Monday, March 26, 2012

Activities, Tours, Discounts Highlight Playhouse Community Day

At last year’s “Playhouse Community Day,” patrons enjoyed tours which included viewing set models and sketches and trying on costumes.
Photos by Kat Gloor
Westport Country Playhouse will host its third annual open house, “Playhouse Community Day,” on Saturday, April 14 from 10 am to 3 pm with  a wide variety of family activities, backstage tours, displays and historic artifacts, insight on the upcoming 2012 season and ticket discounts throughout the day.

Admission is free and open to the public. There will be complimentary snacks and beverages, including food available for purchase.

“Playhouse Community Day is truly one of the most exciting events of the year here, and a personal favorite of mine,” said Michael Ross, Playhouse managing director. “It is a chance for us to not only show our audiences a side of the Playhouse they don’t normally experience, but also to give a little something back to the wonderful community that supports us.”

Guests will have an opportunity to take a peek backstage at the Playhouse with tours led every hour beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the Jason Robards Theatre. Production materials, including set models and sketches, as well as theatrical costumes, will be on display.

Partnering with the Playhouse for “Community Day” are several local organizations. Westport Public Library will offer a story time with fairy tales related to the Playhouse’s upcoming production of the musical “Into the Woods.” Westport/Weston YMCA will help kids make crafts. Earthplace will bring some animals for kids to play with, including Zeke, the box turtle, and a craft for kids to make their own turtles. In addition, the Playhouse will provide an activity for children to make paper bag puppets and a puppet theater to put on a show. Neighborhood Studios and FCBuzz Goes Live also will be present. 

Complimentary samplings will be available from Rizutto’s and Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk. Da Pietro’s will present a cooking demonstration.

At various points through the day, David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, will host a conversation about the upcoming 2012 season offering insight on the five productions: Into the Woods, a beguiling take on timeless fairy tales, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, directed by Mark Lamos, May 1 - 26; The Year of Magical Thinking, based on the National Book Award Winner by Joan Didion, directed by Nicholas Martin and featuring Maureen Anderman, June 12 - 30; Molière’s Tartuffe, a funny and wise farce, translated by Richard Wilbur, directed by David Kennedy, July 17 – Aug. 4; the world premiere of Harbor, a comedy about a dysfunctional, loving family, by Chad Beguelin, directed by Mark Lamos, Aug. 28 – Sept. 15; A Raisin in the Sun, the timeless classic about a black family in 1950s Southside Chicago and their quest for a piece of the American Dream, by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Phylicia Rashad, Oct. 9 – Nov. 3.

Special offers on “Playhouse Community Day”include 20-percent discounts on single tickets to any of the 2012 season’s five productions. In addition, all subscription purchases that day will include a complimentary copy of the book, “An American Theatre: The Story of Westport Country Playhouse” by Richard Somerset-Ward, and subscription handling fees will be waived. The offers are for one-day-only, in-person purchases.

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

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