While what happens onstage is the essence of theatre, theatre people do lots of interesting things offstage as well. Every week, I will bring you news of non-show theatre events around the U.S. -- exclusively on Playbill On-Line. To send information for this column, eMail releases to Katia_Lundy@playbill.com .
The 92nd Street Y (Lexington @ 92nd Street) in New York City offers a lot more than fitness classes. The public can enjoy exclusive concerts, lectures and readings. A sample of some of the theatre notables scheduled to make appearances at the Y follows:
In the Y's "Funny People" series, comedian, actor and former talk show host on WABC radio Joy Behar will moderate talks with some of the funniest people about the role of comedy and humor in society today.
Joining Joy Behar on Sunday, October 20 @ 8 p.m. are, Obie Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang whose plays include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All to You, The Idiots Karamazov and The Vietnamization of New Jersey (his new show, Sex and Longing, starring Sigourney Weaver opens in the fall), and Author Nicky Silver of the recent off-Broadway hit The Food Chain. Tony award winning actor, Nathan Lane, who's currently starring in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and who has appeared in Broadway's Love! Valour! Compassion!, Guys and Dolls, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor is set to be in the spotlight on Sunday, October 27 @ 8 p.m.
In the "Main Reading" series, The Y presents the best contemporary literature in all its many voices and forms. Playwright Neil Simon starts things off with a reading from one of his works in "The Art of Drama I: Neil Simon" on Monday, September 30 @ 8 p.m.
October 14 @ 8 p.m., Billie Whitlaw presents "The Art of Drama II: An Informal Evening with Samuel Beckett." Beckett's friend and interpreter will feature a program of commentary and reading from the drama and poetry of the writer.
Monday, October 21 @ 8 p.m. English dramatist Harold Pinter (The Birthday Party, Moonlight, Ashes to Ashes) will hold a reading with "The Art of Drama III: Harold Pinter." A discussion with critic and scholar Austin E. Guigley about the theatre will follow the reading.
English playwright David Hare will hold a reading of his new play Skylight and if schedule permits, playwright and actor Wallace Shawn whose new play is The Designated Mourner will participate with Mr. Hare on November 11 @ 8 p.m. in "The Art of Drama IV: David Hare and Wallace Shawn."
Actor and Playwright Sam Shepard will hold a reading of his Pulitzer Prize winning play Buried Child on Monday, February 10, 1997 @ 8 p.m.
"The Art of Drama V" features Pulitzer Prize-winning actor August Wilson (The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars) on Monday, March 17 1997 @ 8 p.m.
August Wilson returns on Wednesday, March 19, 1997 @ 8 p.m. in a discussion about his works with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein (The Heidi Chronicles, Isn't It Romantic?, The Sisters Rosenweig) and distinguished Columbia University history professor Alan in one of the Y's "Lives to Learn From" series.
Prices vary for members and non-members for each event. For further information, tickets, registration, please call the 92nd Y at (212) 996-1100.