Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays, currently playing on Broadway in The Best Man, will head the cast of the inventive comedy/thriller, Stage Struck, by Simon Gray, a Script in Hand playreading at Westport Country Playhouse, on Monday, March 12, 7 p.m. The cast includes Jayne Atkinson, Michel Gill and Doug Stender. Part of Winter at the Playhouse, the reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse artistic advisor. Tickets to the one-night-only event are $15.
“I'm a big fan of playwright Simon Gray, having worked on a number of his scripts over the years, Otherwise Engaged, The Common Pursuit, Butley, etc.,” said Keefe. “When I found this funny, scary thriller by a writer known for his arch and witty dialogue, I thought it would be a perfect addition to our series. It's got four juicy roles, and I've got four juicy actors!”
Stage Struck is about an ex-stage manager (Mays) who now keeps house for his bread-winning actress-wife (Atkinson) while amusing himself with various sexual adventures. He is a thoroughly happy man until his wife informs him, based on a psychiatrist's advice, that she is throwing him out and cutting him off. He plans revenge on his wife and the psychiatrist (Stender), drawing on his stagecraft expertise and delving into his old bag of theatrical tricks.
Jefferson Mays last appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in Outward Bound. On Broadway, he is currently in The Best Man, and won a Tony Award for I Am My Own Wife. Other Broadway credits are Pygmalion, Journey’s End and Of Thee I Sing. Off-Broadway credits include Blood and Gifts, Measure for Measure, Lydie Breeze, Quills, Orestes. Regional theater performances include My Fair Lady, Quartermaine’s Terms, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Misalliance, Importance of Being Earnest, The Cherry Orchard, Peter Pan, She Stoops to Conquer, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, Miss Julie, Private Lives. Film credits are Alfie, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Kinsey, The Notorious Bettie Page, Cousin Bette, Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Television work includes “The Good Wife,” Mildred Pierce, “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Lie To Me,” Fringe, “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Closer,” Dolley Madison, Liberty! Mays is the recipient of many awards including Tony, Drama Desk, Obie (‘94,‘04), Outer Critic’s Circle, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, Lucille Lortel, Theatre World, Drama League, Jefferson, Dramalogue, Sir Robert Helpmann.
Jayne Atkinson appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in Triangles for Two and Our Town, which transferred to Broadway. She starred on Broadway with Angela Lansbury in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Other Broadway credits include Enchanted April and The Rainmaker with Woody Harrelson, both of which earned her Tony Award nominations. Television roles include “24” as Karen Hayes and the current “Criminal Minds” as Erin Strauss.
Michel Gill appeared on Broadway in A Man for All Seasons with Frank Langella. Off-Broadway, he was in the world premiere of The Milliner; Speaking in Tongues; A Winter’s Tale (w/ David Strathairn); and Othello (New York Shakespeare Festival w/ Christopher Walken and Raul Julia). He and his wife Jayne Atkinson appeared in The Guardsman and Candida at Berkshire Theatre Festival. Television credits include “L.A. Law,” “Law & Order CI,” “All My Children” and “Guiding Light.”