Westport Country Playhouse Awarded Fairfield County Community Foundation Grant

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Westport Country Playhouse Awarded Fairfield County Community Foundation Grant

Westport Country Playhouse has received a $20,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation for general operating support of the non-profit organization's 2014 season. The nationally recognized professional theater serves an estimated annual audience of 60,000.

"Westport Country Playhouse is honored to receive this very generous grant from Fairfield County Community Foundation in support of our 2014 Season," said Michael Ross, Playhouse managing director. "This funding will greatly assist the Playhouse as we continue to serve and strengthen our community through the work we do on stage, in schools, and throughout our community. We are proud to have been named 'Company of the Year' by The Wall Street Journal and it is only through the support of institutions like Fairfield County Community Foundation that we are able to continue to offer excellent theater and dynamic opportunities for everyone."

Westport Country Playhouse's 5-play 2014 season includes 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, a co-production with Hartford Stage; "Sing for Your Shakespeare," a world premiere musical revue with selections from Broadway, pop, rock, jazz, opera, film, and Tin Pan Alley, exploring how the American Songbook has been inspired by Shakespeare's works, directed by Mark Lamos, co-conceived by Wayne Barker, Mark Lamos, and Deborah Grace Winer, playing June 3 - 22; "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 by Frederick J. Marker and Lisa-Lone Marker, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, July 15 - August 2; "Things We Do for Love," Alan Ayckbourn's wickedly funny play that questions just how sane anyone really is when it comes to love, directed by John Tillinger, August 19 - September 6; and "Intimate Apparel" by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by Mary Robinson, 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 - November 1.

Westport Country Playhouse, named Theater Company of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, 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.

Westport Country Playhouse is committed to serving the community not only as a place to see professional, live theater, but as a resource that is accessible to all, regardless of economic status, serving as a hub for education, civic, and social organizations, as well as the business community. The vital funding provided by FCCF will allow the Playhouse to continue to serve the community as a cultural cornerstone.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations, and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations' national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $168 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.

For Westport Country Playhouse information, 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).

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