Friday, June 17, 2011

Balloons -- and Free Tickets-- Celebrate Westport Country Playhouse 80th

Marking its 80th birthday on Wednesday, June 29, Westport Country Playhouse will offer special opportunities and a ceremony to celebrate the significant milestone. The historic theater opened on June 29, 1931 with its first production, “The Streets of New York,” starring Dorothy Gish.

“We invite the community to share this historic day with us,” said Michael Ross, Playhouse managing director. “From free ticket vouchers to fabulous birthday cake and champagne, we will be giving presents away to our patrons and friends! Please join us.”

The Playhouse will distribute 80 balloons to 80 different locations in Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Norwalk, Wilton and beyond, on the morning of June 29. The balloons will be printed with the Playhouse logo, web address and “Happy 80th Birthday!” Affixed to each balloon string will be a voucher for a pair of complimentary tickets to a preview performance of Terrence McNally’s comedy, Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Wednesday through Friday, July 13, 14 or 15 at 8 pm.), directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. Those who find a balloon will be invited to enjoy the balloon and a show - the Playhouse’s birthday gift for the community.

An 11 am a ceremony will take place in the Playhouse garden to which the public is invited. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will issue a proclamation declaring June 29th “Westport Country Playhouse Day” in Westport. Connecticut State Representative Jonathan Steinberg will present a proclamation by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Following remarks by Lamos and Ross, there will be a champagne toast and cutting of a birthday cake resembling the Playhouse, donated by CakeSuite of Westport.

As another birthday special, patrons will receive 20-percent discounts on single tickets purchased on June 29 for any 2011 mainstage performances. The offer is good for one-day-only purchases, in-person, online or by phone from 10 am to 6 pm.

For more information, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online at Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced
numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont
Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.”

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway
League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill
Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at She
is editor of The award-winning Connecticut Arts Connection (,

She is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Contributing Editor for, Connecticut theater editor
for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web. Yarger is a book reviewer and writer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented
by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle (awards committee).

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts,
the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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