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from the Footlights

October 2004                          “Life shouldn’t be all work and no plays.”                                

Sean O’Leary’s Pound on October 18

Footlights’ guest for our October dinner-discussion is Sean O’Leary, author of Pound, the season-opening drama of the Washington Stage Guild.

Ezra Pound was America’s greatest poet, literary critic, fascist, and anti-semite. Charged with treason and judged insane, Pound dominated St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital much as he had the literary world until, at age 73, he suddenly retreated into an emotional shell from which he never fully emerged. The play, Pound, imagines what might have happened to irreversibly change the character of Ezra Pound. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has said of Pound: “It's a wonderful piece of writing that challenges audiences to think and works on multiple levels, reminiscent at times of Chaim Potok's The Chosen.”

Sean O’Leary began his playwriting career in 1999 with his first play, Wine to Blood, which was produced at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre and selected by Brandeis University for its permanent collection of literature inspired by the Spanish Civil War. Since then Sean has gone on to win more than a dozen awards for playwriting including back-to-back wins at the Pittsburgh New Play Festival with Rain in the Hollows and Pound and selection for the West Virginia Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Drama. Sean is a native West Virginian who lives near Harpers Ferry. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and The Playwrights Forum of Washington, DC.

Our second guest for the evening is Bill Largess, dramaturg for Pound, and a founding member of the Washington Stage Guild, and one of the companys dramaturgs since its inaugural season, 1986-87. Since then he has written program notes, researched, advised, adapted, translated, and moderated post-show discussions for dozens of productions. As an actor he has appeared on most of the areas stages, and as director he has staged works for the Guild, The National Portrait Gallery, Rep Stage, Source, and Scena Theatre. Hes been nominated twice for Helen Hayes Awards and received the Theatre Lobbys Mary Goldwater Award twice. Longtime Footlights member Dorothy Marschak will moderate our discussion.

Footlights will meet to discuss Pound on Monday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Alfio’s in the Willoughby Apartments, 4515 Willard Ave, Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133). Alfio’s is two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro, across from Hecht’s parking lot. Street parking is limited, but the restaurant offers valet parking. Turn into the circular driveway of the Willoughby and follow it around to Alfio's for valet parking. Arrive at 6:30 for dinner; our meeting begins at 7:30 and goes no later than 9:30.

We have arranged a fixed price meal at Alfio’s. For only $12 (tax and service charge included) you will have salad, entree (spaghetti, lasagna, fettucini Alfredo or eggplant parmigiana), bread, Neopolitan ice cream and coffee or tea. Cash is preferred, but you may use credit cards to pay your server. A $5 donation to Footlights is encouraged. You may arrive at 7:30 for the meeting only; extra chairs will be available.

Reservations are required. Charlotte Baer is taking meeting reservations this month. Call or e-mail Charlotte at 202-244-8203 or charlotte4103@yahoo.com. Send e-mail anytime, but if you call, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. only, please. If you must cancel for any reason, be sure to notify Charlotte so that someone else can attend.

To get your pre-publication copy of Pound, which the playwright has graciously permitted us to make available, send $8 to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852.

Pound will have its world premiere at the Washington Stage Guild October 28 through November 28. The production will be directed by the Guild’s Producing Artistic Director John MacDonald and will feature Helen Hayes award nominee Conrad Feininger, Kathleen Coons, Lynn Steinmetz, and Vincent Clark. We’ll go see Pound at the Washington Stage Guild on Saturday, November 6 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 and include a post-show discussion. Performances are at Arena Stage at 14th and T (1901 14th Street, NW). Send your check, payable to ‘Footlights,’ to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. For further information, contact Robin at 240-669-6300 or rlarkin@footlightsdc.org.

Footlights in November

On Monday, November 22, our play for discussion is the classic drama, Liliom, written by Hungarian playwright and novelist Ferenc Molnar. Rodgers & Hammerstein used Molnar's Liliom as the basis for the musical Carousel. Our guest will be Brad Watkins, director of Olney Theatre’s upcoming production of Carousel. Rosalind MacLennan will moderate our discussion. We will meet at Alfio’s. After October 18, make reservations with Charlotte Baer.

Footlights will go see Carousel at Olney Theatre Center on Saturday, December 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $26. Send your check to Robin Larkin.

About Footlights

To get Footlights updates on-line, send any message — even blank—to join@footlightsdc.org. Subscribers can post to our on-line list by sending brief messages to list@footlightsdc.org. Visit our website at www.footlightsdc.org. Address inquiries to Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825.

Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.




Monday, October 18, 6:30 p.m., dinner and discussion of Pound at Alfio’s, 4515 Willard Ave, Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133). To reserve, contact Charlotte Baer at 202-244-8203 (10 a.m.-6 p.m. only) or charlotte4103@yahoo.com.


Saturday, November 6, 2:30 p.m., see Pound at the Washington Stage Guild (Arena Stage at 14th & T), 1901 14th Street, NW. Tickets are $14. Send your check payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. Contact Robin to get a copy of the play and to check ticket availability, 240-669-6300 or rlarkin@footlightsdc.org.

Monday, November 22, 6:30 p.m. dinner and discussion of Liliom at Alfio’s. Reserve with Charlotte after October 18.

Saturday, December 11, 2 p.m., see Carousel at Olney Theatre Center. Tickets are $26. Send checks to Robin.