Connecticut Humanities has awarded a grant of $20,000 to Westport Country Playhouse to support a series of free-of-charge community engagement events surrounding “Thousand Pines,” a world-premiere drama that brings the national dialogue about gun violence to the Playhouse stage, from October 30 through November 17. Written by Matthew Greene, and directed by Austin Pendleton, the play was developed in early 2017 by the Playhouse’s New Works Circle Initiative.
The series of community events to examine the work on stage will include symposia, panel discussions, and a talkback with artists involved.
“We programmed ‘Thousand Pines’ to close our 2018 season because of its deft artistry and topicality, as it holds up a mirror to this uniquely American phenomenon in a way that is complex and nuanced,” said Michael Barker, Playhouse managing director. “This vital grant from Connecticut Humanities will allow the Playhouse to offer additional opportunities to further explore this play’s important themes, in dialogue with our audience.”
In “Thousand Pines,” nothing feels the same since the day Thousand Pines Junior High School was on every news channel and in everyone’s hearts. Six months after a student brought a gun to school and killed his classmates, the families of the children who died struggle with their need for answers and closure.
Barker added, “The play does not delve into the politics of gun violence but instead emphasizes our common humanity when dealing with unspeakable tragedy. While the Playhouse production addresses a national epidemic, it is especially relevant for our community with the proximity of Newtown, Connecticut.”
Connecticut Humanities, a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides opportunities to explore the history, literature and the vibrant culture that make our state, cities and towns attractive places to live and work. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.
For more Westport Country Playhouse information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).