On Valentine’s Day, 1983, the first meeting of the Theatre Artists Workshop of Westport, Inc. was held. Founded by Keir Dullea and his wife, the late Susie Fuller, and based on the Los Angeles “Theatre East” workshop they had loved, TAW is designed as a safe place, a theatrical gymnasium, where theatre professionals hone their craft, stretch creative muscles, experiment, develop new plays, work with and get feedback from fellow actors, writers and directors away from the harsh glare of the public spotlight.
Photos by Woody Woodhall, circa 1983
For 32 years, the Workshop has served its membership and audiences with that original vision still intact. Plays have been developed that have gone on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional and even International production. Workshop performance and constructive critique have improved members’ skills, and led to new opportunities. Audiences attend readings of classic and original plays, scenes and stories at the Workshop theatre, local libraries and cultural institutions.
Membership over the years has included names such as Anne Baxter, Theodore Bikel, Phoebe Brand, Morton DaCosta, Sandy Dennis, Mia Dillon, Keir Dullea, Christopher Durang, Kevin Gray, Shirley Knight, Ring Lardner, Jr., James Noble, Jane Powell, Lee Richardson, Laura San Giacomo, and Brett Somers.
After several moves since 1983, TAW found its current home in the Masonic Lodge at 5 Gregory Blvd., East Norwalk 06855. It’s an intimate space with a floor-level stage and raised seating for eighty people: a perfect setting for the workshop and performance experience. The north wall is entirely taken up by an extensive and ever-expanding theatre library. These facilities are available 24/7 to all our dues-paying members for rehearsals, meetings, classes, private performances, etc., on a first-come-first-served basis. Members meet every Monday night for presentation and peer feedback.
Membership in the Workshop is open to professional actors, writers and directors. Admission is by audition, script submission or by a substantial body of recognized professional work. Associate and Apprentice memberships are also available for those who are on their way to a professional career in theatre.
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Pictures from our 30th Anniversary Party in 2013 (Photos by Susan Goodell)