Performing Arts of Woodstock
PO Box 517
Woodstock, NY 12498
Production Manager: Edie LeFever
Business Manager: Ann Washington
Assistant Director and Stage Manager: Kristina Hauptfuehrer
Set Design & Construction
Evelyn Meier / Nancy Bekaert
Lighting Design / Board
Kurt Pragman / Richard Ralff
Sound Design & Implementation
Simon Gray's Otherwise Engaged, a comedy with a mature theme for mature audiences will be
presented for PAW audiences under the skillful direction of Joey Hoeber. Witty and off beat in its dialogue
and characterizations, Otherwise Engaged, presents a single afternoon in which the carefully constructed life
of Simon, a noted publisher, deconstructs.
Simon, [played by Chris Bailey], maintains a carefully ordered existence by emotionally distancing himself from others. Single mindedly intent on spending the afternoon alone with his prized recording of Wagner's "Parsifal", Simon is continually challenged by unsettling interruptions first by the unruly student boarder from upstairs, then, one-by-one, his neurotic school-teacher brother; a drunken friend who tries to involve him in his marital and extramarital affairs; his friend's mistress who is eager to compromise Simon into publishing her book; the father of a young somewhat unstable girl Simon seduced in his office earlier in the week; and last, but certainly not the least jarring encounter of the day, with his own wife Beth. With seldom more than two persons on stage at a time, Bailey who plays the central character throughout both acts, is ably supported by the talented performances of Sharon Breslau, Sally Brooks, Michael DaTorre, Jim Grady, Eric Jagoda, and David Kraai.
Gray's reputation as a playwright was established when Otherwise Engaged came to Broadway in 1972. During it's five year run the play was honored-by awards from the N.Y. Drama Critics' Circle and the Drama Desk. Tom Courtenay, who originated the part in the Broadway production, and later Dick Cavett brought their unique talents to the role of Simon contributing to the critical acclaim of this exceptional comedy.
For further information and ticket reservations for Otherwise Engaged, call PAW  679-7900. Tickets for all weekend performances are $12 and $10 for senior citizens and students. For the Thursday evening performance only, theater goers may make a contribution to PAW in any amount in lieu of purchasing tickets.
The Playwright - Simon Gray
The writing career of Simon Gray began shortly after his appointment to teach English at a college of London University. He published three novels- "Colmaiif", "Simple People" and "Little Portia" before he wrote his first dramatic piece. When Gray's short story, "The Caramel Crisis" was accepted for TV he wrote the screen adaptation. Gray has produced several additional works for TV and won the Writer's Guild Award for "The Death of a Teddy Bear".
In New York, Gray's reputation as a major playwright was established in 1972 when "Butley" crossed the, ocean after receiving the London Evening Standard award for best play.
In 1977 "Otherwise Engaged" opened on Broadway with Tom Courtenay playing the lead. For this work Gray received numerous best play awards including the N.Y. Drama Critic's Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award. Otherwise Engaged was also nominated for a Tony.
At 68 Gray, who considers himself first and foremost a teacher, continues to teach in London while writing major works for the theater [ "to supplement his meager academic salary, " Gray claims].
Clive Barnes, The New York Post
Douglas Watt, N.Y. Daily News
Martin Gottfried, N.Y. Post
Brendan Gill, The New Yorker
Archives | Welcome Page