George White, founding director of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center (home of the National Playwrights Conference and Theatre Critics Institute) will direct a one-night-only reading of Carol Shields' drama, Thirteen Hands, at NY's Promenade Theatre, Feb. 24. Appearing in the presentation, by the Colleagues Theatre Company, will be Anne Pitoniak, who won a 1983 Theatre World Award for her performance in Broadway's `Night Mother. Her other credits include Steel Magnolias and The Octette Bridge Club. Appearing with Pitoniak are Peggy Pope, Joan Copeland (1991's The Rose Quartet at Circle Rep) and Catherine Wolf, who is producing the event.
Shields won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Stone Diaries. Her previous plays include Departures And Arrivals.
Wolf told Playbill On-Line the Colleagues Theatre Company has a two pronged mission: to offer featured roles for seasoned, mature professionals, and to give high school students a chance to apprentice as technical people. "We see older people as role models, and young people can be motivated to take a positive role in society from them." CTC offers internships to its Program in Theatrical Craftsmaship, wherein professionals work as mentors in costume construction, set building, painting, lighting, stage management and audience development.
According to the theatre company's charter, their first full season will consist of 3-5 plays to be produced Off-Broadway under an Equity contract.
For tickets ($12) and information on Thirteen Hands call (212)279 4200.
-- By David Lefkowitz