Tag Archives: A.R. Gurney

Love Letters

Like many dual-career couples, Scott Bryce and Jodi Stevens lead hectic lives.  Their professions — both are actors — complicate things further.  They usually work different schedules, in different theaters.  When one is rehearsing, the other may be in mid-production.  When one is opening a show, the other is closing one down.

But for the next 3 weeks, they’ll work together.  And they’ll do it right here in Westport.

The show is “Love Letters” — A.R. Gurney’s evocative, touching yet humorous play about a 50-year love affair carried on primarily through letters.

It debuts at MTC MainStage in Colonial Green this Friday (Feb. 4), and runs weekends through Feb. 20.

Scott Bryce and Jodi Stevens

Working together — on a play about love, right in their back yard — was serendipitous, says Bryce, a Staples Players (Class of 1975) alum who earned 2 Emmy nominations for “As the World Turns.”

The couple had been onstage only in “On Golden Pond” (Bryce’s mother Dorothy, a noted actress, was in the show too).  But when Stevens’ most recent show — she played the female lead in “Dietrich and Chevalier:  The Musical” — was closing, they talked casually about the possibility.

A couple of days later, at a Christmas party, Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage co-founder Kevin Connors mentioned “Love Letters.”

The show is appealing on many levels — including its setting in this area.  There are references to local institutions, like I-95 and Silver Hill.

Bryce also welcomes the chance to perform in the small MTC theater.  “It’s such an intimate space,” he says.  “There’s not a bad seat in the house.  It’s really sweet.”

“It’s a beautiful script,” Bryce adds.  “What better way to spend Valentine’s month than on stage with my wife?”

And, as Jodi says:  “There’s no commute!”

(“Love Letters will be performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., at MTC MainStage Theatre on the lower level of Colonial Green.  For tickets, click here or call 203-454-3883.  Each performance is followed by a wine and cheese receptions, where the audience can meet the actors and production team.)

A.R. Gurney And The Playhouse

A.R GurneyFamed playwright A.R. Gurney has a long relationship with the Westport Country Playhouse.

They’ve staged 13 of his plays — 2 of them world premieres.  Most memorable was The Fourth Wall.   Its strong liberal bent displeased some audience members, who loudly slammed the door while walking out. Gurney helped usher them out.  “Good night, and thank you for coming anyway,” he said.

This Sunday, the playwright returns to the Playhouse.  He’ll host a conversational symposium following the 3 p.m. matinee of his intriguing family drama Children.

The program is free, and open to the public.  This play — revealing secrets of a wealthy family celebrating the Fourth of July at their New England home — is, like Fourth Wall, complex.  Odds are good, though, that this time theater-lovers will flock to hear Gurney — not leave in anger.