What is TAW?
TAW is designed as a safe place for theatre artists to take risks. It is 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. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic in 2022, TAW has been offering in-person meetings in Westport, remote Zoom meetings, and Zoom/Live Hybrid meetings in various combinations—with an eye toward consistent in-person gatherings as soon as safe and feasible. Our in-person TAW meetings are most frequently held in the Westport Country Playhouse Lucille Lortel rehearsal studio.
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 for artists to take risks. It is 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.
For 38 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 Lucille Lortel, 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 most recent home in the Masonic Lodge at 5 Gregory Blvd., East Norwalk 06855. Yet the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic had other plans. After 25 years in our Norwalk space, TAW has had to transition to a fully virtual community, and though not without pains, TAW has been thriving online. The search is on to find a new home that serves our membership and audiences just as well if not better than before. TAW looks forward to the spring/summer of 2021, when it is projected that it will be safe to meet in person again, and commence with live theatre. By this time, we hope to have found a wonderful new home, where members can meet every Monday night for presentation and peer feedback, have convenient access to rehearsal space throughout the week, and produce live theatre for our audience.
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.
TAW was founded in Westport, CT in 1983 by Susie Fuller, Keir Dullea, Haila Stoddard, Burry Frederick, Jerome Kilty, Whitfield Connor, Sydney Michaels, Patricia Englund, Chilton Ryan, James Mapes, Ann Clay, Louisette Michaels, and E. Katherine Kerr.
Carole Schweid, in an interview with
Stephanie Hazard, in an interview with
Elizabeth Fuller, in an interview with
IN THE PRESS
Tel: (203) 854-6830
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Theatre Artists Workshop is a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit organization.
Support has been provided to Theatre Artists Workshop from CT Humanities, with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts from the Connecticut State Legislature.