Westport Country Playhouse 2003 Line-Up Has Coward, Miller and More

News   Westport Country Playhouse 2003 Line-Up Has Coward, Miller and More Westport Country Playhouse, which had its biggest season in two decades last year when a revival of Our Town starring Paul Newman transferred to Broadway, has announced a 2003 slate featuring Noel Coward, Arthur Miller and James Naughton, the director who staged Our Town.

It was the casting coup of Paul Newman, of course, that put Westport back on the theatrical map. No actors have yet been named for the new schedule, but artistic director Joanne Woodward hinted about an Aug. 6-23 staging of Miller's All My Sons, "A wonderful consequence of producing a play that has juicy roles like these is the opportunity to work with some outstanding actors." Doug Hughes will direct the piece about a secretly guilty father and his two sons, one dead in WWII, one questioning the nature of the death.

Naughton will direct The Good German by local playwright David Wiltse. The piece is another World War II drama for the Playhouse season, which seems to be addressing current events in Washington and Iraq. The play "tells the story of a couple who, against the objections of the husband, harbors a Jewish publisher under the nose of their Nazi friend. Dangerous circumstances force all concerned to examine attitudes of morality, hate, and human decency." It runs June 25-July 12.

The season opens with one of Noel Coward's classic comedies, Hay Fever, running June 4-21. Darko Tresnjak, for whom a summer doesn't pass without a few directing assignments in New England, will stage the story of the Blisses, a family of artists and artistic temperaments who invite people to their country house only to taunt and terrorize them. The play is based on Coward's own experiences visiting the home of American actress Laurette Taylor and her playwright husband J. Hartley Manners. The couple would often insist their guests play party games and then criticize them for their poor performances.

Completing the season are The Old Settler by John Henry Redwood, directed by Walter Dallas (July 16-Aug. 2); and The Streets of New York, the musical which recently played at Irish Rep Off-Broadway, directed by Charlotte Moore (Aug. 26-Sept. 13).

The Westport Country Playhouse is located at 25 Powers Court, just off Post Road East (Route 1). Season subscriptions are on sale now. Remaining tickets will go on sale May 19. For subscriptions, call (203) 226-0153. For more information, contact the box office at (203) 227-4177 or visit westportcountryplayhouse.org.