Kennedy Appointed As Westport's Associate Artistic Director

By: Mar. 17, 2009

Westport Country Playhouse announces the appointment of David Kennedy as associate artistic director.  He will join recently appointed Mark Lamos, artistic director, and Michael Ross, managing director, in guiding programming and production for the historic theater now entering its 79th season.

A producer, director and educator, Kennedy most recently served as associate artistic director at Dallas Theater Center.  He is a founding artistic director of The Lunar Society in Toronto and Milkman Theatre Group in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He was artistic director of The Summer Cabaret in New Haven.

Kennedy was the assistant director on the Tony-winning musical “Urinetown” for Dodger Theatricals/The Araca Group. He has also worked at Clarence Brown Theatre, Ensemble Company for the Performing Arts, Hangar Theatre, The Old Globe's Graduate Conservatory, Prospect Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and 78th Street Theatre Lab.

Kennedy is a former Phil Killian Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Drama League Directing Fellow and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Celebrating its 79th season in 2009, the venerable Westport Country Playhouse is creating extraordinary, quality productions of new and classic plays. The Playhouse has produced more than 700 plays, 36 of which later transferred to Broadway, most recently the world premiere of “Thurgood” and a revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” with Paul Newman, and in earlier years “Come Back, Little Sheba” with Shirley Booth, “The Trip to Bountiful” with Lillian Gish and “Butterflies Are Free” with Keir Dullea and Blythe Danner.  The list of actors, directors and other theater artists who have worked and continue to perform on the Playhouse’s legendary stage reads like a "Who's Who" of the American theater.  They include, in recent years, Karen Allen, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Jill Clayburgh, Jane Curtin, Richard Dreyfuss, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Eartha Kitt, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer and Gene Wilder; and in past years, Olivia de Havilland, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Helen Hayes, Gene Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Gloria Swanson and Jessica Tandy.

For its artistic excellence, the Playhouse received a 2008 Westport Arts Award for Theater Achievement, a 2005 Governor’s Arts Award, a 2000 “Connecticut Treasure” recognition by then Connecticut Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell, numerous Connecticut Critics Circle Awards and a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, among other significant honors.  The Playhouse was designated as an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is entered on the Connecticut State Register of Historic Places.

Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse enhanced it rich history as a summer venue into a year-round, state-of-the-art producing theater, which has preserved its original charm and character.  Last year, 85,000 attended or participated in Playhouse programming. In addition to a full season of theatrical productions, the Playhouse presents educational programming and workshops; a children’s theater series; symposiums; music; films; and readings of short fiction, classical works and new plays.  Westport Country Playhouse serves as a treasured home for the theatrical arts, its audiences and its artists.  For the State of Connecticut, it is a true cultural landmark. The Playhouse is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

For Westport Country Playhouse information, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport, or