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Westport Country Playhouse to Host Reading of THE LATE CHRISTOPHER BEAN, 6/27

Westport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand playreading of Sidney Howard's "The Late Christopher Bean," a comedy about paintings left to a family by a deceased artist suddenly skyrocketing in value, on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m. The play will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Tickets are $20 each.

"For years I have seen the poster of 'The Late Christopher Bean' on our walls in the Playhouse, along with several plays by Sidney Howard," said Keefe. "When we opened the season with 'Art' and 'Red,' it seemed the right year to do it, continuing the discussion about art, and in this case---greed!"

The comedy opens some years after the death of famed artist Christopher Bean with an excited world in pursuit of his work and any details they can gather about his life and character. A family of patrician New Englanders own some of Bean's canvases and become greedy when informed of their market value. But when the family servant possesses one of his greatest paintings, she cannot be persuaded into selling at any price. As her true appreciation of the art and the artist is revealed, a deep secret comes to light.

Cast members for "The Late Christopher Bean" are: Clea Alsip as Ada Haggett (WCP's The Show-off, Script in Hand Mary, Mary; Off-Broadway's The Way We Get By, Stage Kiss); Mary Bacon as Abby (WCP's Dinner with Friends, Children; Broadway's Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard); Ross Bickell as Rosen (WCP's Script in Hand Mary, Mary; Broadway's Noises Off, The Iceman Cometh, A Few Good Men); Jeff Biehl as Tallant (WCP's Around the World in 80 Days; Broadway's Machinal; Off-Broadway's Lives of the Saints); Kristen Hahn as Susan Hagget (WCP's Our Town, Script in Hand Dracula; Broadway's A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder); Deirdre Madigan as Mrs. Haggett (WCP's And a Nightingale Sang, A Marriage Minuet, A Few Good Men; Broadway's A Delicate Balance); Michael McCormick as Dr. Haggett (WCP's Room Service, She Loves Me, Script in Hand Mister Roberts; Broadway's Curtains; TV's "Brain Dead"); John Skelley as Warren Creamer (WCP's Art, And a Nightingale Sang; Off-Broadway's Hamlet (title role), The Changeling, Desire); and David Staller as Davenport (WCP's Finian's Rainbow, The Streets of New York; founding artistic director of Gingold Theatrical Group). All artists are subject to change.

Playwright and screenwriter Sidney Howard found success with his Broadway play "They Knew What They Wanted," which won the Pulitzer Prize, was the basis for three film adaptations, and was adapted into the musical "The Most Happy Fella" by Frank Loesser. Howard also wrote "Ned McCobb's Daughter," "The Silver Cord," and "Dodsworth." He was also a successful screenwriter, and was awarded a posthumous Academy Award for the screenplay for "Gone with the Wind."

Director Anne Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward. She co-directed with Ms. Woodward the Westport Country Playhouse production of "David Copperfield," and directed many Script in Hand playreadings.

Script in Hand sponsors are Marc and Michele Flaster; Script in Hand partners are Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler. The series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel 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.



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