Area students work with actress Laura Linney for SFS fundraiser
SALISBURY — Four local high school students have been chosen to participate in the master acting class conducted by actress Laura Linney at Salisbury Family Services’ biannual fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 29.Chris Hussey, who lives in Lakeville and is a senior at Salisbury School, will be teamed with Rebekah Purdy of North Canaan, a senior at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. They will present a short scene from Dale Wasserman’s 1963 hit play, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” based on the Ken Kesey novel. Hussey will portray McMurphy and Purdy will play Nurse Rached.The film version of “Cuckoo” swept the 1975 Oscars, with Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher winning best actor and actress statuettes for the McMurphy and Rached roles. Hussey and Purdy are preparing a full production of the play for the Salisbury School Dramatic Society, to open Nov. 10.Lindsay Portelli, a senior at The Hotchkiss School and a resident of Cornwall, N.Y., will be teamed with Christian Lange, a junior at the school from Salisbury. They appeared with each other in Hotchkiss productions of “Beauty and the Beast” (as Babette and Lumiere) and in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (as Sally and Charlie.)For the Linney class, they will present a scene from “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder,” which was produced on Broadway in 1973. Portelli will be Angel, a waitress, and Lange will portray Stephen, a cook, in the New Mexico diner where the play takes place. “Ryder” was the first success for playwright Mark Medoff, who later wrote the Tony- and Oscar-winning “Children of a Lesser God.”Each student team will present to Linney, who will then work with them in front of the benefit audience before they play the scene again. (For more on Linney and her work with students, see the Compass arts and entertainment section of this week’s Lakeville Journal.)Salisbury Family Services, founded in 1930, offers a helping hand to residents of Salisbury who are in need of aid, financial and otherwise.For more information on the organization, call 860-435-5187 or go online to salisburyct.us/livinginsalisbury/salisburyfamilyservices.