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Sunday, September 28, 2003

Voices from A Gathering of Glory!Ӕ

Dozens of residents of Westport and Weston past and present are featured in Martin Wests film ғA Gathering of Glory! presented by the Westport Historical Society. Here are the few of them and their words from the film.

Howard Munce, artist and illustrator: ԓOf all the many forms that have taken place in art in Westport, illustration is what brought the big names.

Of all the artists IӒve known in Westport, there were two who were celebrity artists beyond anybody I knew and those two were John Held, Jr.—his work was everywhere, and, of course, hes in American history, in a small way, in the invention of the flapper.

ғAnd Stevan Dohanos. Steve had a theatrical side and when he was interviewed, he was good at it, and he cared, and in Westport, he was the name for as long as he lived, right from the beginning.

Actor James Naughton: ԓSome people see the glass half full and some people see the glass half empty about everything. Im sure thatҒs true about you know where the arts stand in this community.

I mean, I canӒt speak for all the arts, and particularly not for the visual arts, but for the performing arts, we got people all over the place. We got performers coming out of the woodwork.

Actor Keir Dullea: ԓWhen we contemplated starting a workshop here, and I had certain doubts about that when we announced it, it was like a tinder box just waiting for someone to light the match.

It was like, in a sense, a gymnasium for professional playwrights, actors and directors to work out, somewhat similar to the well known ActorsӒ Studio. Now we find ourselves with a burgeoning organization that continues to provide a safe place.

When I say safe place, I mean a place out of the spotlight where people can afford to take risks, which is what the workshop is all about.

ӓAnd, again, it goes back to talking about what it is about Westport that makes Westport so special in the fact that its so accepting and that is has this kind of texture to it that people can take artistic risks and thatҒs certainly true about our organization.

Actor Christopher Plummer: ԓI wish I had started living in the country long before I did. I think as far as life and real life is concerned, it gives you an extra 10 years to live in the country.

Living here has actually given me 10 or 12 years more of life than any city would. I see all my friends in New York. TheyӒre still green. They all look green to me.

I consider Weston my home. It has been for the last 22 years. You know, you have to pick a place where you would like to die in, and IӒve often thought of various countries that Ive fallen in love with all over the world.

ғI thought Greece would be an ideal place to die in because death and life are so close. Italy would be a lovely place to die in because the food is so divine. An English country lane would be rather sentimental, in ones old age.

ғIm hoping to be able to, because of the country, to actually do live for another 20 years, and Weston, I think, I would happily die where we are right now.Ҕ

Writer Evan Hunter: I never think truly about my place in where I fall in the tradition of writers who have been here. I hope that after IӒm gone, theyll say, ґOh, gee, Evan Hunter is part of the long line of these writers and artists who have lived in this community.

ғWhen I was in college, the best thing that any professor or teacher could teach me was to leave me alone, and I get that sense in this community that people leave you alone to do your work, and that֒s nice.

Composer John Corigliano:  ԓI really dont know why Westport and Weston have that kind of intensity of artists and number of artists. It could be that it had started so much earlier, that certain important artists came to Westport a long time ago. ItҒs a reclusion. Its a place to go.Ҕ

Composer and conductor Alex Platt (talking about Staples High School): I had just come from across the hall playing the Dvorak ӑNew World Symphony, and my brother just came from a rehearsal of ґUncle Vanya’ under Al Pia, and here we ware singing this Mozart or Bach or something with George Wiegle in the choir room.

It suddenly hit me. I think it was near the end of my senior year when you begin to sum up how things have gone and it hit me Ӗ this is amazing, this is world class.

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Posted 09/28/03 at 07:08 PM  Permalink



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