Matthew Rhys & Keri Russell to Star in Reading of DEAR MR. THOMAS: A NEW PLAY FOR VOICES

The reading will take place on May 14 at 7:30pm.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Matthew Rhys & Keri Russell to Star in Reading of DEAR MR. THOMAS: A NEW PLAY FOR VOICES
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Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell will star in a May 14, 7:30 pm dramatic reading of a new play centered on iconic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, Dear Mr. Thomas: A New Play for Voices.
The one-act play, written by Christopher Monger, was specially commissioned for The 92nd Street Y's 150th anniversary, and it details the back story of Thomas’ iconic play, Under Milk Wood – which premiered at 92NY on May 14, 1953 — as well as the poet’s time in New York and Wales in the early 1950s. 

Tickets are available (from $30) on 92NY’s website. The event will take place on International Dylan Thomas Day. Additional actors will be announced. 

By 1950, Dylan Thomas was a famous poet, and a play about a day in the life of a Welsh fishing village, a ‘play for voices,’ had been rattling around in his head for some time. Thomas was determined to finish the play, Under Milk Wood, but there would be several twists and turns before it would make its premiere on the stage of the 92nd Street Y

Dear Mr. Thomas illuminates the fascinating back story of this specific period in Dylan Thomas’ life, and how it was set into motion by a letter he received years earlier from John Malcolm Brinnin, the 92nd Street Y’s Poetry Center Director. The play, which centers on Thomas (Matthew Rhys) is an intimate portrait of an iconic poet struggling to remain dedicated to his craft and bring a masterpiece to life — and how that struggle impacted those around him, including his wife, Caitlin, and the man who brought him to New York via that fateful letter, John Malcolm Brinnin. 

Dear Mr. Thomas: A New Play for Voices is an interpretation of events and not a definitive biography.

The play includes several works by the great poet, and it highlights a seminal moment in his history — and 92NY’s history. 

"John Malcolm Brinnin and 92NY were instrumental in introducing Dylan Thomas to America and crucial to the development of Under Milk Wood," says Christopher Monger. "Between 1950 and Dylan’s death in 1953, Brinnin organized four American tours for Dylan that cost both of them dearly. They greatly respected each other but ultimately one has to wonder at what cost.  This ‘play for voices’ is both my homage to Under Milk Wood  and those involved, and an attempt to imagine the chaos of Dylan’s final years as John Malcolm Brinnin endeavored to help Dylan and his family. It is a singular, resonating privilege to write something for 92NY that centers on 92NY especially since it involves a wonderfully talented fellow Welshman, Matthew Rhys."

About Matthew Rhys

Matthew Rhys starred as Dylan Thomas in the 2008 film, The Edge of Love. He won an Emmy Award for his performance in the spy drama series The Americans, and he has starred in several television series and films, including Perry Mason, Brothers & Sisters, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, among others. His theater credits include Under Milk Wood (a 2003 production in Cardiff, Wales), Rome and Juliet, and Look Back in Anger.

About Keri Russell

Keri Russell is well-known for her performances in a wide range of television series and films including, The Diplomat, The Americans and Felicity (for which she won an Emmy Award), as well as Waitress, Cocaine Bear and Mission: Impossible III, among others. Her theater credits include Burn This and Fat Pig.

About Christopher Monger

Christopher Monger's writing credits and directing credits include the critically-acclaimed HBO film Temple Grandin, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (starring Hugh Grant), Like A Woman (starring Julie Walters), and Waiting for the Light (starring Shirley MacLaine and Terri Garr), among others.