News Published: Jun 11, 2009 - 1:57 PM


Two new trustees elected to Westport Country Playhouse Board of Trustees

By Westport Country Playhouse


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Jay M. Forgotson
Newly elected board of trustee members at Westport Country Playhouse are Michele Flaster of Southport and Jay M. Forgotson of Westport.

"We are pleased to welcome Michele Flaster and Jay Forgotson to the board of the Westport Country Playhouse,” said Sandra DeFeo of Westport, president of the board. “Michele has been active in the community and helped us make last year's gala a huge success. Jay's financial acumen is valued by a number of community organizations which have benefited from his leadership, and will be an important addition to our finance committee. Like all of our valued trustees, they share a commitment to strengthen the legacy of the Playhouse as both a shining beacon for professional theater and an important arts and educational resource for our community."

Michele Flaster serves on the board of the Fairfield Museum and History Center and was a member of the Junior League. A Fairfield County resident since 1974, Ms. Flaster currently resides in Southport with her husband Marc, a founding partner of Sandler O’Neill & Partners in New York City. Marc and Michele raised their two children, Kimberly and Brad, in Old Greenwich, where they resided until 2003. Ms. Flaster graduated from Elmira College with a degree in mathematics and history, spending her junior year studying at the University of Leicester in England. She then worked for IBM from 1966 to 1971. From 1999 to 2001, she served as an elected member for her COOP board at 40 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Ms. Flaster is an interior designer. The Flasters were first introduced to Westport Country Playhouse as members of the 2008 Gala Committee.

Jay M. Forgotson is CEO of The Bank of Fairfield. He is also CEO of the Bank’s holding company, BNC Financial Group, Inc. He recently served as dean of the School of Business of the University of Bridgeport. Prior to joining the University of Bridgeport, Forgotson was president and CEO of Cornerstone Bancorp, Inc., where he was chairman of the Bank’s Board, counsel and COO responsible for all lending and the branches. The Bank merged with NewAlliance Bank in January 2006. Earlier in his career, he was a senior vice president and chief credit policy officer at Peoples Bank, president of CSB Financial and senior vice president at Connecticut Savings Bank. A resident of Westport, Forgotson was a former chairman of the Norwalk Wilton United Way Campaign. He was also a former state chairman of the board of the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League where he continues to be involved on the board of directors. He currently serves on the board of trustees of the University of Bridgeport where he is vice-chairman of the development committee. Forgotson is also a long term member of the board of directors of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. Forgotson received a B.S. from Northeastern University, a J.D. from Boston University, an M.B.A. from Western New England College and a Certificate in Leading and Managing People from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

About the Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater, serves as a treasured home for the performing arts and is a cultural landmark for Connecticut. Under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management direction of Michael Ross, the Playhouse creates quality productions of new and classic plays that enlighten, enrich and engage a diverse community of theater lovers, artists and students. The Playhouse’s rich history dates back to 1931, when New York theatre producer Lawrence Langner created a Broadway-quality stage within an 1830s tannery. The Playhouse quickly became an established stop on the New England “straw hat circuit” of summer stock theatres. Now celebrating its 79th season, Westport Country Playhouse has produced more than 700 plays, 36 of which later transferred to Broadway, most recently the world premiere of "Thurgood" and a revival of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" with Paul Newman, and in earlier years "Come Back, Little Sheba" with Shirley Booth, "The Trip to Bountiful" with Lillian Gish, and "Butterflies Are Free" with Keir Dullea and Blythe Danner. For its artistic excellence, the Playhouse received a 2005 Governor's Arts Award and a 2000 "Connecticut Treasure" recognition. It was also designated as an Official Project of Save America's Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is entered on the Connecticut State Register of Historic Places. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse transformed into a year-round, state-of-the-art producing theater, which has preserved its original charm and character. In addition to a full season of theatrical productions, the Playhouse serves as a community resource, presenting educational programming and workshops; a children's theater series; symposiums; music; films; and readings.

For more information, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport or online at www.westportplayhouse.org.




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