WCT General News

“Trumbo – Red, White & Blacklisted”

Westport Community Theatre’ ETC  presents a staged reading of  Trumbo – Red, White & Blacklisted on Friday, October 22 at 8:00 PM; FREE to members and subscribers, $5 all others at the door.

Peter Wood and Alexander Kulcsar in "Trumbo"

Mark your calendars and join us for a timely, very special evening of theatre on Friday, October 22 at 8:00 PM.

Award-winning local actor Alexander Kulcsar portrays screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, in “Trumbo – Red, White & Blacklisted,” bringing the dark days of the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood blacklisting to life in the first staged-reading production of the 2010 / 2011 ETC season at Westport Community Theatre. Free to members and subscribers, $5 all others at the door (no reservations necessary). This staged reading will also be presented at Bare Bones Theatre, Pequot Library in Southport, on Thursday, October 21 at 7:30 PM.

This is a special guest presentation of Square One Theatre Company’s staged reading in association with the Stratford Library, directed by Square One Theatre’s artistic director, Tom Holehan. Peter Wood, who will be starring in WCT’s next production of “Angel Street,” plays Christopher Trumbo, the narrator of the piece.

When famed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo defiantly stood up against the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, refusing to answer questions about his political affiliations, he was thrown in prison and blacklisted as one of the “Hollywood Ten.” Written by Trumbo’s son, Christopher, the play is derived from a collection of Dalton Trumbo’s brilliant and razor-sharp letters to friends, former friends, and family throughout his lifetime. Trumbo reveals how the author of such legendary films as “Spartacus,” “Roman Holiday,” “Exodus,” “Papillon” and “Johnny Got his Gun” (as well as “The Brave One,” which forced him to write under the pseudonym Robert Rich) took on Congress, Hollywood, and the “Red Scare”— and won.

Trumbo enjoyed a very successful Off-Broadway run with many well-known actors in the title role – Nathan Lane, F. Murray Abraham, Brian Dennehy, Gore Vidal, Richard Dreyfuss, Roger Rees, Robert Loggia, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Richards and Chris Cooper. It was produced by the Westport Country Playhouse in 2004 starring Paul Newman in one of his final roles.

Alexander Kulcsar as Dalton Trumbo

Alexander Kulcsar is well known to Westport audiences for his mainstage performances of Orson Welles in “Orson’s Shadow,” physicist Niels Bohr in “Copenhagen,” and The Man in “The Turn of the Screw.” He has performed in or directed ETC readings including “On an Average Day”; “The Reeducation of Horse Johnson”; “Rabbit Hole”; “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia”; “A Picasso” (playing the infamous Pablo Picasso); and others. He will be directing WCT’s next mainstage production, the classic thriller “Angel Street,” having previously directed critically acclaimed productions of “The Best Man,” “Sherlock’s Last Case,” and “The Turn of the Screw.” Alexander is the recipient of five Square One Theatre Subscribers Awards, including Outstanding Actor (“Moonlight & Magnolias,” “The Shop at Sly Corner,” “Camping with Henry and Tom,” and “The Business of Murder”) as well as Outstanding Featured Actor (“Later Life”). He will be appearing next May in Square One Theatre’s production of “Art.”

Peter Wood as the Narrator

Peter Wood is also well known to Westport audiences; ETC roles include David in one of the most talked-about of our readings, last season’s Orange Flower Water. He was also seen in “Apartment 3A” and in mainstage productions of “The Best Man” and “Death and the Maiden.” Peter has been nominated for a number of Square One Theatre Subscribers Awards, including “The Rainmaker” and “The Best Man.” He has produced and acted in several productions at Putney Gardens in Stratford, including the Prince in “Romeo and Juliet”; other lead roles with Putney include Orlando in “As You Like It,” Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Orsino in “Twelfth Night,” Don Pedro in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Alonso in “The Tempest.” He played Elyot in Eastbound Theatre’s (Milford, CT) production of Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” last fall, and Tom in Pound Ridge Theatre Company’s “Dinner with Friends” this past spring. This past summer, Peter drew on his musical talents in a production of “Guys and Dolls” with Musicals at Richter.

