New York and Connecticut theater reviews and news


A director discusses the most misunderstood job in the theater

“This is a brilliant play,” said director David Kennedy about “And a Nightingale Sang” on stage at the Westport Country Playhouse June 9-27, “warm, funny and tender, full of wonderfully drawn characters and extraordinarily lifelike situations. The playwright, Cecil Philip Taylor has such a remarkable talent for rendering complicated people.  It’s a gift for actors and directors to bring to life and for audiences to behold. I cannot wait to share this with our patrons.”

The play fulfills what Kennedy seeks in choosing a play which he describes as “complex human relationships that are realer than real, contradictory with variable changing needs.”

Set in northern England during World War II. At the center of a family trying to cope on the home front as the war is about to begin,  is a resigned spinster daughter  who finds herself unexpectedly awakened to the possibilities of love with a young soldier on leave.

It has everything Kennedy looks for in a play: richly-drawn characters, depth of humanity and gentle humor; a portrait of perseverance and growth of the human spirit.

“I have to spend months working with the actors,” he said in a telephone interview between rehearsals,. “there is a lot to uncover and explore. To be a good director, you have to listen deeply, hear something over and over and always hear something new. You have to have a strong visual sense, to create an environment, an atmosphere that is free of judgment, but has an exhaustive sense of detail because every moment is set against the larger picture.”

And an important part of being a good director,” he said about the most misunderstood role in the theater, ”is to love the actors and what they bring to their roles. You have to  challenge, push and inspire them to do their best. You have to create a very strong, rich framework so that everyone understands what they’re doing and you get a collaborative result.”

“And a Nightingale Sang” performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m

Single ticket prices start at $30. For ticket information and reservations phone (203) 227-4177 or (888) 927-7529

-- Gloria Sugarman
May 23, 2015


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