Third Avenue Playhouse presents its third annual Winter Play Reading Festival Feb. 15-24.
The opening night – Feb. 15 at 7:30 pm – will feature An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen and adapted by Arthur Miller. A small Norwegian town has just begun to win fame and wealth through its medicinal spring waters when Dr. Stockmann, the resident physician in charge, discovers that the waters are poisoned. The cast includes Alan Kopischke, Claire Morkin, Faith Klick, Ross Dippel, Mark Moede, Alex Sabin, James Valcq, Marcel Bruyere, Ed DiMaio and Kole Mallien.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens, will be performed Feb. 16 at 7:30 pm. The extraordinary brain of 15-year-old Christopher makes him exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. At seven minutes after midnight, he stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, who has been speared with a garden fork. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery. The cast includes Mallien, Lori Wier, Kopischke, Amy Ensign, Mary White, Moede, Dippel, Valcq, Faith Klick and Donna Johnson.
Into The Breeches! by George Brant will have its Wisconsin premiere on Feb. 17 at 2 pm. In Providence, Rhode Island, in 1942, the Oberon Play House finds itself without a director and leading men because they’re off at war. Determined that the show must go on, the director’s wife sets out to produce an all-female version of Shakespeare’s Henry V. The cast includes Cassandra Bissell, Neil Brookshire, Ensign, White, Dippel, Donna Johnson and Wier.
A Life in the Theatre by David Mamet will be performed Feb. 22 at 7:30 pm. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright takes the audience into the lives of two actors: John, young and experiencing his first flush of success; and Robert, older, anxious, and beginning to wane. The cast includes Doug Mancheski and Brandon Bogenschutz.
Orson’s Shadow by Austin Pendleton will be performed Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm. The time is 1960; the place is a West End theatre. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has made a startling proposal: Orson Welles should direct Laurence Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Rhinoceros, Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece. The cast includes Kopischke, Bissell, Valcq, Ensign, Alex Sabin and Dippel.
The final play-reading performance will be held Feb. 24 at 2 pm. Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson is the third play in the Talley Family Trilogy. Alternately funny and moving, it deals with a group of former student activists and the changes that have been wrought in their lives and attitudes since leaving college. The cast includes Brookshire, Grace Alberts, Bissell, Bogenschutz, Ensign, White and Bruyere.
Admission to the play-reading series is pay-what-you-can donations. For more information, visit thirdavenueplayhouse.com.