by Patricia Grandjean
Sep 16, 2011
01:36 PMBox Office
Honoring Father and Mother
Shakespeare For My Father by legendary actress Lynn Redgrave premieres at TheatreWorks in New Milford on Sept. 16. Redgrave’s son Ben Clark, daughter Annabel Clark, and Ben's wife, Neva are assisting in the presentation. The play marked the late actress’ (who passed away last year) playwriting debut. It originally opened on Broadway at The Helen Hayes Theatre on April 26, 1993.
According to a recent press release, the autobiographical one-woman tale of Ms. Redgrave’s memories has been crafted into a complex, funny, and moving portrait of a child’s longing for the love of Sir Michael Redgrave—the charismatic Shakespearean actor who was her father. The story weaves scenes from the Bard’s plays that fuse with events in Ms. Redgrave’s young life, eliciting memories of her father and engaging impressions of the celebrated stars who visited their home and lives.
Redgrave's children have provided vintage photographs of the Redgrave family for the production as well as the original chair that Ms. Redgrave used on Broadway along with the show's original music from its Broadway run.
Director, Jane Farnol of Gaylordsville, had become well-acquainted with the renowned actress over the past few years as they had several things in common. "We both lived in Kent, Connecticut at the time, we're both English, and she adored my Mum,” she said. "I recall a time when Lynn and I went to see Guys and Dolls at New Milford High School and she leaned over to me and said, ‘This was Dad's favorite song.' It fascinates me, because here we are mounting the first play she ever wrote, and Susan Pettibone, who's doing an outstanding job portraying Lynn, speaks of Sir Michael Redgrave's love of American Musicals in the play. I get goose bumps thinking about it."
"The whole family has been ever so supportive," Farnol adds. "We had initially played around with lots of different ideas on how to execute Lynn's story but in the end I told Ben [Clark] we'd gone back to his Mum's basic wonderful play. We're so proud to be producing her show in her memory. Lynn impacted so many people's lives, including mine."
In addition to Farnol and Pettibone, the crew includes producer and lighting designer Richard Pettibone, sound designer Tom Libonate and stage manager Sonnie Osborne.
The production runs through Oct. 8. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fri. & Sat., with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on October 2. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating. On Sept. 15, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. & Sept. 22 is "Pay-What-You-Want Night"—at this performance, you name the price for your ticket.
For reservations, call (860) 350-6863 or visit theatreworks.us.