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Just Back from Williamstown: Kate Burton, Actress

I first came here in 1980, just after I started at the Yale School of Drama. What an amazing summer that was! I did three shows at the Williamstown Theatre Festival that year: Cyrano de Bergerac with Frank Langella, in which I played three different people; The Front Page opposite Christopher Reeve and Edward Herrmann; and The Cherry Orchard with Colleen Dewhurst—the crowning moment of my life, up to that point. I've been coming here ever since, off and on, and I've been acting here for 13 years. My husband, Michael Ritchie—the artistic director of the festival—and I have a house nearby now, but I've stayed all over Massachusetts. There's a wonderful B&B called Field Farm, with very mid-century modern architecture—it's like stepping into 1952. My mom always stays at the Orchards; the European chefs there make great Sunday brunches. Spring Street in town has everything you could possibly want, including a fantastic coffee place and a terrific deli, Papa Charlie's. I've been honored by having a sandwich there named after me. I always used to order a bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and onion, but they said "we need a meat." So they added hot ham—funny, since actors are called hams. Now it's become the joke: "Kate is hot ham." [Kate Burton stars in Hedda Gabler, a 2000 Williamstown production that opens on Broadway on October 4.

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