Westport Country Playhouse Launches New Works Initiative

by Jacob Coakley
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Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse and head of hteir New Works initiative
Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse and head of hteir New Works initiative

The New Works initiative at Westport Country Playhouse will develop new plays and musicals through workshop and reading opportunities. First up is Out of the Mouths of Babes by Israel Horovitz, in partnership with New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre, and The Rivals, with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by Stephen Weiner, based on the 1775 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Westport Country Playhouse Launches New Works Initiative to Develop New Plays

Westport Country Playhouse has launched a New Works Initiative to develop new plays and musicals through workshop and reading opportunities involving playwrights and other artists.

“Brand new plays and musicals by both new and veteran playwrights and composers will be given a chance to grow,” said Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse artistic director.  “Our goal is to nurture and nourish new writing and seek exciting projects for our five-play seasons, as well.” 

The program will make possible the development of two new works at the Playhouse in February – “Out of the Mouths of Babes” by Israel Horovitz, in partnership with New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre, and “The Rivals,” with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by Stephen Weiner, based on the 1775 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  For each project, the Playhouse will host workshops with the playwrights, actors, and other creatives, culminating with a reading before an audience.  Dates and details will be announced soon.

The program is funded by the Playhouse’s New Works Circle.  Founding members are Howard J. Aibel, Ania Czekaj-Farber, Sandra and Neil DeFeo, Kate and Bob Devlin, Michele and Marc Flaster, Susan Jacobson and David Moskovitz, Judy and Scott Phares, Barbara and John Samuelson, Barbara and John Streicker, and Johnna G. Torsone and John McKeon. 

“Due to the passionate generosity of our New Works Circle members, we will now be able to continue at an even higher level the Playhouse's long history of supporting the development of new work,” said Lamos.

Throughout its 85 years, Westport Country Playhouse has been home to 43 world premiere productions of new plays and musicals, including last season’s comedy, “Love and Money,” by A. R. Gurney, co-produced with New York’s Signature Theatre.

For more information, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

About Westport Country Playhouse

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus.  The Playhouse creates this relationship with the community and provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality from May through October; educational and community engagement events and opportunities to further explore issues presented by the work on stage; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand playreadings throughout the year to deepen relationships with audiences and artists alike; the renowned Woodward Internship Program training program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations from November through April to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round. The value of the Westport Country Playhouse to all it touches is immeasurable.