MR. ROBERTS, CROSSING DELANCEY Set for Westport Country Playhouse's 2013 Script-in-Hand Readings
To commemorate Veterans Day, Westport Country Playhouse's next Script in Hand playreading will be the comedic and moving story of men at war, "Mr. Roberts" by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan, on one-night-only, Monday, November 11, 7 p.m. As an emblem of veteran remembrance, yellow ribbons will be distributed to audience members.
The heart-felt, romantic comedy, "Crossing Delancey" by Susan Sandler, will be read on December 9, 7 p.m. Director of both Script in Hand playreadings is Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Casting for both readings will be announced soon. Tickets to each Script in Hand playreading are $15.
Winner of the 1948 Tony Award for Best Play, "Mr. Roberts" is a rowdy, realistic saga of a group of American sailors aboard the Navy cargo vesselReluctant in the Pacific towards the end of World War II. The crew is suffering from the deadly boredom that is part of the routine of war. Lieutenant (jg) Doug Roberts wants nothing more to get off this ship into the fighting. His constant letters requesting transfer only serve to further annoy the cantankerous, small-minded Captain who dislikes him already. To win a much needed liberty for the crew, Roberts makes a bargain with the Captain that turns the crew against him and makes his desire to leave even more urgent.
"I can't think of a better play to present for our Veterans Day Script in Hand," said Keefe. "This play has everything - drama, comedy, and wonderful parts for a great group of actors. I'm hoping to bring back a lot of our Playhouse favorites for this beautiful play."
In "Crossing Delancey," Isabel is a modern young woman who lives alone and works in a book store. When she is not pining after a handsome author, she is visiting her grandmother in Manhattan's Lower East Side. This delightfully nosey old lady and her friend the matchmaker have found a 'good catch' for Isabel - Sam, the pickle vendor.
"While trolling the shelves of the library recently in search of just the right play for the last reading of the year, I happened upon this script," staTed Keefe. "I was familiar with the film, but I'm even more charmed by the play, especially as the granddaughter of immigrants. I'm pretty sure our audience will be as well."
Director Anne Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with JoAnne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward. She co-directed with Ms. Woodward the Westport Country Playhouse production of "David Copperfield," and directed many Script in Hand playreadings.
Script in Hand sponsors are Marc and Michele Flaster; Script in Hand partners are Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler. The series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.
For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to The Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider's peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).
Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management leadership of Michael Ross. The Playhouse creates five live theater experiences, produced at the highest level, from April through October. Its vital mix of works---dramatic, comedic, occasionally exploratory and unusual---expands the audience's sense of what theater can be. The depth and scope of its productions display the foremost theatrical literature from the past---recent as well as distant---in addition to musicals and premieres of new plays. During the summer, The Playhouse is home to the Woodward Internship Program, renowned for the training of aspiring theater professionals. Winter at The Playhouse, from November through March, offers events outside of the main season---Family Festivities presentations and Script in Hand play readings. In addition, businesses and organizations are encouraged to rent the handsome facility for their meetings, receptions and fundraisers.
As an historic venue, Westport Country Playhouse has had many different lives leading up to the present. Originally built in 1835 as a tannery manufacturing hatters' leathers, it became a steam-powered cider mill in 1880, later to be abandoned in the 1920s. Splendidly transformed into a theater in 1931, it initially served as a try-out house for Broadway transfers, evolving into an established stop on the New England straw hat circuit of summer stock theaters through the end of the 20th century. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, The Playhouse became a state-of-the-art producing theater, preserving its original charm and character.
Today, the not-for-profit Westport Country Playhouse serves as a cultural resource for patrons, artists and students and is a treasure for the State of Connecticut. There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build.
Currently playing through October 27 is the madcap comedy, "Room Service," by John Murray and Allen Boretz, directed by Mark Lamos. Westport Country Playhouse's upcoming 2014 season: Noël Coward's "A Song at Twilight," an exquisite battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets, directed by Mark Lamos, April 29 - May 17, 2014, a co-production with Hartford Stage; the season's second production will be either a comedy or a world premiere musical event, to be announced at a later date, directed by Mark Lamos, playing June 10 - 28, 2014; "Nora," Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," a story of love, blackmail, and the little lies people tell, translated into the English language byFrederick J. Marker and Lisa-Lone Marker, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, July 15 - August 2, 2014; "Things We Do for Love," Alan Ayckbourn's wickedly funny play that questions just how sane anyone really is when it comes to love, August 19 - September 6, 2014; and "Intimate Apparel" by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, an intricate tapestry of the joys, sorrows, tragedy, and triumph of a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress in early 20th century Manhattan who's negotiating the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true, October 7 - 25, 2014.