Westport Playhouse to Read "Tricks of the Trade" March 25

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand playreading of the romantic thriller “Tricks of the Trade” on Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m.  Written by the late Sidney Michaels, who lived in Westport, Connecticut, the reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Tickets are $20 each. 

“When I first moved to this area over 40 years ago, I used to see a man writing on a yellow pad at a local eatery,” said Keefe.  “I was told he was Sydney Michaels, a Westport playwright. His big Broadway hit was ‘Tchin Tchin,’ which was also done at the Playhouse in 1963. In 1977, his play ‘Tricks of the Trade’ was done at the Playhouse with William Shatner and Yvette Mimieux.  I realize now that it’s possible that the man I saw in the local café was writing ‘Tricks of the Trade.’”

“Tricks of the Trade” is a gripping story of a New York psychologist and his female patient.  Something is wrong about the therapy sessions between Dr. August Browning and the beautiful, but possibly very ill, Diana.  During this compelling game of cat and mouse, we learn that neither the doctor nor Diana is necessarily who they seem to be, which leads to a surprising and shocking final twist.

The cast includes Matthew Greer as Dr. Browning (Westport Country Playhouse’s “Bedroom Farce,” “And a Nightingale Sang,”“Things We Do for Love,” and Script in Hand playreading of “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure”; Broadway’s “The Real Thing,” “Seminar,” “Cabaret,” “The Judas Kiss”; national tour of “Spamalot”);  and Elise Kibler as Diana (Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand playreading of “Lobby Hero,” New Works Initiative reading of “The Biggest Valley”; most recently, New York’s “Mies Julie”; Broadway’s “This Is Our Youth” by Kenneth Lonergan,” “The Heidi Chronicles”; Off-Broadway’s “Indian Summer,” “Romeo and Juliet”; television’s “Daredevil,” “The Affair”).  

Playwright Sidney Michaels (1927 –2011) was best known for “Tchin-Tchin,” “Dylan,” and “Ben Franklin in Paris,” for which he was nominated for Tony Awards as author of a Best Play in three consecutive years (1963-1965). For film, he wrote the screenplay for 1968's "The Night They Raided Minsky's." 

Director Anne Keefe is the associate artist at Westport Country Playhouse and curates the Script in Hand playreading series. She has directed nearly 50 Script in Hand readings.  She served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward.

The next Script in Hand playreading is “Murder, Too,” a new comedy-thriller by David Wiltse of Weston, on May 6.  Titles will be announced later for playreadings on November 18 and December 16.

All dates, titles, and artists subject to change. 

The Script in Hand Playreading Series is sponsored by Marc and Michele Flaster in 2019 with support from the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, Westport Country Playhouse’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.


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