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Loudon Wainwright III to Perform at People's Light This Winter


People's Light presents the regional premiere of Loudon Wainwright III's Surviving Twin. Created and performed by the Grammy Award-winner as a "posthumous collaboration" with his late father, an esteemed writer and Life Magazine columnist, the production serves as both a moving homage, and "a pointed musical meditation on the complexities of familial relationships" (Hollywood Reporter).

This candid and colorful evening with "one of America's most astute lyrical commentators" (Mojo Magazine) consists of songs, stories, and artifacts that span four generations of the Wainwright clan. Loudon Wainwright III's Surviving Twin plays on the Steinbright Stage from January 21 to February 5, 2017.

"I'm so struck by the way Loudon interweaves his father's story into his own," states People's Light's Producing Director Zak Berkman. "Perhaps that's because it was my father who introduced me to Loudon's music, as well as the music of many of Loudon's family members. And every time I hear Loudon's voice, a part of me hears my father's voice.

"So this generational bridge Loudon creates in Surviving Twin with song, tale, and memory is especially uplifting and moving to me."

Surviving Twin originated at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where it opened the 2013-2014 season. Loudon and his father shared a complicated and often fraught relationship. PlayMakers' dramaturg Mark Perry observes that in this production, Loudon seeks "to create a space where he might, night after night, step into his father's shoes."

And as he does so, Wainwright entertains, moves, and captivates his audience. "With the mastery he brings, we find a comfort in the room and take an interest in him coupled with a willingness to follow him in his explorations," Perry observes. "In his lyrics, pure poetry erupts alongside more mundane matters. In his guitar playing, there is dynamic range and time-earned concision. A renowned singer-songwriter for over four decades, Loudon is a joy to watch."

This "stabbingly funny, deeply moving piece" (Los Angeles Times) recently received its West Coast premiere at the Sorting Room in Beverly Hills in December 2016.

Creator and performer Loudon Wainwright III makes his People's Light debut with this production, as does director Daniel Stern. The theatre's Director of Design, James F. Pyne, Jr., (The Road: My Life with John Denver, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash) designs the set. Frequent guest artist Lily Fossner (The Road: My Life with John Denver, Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon) designs lights, and returning guest Jason Pizzi (The Road) stage manages.

Join us for Scoop on Wednesdays: History, Context, and Gossip, a lively discussion before Wednesday 7:30pm performances. Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale hosts long-time People's Light company member and Director of Design James F. Pyne, Jr. to get the inside scoop about the rehearsal process, design choices, and the world of the play. Program begins at 6pm in The Farmhouse Bistro on January 25 and February 1. Cost of $15 includes light fare. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500 or make reservations online through the performance calendar.

Enjoy a prix fixe Dinner and a Show package for $76 (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday matinee, Sunday evening) and $85 (Friday, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee) at The Farmhouse Bistro prior to the Wednesday through Sunday evening performances. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500.

Located next to the Bistro is a full service catering venue, The Farmhouse at People's Light, perfect for weddings, corporate events, and special celebrations. Contact Brad Williams, General Manager & Director of Sales, at 610.647.1631 x156 or email

Loudon Wainwright III's Surviving Twin previews on Saturday, January 21 at 8pm and Sunday, January 22 at 2 & 7pm. The play opens on Tuesday, January 24 and runs through Sunday, February 5.

Standard single tickets start at $38. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x111 or email

Pick packages are available for the 2016-2017 season and start at $99. Productions include Loudon Wainwright III's Surviving Twin (January 21- February 5, 2017), The Matchmaker (February 15-March 12, 2017), I and You (March 29-April 23, 2017), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (April 29-June 4, 2017), Project Dawn (June 7-July 9, 2017), and Moon Over Buffalo (July 19-August 13, 2017). Visit or call 610-644-3500 to order.

Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.

Now in its 42nd season, People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce eight to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 7-Play, Spark, and Teen Series.

Loudon Wainwright III has had a long and illustrious career highlighted by more than two dozen album releases, a 2010 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, and two previous Grammy nominations for I'm Alright (1985) and More Love Songs (1986). His 2012 recording Older Than My Old Man Now was named one of NPR's Top 10 Albums of the Year. Wainwright is perhaps best known for the novelty song "Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)" and for playing Captain Calvin Spalding (the "singing surgeon") on the American television show M*A*S*H. His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright, and Mose Allison, among others. He has collaborated with songwriter/producer Joe Henry on the music for Judd Apatow's hit movie Knocked Up, written music for the British theatrical adaptation of the Carl Hiaasen novel Lucky You, composed topical songs for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered and ABC'S Nightline, and recorded several songs for the soundtrack of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. As an actor, Wainwright has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Hal Ashby, Christopher Guest, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, and Judd Apatow.

Daniel Stern Director - People's Light debut. Theatre Includes: Off-Broadway: Split, Frankie and Annie, The Mandrake, The Old Glory, and How I Got That Story. Film/Television Includes: Breaking Away (1979), Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), ClauDia Weill's It's My Turn (1980) John Schlesinger's Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), a starring role in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982), I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982), Blue Thunder (1983), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Boss' Wife (1986), Born in East L.A. (1987), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), and D.O.A. (1988). In addition to his voice-over work on the series, Stern directed several episodes of the popular and critically acclaimed television comedy, The Wonder Years.

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