the powerful women at the center of our story will be a reminder of the power and purpose of theater: to awaken our community, to inspire our audiences, and to create a new vision for the future.
For more information about Lempicka and tickets to the upcoming production, visit Williamstown Theatre Festival’s website.