We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be an entertaining evening of theatre! Go to www.westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions to the theatre.

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Auditions for “Angel Street” September 27 & 28 at 7:00 PM

WESTPORT COMMUNITY THEATRE

Announces AUDITIONS for

ANGEL STREET

A Thriller by Patrick Hamilton

Directed by Alexander Kulcsar

Auditions will be held on:

Monday, September 27 & Tuesday, September 28th at 7:00 PM

Westport Community Theatre

Westport Town Hall – 110 Myrtle Avenue,

Westport, CT   06880

Written in the 1930s, “Angel Street” (originally titled “Gaslight”), is set in Victorian London with all the trappings of a 19th Century melodrama. Young wealthy Mrs. Manningham thinks she is losing her mind until a police detective appears and informs her that her new husband is actually a murderer who is trying to drive her insane so he can take over her estate. Note from the director: The director is looking for skillful actors that can play these melodramatic roles with complete truthfulness and conviction.   Please note that the play was made into a classic movie, “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman in 1944, which is also widely available.

Performances Dates are November 26 – December 12 at 8:oo PM

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Familiarity with the play is suggested.

Characters:

All characters require English Accents.

MR. MANNINGHAM:  Tall, handsome, charismatic gentleman in his forties.  Suave, intelligent, ruthless. Literally a lady-killer.

MRS. MANNINGHAM: Attractive gentlewoman in her 30s who has been emotionally and psychologically worn down by her husband’s domineering behavior. A sane woman driven to the breaking point, she vacillates at times from childlike timidity to homicidal madness.

DETECTIVE ROUGH: (late 40s to 50s) Supremely confidant, cheerful manner. A somewhat quirky gentleman police-detective who lets nothing get in his way.

ELIZABETH:  Servant woman (40s). Salt of the earth, reliable. Loyal to Mrs. Manningham, mistress of the house. Cockney accent.

NANCY: Servant girl of 19. Pretty, flirtatious, unprincipled. A temptress who has her eye on the master of the house. Cockney accent.

TWO UNIFORMED POLICEMEN: Two big guys who look good in Bobby outfits. Roles with no lines, they wrestle and restrain the physically imposing Mr. Manningham.
Scripts will be available at the theatre by request. For further information please call the Westport Community Theatre  at (203) 226-1983 or contact the director at  akulcsar@earthlink.net For directions please visit www.westportcommunitytheatre.com

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Enter Laughing opens September 24… Profiling Director Will Jeffries

Enter Laughing opens in just one week, Friday September 24 at 8:00 PM, and Off-Book will be profiling cast members and crew over the next weeks to give a behind-the-scenes look at who’s who!

WCT is so very pleased to have as noted director, actor and set designer Will Jeffries at the helm! We are of the opinion there is nothing Will can’t do… and audiences are in for a treat. The production is excellent – he has truly gotten some amazing performances from his actors, and the show achieves that rare blend of heartwarming emotional comedy and laugh-out-loud funny comedy. In a little twist of irony, Will is playing the director of the play-within-the-play at the heart of the plot of  “Enter Laughing” – his performance as Marlowe is superbly memorable. And his set design, not an easy task as the play takes place in a variety of settings ranging from a machine shop to a theatre to a cemetery… is ingenious!

A little about Will, who is well known to Connecticut audiences for his work on stage and behind-the-scenes:

"Enter Laughing" at Westport Community Theatre, September 24 – October 10

Will Jeffries as "Marlowe" and Tim Cronin as "Pike" in "Enter Laughing"

"Enter Laughing," Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10 2010

Will Jeffries – Director, Set Designer and appearing as "Marlowe" in "Enter Laughing"

Officially retired after 25 years in the professional ranks in N.Y. & L.A., his acting on stage includes – off-Broadway as JFK in Kennedy At Colonus, originating the role of Arnold’s lover Ed in two segments of Torch Song Trilogy by and with Harvey Fierstein, as IRA commander Keeney in the American Premiere of Brian Friel’s Volunteers, and for director Marshall W. Mason, he had the privilege of co-starring in Shaw’s Don Juan In Hell, (with Ricardo Montalban, Lynn Redgrave, and Stewart Granger ), in films (Iron Eagle, Remo Williams, Refuge), dozens of TV series (ER, Newhart, Valerie, and a bunch of Matlock’s), soaps (as the evil Damon on General Hospital), and in your living room in hundreds of commercials. Over the years, he has directed productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, That Championship Season, Purlie Victorious, Black Comedy, Henry Fielding’s Tom Thumb, and others, and has designed sets for Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, Jesus Christ Superstar, and That Championship Season.

