Stars align for playwrights
by Chris Wilson
The wooden seats at Matilija Auditorium were warmed by laughter
Saturday when the Ojai Playwrights Conference hosted its annual
winter fund-raising event, reading of David Lindsay-Abaire's
play "Fuddy Meers"
Between ticket sales, a gala dinner and an auction, an all-star
cast of Hollywood actors helped the conference raise about $28,000,
said managing director Adrian Sweet.
The play featured Theater 150's Dwier Brown, "Frasier"
cast mates Peri Gilpin, who plays Roz, and David Hyde Pierce,
who plays Niles, Richard Thomas, who played John Boy on "The
Waltons," Megan Mullally from "Will & Grace,"
Nick Offerman, Angela Patton, and Adam Scott. This was Pierce's
third fund-raising reading for the the conference.
During a break from the morning rehearsal, Gilpin said it was
only her third time visiting Ojai.
"It's just nice to get out of L.A. for the weekend,"
she said. "I'm having so much fun."
Director Robert Egan, who recently signed on as artistic director
for the conference, brought perspective to the necessity of laughter
and art at this time in the world's history.
"I think it's very important that we don't forget the voice
of the artist," he said.
Sweet said ticket sales for the gala dinner, held at the home
of Jaye Hersh and Dave Farber, and auction items such as tickets
to a taping of "Frasier," and a tour of the Playboy
Mansion grounds raised the majority of the money for the conference.
The money will be used to bring the actors, directors and producers
to Happy Valley School in July for the fifth annual conference.
For the past winter fund-raising events, actors Larry Hagman,
Peter Strauss, John Diehl, Teri Garr, John Mahoney, Peter Birkenhead,
CCH Pounder, and Ellen DeGeneres have participated.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to the news
Niles and John Boy
MEERS" performers Peri Gilpin, left, David Hyde Pierce,
center, and Richard Thomas, right, read at a benefit for the
Ojai Playwrights Conference Saturday at Matilija Junior High