The first Literary Landmark in Westport will be awarded Saturday, May 27, honoring Lawrence Langner at the historic site of the Westport Country Playhouse, founded by Langner and his wife, Armina Marshall, in 1931.
The Literary Landmark program, which celebrates important writers and "encourages the dedication of historic literary sites," is affiliated with United For Libraries and the American Library Association. Langner was nominated for the award by The Westport Library.
Seating in the reception barn is limited, but can be reserved by emailing [email protected]. Reservations will receive a confirmation email.
Lawrence Langner was a trailblazing playwright and producer of 20th century American Theater. In addition to the Westport Country Playhouse, Langner was the founder of the Theatre Guild, which produced Oklahoma and Porgy and Bess, among hundreds of other plays and musicals. He also established The American Shakespeare Festival Theatre, the U.S. Steel Hour (both on radio and television), and the American Repertory Company, which toured the world. Langner's goal was to create theater in America on a par with the greatest European theaters.
Langner wrote several plays and books, including his celebrated autobiography, The Magic Curtain, which chronicled his theatrical life as well as his other career as a successful patent attorney.
The dedication and unveiling of the Literary Landmark are free and open to the public. From 1-2:30 pm, a panel will discuss Memories of the American Theater, the definitive book on the history of the Westport Country Playhouse. The author, Richard Somerset-Ward, will speak, in addition to actors and artists who worked at the Playhouse or worked on other Langner theatrical ventures. At 2:30 pm, the dedication and unveiling of the Lawrence Langner Literary Landmark will take place.