Nearly 20 intrepid Footlights members gathered in the snow Wednesday January 10 at Carmella Kitty's for a spirited discussion of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running." Our meeting featured Howard University Professor Sandra Shannon, acclaimed author of the recently published The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson (available at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave., NW). Thanks to Dr. Shannon for joining us!


Our February play is Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," which critic Brooks Atkinson called "by common consent one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater." The New Yorker called it "tremendously affecting." "Death of a Salesman" won nearly every award for drama, including the Pulitzer Prize. The story of Willy Loman, a man steeped in the go-getter gospel who never got beyond his own daydream world, symbolizes the plight of wishful dreamers everywhere.

Our meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 13, upstairs at Carmella Kitty's, 1602 17th St., NW (at Q St., just east of DuPont Circle) (202-667-5937). Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and our discussion, led by local playwright Maria Giannuzzi, starts at 7:30. Footlights members can purchase "Death of a Salesman" for a discount at Chapters, 1512 K St., NW (347-5495); Super Crown, 11 DuPont Circle, NW (319-1374); Olsson's, 1307 19th St., NW (785-1133); and Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW (364-1919).


Weather may sometimes make it impossible for us to hold a regularly scheduled meeting. Should that occur, you will get a telephone message from a Footlights member--as long as we have your telephone number. Do not rely on the manager of the restaurant where we are meeting, who may not have accurate information. We understand the manager at Carmella Kitty's mistakenly informed several members that our January meeting had been postponed, and we apologize for the confusion.


On Wednesday, March 13, we will discuss August Strindberg's classic study of a combative marriage, "The Dance of Death," which we will attend at DC's Arena Stage on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. This play is commercially available only in collection. Look for the Signet Classics (Penguin) edition Strindberg, Five Plays; the University of California edition with the same title; or the Methuen Drama edition Strindberg Plays: Two. To obtain a copy of the actual script the Arena Stage will be using ($10 each), call David Sobelsohn (202-484-8303), who will be bringing a few copies to the February and March meetings.

Tickets for the Arena production are going fast! The price is $25.00 and includes a group discount and a post-performance discussion with the director and cast. We need to receive payment by February 29. Make checks payable to Alan Friedman and mail to Alan at 3900 Connecticut Ave., NW, Apartment #403F, Washington, DC 20008 (202-244-8166).


Financial support and volunteer time keep the Footlights on. Make checks out to Laurie Cullen (she buys the stamps), 2727 Duke St., #209, Alexandria, VA 22314. If you can help in other ways, with even a few telephone calls, contact David Sobelsohn at 202-484-8303.


See shows for next-to-nothing! Many local theaters have a "pay-what-you-can" performance--for instance, one of us saw the Shakespeare Theatre's "Henry V" for $5. Upcoming pay-what-you- can dates at the Round House Theatre include January 31, March 27, and May 29 (all 8 p.m. Wednesday). Another way to see a performance on a budget is to usher. It's easy and fun--and you get in free! Yet another option, for sold-out performances, is standing room. Theaters sell these tickets at a deep discount and usually you can find a place to sit. Call each theater for details on pay-what-you-can, ushering, and standing room. Finally, for the shows we attend we often have scholarship tickets for a nominal amount ($5-10). Call David Sobelsohn for details (202-484-8303).