That's the plan of the Mint Theatre Company, which routinely uses its lung power to blow dust off "neglected but worthy" plays. The troupe had a success this spring by presenting two A.A. Milne plays in repertory: Mr. Pim Passes By, a revival of an early triumph for the company, and The Truth About Blayds. The productions employed the same cast.
Next up is the man who encouraged Milne to become a playwright, none other that Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie. The Scottish Barrie wrote many other plays beside Peter Pan, among them a couple notable vehicles for Ethel Barrymore, The Twelve Pound Look and Alice Sit-By-The-Fire. He also penned a couple of one-acts titled The Old Lady Shows Her Medals and The New Word. The Mint will present both under the name Echoes of the War.
Frances Sternhagen will star in The Old Lady, repeating the role she performed at a Mint reading last month. Richard Easton, who has also done readings for the company, will appear in The New Word. Eleanor Reissa directs.
Both plays were first presented in New York at the Empire Theater, along with another piece, Old Friends, in 1917. The production ran 48 performances.
Sternhagen and Easton's involvement is a rare bit of star casting for the venerable Mint. In the past, the company has relied on lesser known performers, often returning to favorite actors such as Lisa Bostnar. The evening will begin performances on July 6 at the Mint Theater at 311 West 43rd Street.