Oct. 17--Theater Artists Workshop in Norwalk is unveiling eight new scripts in its annual Playwrights Festival that ends on Sunday, Oct. 20.
TAW is the Fairfield County equivalent of New York City's Actors Studio, a place where performing artists and writers can work on their craft away from a commercial spotlight.
A few times a year, the nonprofit group opens it doors to the public, allowing us a glimpse of the work that is done there every week.
The new plays will be presented by TAW company members, including veteran actor James Noble (the governor on the fondly remembered TV series "Benson") and Sachi Parker, fresh from her performances in New Haven in a one-woman show about life with her celebrated mother Shirley MacLaine.
The three-day festival, which is also a fundraiser for TAW, started with 8 p.m. performances on Oct. 18 and 19 and it ends with a 3 p.m. matinee on Oct. 20.
Noble will be appearing in two of the plays, "Testament," by Fred Stroppel, and "Remembering Elizabeth," by Jack Rushen -- the latter will pair him with Parker.
"Testament" is described as a "comic monologue" in which a man reading his own will settles scores with his family and winds up leaving his estate to "a very unexpected beneficiary."
"Remembering Elizabeth" is about aging and memory loss.
Two wildly different slices of New York City will be presented in "Laundromat," by David Pilot, and "The Four Seasons," by Fran Dorf. The Pilot play is about an unlikely meeting between a middle-aged businessman and a homeless bottle collector in a Lower East Side laundromat. "The Four Seasons" is a publishing world tale about a powerful CEO and a writer the company no longer publishes.
Theater Artists Workshop is at 5 Gregory Blvd. in Norwalk. Visit www.taworkshop.org. Tickets are $20.
Area theatergoers will have a rare chance to see Friedrich Durrenmatt's "The Visit" when it is produced by the Yale School of Drama from Tuesday, Oct. 29, through Saturday, Nov. 2.
The play holds an honored place in American theater history as one of the final Broadway vehicles of the celebrated acting couple, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, but it has rarely been revived because of the very dark plot.
"The Visit" is about a wealthy woman returning to the poverty-stricken village where she grew up. The woman agrees to restore the town to its former glory in exchange for the death of the man who jilted her as a young girl.
The finale is so downbeat and disturbing that when a 1964 film version was made, with Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, the ending was changed to spare the man.
A musical version of the play, created by John Kander and Fred Ebb of "Chicago" fame, has failed to find Broadway backers for the past decade.
The Yale production will be presented at the intimate Iseman Theater at 1156 Chapel St. Tickets are $25-$10 and can be ordered online at www.drama.yale.edu or by calling 203-432-1234.
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