Sutton Vane's 1923 play, Outward Bound, sets sail at Joanne Woodward's Westport Country Playhouse Aug. 7. Among the passengers on the ocean liner where the play is set are actors Pamela Payton-Wright, Edward Hibbert, Patricia Connolly, T. Scott Cunningham, Garret Dillahunt, Danis Holmes, Jefferson Mays, Tari Signor and Henry Strozier.
Director Doug Hughes serves as captain for the revival, which plays through Aug. 24.
Vane's comedy was seen at Westport in 1939, in a production which starred Laurette Taylor and began in New York. The story tells of a group of people aboard a ship embarked for an unknown destination. The strange passage leads the characters to reflect upon the lives they've lived.
British Vane was in his mid-20s when he wrote Outward Bound. No one would produce it, so he constructed a homemade set in a suburban London house and ran the play for two weeks. It became a hit and transferred to the West End and, in 1924, to Broadway.
Payton-Wright, who starred in Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, plays Mrs. Cliveden-Banks. Hibbert, the fatuous actor prone to nose-bleeds in Broadway's Noises Off, is Rev. Frank Thompson. Cunningham, a regular in Manhattan premieres by Nicky Silver and Douglas Carter Beane, is Rev. William Duke. Connolly, who was in House and Garden at Manhattan Theatre Club, is Mrs. Midget. Leslie Hunt and Alfred Lunt appeared in the original Broadway production, which ran 144 performances. The 1939 revival did better, lasting 255 performances. The play was Vane's biggest success.
For information, call (203) 227-4177.
The Westport 2002 summer season concludes with A Saint She Ain't by Dick Vosburgh and Denis King, directed by Eric Hill, Aug. 28-Sept. 14
—By Robert Simonson