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Playhouse on Park To Present A.R. Gurney’s ‘The Dining Room’

Ezra Barnes (left) and Susan Haefner perform as part of an ensemble cast in A.R. Gurney’s, The Dining Room, opening Feb. 20. Submitted photos
The next show in the Main Stage series at West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park opens on Feb. 20.
Ezra Barnes (left) and Susan Haefner perform as part of an ensemble cast in A.R. Gurney’s, The Dining Room, opening Feb. 20. Submitted photos

Ezra Barnes (left) and Susan Haefner perform as part of an ensemble cast in A.R. Gurney’s, The Dining Room, opening Feb. 20. Submitted photos

Submitted by Playhouse on Park

Playhouse on Park continues its Main Stage series with The Dining Room, which opens Friday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. (with preview shows on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18-19, at 7:30 p.m.).

Written by part-time Connecticut resident, A.R. Gurney, The Dining Room reveals 18 vignettes of the fading upper-middle class WASP lifestyle. As institution gives way to progress, a father lectures his son, a mother’s unfaithfulness is discovered, and a senile grandmother does not recognize her own grandsons. The play weaves moments of humor, affliction, and empathy into a tapestry of the human condition. Moving across time, each scene is set against the dining room, a once traditional and now-occasional gathering point of the family. The Dining Room will be playing from Feb. 18 – March 8, 2015.

The Dining Room features an ensemble cast of Ezra Barnes*, Susan Haefner*, Sean Harris, Jay William Thomas, Annie Grier, and Susan Slotoroff. All actors—with the exception of Sean Harris—will be making their Playhouse on Park acting debuts. Each actor will be playing multiple roles. Founder of Shakespeare on the Sound in Fairfield County, Ezra Barnes’s previous work includes Signature Center: Andrew Peric (BREAKFAST WITH MUGABE), Gustav Mahler (FINAL ANALYSIS), FILM: NOAH, JOSHUA, ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, and TV: THE BLACKLIST, LAW & ORDER, SVU and BLUE BLOODS. Last season, Susan Haefner directed and choreographed Playhouse on Park’s SPELLING BEE. Her stage credits include Broadway: 42nd STREET, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, and STATE FAIR, as well as, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park: Rosemary (TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL). Sean Harris returns to the Playhouse on Park stage for a fifth time, where his recent performances include (THE COMPLEAT WRKS OF WILLM SHKSPR (ABRIDGED)), Yvan (ART), Lady Enid, Nicodemus, etc. (THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP), and Watson (THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES). Serving as co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Playhouse on Park, Harris has directed several productions including METAMORPHOSES, OF MICE AND MEN, CABARETand ANGELS IN AMERICA. Jay William Thomas’s prior work has included NYNW Theater Festival: Darling (PETER PAN), Theater Row: Danny (DEATHBED), and Theater @ St. Clements: Minkowski/Hitler (EINSTEIN). Annie Grier’s past performances include Everyman Theatre: Ruth (TRIBES), Clara (PYGMALION), Passage Theatre: Peggy Sue (LITTLE ROCK), and FILM: Sarah Mickell (NAZ + MAALIK) an official selection of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. Susan Slotoroff’s most recent performances include Shadowland Theatre: Billie (UNNECESSARY FARCE), White Plains PAC: Louise (FOX ON THE FAIRWAY), and Gershwin Theatre: Glinda/Host (WICKED: FOR GOOD), as well as TV: IN BETWEEN MEN and FILM: GEEZER.

The Dining Room will be directed by Sasha Brätt. His Playhouse on Park directing credits include OTHELLO and THEATRE UNCUT. Brätt as premiered new works in the New York International Fringe Festival, the Source Festival, and Capital Fringe. He also serves as Playhouse on Park’s Literary Manager.

Shows are Wednesday-Sunday from Feb. 18 – March 8. Wednesdays and Thursdays the show begins at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 p.m., and Sundays are at 2 p.m.

Two preview shows will take place on Wednesday, Feb.18 and Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

For opening night, a pre-performance wine and cheese reception sponsored by Cabot Cheese, Edible Arrangements, and West Side Wine and Spirits will take place on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. A talk back with the cast will take place immediately following all Sunday performances.

Tickets range from $25-$35 for adults, students, seniors, and let’s go arts members save $2.50 per ticket, all seats reserved. For more information, go to the Playhouse on Park website (www.playhouseonpark.org), call by phone(860-523-5900 x10), or stop by the box office (244 Park Road, West Hartford, CT).

* Appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
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