Reliving a Legend: TheatreWorks Opens Epic Western Drama

Reliving a Legend: TheatreWorks Opens Epic Western Drama

NEW MILFORD, CONN. (September 2, 2016) – On Friday, September 16, TheatreWorks New Milford will host the East Coast Premiere of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by Jethro Compton, a drama set in the days of the wild west. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. for a four-week run.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a classic tale of love, hope and revenge set against the vicious backdrop of a lawless society. A young scholar travels west in search of a new life, only to end up beaten and left for dead on the dusty streets of Twotrees by notorious outlaw Liberty Valance. A local girl gives him purpose in this broken land. But when Valance returns to finish what he started, the young scholar must make the choice: turn and run or stand and fight...and become The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.    

"I was drawn to this new play for the simple fact that I'd never seen a traditional Western on stage and was curious how it could be done," said director Richard Pettibone of New Milford. "By focusing on the people rather than sweeping desert vistas, Jethro Compton's play celebrates the genre – giving us a grand, almost mythic, homage to the classic Westerns of America's past." 

 "We are very excited to be producing the new stage adaptation of this classic tale," said Assistant Director Sonnie Osborne of New Milford. "While many will be familiar with John Ford's 1962 film, the characters in the play are drawn quite differently. Still, whether or not you're familiar with the movie, you'll fall in love with the period feel of the production. And the strong performances by the spirited and talented cast are not to be missed."       

The production features an outstanding cast of regional actors: Gary Cook (Shelton), Jonathan Ross (Thomaston), Mark Feltch (Newtown), Rufus De Rahm (Kent), Ali Bernhardt and John Bolster (both New Milford), James Dietter, Francis A. Daley, and Tom Libonate (all Danbury).

In addition to Osborne and Pettibone, the latter of whom is also co-lighting designer, the show's crew consists of set designer and co-lighting designer Scott Wyshynski, costume designer Lesley Neilson-Bowman, and stage manager Kathy Bolster.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance premiered at The Park Theatre in London on May 16, 2014 and is based on the 1953 short story by Dorothy M. Johnson. Most notably, the short story was adapted into a 1962 film, starring John Wayne and James Stewart. Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph called the play "a genuinely gripping drama and one I warmly recommend."

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance runs September 16,17  23,24  30  October 1,2  7,8. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on October 2. Tickets for all shows are $23 for reserved seating. Students and Military personnel with ID will be admitted for $18.           

On September 15, Senior Citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks' Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, patrons name the price for their tickets.                

Reservations can be made online at theatreworks.us or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.     

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