Katonah Classic Stage Partners with L.A. Theatre Company for Harold Pinter Play Festival Coming This Fall

Returning to Whippoorwill Hall in Armonk, KCS will kick-off the play festival October 5, 2023 with Betrayal. 

By: Aug. 31, 2023
Katonah Classic Stage Partners with L.A. Theatre Company for Harold Pinter Play Festival Coming This Fall
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Katonah Classic Stage Partners with L.A. Theatre Company for Harold Pinter Play Festival Coming This Fall

Katonah Classic Stage (KCS), Westchester County's professional theatre company dedicated to classic plays, will give audience's a unique peak at Harold Pinter's distinguished career by mounting 3 of his plays this Fall: Betrayal, The Dumb Waiter, and Applicant.

This festival gives audiences a rare opportunity to survey 20 years of Nobel Laureate Pinter's writing, from the “comedy of menace” in his early work to the “memory plays” which he developed in the midpoint of career. All of the plays explore his distinct use of rhythm, known as the “Pinter Pause,” to great effect, eliciting laughter and terror, often at the same time, from audiences. 

Returning to Whippoorwill Hall in Armonk, KCS will kick-off the play festival October 5, 2023, with Betrayal. Perhaps Pinter's best-known play representing the later stage of Pinter's career, it turns a classic love triangle on its head with a breathtaking look at fidelity and friendship. This searing drama is directed by veteran stage and screen actor Daniel Gerroll, and features Broadway's Richard Hollis (most recently in Broadway's Hangmen), Claire Karpen, who just closed The Grey House on Broadway, and KCS Artistic Director Trent Dawson,  who charmed audiences last year in KCS's Private Lives. Naming Pinter among his favorite playwrights, Dawson has long wanted to produce Betrayal stating, “It exposes the vulnerability of the human heart using Pinter's trademark cut-throat poetry in everyday speech. Audiences will be swept into an intricate web of human relationships, exploring the complexities of love, loyalty, and deception. Also,” adds Dawson, with a wink, “...it's funny.”

KCS is co-producing the second half of the festival with their Los Angeles sister company, Pacific Resident Theater (PRT). A retrospective featuring two of Pinter's early short plays– The Dumb Waiter, arguably his very best one act, and Applicant, a sketch that has rarely been seen-- will run in tandem for 90 minutes of pure, if not sometimes absurdly baffling, entertainment. The Dumb Waiter, directed by PRT Artistic Director Marilyn Fox, and featuring Jason Downs and Anthony Foux, combines the classic characteristics of early Pinter: a paucity of information and an atmosphere of menace, working-class small-talk in a claustrophobic setting, and an oblique but palpable edge. Applicant also stars Downs and newcomer Shelby Barry, wherein an interview goes far beyond the job applicant's wildest fantasy (or nightmares). 

Over the years, PRT has established itself as THE theatre company to see Pinter's works on The West Coast, and they have been running The Dumb Waiter to full houses and rave reviews for over six months. Not ready to see The Dumb Waiter come to an end, and without knowing of Dawson's plans to produce Betrayal this Fall, the PRT team reached out to KCS to discuss bringing the show to the East Coast. Dawson was immediately intrigued, “This is literally the stuff my dreams as Artistic Director are made of; for me, a whole festival of Harold Pinter with PRT was a resounding 'Yes!'” Commenting on the serendipity of their partnership, Fox, explains, “Interestingly, all of this came about over an altogether different, but equally powerful, Harold Pinter play, The Homecoming, which PRT produced in Los Angeles back in 2017.” Dawson and Downs played brothers and Foux played their uncle in the seminal piece, winning awards and accolades during its extended, extremely well-received run. Fox continues, “We hope this marks the beginning of a long and lustrous relationship between KCS and PRT, sister theaters on opposite coasts of the country.”

Audiences can purchase tickets for all performances now at www.KatonahClassicStage.com. KCS will host Betrayal's Opening Night Party on October 6, 2023, at the North Castle Library, as well as a champagne reception for The Dumb Waiter and Applicant, on October 20, 2023. 




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