Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 6, 2022

Preview: Great Barrington Public Theater, “Public Speaking 101”

Great Barrington Public Theater, Great Barrington, MA
Daniel Arts Center, Bard College
July 14 - July 24, 2022

The Great Barrington Public Theater 2022 mainstage opens with Public Speaking 101, a fun, turn-the-tables comedy by the wonderfully accomplished Berkshire-based playwright Mark St. Germain.

When a neurotic, amateur actress leads her community college class of terrified adults to compete in their county’s First Annual Public Speaking Competition, their cross-currents, tongue-tied quirks and foibles become a tight, repartee comedy, brought to life by a cast, including Peggy Pharr-Wilson, David Smilow, Nathan Hinton, Brendan Powers and Rachel Burttram. Directed by GBPT Artistic Director Jim Frangione, Public Speaking 101 brings the misfit contest and laughter to the McConnell Theater for ten performances. 
Mark St. Germain
Audiences know and love Mark St. Germain’s quick, sharp dialogue and knotty situations where characters walk into quicksand of their own making and need to reach out to others for a lifeline. “Mark Germain is a master at comic set-up, timing and real character quirks,” director Jim Frangione says. Speaking in public is the #1 phobia for almost everybody. For these people it’s absolute terror. The play becomes more than a comic story about a classroom of mixed nuts and lost dogs. It’s about finding that sweet spot in your heart that lets you pump yourself up and show yourself off as the prize-winner we all know we are, no matter what. 
As St. Germain explains it, “We have a pastor terrified of addressing his congregation and sings to them instead, a cop who dissolves on the witness stand, a mortician more comfortable with the dead than the living and a writer whose every word sounds like drying paint, taught by Sunny Strutt, an aspiring community theater actress whose offstage life is falling apart. It takes us into the hearts of a misfit class struggling to find their own voices.”

Tickets can be reserved on the Great Barrington Public Theater