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StAGEd Intent Reading Series Begins at Ivoryton Playhouse

Updated: Jul 2, 2023



StAGEd Intent, presented by Gracewell Productions at Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut, will showcase new plays written for Boomers, by Boomers, followed by drinks, snacks and an in depth talkback. Plus, enjoy 10 percent off lunch at the Blue Hound restaurant directly across from the playhouse.


  • June 9, 2023 -- In the Bleak Midwinter, written, directed and performed by Dorothy Lyman

  • July 14, 2023 -- One Touch of Ava, written by Julie Gilbert, directed by Carol Ziske. Featuring Chloe Sabin at Ava and Robert Fama as Bert.

  • Aug. 18, 2023 -- Hollywood and Thine, written by former TV writer Kimberly Hill ("Cheers," "Family Ties" and "Facts of Life") will be presented along with Rage in Tenure by Dorothy Lyman, Freak Out by Charlene A. Donaghy and The Back-Porch Gang by Ben Scranton. Kim and Lauren will direct the one acts.

  • Sept. 8, 2023 -- The Spitting Image by Ron Beverly, featuring Debra Khan-Bey and Chazz Palminteri**

The series is free, but seating is limited and by invite only. Contact us here at Gracewell Productions if you would like to be placed on the invitation list. All readings are Fridays at 2 pm under the tent.**


The series:

June 9

In the Bleak Midwinter by Dorothy Lyman.

This poignant family drama tells the story of Elizabeth Gladstone (played by Lyman), a recent widow, who wishes to stay on the family dairy farm, but her daughter and son-in-law have other plans. Ultimately, three generations of women meet on the farm in Upstate New York over a President’s Day weekend to decide the fate of their matriarch.


Dorothy Lyman (Playwright, Actor, Director) is a two-time Emmy© Award-winner for her work as Opal Gardner on “All My Children” and is widely known for her co-starring role on “Mama’s Family,” alongside Vicki Lawrence and Carol Burnett. In addition to her numerous film and television appearances, Ms. Lyman also directed 75 episodes of Fran Drescher’s sitcom “The Nanny.” Her other plays are Enemy (an adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People), A Rage in Tenure and Soft Landing (directed by John Tillinger) were all developed and produced by Players Workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In The Bleak Midwinter was produced in New York City and Westchester in 2019. We Have To Hurry (the sequel to In the Bleak Midwinter), starring Elliott Gould, Kathleen Chalfant and Alfred Molina, was produced on ZOOM during the pandemic. Ms. Lyman’s directing career began in 1980 when she produced and directed the original off-Broadway production of A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking starring Susan Sarandon and Eileen Brennan, and the subsequent national tour starring Elizabeth Ashley and Susan Anton. Her feature film “The Northern Kingdom” is available on Netflix. She lives in Washington Depot, CT and New York City. Violet And Me A Mama-logue, Ms. Lyman’s one-person play, will premiere in August at the Edinburg Fringe. Her first one-person play, My Kitchen Wars, adapted from the book of the same name by Betty Fussell was produced in New York City and Los Angeles.

July 14 One Touch of Ava written by Pulitzer Prize nominee Julie Gilbert. Directed by Carol Ziske.

“One Touch of Ava” is a two-character quest for connection. The play time- travels over two decades. Ava Gardner is a world-famous, American movie star, always lovelorn, restless, rapacious. Having it all is not enough.

Bert Pfeiffer is an unknown painter of Dutch-Indonesian heritage and a prison or-of-war survivor. He is as far from Gardner as anyone could be, and yet…

Pfeiffer keeps painting large portraits of Gardner, inextricably drawing her closer to him.

The play explores fact, carrying it further.


Julie Gilbert (playwright) is a professional novelist, biographer, playwright and teacher. Her books have been published by Random House and her plays produced nationally and internationally. She had been a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a National Book Critic’s Circle nominee for “Ferber: A Biography of Edna Ferber and Her Circle.” Edna Ferber was Julie’s great aunt. Julie is currently working on a book about “GIANT,” the novel and the movie. Aug. 18 One Acts including Hollywood and Thine, a new play by former TV writer Kimberly Hill ("Cheers," "Family Ties" and "Facts of Life"), directed by Hill and Lauren Yarger. Additional one acts will be announced.


After years of hard work and dedication a young movie star is at the peak of her career. In this one-act comedy, her agent has made an historic studio deal that will set her for life. But the famous young actress has just had a spiritual experience tending to her ill father and is questioning her path in life. Her agent tries to convince her they can get her soul written into the contract. Will her star end up on Hollywood Blvd or will she seek a more heavenly location?


In Hollywood, Kimberly Hill (Playwright/Director) wrote for the TV seriesCheers, Family Ties, One Day at A Time, Facts of Life (Producer/Writer),Empty Nest, E.R.(the comedy),EZ Streets, It’s A Living,andAll is Forgiven (Producer/Writer). She developed pilots for Paramount and served as a Consulting Producer onDue South. In New York, Kim was Consulting Producer/Writer forLateline and was delighted to write a script forMacy’s NBC Thanksgiving Day Parade. After moving from Hollywood Kim went into writing redemption at Yale Divinity School. She came out writing plays – such asA Good Look, performed in February 2020 at Stagebites in Westbrook, CT, andJoy Meets Girl, which had a staged reading at The Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT, in December, 2021, and at the Stratford Library, Stratford, CT, in December 2022. Kim is so grateful to Gracewell Productions and the Ivoryton Playhouse to be part of this exciting new series! Sept. 8 The Spitting Image by Actors Studio Moderator Ron Beverly, who directs Debra Khan-Bey and Chazz Palminteri.*


Denise, African-American, shy, sweet, honest, college professor, and single mom gets a visit out of the blue from her estranged stepfather, Albert, Caucasian, lovable, truth-challenged, self-made man with a sack full of money and a faulty heart, trying to balance his ledger at the end of his life and make amends for a deep dark secret he's been carrying for 15 years - but doesn't want to carry to his grave.


Ron Beverly (Director, Dramaturg) directed Academy Award Nominee Chazz

Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, The Usual Suspects) and Debra Khan-Bey in a Stage

Reading of his new play, The Spitting Image, at The Actors Studio in New York City. He wrote

and developed the film script “Sweet Chariot” with Academy Award Nominated Executive

Producer, Chiz Shultz (“A Soldier’s Story,” starring Denzel Washington). He directed and

produced his short film, “American Hunger,” starring two-time Emmy Award Nominee, Ilene

Kristen (TV: “One Life to Live,” “Ryan’s Hope”). Ron directed Three-time Emmy Award Winner Keith David in a NYC Workshop Production of his play, Paul Robeson. He directed and developed the NYC World Premiere of the play Wink by Neil Koenigsberg. Ron directed and produced his hit farce play, the Audelco Award Nominated, Driving While Black & Other Felonious Funk in NYC, starring Jerome Preston Bates and Gil Pritchett III among other directing projects. Ron is a Moderator at The Actors Studio, Playwrights/Directors Unit with Academy Award Winner, John Patrick Shanley, Chazz Palminteri, Jose Rivera and Lyle Kessler. ** Plays and performers are subject to change. In the event the weather doesn't cooperate, or we have demand for seats, we will move the reading indoors.

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