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Westport Community Theatre Hosts Staged Reading Of ORANGE FLOWER WATER 4/30


Westport Community Theatre's ETC presents a staged reading of Orange Flower Water by Craig Wright and directed by Jessica Denes on Friday, April 30 at 8:00 PM. This is FREE for subscribers and members; $5 general admission at the door

Westport Community Theatre's Experimental Theatre Company (ETC) is dedicated to bringing a genre of alterNative Theatre to the Westport stage - original plays, plays straight from their Broadway or off-Broadway runs, and edgier, critically acclaimed contemporary plays that are not suited for the main WCT stages due to language or content. Orange Flower Water falls into the latter category, a play that is currently very popular in regional theatres around the country. In the words of one reviewer - "Whenever you see the words, 'written by Craig Wright,' don't hesitate. Just go."

Director Jessica Denes (director of critically-acclaimed Master Class and the chilling Veronica's Room for WCT) brings playwright Craig Wright's sizzling, brutally honest play Orange Flower Water to the WCT stage for a gripping, provocative evening of theatre. The talented cast includes actors familiar to WCT audiences, Peter Wood (The Best Man, Death and the Maiden) and Ann Kinner (Ice Glen, The Best Man, Separate Tables and others) and introduces Rachael Rothman-Cohen and Brian Riley to the WCT stage.

A note to theatregoers - this play contains strong language and suggestive situations that are intended for mature audiences.

Married couples David (Peter Wood) and Cathy (Ann Kinner) Larson and Brad (Brian Riley) and Beth (Rachael Rothman-Cohen) Youngquist live with their children in the relatively peaceful town of Pine City, Minnesota. David and Beth, after years of maintaining a platonic friendship, begin an adulterous affair with disastrous consequences. Through a series of theatrically voyeuristic scenes which all take place on or around a single bed, we see the painfully intense real-time unraveling of both marriages and, eventually, the construction of a very fragile but authentic new beginning for everyone concerned.

Craig Wright received an Emmy nomination for his "Six Feet Under" episode "Twilight" and a WGA nomination for his episode "Falling Into Place." He has served as writer and producer for the J.J. Abrams series "Lost" and the ABC series "Brothers & Sisters." He was also author and Executive Producer of his own series, "Dirty Sexy Money."

The playwright's critically-acclaimed recent and upcoming productions include "The Unseen" at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre Of Louisville and at Stages Rep in Houston. He also directed a production of "The Unseen" at the Road Theatre in Los Angeles. "Lady," which was commissioned by and received its world premiere from Northlight Theatre, recently ran at Asolo Rep. "Grace" premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, where it was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. One of its subsequent productions at the Furious theatre won three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Play. "Recent Tragic Events" also debuted at Woolly Mammoth and was produced by Playwrights Horizons with Heather Graham in the lead. "Melissa Arctic," a contemporary adaptation of The Winter's Tale, premiered a the Folger Theatre and won the 2005 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. The Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival recently named him as the 2009 recipient of the Horton Foote Excellence in American Playwriting Award.

Director (and actress) Jessica Denes' recent project was directing "Love, Sex, and the I.R.S" at Eastbound Theatre. In addition to WCT, directorial credits include: "The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild & Confessions of a Dirty Blonde" (Eastbound Theatre); "Summer Brave," "Time & Time Again," "The Other Side of Friendship" and "Her Majesty Miss Jones" (Crystal Theatre Company); and productions of "Delicious Death & Other Desserts," "Not Now Darling," and "A Night of Shakespeare." Some of her favorite acting credits are "Orson's Shadow" (Joan Plowright) and "A Murder is Announced" (Julia) at WCT; "Cactus Flower" (Toni Simmons) at the Town Players of New Canaan; "Our Town" (Emily) at the Wilton Playshop; "Li'L Abner" (Daisy Mae) and "Lost in Yonkers" (Bella) at Crystal Theatre Company; and "Boeing, Boeing" (Bertha) at Eastbound Theatre.

Media praise for "Orange Flower Water" includes:

"It's simultaneously visceral, with crackling humor, and intellectual." -Star Tribune.

"Wright wastes no time and pulls no punches."

"Do not be deceived by the lyrical, gently perfumed title of Craig Wright's play. This is a brutally honest drama about marriage and infidelity-one that chronicles the inevitable big damage and ugly fallout engendered by a ceaseless pursuit of selfishness and an unrestrained search for personal happiness. An emotionally and physically lacerating ordeal, it is at once fiercely adult, shrewdly observant, often painfully graphic and most definitely not for the meek." -Chicago Sun-Times.

"Uncommonly intense and intimate ninety-minute drama...quirky, raw and nervy...But this is not another play about amoral sexual perversity in the LaBute or Mamet mold. It's a picture of marriage as a vise grip in which the best one can hope for is some velvet inside the handcuffs." -Chicago Tribune.

"Divorce these days is a routine rite of passage that most Americans accept without revulsion. The gut-wrenching production of Craig Wright's Orange Flower Water may change your mind... an unfortunately common situation made into an evening of emotionally entrancing and intellectually satisfying theatre, causing me to walk out with a head full of questions..." -Jim Rutter, Broad Street Review

"If you favor unflinchingly honest, beautifully written theater, this perceptive work from one of America's top playwrights is worth your time." -J. Cooper Robb, Philadelphia Weekly

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