Will has returned to his native New England, and has found a true community of theatre people with whom to collaborate. In recent seasons, he has directed Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, the premiere production of Leonardo, and The House of Blue Leaves. Set design credits include Three Tall Women, Sleuth, Camelot, Beyond Therapy, and The Memory of Water. As an actor, he has appeared in leading roles in The Cocktail Hour, Sleuth, The Rimers of Eldritch, My Side of The Story, Romantic Comedy, Love Letters, Camelot, and Beyond Therapy. At WCT, he appeared as Mr. Lockhart in the acclaimed Bare Bones/WCT staged reading of The Seafarer last year.

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“Enter Laughing” – two weeks until opening night September 24!

Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10

Carl Reiner from "The Dick Van Dyke Show"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Westport Community Theatre's 55th Anniversary season

Carl Reiner

It’s hard to believe, but at Westport Community Theatre we’re about to open our 55th Anniversary season Friday night, September 24, at 8:00 PM! This upcoming season promises to be one of – if not the – most memorable seasons with a crowd-pleasing mix of shows. We couldn’t be more proud to kick the season off with a critically acclaimed comedic gem from the second half of the 20th century, “Enter Laughing” by Joseph Stein, directed by noted actor and director Will Jeffries.

The heartfelt, uproarious, enthusiastically praised comedy is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the early life of comedian Carl Reiner. We know that Off Book readers span multiple generations – and decades of Carl Reiner’s work has touched every one of you. We’ve put together the following “word cloud” to help to jog your memory and define Carl Reiner’s career; see how many of these references you recognize:

Writer… Caesar’s Hour… The

Dinah Shore Chevy Show… A Date with Debbie… The Thrill of it All (with Larry Gelbart of MASH fame)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Comic… The 2000 Year-Old Man (comedy routine with a guy called Mel Brooks)

Director… Good Morning, World (ouch if you know that one)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The One and Only… The Jerk… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Man With Two Brains… All of Me… Summer Rental… Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool… Sibling Rivalry… Fatal Instinct… That Old Feeling

Comedian… Cavalcade of Stars… The Name’s the Same… Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall… To Tell the Truth… I’ve Got a Secret… The George Gobel Show… This Is Your Life… The Ed Sullivan Show… The New Steve Allen Show… The Jerry Lewis Show… The Judy Garland Show… The Jack Paar Program… The Andy Williams Show… The Hollywood Palace… The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour… That Girl… Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In… The David Frost Show… The Julie Andrews Hour… Password All-Stars… The Hollywood Squares… The Carol Burnett Show… The Merv Griffin Show… The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson… and Jay Leno… and every talk show through 2010… Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color… It’s Garry Shandling’s Show

Actor… let’s go the other way through time… Hot in Cleveland… Two and a Half Men… House M.D…. Ocean’s Thirteen, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Eleven… Boston Legal… Ally McBeal… Crossing Jordan… King of the Hill… Mad about You… Frasier… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Jerk… Oh, God… Night Gallery… The Comic… A Guide for the Married Man… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming… Linus! The Lion Hearted… John Goldfarb, Please Come Home… Burke’s Law… It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World… Gidget Goes Hawaiian… Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse… The Sid Caesar Show… Playhouse 90… Your Show of Shows

And did we mention “The Dick Van Dyke Show”???! Writer, Director, Comedian, Actor, Producer Carl Reiner’s early days, as he got his start in what would become an 8-decade career in show business, were a treasure trove of material, much of which you’ll see in the plot of “Enter Laughing.” From his days as a machinist to his first breaks in show business to his perpetually endearing faux pas to his fond family recollections, young Carl Reiner’s life becomes coming of age tale about David Kolowitz, a stage-struck, woman-struck teenager from the Bronx in 1930s New York City.

