Two of Wilton’s popular institutions are teaming together to bring a new production to town. The Wilton Library will help celebrate The Wilton Playshop’s 75th anniversary with an art exhibition that begins March 4 and runs through the month. The opening reception is Friday, March 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the library. The exhibition will feature original posters, props, scripts and costumes among a host of other memorabilia from The Playshop’s long history. The reception is open to the public.
The Wilton Playshop began in 1937, with a production of George M. Cohan’s “The Tavern” as a benefit for the American Red Cross. Fresh off the success from that production, the group of theater-minded Wiltonians were encouraged to start a permanent organization to “produce plays and engage in dramatic activities” on a year-round basis. The library and The Playshop have shared a complementary history through the years, with the library being one of the performance venues for The Playshop in the ’40s before the theater found a permanent home on Lovers Lane; by hosting an exhibition to commemorate The Playshop’s 50th anniversary; and now providing excellent gallery exhibit space in celebration of the theater’s 75th anniversary.
According to Ed MacEwen, the library’s art chairman, “When I was approached by The Wilton Playshop committee I was delighted with the idea. There is so much visual history representing that wonderful institution and I knew the library’s gallery and walls would be the perfect place to showcase this local theater that has touched so many lives.”
Some of the many Wiltonians who have performed at The Playshop through the years have been Betty Jones, Dol Christison, Judy Zucker, Alan Gould, Ed Raposa, George Degelmann, Peter Engstrom, Larry Greeley, Elihu Rosen, Doris Burns, Laura Ploss, Susie Gross, Skip Ploss, Donna Savage, Meg Fuentes, Janice Dehn, Zelie Pforzheimer, Tom Dehn, Sarah Michaels, Danielle Decrette, Schuyler Andersen, Jeanne Roberston, Stacia Howard, Julienne Daniels and Elliot Connors. Pat Gould, a longtime Playshop supporter noted, “These performers and the many, many backstage volunteers and loyal patrons have been instrumental in sustaining The Playshop’s enduring history.”
Genia Meinhold, publicity chair for The Wilton Playshop remarked, “We have been culling through our prop archives and the Wilton History Room in the library and it is amazing the breadth and depth of what has transpired over our rich 75-year history. We look forward to sharing all of this excitement with the Wilton community this month, culminating with our 75th Anniversary Celebration on March 24th at Rolling Hills honoring our past presidents.” [www.wiltonplayshop.org/75thgala.htm]
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. The library’s hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 10 – 8; Fridays, 10 – 6; Saturdays, 10 – 5; and Sundays, 1 – 5. For information or directions, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.