Saturday, August 14, 2010

French Postcards at Russell Library Aug. 30

Floating Theater Company, a Middletown based company that acts as a support organization for Connecticut playwrights, has partnered with members of the Acts Factory Players to present a reading of a new play on August 30th at 7 p.m. in the Russell Library's Hubbard Room, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.  The reading will be followed by talkbacks with the playwright and members of the presenting organizations.

With a keen eye for period detail, playwright Maureen Clarke's new play, French Postcards, takes place in London, 1906.  Will Beaumont, a nobleman’s third son, has failed out of the prestigious London School of Art.  Rather than return home to his autocratic father, he moves into a back-street garret and sets himself up as a photographer.  With no money and no prospects, he survives by taking naughty photographs for “French Postcards”, which are processed, printed and sold by his friend Ned. 

As the play begins, Will is visted by a mysterious, beautiful woman who asks him to take a nude photo of her.  He demands to know her identity, but she refuses.  Against his better judgment, he agrees to take her photograph – and finds himself pulled into a romantic adventure filled with seduction, class struggle, love, censorship, and betrayal. 

Maureen Clarke was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, and still spends her summers in Colchester.   She lived in New York City for many years, where she worked as a professional actress and director, including ten years as an Associate Director for the Riverside Shakespeare Company.  For nine years, she served on the faculty of the Theatre Department at Kean University in New Jersey.  This past December, her play The Last Noel was produced at Forge Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.  Her short play, Room For Rent, was produced at the Philadelphia Primary Stages Short Play Festival this past spring.  Her most recent script, You Made Me Love You, was commissioned by Philly Senior Stage. 

Under the leadership of co-directors Jenny Hawkins Lecce and Jean Ann Wertz, the Floating Theater Company (FTC) has presented several festivals of new works as well as stand alone readings of longer plays.  FTC strives to connect playwrights with presenting theater companies but the main focus remains weekly sessions for playwrights and actors who meet to read and critique developing works. 

Acts Factory Players  theater company home base is in the newly renovated town hall in the historic building in Collinsville, CT. With founder and Artistic Director Nine Dechamps, the theater company has produced both original works by Connecticut writers (including Fly Fishing in Tribeca and Henry's Day by Jenny Lecce) and well known works like the edgy House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod. Both Floating Theater Company and Acts Factory Players can be found on Facebook.  Directions to the Russell Library can be found on their website or by calling 860-347-2528.

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