Tomorrow… get to know director Will Jeffries.

“Enter Laughing” runs September 24 – October 10, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm, and Thursday, September 30 at 8:00 pm. Westport  Community Theatre at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport. Tickets are $14 – $20; for reservations and information go to (203) 226-1983 or go to westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.

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One-Act Summer Theatre Festival July 16 & 17 @ 8:00 PM

Eastbound Theatre / Westport Community Theatre’s

One-Act Play Festival

Perfect10n

FREE Special Summer Weekend theatre event at WCT!

Friday, July 16 at 8:00 PM

Saturday, July 17 at 8:00 PM

FREE to the public – no reservations required

Westport Community Theatre

Westport Town Hall – 110 Myrtle Avenue

Westport, Connecticut

Westport Community Theatre One-Act Summer Theatre Festival July 16 & 17 @ 7:00 PM

Lisa Dahlstrom, Jim Perakis, Teresa Kona-Leone in "Blue Ribbon"

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Mark your calendars to attend a special WCT theatre event – Perfect 10n, five original one-act plays brought together into an entertaining summer evening of theatre.

FREE to the public, Perfect10n will be performed at Westport Community Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights, July 16 and 17 at 8:00 PM. First presented as part of the New England Arts and Crafts Festival in Milford on Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, audience members voted for their favorites, and the winning playwright received the Eastbound Summer Audience Award. Which play won? You will have to come to WCT this weekend to find out!

A joint project between Eastbound Theatre of Milford / Westport Community Theatre, this is the second year WCT has produced this one-act original play festival. Last year’s summer festival was acclaimed by WCT audiences for the originality of the five plays and the great performances by actors both familiar and new to the WCT stage – the perfect summer night out!

In the fall of last year, Eastbound Theatre, a division of the Milford Fine Arts Council, issued a call for original scripts with the theme Perfect10n in honor of the tenth incarnation of its Eastbound Summer collection of one-act plays. Scripts were received from across the country (including Washington, Oregon, California, Maryland) and around the world (Russia, Australia). From these 50 scripts, five were chosen for the final slate.

The plays include:
The Proposal

by Jennifer Fama of Hamden, CT

directed by Michael Shavel

featuring Adam Loewenbaum, Tom Rushen, Jennifer Ju
Alex sits in a coffee shop with his best friend Andrew. When he announces his proposal plans, Andrew starts second-guessing every scenario as the two strive for a perfection that always seems one step away.

Jennifer Fama is a playwright from Hamden, CT.  Her work has been featured in the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas and Hamden’s PlayMakers Theatre.  A 2002 graduate of Quinnipiac University, she majored in English and Communications and works as an Editor at Penny Publications.

In the words of the playwright… “Everyone wants marriage proposals to be perfect. Alex (and) Andrew… just end up confusing and frustrating each other. In the end Alex finds out that his idea of perfection is very different than that of the woman he is going to marry.”

86 Jake

by Jack Rushen of Stratford, CT

directed by Jason Carubia

featuring Luke Lynch, Alexander Weston, Teresa Kona-Leone

An extremely flawed waiter is called on the carpet by his supervisor. Although his behavior is questionable, it pales in comparison to that of the chefs.  He searches for a way to hold onto his position.

Jack Rushen earned the 2006 Summer Audience Award for his play The Crossing, which was also a finalist in the Arts and Letters Prize at Georgia State University.  He has been featured regularly at Eastbound Summer, penning Old Friends, Lunch with Oprah, and Going in Circles.  A member of New York’s Emerging Artists Theatre and Westport’s Theatre Artists Workshop, Jack took first place at the Georgia Theatre Conference for his play Testimonial.  His full-length plays include Quitting Time, A Question of Faith, and The Case of the Curious Condiment, a spoof on all things Agatha.  Jack has received staged readings at Eastbound Theatre, Westport Community Theatre, and Playhouse on the Green.  Film writing awards include the New York Film Festival, Columbus Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film Festival

In the words of the playwright… “How perfect does a waiter have to be – particularly compared to the antics of the chefs in the kitchen. And what if the customers can tolerate and even enjoy his imperfections?”
The Interview

by Lucille Lichtblau of Fort Lee, NJ

directed by Chris Peterson

featuring Rochelle Woodson and Phil Lorenzo
A mother returns from an interview to get her son into a very exclusive pre-kindergarten program. While things do not go according to plan, she tries to understand what really prepares a child for the rest of their life.

