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“Westport” Has an Encore at Anti-War Theatrical Evening

As Republicans delegates gather for their national convention in New York, “Westport” is taking center stage at a Manhattan one-night series of war protest plays and songs, dance, and comedy and poetry.stephenorourke100.jpg
Author Stephen O’Rourke: no offense meant to Westport. Contributed photo

A one-act play first performed a year ago at the New York International Fringe Festival, Westport,ђ is a satire of the decision to invade Iraq by Richard O’Rourke, 40, who grew up in New Canaan.

Directed by another former New Canaan resident, Jase Draper, it will be among the evening’s entertainment Sunday at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 W. 52 St., beginning at 7 p.m.

The play depicts a Connecticut under siege and three denizens of Fairfield County holed up in a suburban house and living with their idea of deprivation.

We’re down to our last wheel of brie. I think the smoked salmon is almost gone,” complains one Westporter.

When their liberators finally appear, announcing that civil rights have been restored, one of the Westport women says, “We didn’t use them, anyway.’”

And as the soldiers make their exit, they announce: “We must continue to search for objects of mass consumption. We destroy your Hummer.”

O’Rourke, who spends his days as a social worker in the Bronx while aspiring to be a full-time playwright and filmmaker, says no offense was meant to the Town of Westport, which he has visited often.

“It’s very tongue-in-cheek,” he said. “It’s a good way to examine the decision to go to war with Iraq.”

O’Rourke and Draper have a long history of collaboration. They both attended Northwestern University and spent six years as members of Cape Cod’s Courthouse Theatre Company.

The New York Times reviewer gave “Westport” a good review, calling it “a rather ingenious lampoon.” (See WestportNow Aug. 25, 2003)

Reservations may be made by calling 212-247-4982 with more information available at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org.

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