Demonstrating that staged readings can often be as rewarding as full productions, the National Arts Club will host the “Food for Thought” the continuing series of lunchtime readings every Monday through June 28.
Actors booked to participate in the one-act readings are Christine Baranski, Blair Brown, Kate Burton, Rita Moreno, Cliff Robertson, Campbell Scott, Marian Seldes, Ally Sheedy and Elaine Stritch, among others.
Production sources point out that the talent onstage at the NAC will be matched by that on the page. In addition to established (but rarely done) works by Anton Chekhov, Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams, there will be new works by such playwrights as Susan Charlotte, Tony Kushner, Warren Leight, Arthur Miller, Cliff Robertson and Peter Stone.
Exact schedules for the remaining dates in the series are expected to be released in the near future. “Food for Thought” began in September 2000 and is produced by artistic director Susan Charlotte, Harold Thau and Barry Minsky, in association with the National Arts Club. The resident director for the series is Josephine Abady.
The series will be introduced in Aspen, Los Angeles and San Francisco later this year, according to production sources. "One-act plays are an often overlooked form of theatre," says artistic director Susan Charlotte (a teacher of playwriting and screenwriting at both NYU and Columbia). In a prepared statement Charlotte explained that she has "come to believe that we are in the process of discovering one of the most innovative settings in which to enjoy new and classic one-act plays." A total of 23 lunchtime one-act readings with catered lunches will be presented at the National Arts Club. A “Q&A session with the actors, and, in most cases, the authors” follows each reading.
Tickets are $29 (all inclusive), $27 for seniors/students/theatrical guild members. Subscriptions for any six events are $155. Readings run from 1 PM - 2:15 PM. Catering is provided by Burke & Burke. For information and reservations call (212) 362-2560. The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, is located one block east of Park Avenue South on 20th St.
—By Murdoch McBride