'Love Letters' set for Long Trail School

DORSET - The Long Trail School Actors Anonymous troupe will present Treat Williams in a reprise of his Broadway role in A. R. Gurney's "Love Letters."

Jayne Atkinson will appear opposite Williams in this Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama. The single performance will be held at the Dorset Playhouse on Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Long Trail's Actors Anonymous troupe as they raise funds to perform in the international Fringe Theater Festival held each August in Edinburgh, Scotland. The 14 young actors and director Tracey Wesley from LTS earned this highly prized invitation last spring to perform internationally.

Treat Williams has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Emmy, and two Theater World Awards for his work on Broadway. He began his career on Broadway as Danny Zuko in Grease and won the coveted role of Berger in HAIR not long afterward. He has starred in more than 70 films for theater and television including Prince of the City, Once Upon a Time in America, Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead, Deep End of the Ocean, and The Late Shift. On television he starred as Dr. Andy Brown in the acclaimed series Everwood and has recently been seen as James Bennet on White Collar and as Benny Severide on Chicago Fire. Mr. Williams acted in the original Broadway production of Love Letters and also opened and starred in the Los Angeles production.

After attending Yale Drama School and working in regional theatre, Jayne Atkinson appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club's off-Broadway production of Bloody Poetry in 1987. That same year, she made her Broadway debut in a revival of All My Sons. Broadway credits also include The Rainmaker (Tony nomination), Our Town, Enchanted April (Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination; Outer Critics Circle Award) and Blithe Spirit. She has appeared off-Broadway in a number of productions, including The Art of Success (Drama Desk nomination) and The Skriker (Drama Desk nomination). Among her numerous film and television roles she lists Free Willy, The Village, Criminal Minds and the current Netflix original series, House of Cards. Last summer she played opposite Mr. Williams in the Berkshire Theater Group's production of A Lion in Winter.

First produced on Broadway in 1989, Gurney's Love Letters tells the story of two people who grow up together, become romantically involved, go their separate ways and yet stay connected through letters for nearly 50 years.

The characters discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and defeats in a rich and nuanced portrayal of long-distance love.

"It's a wonderful evening of theater," Williams says. "Doing Love Letters was one of my favorite Broadway experiences, and I am very pleased to be reprising the role here in Dorset with Jayne."

Theatergoers will be treated to a champagne reception with Williams and Atkinson following the play. To purchase tickets in advance for this single performance (strongly recommended), call the Dorset Playhouse at 802-867-5777.


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