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Darien Arts Center's 'God Of Carnage' Features Talks, Art Exhibit

The Darien Arts Center will stage a production of "God of Carnage," which will also feature discussions with the audience and an art exhibit. Photo Credit: Jeff Wyant
The Darien Arts Center's production of "God of Carnage" stars Jessie Gilbert and Eileen Lawless (pictured) as well as Larry Reina and Gary Betsworth, and is directed by Mark Graham. Photo Credit: Jeff Wyant

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Darien Arts Center's upcoming production of "God of Carnage" will allow audience members to enjoy a Tony Award-winning play, discuss issues brought up in the show and check out an international art exhibit on Darfur.

The play by Yasmina Reza opens Friday for a three-weekend run at the Darien Arts Center. It tells the story of two couples who meet for a conversation after their children get in a fight. The parents attempt to reach closure in the incident, but civility gradually breaks down with comedic and emotional results. The production stars Larry Reina, Gary Betsworth, Jessie Gilbert and Eileen Lawless and is directed by Mark Graham.

"'God of Carnage' is an 'of the moment play,' a comedy that addresses real contemporary issues that challenge the audience" said Graham, who has directed more than 100 productions. "It is a play I have really wanted to direct, and we have an extraordinary cast that is having great fun with the script and characters."

The performances on Nov. 8 and 21 will both be followed by an audience talkback, where audience members will be able to discuss the sequence of events of the play and the characters' reactions. The discussions will feature the director and cast members, and will be led by Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist with the Life Solutions Center of Darien, who will all share their own experiences with the audience.

"The audience gets to see a scenario acted out that could actually happen," said Purcell. "They will be watching the whole thing in real time and it will really hit home – emotionally as well as intellectually.”

During the run of the show, the Darien Arts Center will also debut Connecticut's first viewing of "The Smallest Witness: Drawings from the Children of Darfur." The art exhibit was created by Annie Sparrow, a pediatrician for the Human Rights Watch, when she first gave paper and crayons to refugee children from Darfur. The artwork that they created will be on display before and after each production.

"God of Carnage" will be performed at the Darien Arts Center's Weatherstone Studio, which is located at 2 Renshaw Road behind Town hall.

Tickets can be purchased at darienarts.org or by calling the box office at 203-655-5414. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, Nov. 14 and 15, and Nov. 21 and 22 with matinees at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16.

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