Mint Theater to Host Special EnrichMINT Event in Conjunction with LONDON WALL, 3/17

Mint Theater to Host Special EnrichMINT Event in Conjunction with LONDON WALL, 3/17

Mint Theater today announced a special EnrichMINT Event for their acclaimed production, London Wall by John Van Druten: JOHN VAN DRUTEN: A WRITER'S WRITER, FEATURING TREASURES FROM THE JOHN VAN DRUTEN PAPERS, Monday, March 17th at 6pm at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Bruno Walter Auditorium, 65th Street & Amsterdam Avenue.

Mint Theater Company and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts collaborate on an intimate celebration of playwright John Van Druten. Excerpts from the author's unpublished essays, letters, diary and plays will be read, exploring Van Druten's relationship with such literary peers as Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. This event is open to the public, no reservations required.

On March 17, Off-Broadway's award-winning Mint Theater Company will collaborate with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to present "John Van Druten: A Writer's Writer." This intimate celebration of playwright John Van Druten will coincide with Mint Theater's current production of London Wall, and will feature treasures from the author's personal papers, available in The Library for the Performing Arts' Billy Rose Theater Division.

Twelve actors will read excerpts from the playwright's unpublished diary and letters, revealing his relationship with such famous literary peers as Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, Christopher Isherwood, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Scenes from four of Van Druten's plays-The Distaff Side; I Am a Camera; Bell, Book and Candle; and I've Got Sixpence-will also be read. The cast will feature Heidi Armbruster, McCaleb Burnett, Rob Breckenridge, Christian Coulson, Andrew Fallaize, Katie Firth, Katie Gibson, Elise Kibler, Ned Noyes, Stephen Plunkett, Kristen Sieh, and Alex Trow. Jesse Marchese will direct.

"John Van Druten: A Writer's Writer" will take place at 6pm at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, located at The Library for the Performing Arts (Amsterdam Avenue and 65th Street entrance). Admission is free. Call 212/642-0142 for more detailed information.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the world's most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts - whether professional or amateur - the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. The Library is part of The New York Public Library system, which has 90 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and is a lead provider of free education for all.

"The Mint Theater may specialize in unearthing all-but-forgotten plays, but this 1931 comedy by John Van Druten (Bed, Book and Candle, Voice of the Turtle) is a coup even by the company's esoteric standards. The troupe is giving this workplace comedy, which Van Druten apparently based on his own experiences working in a legal office, its United States premiere. It will be directed by the busy Davis McCallum (The Whale, Water by the Spoonful)." - Eric Grode, The New York Times, January 31, 2014. This is the American premiere of John Van Druten's "rivetingly entertaining" (The Guardian) romantic drama. Performances continue through April 13th at Mint's home (311 West 43rd Street).

Best known today for his Broadway hits Old Acquaintance, The Voice of the Turtle, I Remember Mama, Bell, Book and Candle, and I Am a Camera (which inspired the musical Cabaret), John Van Druten wrote deftly observed, character-driven plays that ranged from the realistic atmosphere of his early West End plays, to the sentimental charm of his wartime hits, to the daring allurements of his final works. In his early plays, Van Druten became noted for his sensitive portrayals of young romantics and would-be bohemians, as well as for the "truthful naturalism" of his settings. Van Druten's most successful plays during this era include the domestic drama After All (1931), London Wall (1931), for which Van Druten drew upon his personal experience working in a legal office, and the romantic comedy There's Always Juliet (1932). Van Druten enjoyed a transatlantic success that carried him to Hollywood, where he co-wrote such classics as Gaslight, and also contributed (uncredited) to the screenplay of Gone with the Wind.

Van Druten enjoyed phenomenal Broadway success in the WWII era, with a string of critically acclaimed hits. After the effervescent Old Acquaintance (1940), Van Druten wrote the three-character romantic comedy The Voice of the Turtle (1943), which ran for a stunning 1,557 performances. The nostalgic I Remember Mama, based on Kathryn Forbes' novel Mama's Bank Account, similarly moved wartime audiences as an impressionistic "family album." Van Druten's hits continued with Bell, Book and Candle (1950), about a seductive witch secretly practicing sorcery in modern Manhattan. 1951's I Am a Camera, adapted from his close friend Christoper Isherwood's Berlin Stories, provided an iconic role for Julie Harris as the decadent Weimar party girl Sally Bowles. Van Druten is in the midst of an exciting resurgence sure to stir vivid theatrical memories, as well as to enchant new generations of theater-goers.

Performances of London Wall are Tuesday through Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM. Special Wednesday Matinee March 12th at 2pm. PLEASE NOTE: There will be no performances on March 11th. Tickets are $55 with some half-price tickets (CheapTix) and Premium Seats ($65) available for most performances. Performances take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street. Tickets are available by calling the Mint box office toll-free at 866-811-4111 or go to www.minttheater.org where you can also see video, photos, and more!

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