Professional actors, directors and writers play, practice and expand their skills at the Theatre Artists Workshop. TAW’s private Monday workshops are hotbeds of creativity, where members put up works-in-progress and get feedback and support.
Coming soon, a Classic Night reading of The Royal Family, a definitely classic Broadway comedy by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, inspired by the tumultuous, highly theatrical lives of Drew Barrymore’s ancestors, theatre and film stars John and Ethel Barrymore.
Friday and Saturday, June 6th and 7th at 8pm and Sunday, June 8th at 3pm.
There is no admission charge for Classic Night readings but your generous donations are gratefully accepted.
For more information call (203) 854-6830 or check this website as we get closer to performance dates.
For theatre goers frustrated by the miniscule size of many contemporary casts, The Royal Family and its ample troupe will come as a refreshing treat. The play is a thinly veiled look at Drew Barrymore’s ancestors, the family that dominated the American stage in the early decades of the 20th century: the Barrymores. Called the Cavendishes in this immensely comic and often poignant presentation, the play features four generations of the legendary acting family in all their histrionic glory. And what thespians they are, wedded to the stage and their family legacy upon it! They are marvelously self-indulgent, hams to a fault, but totally devoted to each other. Julie Cavendish, the leading actress of the Broadway stage, describes herself as a “mad woman in a family of lunatics.”
Abundant plot lines cross and crackle like live wires. Tony Cavendish, who has left Broadway for the Silver Screen, reappears, chased by a maddened, rejected lover/ leading lady. He has also decked the director of the film off of which he has just walked and he needs to escape to Europe.Seduced by a civilian marriage proposal, Gwen Cavendish, the youngest, is sure she doesn’t want to continue with the demanding stage and the tumultuous life her family leads. But this exchange between Oscar Wolfe, the family’s long-time producer, and Julie Cavendish, Gwen’s mother, is ultimately telling. Julie in a moment of her own doubt, says, “There are other things in the world besides the theatre.” To which the shrewd Oscar rejoins: “Sure. But not for you.” The Royal Family is the team of Kaufman and Ferber at the top oftheir form. The dialogue is crisp, amusingly biting and the plot is madcap.What will happen? Will a Cavendish reject the stage for a simpler life? We won’t know the answer till the final curtain.
Directed by Mark Graham of Stratford: Featuring Sean Hannon, Emilie Roberts and Chilton Ryan of Weston; Kimberly Squires and Allan Zeller of Milford; Melody James of Westport; Clayton Wheat of Norwalk; Jo Anne Parady of Fairfield; Frank Piazza of Bridgeport; Katie Sparer of Stratford; Tom Zingarelli of New Haven and Emily Hughes of Middletown.
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WHO WE ARE
For over 31 years, Theatre Artists Workshop – a collection of over 125 professional actors, writers and directors – has been meeting once a week to showcase new scripts and audition pieces, and several times a year share their talents with audiences through their acclaimed their Annual Playwrights’ Festival, Holiday Show, Spring Fundraisers, and Classic Night Reading Series. The Theatre Artists Workshop is the only theatrical organization of its kind in the region.