August 2, 2022
Laura Pedersen’s one-act comedy “Community Service” will close out the 2022 WIT Festival
New York (August 2, 2022): The Authors Guild Foundation will present A Play, A Pint and A Picnic on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 11 a.m. The play, the one-act comedy “Community Service,” was written by award-winning author, journalist and playwright Laura Pedersen and stars Paula Ewin and David Rockefeller.
In “Community Service,” things go terribly wrong when a well-meaning amateur thespian ropes in her upstanding and unwitting husband to help save the local Community Center. Both the playwright and performers will participate in a talkback after the show. Tickets also include a drink and an elegant picnic lunch with the author and cast.
“I am grateful to director Ludovica Villar-Hauser and to Paula Ewin and David Rockefeller, who took time out of their busy lives to do this play and help us raise money to support working writers,” said Pedersen. “A few years back, I saw Paula in a play with a large cast, but whenever she was about to speak the audience went completely silent and leaned forward. Just like Maggie Smith, Paula can make a single word hilarious. As for David, he has and continues to do enormous good for society with his philanthropic work, but personally, I think he should’ve bypassed the boardroom and gone directly to Broadway.”
This charitable event will be hosted on the campus of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, at the end of the 2022 WIT Festival, a free three-day event that brings together award-winning novelists, historians, academics and public policy experts for a series of thought-provoking conversations. Proceeds from the event will help support next year’s festival.
“‘Community Service’ celebrates the importance of the arts along with our dedication to these beloved organizations during challenging times,” said Lynn Boulger, Executive Director of the Authors Guild Foundation. “That’s why it seemed the perfect choice to help us raise crucial funds to fulfill our mission to advance a rich, diverse American literary culture through free writers’ programming and community events like WIT.”
Tickets to A Play, A Pint and A Picnic cost $100 each and are partially tax-deductible. Click here to purchase tickets.
“Based on the tremendous feedback and number of people who’ve registered to attend the WIT Festival so far, it’s clear there’s an ongoing demand for literary community events,” Boulger added. “We would love to see WIT become a permanent fixture in the Berkshires. Closing out this year’s festival with a fundraiser for the next one will help us keep the festival free so that people can attend regardless of their financial situation.”
Paula Ewin (Gwendolyn Thorndike) is a New York City-based actress whose credits include the national Tour of “On Golden Pond,” the one-woman play “Tea at Five” (as Katharine Hepburn) and more than 27 roles as a founding member and leading actress of the acclaimed off-Broadway theater 29th Street Rep. She has appeared in two of Laura Pedersen’s plays: “The Brightness of Heaven” at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan and“For Heaven’s Sake” at 710 Main Theatre (now Shea’s 710 Theatre) in Buffalo.
David Rockefeller (Richard J. Thorndike III) is a businessman and philanthropist who has held many leading roles that support the arts, education and the environment. He’s a trustee of the Asian Cultural Council, a life trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to co-starring in “Community Service,” David shared the stage with Dana Ivey in “New York: A Wonderful Town” and played Massachusetts native William Cullen Bryant.
Ludovica Villar-Hauser (Director) is the founder and artistic director of Parity Productions. She has developed and directed world premiere productions for 30 years both off-Broadway and in the West End. Ludovica owned and operated New York’s Greenwich Street Theatre for 17 years. She is co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women and producer of its Oral History Project at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Laura Pedersen (Playwright) is a former columnist for The New York Times and has written 20 books, most recently “It’s Come to This: A Pandemic Diary.” She is the author of six plays and writes for several well-known comedians. She has appeared on programs such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning” and “The Today Show.”
With more than 12,000 members, the Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for published writers. It advocates on behalf of working writers to protect authors’ copyrights, free speech and freedom of expression; fights for fair contracts and writers’ ability to earn a livable wage; and provides a welcoming community for authors and translators of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and journalism. Free programming to teach working writers about the business of writing, and public events that highlight the importance of a rich, diverse American literary culture and the authors that contribute to it, is made possible through the Authors Guild Foundation, the Guild’s educational and charitable arm.