Playwright shares view on ‘The Dining Room’

A. R. Gurney

A. R. Gurney

Westport Country Playhouse will present a Sunday Symposium, A Conversation with Playwright A. R. Gurney, following the Sunday, May 5, 3 p.m. matinee performance of Mr. Gurney’s witty and heartfelt story of the American family and its vanishing traditions, The Dining Room, directed by Mark Lamos.

David Kennedy, Westport Country Playhouse associate artistic director, will moderate the symposium.

“One of the great pleasures of the symposium series is hearing from a living writer, particularly one of Pete’s stature,” said Mr. Kennedy. “He’s so admired and has such a tremendous body of work. And because he’s a playhouse favorite, well-known to our staff and audience alike, it’s always gratifying to welcome him back to our stage. This promises to be an intimate and friendly conversation with one of the truly remarkable American playwrights.”

Playwright A. R. (“Pete”) Gurney has been writing plays for more than 50 years. Among them are The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, Sylvia, Far East, Mrs. Farnsworth, Indian Blood, and Buffalo Gal.

The Playhouse Sunday Symposium program, free and open to the public, provides the audience with guest speakers’ in-depth insights and observations about the production, followed by an interactive dialogue. It is open to all, including those who attend a performance of The Dining Room at another time.

The Sunday Symposium is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

Mr. Gurney’s The Dining Room, featuring Weston actress Keira Naughton, is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household, the place where the family assembles daily for breakfast and dinner and for any and all special occasions. The action is a mosaic of interrelated scenes — some funny, some touching, some rueful.

The actors change roles, personalities, and ages as they portray a wide variety of characters, from little boys to stern grandfathers, and from giggling teenage girls to Irish housemaids. Each vignette introduces a new set of people and events. Dovetailing swiftly and smoothly, the varied scenes coalesce into a unique theatrical experience.

The Dining Room runs from April 30 through May 18.

Single ticket prices, starting at $30, are subject to change based on availability. For more information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online at or by using the new Playhouse app or mobile website.

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  • Andres Arcesio

    Sounds interesting the work, I really like the mystical and held around food … a movie that marked my taste for these works was Peter Greenaway. (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover)

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