Westport Country Playhouse Stages World Premiere Translation/Adaptation of DON JUAN
Sex, politics, and religion - nothing is sacred - in Westport Country Playhouse's world premiere translation and adaption of Molière's comedy, "Don Juan," by Brendan Pelsue, directed by Playhouse associate artistic director David Kennedy, from November 5 - 23.
Meet the legendary Don Juan as you've never seen him before in this modern-dress production of the satirical, classic comic tale. Wherever he goes, the notorious seducer and antihero leaves behind a trail of broken hearts and society scandals, relying on his trusty sidekick, Sganarelle, to clean up his unruly messes. When an unearthly visitor arrives, Don Juan may finally be forced to confront his wicked ways.
"When I originally proposed that we produce 'Don Juan,' I thought 2019 was the perfect time to revive this acerbically comic tale of an undisciplined, thin-skinned narcissist who blazes a path of destruction through the world, upending institutions and social norms, destabilizing everything, offending all decency and morality, and leaving a trail of wreckage in his wake. I can't ever imagine why," said Kennedy, director.
The title character of Don Juan will be played by Jeffrey Carlson (Broadway's "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?," "Tartuffe," and "Taboo," for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award; film credits include "Hitch," "The Killing Floor," "Plainsong"). Sganarelle, Don Juan's sidekick, will be played by Bhavesh Patel (Broadway's "The Nap," "Present Laughter" opposite Kevin Klein; Lincoln Center Theater's "War Horse"). Philip Goodwin will portray Don Juan's father Don Louis (Broadway's "Tartuffe," "The School for Scandal," "The Diary of Anne Frank").
Other cast members are Jordan Bellow as Don Carlos (New York theater's "Interior"; regional theater's "A Raisin in the Sun"; television's "Gotham"); Paul DeBoy as Mr. Gusman/Statue (Broadway's "Mamma Mia!"; television's ""Leviathan"); Carson Elrod as Pierrot/Dimanche (Westport Country Playhouse's "Bedroom Farce," "How the Other Half Loves," and others; Broadway's "Peter and the Starcatcher"); Suzy Jane Hunt as Dona Elvira (Broadways' "Dear Evan Hansen," "Dead Accounts"; television's "The Americans"); Bobby Roman as Don Alonzo (film credits "The Challenger," "Tapestry," "One Night in Brooklyn"); Ariana Venturi as Charlotte (five seasons at Berkshire Theatre Festival; Alya Feinburg in season two of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"); and Claudia Logan as Mathurine/The Ghost (HBO's "Random Acts of Flyness," "The Deuce"; Netflix's "Tales of the City").
Playwright Molière (1622-1673) was the leading French comic actor, stage director, and dramatic theoretician of the seventeenth century. In addition to "Don Juan," his works include "The School for Husbands," "The School for Wives," "Tartuffe," "The Misanthrope," "The Doctor in Spite of Himself," "Amphitryon," "The Miser," "Scapin," "The Learned Ladies," and "The Imaginary Invalid."Translator/adapter Brendan Pelsue is a playwright, librettist, and translator whose work has been produced in New York and regionally, including "Wellesley Girl" at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, "Hagoromo" at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music, and "Read to Me" at Portland Stage Company. He also produces the podcast "We Are Not These People" with journalist Natasha Haverty. Originally from Newburyport, MA, he received his MFA from Yale School of Drama and his BA from Brown University, where he received the Weston Prize in playwriting.
Director David Kennedy is in his eleventh season as Playhouse associate artistic director. He has directed Playhouse productions each season, including "Suddenly Last Summer," "Loot," and "The Invisible Hand," which received the 2016 Connecticut Critics Circle (CCC) Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, and for which Kennedy won the CCC honor for Outstanding Director of a Play. He was previously with Dallas Theater Center, and was founding artistic director of The Lunar Society in Toronto and Milkman Theatre Group in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The creative team includes Marsha Ginsberg, scenic design, and Sam Vawter, associate scenic design; Katherine Roth, costume design; Matthew Richards, lighting design; Fitz Patton, original music and sound design; Michael Rossmy, fight director and intimacy coach ; Karin White, props supervisor; Dana Tanner-Kennedy, dramaturg; Tara Rubin Casting, Laura Schutzel and Claire Burke, CSA; and Shane Schnetzler, production stage manager.
Production Sponsor is the Eunice and David Bigelow Foundation. Corporate Production Partner is BNY Mellon Wealth Management. 2019 Season Media Sponsors are Moffly Media and WSHU Public Radio.
Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. (No Wed. or Sat. matinees during preview week). Special series feature Taste of Tuesday (November 5), LGBT Night (November 7), Post-Play Dialogues (November 7 and 14), Opening Night (November 9), Sunday Symposium (November 10), Together at the Table Family Dinner (November 12), Open Captions (November 17), Backstage Pass (November 20), Playhouse Happy Hour (November 21), and Thursday TalkBack (November 21).
The Sunday Symposium on November 10, following the 3 p.m. matinee performance, will feature "Don Juan" translator/adapter Brendan Pelsue as guest speaker in conversation about the play with David Kennedy, "Don Juan" director.
Single tickets for "Don Juan" start at $30 during preview performances (November 5 -8), and after November 9 Opening Night, tickets start at $40, and are subject to change based upon availability. Buy early for best prices. Special offers are available for seniors, students, educators, and playwrights. For details, visit westportplayhouse.org/special-offers.
All play titles, artists, and dates are subject to change.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).
Photo by Cynthia Astmann