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Director’s Note What makes a play great? What makes it last? It certainly has little to do with auspicious beginnings. Noël Coward wrote Private Lives while traveling in Asia. The idea was gestating during a long bout of influenza and he dashed it off during a four-day period in a Shanghai hotel. He wrote it to play alongside Gertrude Lawrence upon his return to London. Private Lives was an immediate hit when it opened in the West End in the fall of 1930; it then crossed the pond to open successfully on Broadway early in 1931. Since then there have been seven more Broadway productions, making it the most produced play in Broadway history. What makes this play so beloved when most plays of the period are long forgotten? Noël Coward was a theatrical genius who wrote other successful plays, movies, songs and more, but Private Lives stands out. Beyond the fact that it’s a perfectly structured trifle, many of us see ourselves in Elyot and Amanda. And we love them, we aspire to be them, we laugh at and with them. But we also see these two charmers as childish, selfish, ill-tempered. Of course, that can be us, too. Private Lives also deals drolly with the timeless struggle around social change. It was only in 1928 that all women in England received the vote. The ramifications of both the First World War and the Roaring 20s made for a fast evolving society, particularly for women. When Elyot charges Amanda with being “promiscuous” she replies, “Excuse me while I get a caraway biscuit and change my crinoline.” Like the women of Downton Abbey she grew up in the old order; now she faces the modern world. The characters in Private Lives talk silly nonsense while trying to figure themselves out, and we get to revel in their enduringly witty repartee and outlandish behavior. They are eternally, endlessly fascinating…and perhaps that’s what makes a play great. ~ Frank Arcaro Director The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production or distributing recordings on any medium, including the internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author’s rights and actionable under United States copyright law. For more information, please visit: www.samuelfrench.com/whitepaper

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Matthew Travis, Music Director BACH AT CHRISTMAS: Wachet Auf

Sunday, December 11th, 2016 at 2:00 p.m St. Andrew’s Church, Kent, CT AMERICAN SONG: Corigliano, Copland, Gershwin Sunday, March 19, 2017 w. Soprano & Chamber Orchestra St. John’s Church, New Milford, CT

MOZART: REQUIEM

Renowned soloists, chorus and orchestra Sunday, June 11th, 2017 at St. John’s in New Milford Join us! www.KentSingers.org (860) 619 - 8110


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presents

Private Lives by by Noël Coward directed by Frank Arcaro

The Cast Sybil Chase Elyot Chase Amanda Prynne Victor Prynne Louise

Anna Fagan Jonathan Jacobson  Vicki Sosbe  J. Scott Williams  Christina Van De Water

Setting

ACT I: 1930. The terrace of a hotel in France. A summer evening.

Intermission 15-minutes

ACT II: Amanda’s flat in Paris. A few days later. Evening. ACT III: The same. Next morning. Private Lives

is presented through special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. Music licensing via American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).


Production Staff

Directed & Designed by.......................................................................Frank Arcaro Stage Manager....................................................................................Kathy Bolster Seamstress.........................................................................................Rhonda Schutz Fight Choreography..............................................................................Kevin Sosbe Technical Director.......................................................................... Scott Wyshynski Builders.................Scott Wyshynski, Frank Russo, Charlie Osborne, Jay Novicky, ............................... Sonnie Osborne, Rich Pettibone, John Bolster, Glenn Couture Lighting Design.............................................. Scott Wyshynski, Richard Pettibone Sound Design.............................................................. Frank Arcaro, Tom Libonate Scenic Painting..............................................................................Glenn R. Couture Running Crew.............................................................. John Bolster, Steve Seward House Managers.......................................Mary Kimball, Christine Daley, Jill Pace Publicist..............................................................................................Tom Libonate Photography....................................................................... Ghostlight Photography Web Site................................................................................printplusdesignllc.com Producers............................................................... Frank Arcaro, Glenn R. Couture

Special Thanks

• James Booth • Steve Seward • Lou Ursone of Curtain Call • John Kelley • Suzi Pettibone • Cocktails & Curtain Calls with Matt Austin and Elizabeth Young • FM97.3 WZBG Backstage with Johnny O • Mitchell Borenstein, Applebrook at Home • Fahim Khurram, Persian Rug Gallery

WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST

Anna Fagan (Sybil Chase) is excited to make her TheatreWorks debut

with this delightful cast and crew! She recently moved to the area from Washington, DC, where she studied acting at The Theatre Lab Honors Acting Conservatory. Recent credits elsewhere include The Fox on the Fairway, Crimes of the Heart, Man of La Mancha, Doubt, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Proof. Her performance in the independent film Lotus Eyes received a Best Actress nomination at the 2016 Hudson Valley International Film Festival. www.annafagan.com

Jonathan Jacobson (Elyot

Chase) returns to TheatreWorks in another Noël Coward classic, having portrayed Garry Essendine in Present Laughter. He also appeared on this stage in November and The Musical of Musicals. Recent credits: Getting Away With Murder (New Canaan); Light Up The Sky, And Then There Were None, The Importance Of Being Earnest (Westport); Deathtrap, The Sound Of Music, 1776, Twelve Angry Men (Stamford); Race, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Anything Goes, Noises Off (Torrington). Other notable roles: Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, theatreworks.us


WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple, Bill Starbuck in The Rainmaker, Roger De Bris in The Producers. Jonathan also has performed principal roles in most of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, primarily with the Blue Hill Troupe in New York City. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Yale School of Management, Jonathan is a native of Stamford and currently resides in Litchfield.

