Paul Newman
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Paul Newman
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Timothy Busfield, Paul Newman, and Helen Stenborg are among the artists who will take part in the Westport Country Playhouse's 2008 season, which has been rejiggered since Joanne Woodward and Anne Keefe took over as co-artistic directors last month from Tazewell Thompson.

The season will open with Morris Panych's black comedy Vigil (February 26-March 15), directed by Stephen DiMenna. Busfield plays Kemp, who has successfully avoided all family contact for 30 years until he is forced to take care of his dying aunt, played by Stenborg. The play is scheduled to move to Off-Broadway in the future.

The season will continue with Alan Ayckbourn comedy, Time of My Life (April 1-26), to be directed by John Tillinger, with a cast including Geneva Carr, Cecilia Hart and Paxton Whitehead. In the play, a family patriarch gets together with his sons and their significant others to celebrate their mother's 54th birthday at their favorite family restaurant. Based on what transpires following the night of the birthday party, time begins to flow differently for each couple.

The season will continue with the previously announced productions of Craig Wright's drama The Pavilion (May 13-31) to be directed by Chad Rabinovitz, the musical revue Hot 'n Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration (June 10-28), and David Wiltse's comedy Scramble! (July 9-26), to be directed by Tracey Brigden.

Up next will be Karoline Leach's Tryst (August 5-23), to be directed by Joe Brancato, who helmed the show's Off-Broadway production. Set in Edwardian London, the play tells the story of a handsome con man who may have met his match when he meets a desperate shopgirl who will try anything to get what she wants.

The Playhouse's subscription series concludes with Paul Newman directing John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (October 7-November 1), about two traveling companions, George and Lennie, who wander the country during the Depression, dreaming of a better life for themselves. The production will features sets by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Jane Greenwood.

For more information, visit www.westportplayhouse.org.