The troupe, run by co-artistic directors Scott Alan Evans, Simon Jones and Cynthia Harris, presents "neglected or rarely produced plays with literary merit." Jones and Harris appear in The Chalk Garden.
The work was last seen on Broadway in 1982 with Irene Worth. An Off-Broadway run was staged in 2003.
Winner of the 1956 Tony Award for Best Play, The Chalk Garden is billed as "a provocative and poetic comedy that unfolds like a detective story. The wealthy and eccentric Mrs. St. Maugham is raising her overindulged teenaged granddaughter much as she is trying to raise the flowers in her sterile garden: by sheer will power — and with the aid of her peculiar ex-con butler. When they advertise for a governess, they get much more than they expected when into the household comes the enigmatic and rather mysterious Miss Madrigal. She begins by coaxing the flowers to grow in the chalky garden of the title and proceeds to help the young granddaughter blossom as well."
Bagnold "was the granddaughter of a general in British India, the daughter of a colonel, a runaway from a prestigious Swiss finishing school, an artist who befriended the prominent sculptor Henri Gaudier and author Katherine Mansfield, a suffragist, a hospital aide in World War I, a driver with the French Army and a noted English hostess." She also penned plays and novels, including "National Velvet" and "Serena Blandish."
The Chalk Garden is directed by John Christopher Jones with a cast that includes TACT company members Mary Bacon, Cynthia Darlow, Francesco Di Mauro, Cynthia Harris, Simon Jones, Darrie Lawrence and guest artists Gloria Moore and Nicholas Kepros. The production team includes Mary Louise Geiger (lighting design) David Toser (costume design) and John Slover (composer). TACT shows are known for being readings, but having some of the trappings of full productions (lighting design, costumes and original music).
According to the company's mission, "Our Concert Performance form of presentation allows us to re-focus the emphasis of the drama away from spectacle and production values and back to the words and the actor — creating theatre in its purest form."
TACT concludes its 11th season with The Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire Project, by Christopher Piehler, created in collaboration with members of the TACT company. It will play The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row May 8-29.
For more information on TACT and the entire 11th anniversary season visit www.TACTnyc.org.
The Chalk Garden plays at Florence Gould Hall at the French Institute Alliance Français, 55 E. 59th Street, March 13 at 7:30 PM; March 14 at 2 PM; and March 15 at 7:30 PM.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100, or in person at Florence Gould Hall.