Canceled is the stage adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, which was to launch the Westport season. In its place Westport has bumped up its production of Mark Brown's adaptation of the Jules Verne adventure Around the World in 80 Days. Originally scheduled to run in September, the globetrotting work will now run April 21-May 9 under the direction of Evan Haney.
A.R. Gurney's family drama Children will follow, May 26-June 13, under the direction of John Tillinger. The play, according to press notes, is described as such: "When their mysterious brother, Pokey, returns to the family's beachside vacation home, all the family plans crumble as love affairs and family secrets explode."
Also moved to an earlier slot in the season is Jonathan Larson's semi-autobiographical musical tick, tick…BOOM!, which explores "the struggles of a starving artist and his determination to live out his dream." The rock musical will now run June 23-July 18.
The previously announced Alan Ayckbourn comedy, How the Other Half Loves, will fill the fourth slot, playing July 28-Aug. 15. Westport's go-to Ayckbourn director, John Tillinger, will direct the "late night affair [that] turns into a dinner party to remember where comedy is the main course."
The fifth and sixth entries in the Westport season have yet to be revealed. Artistic director Mark Lamos has stated that he intends to stage one of the unannounced productions. The world premiere of The Greatest Gift, penned by Westport playwright-in-residence David Wiltse, remains the holiday offering from the Connecticut venue.
"I am thrilled that the changes we are making to the season both pay homage to the hard work and dedication of outgoing artistic directors Joanne Woodward and Anne Keefe while allowing Michael Ross and me to plan the final two shows of the 2009 season," Lamos said in a statement. "I think it is important that the Playhouse audience has an opportunity to get to know Michael and me before the 2010 season."
For further information and tickets to the Westport season, visit www.westportplayhouse.org.