"Morning's at Seven" by Paul Osborn, will be read in the Script in Hand series at Westport Country Playhouse, on Monday, February 13, 7 p.m. Part of "Winter at The Playhouse," the series will continue with "Stage Struck," an inventive comedy/thriller by Simon Gray, on Monday, March 12, 7 p.m. Both playreadings will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse artistic advisor. Tickets to the one-night-only events are $15. Casting will be announced soon.
"'Morning's at Seven' is such a timeless piece; there's a reason plays like this are revived every decade or so," said Keefe. "It speaks to an audience on so many levels - about the importance of family, the nature of family secrets and about love itself - all so touchingly explored through the lens of comedy. It really has it all - humor, sentiment and nostalgia - and great parts for the actors to tackle."
"Morning's at Seven" tells of the four Gibbs sisters who all reside in the same town, three of them living next door to each other, and know intimately the lives of the others. But each maintains her own secrets, hidden to preserve the tranquility of their family. When Ida's son Homer brings home his spinster fiancé, a stranger to the family even after a 15-year engagement, the secrets began to spill. Arguments, make-ups, "mysterious spells" occur, all adding up to a reminder that family, no matter how dysfunctional, really is everything.
Playwright Paul Osborn (1901-1988) was an American playwright and screenwriter best known for writing the film adaptations of "East of Eden," "South Pacific," "The Yearling" and "Sayonara." "Morning's at Seven" was first staged in 1939, revived in 1980 (Tony Award) and 2002, and presented on television. Osborn also wrote the play "On Borrowed Time," which was made into a film.
"Stage Struck" is about a former first-rate regional stage manager who now keeps house for his West End actress-wife while amusing himself with various sexual adventures. He is a thoroughly happy man until the clumsy intervention of a psychiatrist destroys his happiness and his marriage. He plans revenge on his wife and the psychiatrist – a revenge which allows him to delve into his old bag of theatrical tricks.
"I'm particularly drawn to the comedy/thriller genre, especially for a reading," staTed Keefe. "It's fun to sit in an audience that is holding its collective breath in suspense and then have the moment broken by a laugh. And of course, to have a writer of Simon Gray's stature gives the project an added appeal."
Playwright Simon Gray (1936 - 2008) was born in England and attendEd Cambridge. His plays include "Butley," "Quartermaine's Terms," "Otherwise Engaged" and "The Old Masters." He also wrote TV plays, film scripts and memoirs.
Director Anne Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse, with JoAnne Woodward, in 2008 and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward. She co-directed with Ms. Woodward The Westport Country Playhouse production of "David Copperfield," and directed many Script in Hand readings.
Marc and Michele Flaster are Script in Hand sponsors; Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler are Script in Hand partners. The series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.