Sep 24, 2013
01:40 PMArts & Entertainment
What's Emmy Winner Laura Linney Doing Saturday? Aiding a Connecticut Cause
Mark Davis; Getty Images Entertainment
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 12: Actress Laura Linney poses with the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film backstage at Women In Film's 2013 Crystal + Lucy Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 1.
Here’s the type of juxtaposition from the world of culture and entertainment that makes Connecticut such a great state to call home: Last Sunday evening, actress Laura Linney won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portrayal of Cathy Jamison in The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime’s “cancer comedy.” This coming Saturday, Sept. 28, Linney will be joining some distinguished fellow actors in a benefit in the small but sophisticated Litchfield County town of Salisbury for a privately-funded social services agency that provides emergency financial aid for individuals and families in need.
You can join in helping those families, and in the process rub elbows with—or at least enjoy the performances of—Linney, Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter), John Benjamin Hickey, who won a Tony for his performance in The Normal Heart, and Edward Herrmann.
The event is entitled Salisbury Our Town: An Evening of Readings Celebrating Small Town Life, and it’s an original, one-time-only performance that combines local memoirs and oral history with literary and dramatic readings.
It will be held in the Walker Theatre at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville at 6 p.m. Tickets are are general admission—$25 for adults and $10 for students—and are available online at www.salisburyfamilyservices.org or at Johnnycake Books in Salisbury (12 Academy St. (860) 435-6677; www.johnnycakebooks.com).
According to a release, the local material, mostly from the 1800’s, comes from Salisbury archives and from the town’s oral history project. Among the literary readings are selections from the works of E. B. White, e e cummings and Thornton Wilder.
A highlight of the program will be Herrmann performing a monologue of the stage manager’s role from Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Our Town. Local authors John Burnham Schwartz and Ann Arensberg will read from their own novels set in New England. The Joint Chiefs will add songs and music to the program.
The program will last a little more than an hour, so patrons can plan their evening afterwards, or attend one of the dinners being sponsored for the event by SFS supporters in private residences in Salisbury, the release said. The price for dinner, including performance ticket, is $200 per person.
Salisbury Family Services, founded during the Great Depression, is Salisbury’s local, privately-funded social service agency. It provides emergency financial aid for individuals and families in need.
Biographies of participants (in alphabetical order)
Ann Arensberg was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Havana, Cuba. She worked as an editor in book publishing for a number of years. She is the author of Sister Wolf, which won the National Book Award, Group Sex, and Incubus. Her short fiction has been included in the O.Henry Awards Prize Stories anthologies. She is currently finishing her fourth novel, tentatively entitled Making Saints. She and her husband, Richard Grossman, are long-time residents of Salisbury.
Mamie Gummer was raised in Salisbury and graduated from The Kent School and Northwestern University. Her off-Broadway debut was in Mr. Marmalade, followed by Uncle Vanya and The Water’s Edge, both for which she was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award for best featured actress. Her Broadway debut was Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Her film appearances include Heartburn (at the age of 18 months), Side Effects, The Hoax, Taking Woodstock, Evening, and most recently The Lifeguard. Her television credits include The Big C, John Adams, The Good Wife, and Emily Owens, MD.
Edward Herrmann was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. He graduated from Bucknell University and took a Fulbright Scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1968-69. After four years of repertory with the Dallas Theater Center he moved to New York and his work off –Broadway launched a career on Broadway, in films and on television. He won the Tony Award for Mrs. Warren’s Profession; Emmy nominations and a TV Critics Circle Award for Eleanor and Franklin and Eleanor and Franklin: The Whitehouse Years; a Theater Guild Medal for Plenty; and, an Emmy for his performance on The Practice. He has done over sixty films and most recently completed Being Here with Zack Galiafinakos and Amy Pohler. Well-known for his role as patriarch Richard Gilmore on The Gilmore Girls, he now plays continuing character Lionel Deerfield on The Good Wife. He has recorded over one hundred audio books, and just finished Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit. He lives in Salisbury with his wife, Star. They have three children, the youngest, Emma, orbiting farther from home, away at school with a great drama program. Mr. Herrmann has never played the Stage Manager and is grateful for the opportunity to at least dip his toe into the waters of one his favorite plays, Our Town.
John Benjamin Hickey last appeared on Broadway in The Normal Heart, for which he won the 2011 Tony Award for best featured actor in a play. Other Broadway credits include Mary Stuart, The Crucible, Cabaret and Love! Valour! Compassion! His film credits include Pitch Perfect, Flags of Our Fathers, Transformers 2, The Anniversary Party, and The Ice Storm, among others. On television, he is currently featured on The Good Wife, playing internet billionaire Neil Gross and, for the last four seasons, has appeared on the Showtime series The Big C, playing Laura Linney's brother.
The Joint Chiefs are Eliot Osborn, Louise Lindenmeyr, George Potts and Diana Herold. Eighteen years after their first gig in the White Hart tap room, the Chiefs are regionally recognized for their performances at benefits and festivals as well as in concert appearances with Eliza Gilkyson, Rodney Crowell and Judy Collins. The band's two CD's can be heard on alternative radio stations around New England, and in 2009 they performed in rural villages of Morocco under the auspices of Project Troubador. On Oct. 9 they will have their own evening at Infinity Hall in Norfolk.
Laura Linney is a graduate of Brown University and The Juilliard School. Her work in film and television and on stage has been recognized by numerous acting nominations and awards. Last Sunday, Linnery won her fourth Emmy, for best actress in Showtime’s The Big C, previously having won for roles in HBO’s John Adams, NBC’s Frazier and in Showtime’s movie Wild Iris. In addition to Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild award, Linney has received Academy Award nominations in Savages and You Can Count on Me and, as supporting actress, in Kinsey. She was awarded the New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics award for You Can Count on Me. Other film credits, of many, include Congo, Absolute Power, Primal Fear, The Truman Show, The House of Mirth, Lorenzo's Oil, Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Squid and The Whale, Mystic River and Hyde Park on the Hudson. On stage, Linney was nominated for a Tony Award for The Crucible, Time Stands Still, and Sight Unseen. Other roles include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Six Degrees of Separation, The Seagull, Hedda Gabler, Holiday, and Honour.
John Burnham Schwartz is the author of five acclaimed novels, including The Commoner, Northwest Corner, and Reservation Road, which was made into a film based on his screenplay. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, and he has done extensive screen and television writing for most of the major Hollywood studios. Currently the Literary Director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, he divides his time, along with his wife and son, between Brooklyn, NY and Salisbury, CT.
What's Emmy Winner Laura Linney Doing Saturday? Aiding a Connecticut Cause