Nicholas Martin and Phylicia Rashad Join Westport Country Playhouse's 2012 Season Directing Lineup

Nicholas Martin and Phylicia Rashad have been added to the roster of directors helming productions during Westport Country Playhouse's 2012 season, playing May through NovembeR. Martin will direct the intimate drama, "The Year of Magical Thinking," featuring Maureen Anderman, based on the National Book Award-winning memoir by acclaimed author Joan Didion, June 12 - June 30. Rashad will direct the powerful classic, "A Raisin in the Sun," by Lorraine Hansberry, October 9 - November 3.

"I feel so fortunate to have Nicky here for a second year in a row," said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. "His skill and sensitivity are perfectly suited to the demands of this deeply moving play.

"And to have Phylicia here at the helm on ‘Raisin,' a play for which she's won accolades as both an actor and a director, is a dream come true. I've known and admired her work for many years, and have also had the privilege of working with her. I know she'll bring an immense reserve of knowledge, passion, and insight to the realization of this great American play.

"Needless to say, I'm thrilled that these two esteemed colleagues will be joining us for our 2012 season."

Nicholas Martin has directed for Westport Country Playhouse "The Circle," "A Cheever Evening" and "The Substance of Fire." On Broadway, he staged "Present Laughter," "Butley," "Match," "Hedda Gabler," "The Rehearsal" and "You Never Can Tell." Off-Broadway, he directed Christopher Durang's "Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them" at The Public Theater; "Observe the Sons of Ulster..." (Drama Desk Award nomination), "The Time of the Cuckoo," "Chaucer in Rome," "Saturn Returns" and Paul Rudnick's "The New Century" at Lincoln Center Theater; "Fully Committed" at Vineyard Theatre and Cherry Lane Theatre; "Full Gallop" at Manhattan Theatre Club and West Side Arts; "Betty's Summer Vacation" (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award nominations) and "Sophistry" at Playwrights Horizons; and "Bosoms and Neglect" at Signature Theatre.

Martin's numerous regional credits include "She Stoops to Conquer" (McCarter Theatre), "The House of Blue Leaves" (Mark Taper Forum), "Dead End" (Ahmanson Theatre) and "Macbeth" (Old Globe Theatre). Martin is the former artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival and of Boston's Huntington Theatre Company. During his tenures at both theaters, he directed numerous classical and new plays.

Phylicia Rashad became a household name when she portrayed "Claire Huxtable" on "The Cosby Show," a character whose appeal earned her numerous honors and awards for over two decades. She teamed up with Bill Cosby in later years on television as "Ruth Lucas" on "Cosby."

Rashad made her directorial debut at the Seattle Repertory Theatre with August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean," and this past spring, helmed Ebony Repertory Theatre's production of "A Raisin in the Sun."

As a dramatic actress, Rashad received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as "Lena Younger" in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." She also appeared on Broadway as "Violet Weston" in "August: Osage County," "Big Mama" in Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (a role that she reprised on the London Stage), "Aunt Ester" in August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" (Tony Award nomination) and "Queen Britannia" in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" at Lincoln Center Theater. Projects showcasing her musical talent include "Jelly's Last Jam," "Into the Woods," "Dreamgirls" and "The Wiz." In film, she starred in Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls," and the soon-to-be-released "Good Deeds."

As previously announced, Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, will helm the season opener, a 25th anniversary revival of "Into the Woods," with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, May 1 - 19. The musical is a co-production with Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. Lamos will also direct the world-premiere comedy "Harbor," written by Tony Award-nominated Chad Beguelin, August 28 - September 15. David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, will stage the biting social satire, "Tartuffe," written by Molière and translated by Richard Wilbur, July 17 - August 4.

5-play subscriptions, starting at $150, are available beginning October 11; 4-play subscriptions, Pick 3 Plans, FlexTix and group sales will be available starting January 3, 2012. Single tickets will go on sale March 6, 2012.

For more information or tickets, 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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