Vicki Sosbe (Amanda Prynne) is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring

the role of Amanda to life and check another box off of her theatrical bucket list.  She has been a part of the theatre community in Connecticut for over 20 years, with some favorite roles including: Dr. Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart, Christine in Bad Seed, Jean in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Mrs. Manningham in Gaslight, Myra in Hay Fever, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Go-To-Hell Kitty in Chicago and Frenchie in Cabaret.  A native of Wisconsin, she is a lover all of things cheese, a die-hard fan of her beloved Badgers and Packers and in her spare time, a senior planner of global tax conferences for a major accounting firm.  She would not be here without the love and support of her amazing husband, Kevin and her three awesome kids.  Many thanks to her family, mother-in-law, Phyllis, for all the kid wrangling, and the entire cast and crew!

J. Scott Williams (Victor Prynne) was last seen on the TheatreWorks

stage in the 2013 production of Edward Albee’s Seascape. Local audiences have also seen Scott in productions of Burn This, Jeffrey, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Moon Over Buffalo, Cabaret, Bent, Doubt, and Present Laughter, at TheatreWorks, and in Arms and the Man, A Few Good Men, The Normal Heart, and Noises Off at other local theaters. In real life Scott is a Landscape Architect in Brookfield.

Christina Van De Water (Louise) is thrilled to be a part of her first

performance at TheatreWorks in the role of Louise. Christina studied theatre at Montclair State University in New Jersey, traveled throughout the US and abroad, then settled back into her home state of Connecticut to start her family. She and her husband Cole welcomed their first baby, Cosette Oriel, in July. Christina is looking forward to many future performances with TheatreWorks and introducing her daughter to stage work with the help of such a terrific cast!  theatreworks.us


WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST

Kathy Bolster (Stage Manager) Kathy left The Prairie Belle in Two

Trees to travel to 1930s Paris for Private Lives. It’s an honor to be working with such a dedicated cast and director, and to share the stage with old friends and new. As always, love to John, Chris, Kimberly, and Ian.

Frank Arcaro (Director) Having appeared as an actor at Theatreworks

most recently in The Games Afoot Frank makes his directorial debut with this production of Private Lives. Not since college has he directed and is pleased to be back in the hot seat. He has the great good fortune to be blessed with a miraculous cast and crew who have collaborated on this project with grace and talent and commitment.

Noël Coward (Playwright) Noël Peirce Coward was born in 1899 and

made his professional stage debut as Prince Mussel in The Goldfish at the age of 12, leading to many child actor appearances over the next few years. His breakthrough in playwriting was the controversial The Vortex (1924) which featured themes of drugs and adultery and made his name as both actor and playwright in the West End and on Broadway. During the frenzied 1920s and the more sedate 1930s, Coward wrote a string of successful plays, musicals and intimate revues including Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Easy Virtue (1926), This Year of Grace (1928), and Bitter Sweet (1929). His professional partnership with childhood friend Gertrude Lawrence, started with Private Lives (1931), and continued with Tonight at 8.30 (1936). During World War II, he remained a successful playwright, screenwriter and director, as well as entertaining the troops and even acting as an unofficial spy for the Foreign Office. His plays during these years included Blithe Spirit which ran for 1997 performances, outlasting the War (a West End record until The Mousetrap overtook it), This Happy Breed and Present Laughter (both 1943). His two wartime screenplays, In Which We Serve, which he co-directed with the young David Lean, and Brief Encounter quickly became classics of British cinema. However, the post-war years were more difficult. Austerity Britain – the London critics determined – was out of tune with the brittle Coward wit. In response, Coward re-invented himself as a cabaret and TV star, particularly in America, and in 1955 he played a sell-out season in Las Vegas featuring many of his most famous songs, including Mad About the Boy, I’ll See You theatreworks.us


WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST Again and Mad Dogs and Englishmen. In the mid-1950s he settled in Jamaica and Switzerland, and enjoyed a renaissance in the early 1960s becoming the first living playwright to be performed by the National Theatre, when he directed Hay Fever there. Late in his career he was lauded for his roles in a number of films including Our Man In Havana (1959) and his role as the iconic Mr. Bridger alongside Michael Caine in The Italian Job (1968). Writer, actor, director, film producer, painter, songwriter, cabaret artist as well as an author of a novel, verse, essays and autobiographies, he was called by close friends ‘The Master’. His final West End appearance was Song at Twilight in 1966, which he wrote and starred in. He was knighted in 1970 and died peacefully in 1973 in his beloved Jamaica. A big thank you to Applebrook at Home in New Milford and the Persian Rug Gallery in Woodbury for the generous loans of furniture, art, fixtures and rugs for this production. Many of the items on the set are for sale, please inquire below.

Applebrook at Home A treasure trove of antiques, decorative accessories, artwork, art pottery and lighting. 27 Bridge Street New Milford, CT 06776 (860) 210-1140 www.applebrookauctions.com

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2016-2017 ON THE MAIN STAGE

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST November 5-13, 2016

The Who’s TOMMY February 4-12, 2017

FOLLIES

May 6-14, 2017

Disney/Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS July 29-August 6, 2017

NANCY MARINE STUDIO THEATRE

EVIL DEAD-THE MUSICAL

September 24-October 2, 2016

INTERNATIONAL PLAYWRIGHT FESTIVAL October 13-15, 2016

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS December 10-18, 2016

CALENDAR GIRLS March 11-19, 2017

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

June 17-25, 2017

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Private Lives