Richard Thomas Will Recall A Distant Country Called Youth at Westport

News   Richard Thomas Will Recall A Distant Country Called Youth at Westport Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas will take on late playwright Tennessee Williams in the Westport Country Playhouse's one-night-only presentation of A Distant Country Called Youth, based on the early writings of the icon of the American theatre.

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas

Thomas, last seen on the New York stage in the Public Theater production of Timon of Athens, will star in the 7 PM event on Aug. 29, which is presented in association with Westport's upcoming production of Suddenly Last Summer.

Thomas previously performed the solo evening at Hartford Stage. Steve Lawson, who also directs, adapted A Distant Country Called Youth from "The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Vol. I, 1920-1945," edited by Albert J. Devlin and Nancy M. Tischler.

A Distant Country Called Youth, according to Westport, "begins as the boy Thomas Lanier Williams moves through family travails and professional rejection to his first success, and concludes with the triumphal Broadway opening of The Glass Menagerie. The letters are a remarkable blend - earnest, hilarious, anguished, touching - as the chameleon Williams writes to family and friends, lovers and celebrities. The piece spotlights these fairly obscure 25 years in Williams’ life. Here is a young Thomas Lanier Williams, growing up, exploring and finding his artistic voice as Tennessee Williams."

Thomas appeared in the Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It, as well as the Broadway productions of Race, Sunrise at Campobello, Strange Interlude, The Playroom, Everything in the Garden, Fifth of July, The Front Page, Democracy and A Naked Girl On The Appian Way. His numerous screen appearances include "The Waltons," "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Roots: The Next Generations," "The Red Badge of Courage," "Wonder Boys" and "Taking Woodstock."

The Westport Country Playhouse production of Suddenly Last Summer will run Aug. 23-Sept. 10. Casting will be announced shortly. A Q&A with Thomas and Lawson, moderated by Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe, will follow the Aug. 29 presentation.

For tickets to A Distant Country…, priced $15, visit WestportPlayhouse.

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