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Chekhov International Theatre Festival Coming To Ridgefield

New York-based musical group Thicket N’ Thistle wil perform a fairy tale folk musical, "What’s Your Wish," Sept. 25.
New York-based musical group Thicket N’ Thistle wil perform a fairy tale folk musical, "What’s Your Wish," Sept. 25. Photo Credit: Facebook

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- The 2015 Chekhov International Theatre Festival Committee will have its seventh festival weekend Thursday through Saturday.

The festival is at the Scotts Ridge Middle School auditorium, 750 N. Salem Road, Ridgefield. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m.

All shows are family friendly for ages 8 and older.

Founded in 2009, the festival celebrates the legacy of Michael Chekhov, the actor, director and author who made a profound contribution to the life of the stage and film. He became a part of Ridgefield’s heritage when he moved his world-renowned dramatic art school from England in 1939 to the barn that still stands on North Salem Road.

Later he coached many Hollywood greats, including Anthony Quinn, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Gregory Peck and Beatrice Straight.

The festival opens Thursday night with a one-man show of Franz Kafka's tale "A Report to the Academy." Creator and actor Drew Valins portrays the character of a human ape in a 70-minute comedy.

Friday night also offers a fairy tale folk musical, "What’s Your Wish," performed by the New York-based musical group Thicket N’ Thistle. This original musical premiered at the 2015 Fringe Festival and was named “Best Bet” by the Theater is Easy website. It tells a sharp, witty tale of growing up and the importance of selfishness.

Auto Body Beautiful fills the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee slot. Written by Suzanne Mernyk, it is a staged reading of her new play. Mernyk’s “dramedy” reveals the emotional complications when two young couples try to change course in their lives and marriages.

The festival ends Saturday night with "As You Like It." One of Shakespeare’s beloved comedies, it weaves a complex plot in only the way Shakespeare can.

Tickets are $15 per show or $30 for a weekend pass and may be purchased at Ridgefield Town Hall, by calling (203) 431-2774 or at the door. For further information, please contact Abby Walker, the festival administrator, at (203) 274-0261.

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