Westport Country Playhouse Sunday Symposium on 8/20

Westport Country Playhouse Sunday Symposium on 8/20Daphne A. Brooks, professor of African American Studies, Theater Studies, American Studies, and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, will be guest speaker at Westport Country Playhouse's Sunday Symposium following the Sunday, August 20, 3 p.m. matinee performance of "Appropriate," an Obie Award-winning play about family secrets by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The Playhouse Sunday Symposium program is free and open to the public.

Brooks will engage in a conversation about the play with David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, and director of the production. Kennedy is the winner of Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Director of a Play and Outstanding Production of a Play for last season's "The Invisible Hand."

Brooks is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910, winner of The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR, and Jeff Buckley's Grace. She is currently working on a new book entitled Subterranean Blues: Black Women Sound Modernity. She has authored numerous articles on race, gender, performance, and popular music culture such as "Sister, Can You Line It Out?: Zora Neale Hurston & the Sound of Angular Black Womanhood" in Amerikastudien/American Studies, "'Puzzling the Intervals': Blind Tom and the Poetics of the Sonic Slave Narrative" in The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative, "Nina Simone's Triple Play" in Callaloo, and "'All That You Can't Leave Behind': Surrogation & Black Female Soul Singing in the Age of Catastrophe" in Meridians. Brooks is also the author of the liner notes for The Complete Tammi Terrell and Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia, each of which has won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing. Brooks' music and cultural criticism has appeared in The Nation, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, Oxford American, Artforum, The Guardian, and Pitchfork.com.

"Appropriate" is about a family who gather at the crumbling Arkansas plantation of their recently deceased father. As they catalog his estate, they discover a shameful legacy. In the tradition of American family dramas, from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night" to "August: Osage County," the story unleashes a series of surprises. The play, containing mature themes and language, runs August 15 - September 2.

The Sunday Symposium Series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

"Appropriate" Production Sponsor is the Eunice and David Bigelow Foundation.

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).

About Westport Country Playhouse

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The Playhouse creates this relationship with the community and provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos, from May through November; educational and community engagement events and opportunities to further explore issues presented by the work on stage; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings throughout the year to deepen relationships with audiences and artists alike; the renowned Woodward Internship Program training program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations from December through April to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round. The value of the Westport Country Playhouse to all it touches is immeasurable.

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