Bijou Theatre to Host An Evening with Terrence McNally Next Week

The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, CT will present 'An Evening with Terrence McNally' , Monday June 13th at 7pm. This special benefit event will feature Terrence McNally, one of Broadway's most prolific playwright. He has received the Tony Award for Best Play for Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, as well as the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime, among several nominations for other works including The Full Monty, Mothers and Sons and The Visit. Other accolades include, an Emmy Award, four Drama Desk Awards, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Mr. McNally was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996.

He has a career spanning five decades, and his plays are routinely performed all over the world. His work centers on the difficulties of and urgent need for human connection. For McNally, the most important function of theatre is to create community by bridging rifts opened between people by difference in religion, race, gender, and particularly sexual orientation.

This special evening will consist of a VIP cocktail reception with Mr. McNally, a short lecture with a Q&A followed by the performance of two short one-act plays. The plays were winners of the Bijou's First One Act Playwriting Competition. The winners and their works are:
Ukimwi written and directed by Tom Coash
A Whole New World written by Megan Smith-Harris
directed by Megan Smith-Harris and Melody James
Tom Coash is a multi award-winning playwright in the US and around the world, and has written works such as CRY HAVOC, which was produced for the South African National Arts Festival, and VEILS which was a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association's ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award and will be produced in London this summer. His other works have been produced regionally for companies including Barrington Stage, Portland Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bailiwick Theatre and West Coast Ensemble to name a few.

Megan Smith-Harris is the President and Co-owner of Pyewackitt Productions and her critically-acclaimed documentary TRAIL BY FIRE: Lives Reforged, was described as "a must see" by Real Screen and "emotionally potent" by Los Angeles Times. She has also helmed documentaries for WEtv including SURROGATE STORIES, POLYGAMY and CHILD BRIDES. She is currently producing and directing THE BUDDY SYSTEM, a documentary about the relationship between a young autistic boy and his trained autism assistance dog, Buddy. She is also the editor of Wilton Magazine and a board member of the Theatre Artists' Workshop.

After the performances, Mr. McNally will make suggestions for the authors to improve their material. The evening will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe a master at work. After the critique, Mr. McNally will be in the lobby for coffee, dessert and a book signing of his new book. According to the Bijou's Artistic Director Tony Stimac, "Terrence McNally is an inspiration to everyone that works in the theatre. In addition, he has provided Broadway audiences with many evenings they will never forget. Don't miss this opportunity to meet and have a drink with this extraordinary artist."

Proceeds from the performance will benefit the Bijou Theatre's Capital Campaign, "To Make The Lights Brighter On Fairfield Avenue". The campaign goal is to raise $500,000 by January 1st 2017 in a series of benefit performances and events that will be unique in the theatre world and feature some of Broadway's brightest stars.

Tickets for this event are $35 for theatre seating and $75 for table seating. The doors will open at 6:00pm for a VIP Gala reception for all guests. Cocktail attire. Tickets can be purchased by visiting thebijoutheatre.com or by contacting Executive Producer, Christine Brown, at christine@thebijoutheatre.com.




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