Established in 1955 by Ralph Renzi and David C. Bryant; in 1956, under the leadership of artistic director Nikos Psacharopoulos, the Williamstown Theatre Festival became one of the principle summer homes to established stars of stage, screen and television and a proven training ground for young actors, designers and directors. Blythe Danner, Christopher Reeve, Olympia Dukakis, Marian Seldes, Frank Langella, Kate Burton, Louis Zorich, Malcolm Gets, James Naughton, Stockard Channing, Dick Cavett, Campbell Scott, Tom Bloom, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harris Yulin, James Whitmore and Bebe Neuwirth have all developed their craft in seasons at Williamstown.
In 1989, following the death of Psacharapoulos the leadership passed to Peter Hunt, then Michael Ritchie. In 2002 the theater received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and 2005 Roger Rees became the Artistic Director. Nicholas Martin is now in his third and final year as Artistic Director. With a resident company of over 400 people, WTF mounts full productions on three stages and provides a wide variety of other programming, including an outreach program for local youth.