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New Plays Taking Shape In Workshops, On Stage At Westport Playhouse

Mark Lamos is the artistic director at Westport Country Playhouse where a series of new play workshops and readings are about to take place.
Mark Lamos is the artistic director at Westport Country Playhouse where a series of new play workshops and readings are about to take place. Photo Credit: Bruce Plotkin Photography

WESTPORT, Conn. -- New plays and musicals are in the works now at Westport Country Playhouse.

“Our goal is to nurture and nourish new writing and to seek exciting projects for our five-play seasons," the artistic director Mark Lamos said.

Through the New Works Initiative, there will be four plays developed in workshops with playwrights and other artists, culminating in readings before an invited audience in the Lucille Lortel Lortel White Barn at Sheffer Studio.

The schedule includes a reading of “The Vendler Television Playhouse” by Susan Rice on Thursday, Jan. 19.

It is a farcical comedy about a 1950s live television studio and its wacky cast of characters. The reading will star Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason. The director is Robert Cary, Fairfield native and co-writer of “Grease Live!”

Matthew Greene’s “Thousand Pines,” the heart-stopping tale of a small town tragedy that weaves some unsuspecting families together, will be workshopped on Wednesday and Thursday, January 25 and 26. The play will be directed by Playhouse vet and star of stage and screen, Austin Pendleton.

“The Biggest Valley” by A. Zell Williams will be workshopped on Friday, Jan. 27. The play is set in Fresno, Calif., in the late ‘90s, where a single mother struggles to help her children through teen pregnancy, racial tensions, and a life she never dreamed for them.

“The Forgotten Woman,” a gleeful comedy about an operatic superstar and her tumultuous off-stage life, is written by Jonathan Tolins, who penned last season’s Playhouse comedy hit, “Buyer & Cellar.” Tolins’ new play will have a reading on Monday, Feb. 6.

The New Works Initiative is funded by the Playhouse’s New Works Circle.

“We are grateful for the passionate generosity of our New Works Circle members, a group of avid theater supporters who share with me a vested interest in new work and its presence at the Playhouse,” said Lamos.

For more information about the workshops and readings, call 203-227-5137 or click here .

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