Lucile Lichtblau’s work has been featured as part of Vital Signs New Works Festival, Turnip Theater’s 15 Minute Play Festival, Luminous Theatre, Polaris North, the Herring Run Festival and the Estrogenius Festival at Manhattan Theatre Source.  Her play Car Talk, was originally produced in Stageworks Play by Play Festival. Lucile is a graduate of Yale Drama School, where she received an MCA Playwriting Fellowship.

In the words of the playwright… “An obsession for perfection…undercuts many of our accomplishments. I wrote this play with that in mind. It’s a comic but very real take on the school acceptance frenzy so many parents experience.”
Blue Ribbon

by M. Thomas Cooper of Portland, OR

directed by Patrick Kiley

featuring Jim Perakis, Teresa Kona-Leone and Lisa Dahlstrom

At a state fair, a pie judging competition comes down to two finalists. The judges are deadlocked, attempting to find one flaw or one high note that will separate the two.  The youngest of the judges strains to get her opinion heard, dismissed casually by the veterans as personalities clash and ultimately resolve to a sweet finish.

In 2008 Cooper’s first novel, 42, was published by Ooligan Press, Portland State University.  That same year, his short play, Tongue, Tied, was performed at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.  Subsequently Samuel French published a collection of Cooper’s plays, Tongue, Tied and Other Short Plays. Most recently his one-act play, Cue, was given Best of Festival honors at The Chameleon Theatre’s New Play Festival.

In the words of the playwright… “I chose a pie contest where the judges are deadlocked on which pie to award the Blue Ribbon. It seems, due to the influx of “reality television”…we are…becoming a very critical society, incapable of enjoying what we have and always questing for something bigger, better, brighter.”
The M Word

by Mary Steelsmith and Steve Lee of Los Angeles, CA

directed by Robert Watts

featuring Kevin McNair, Tom Rushen and Luke Lynch

Three Shakespearean actors are attempting to mount the dreaded “Scottish Play.” Two have already uttered the dreaded “M Word” and suffered unexpected, but hilarious, consequences. As the third man joins the crew, his training and carriage rapidly deteriorate under the spell of the fabled curse.

Mary Steelsmith was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, two cow fields away from the Broadway Drive-In Movie Theater. As a student at Boise high school she wrote This Isn’t Exactly How I Expected It, winning First Place in the Dramatics Magazine Playwriting Contest and publication by Pioneer Publishing.  Successful productions countrywide include Bedside Companion (premiered at Theatre 40’s Festival of One-Acts), Behold A Pale Bronco, Women With Casseroles, The Old Man And The Seed (First Prize, Hewlett Packard 10 Minute Play Contest; performance at Action Theatre, Singapore) They’s Weywulves and The Miraculous Day Quartet (Honorable Mention, Best Play, Chester Horn Short Play Festival).  She is married to playwright Steve Lee.

In the words of the playwright… “The characters in this play, touted to be the three greatest Shakespearean actors are not perfect enough to overcome the (“Scottish’) curse.”

No reservations are necessary; if you have any questions, contact the Westport Community Theatre Box Office at (203) 226-1983 or go www.westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.

Westport Community Theatre One-Act Summer Theatre Festival July 16 & 17 @ 7:00 PM

Tom Rushen, Kevin McNair and Luke Lynch in "The M Word"

Westport Community Theatre One-Act Summer Theatre Festival July 16 & 17 @ 7:00 PM

Adam Loewenbaum, Jennifer Ju in "The Proposal"

Westport Community Theatre One-Act Summer Theatre Festival July 16 & 17 @ 7:00 PM

Alexander Weston, Luke Lynch in "86 Jake"

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