Peter Cooper Village resident will direct WWII-era play starring Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd will play pro-Mussolini propagandist Ezra Pound.

By Sabina Mollot

Peter Cooper Village resident Kathleen Butler, a co-founder of a theater production company called Triumvirate Artists, will be directing a limited run of “Pound,” a new play starring Christopher Lloyd.

The play, by Sean O’Leary, focuses on the American poet Ezra Pound, who made propaganda radio posts for Mussolini during World War II and was eventually charged with treason. Found to be too mentally unfit to stand trial, Pound then spent 13 years at the St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in a ward for the criminally insane.

The play imagines what his final two months there would have been like when Pound, who had basically ruled the institution where he had been given many privileges, suddenly finds himself in despair and in isolation. He then undergoes some very extreme forms of “treatment” at the hands of Mary Polley, a young psychiatrist. Polley’s methods involve inflicting extreme guilt on Pound, by then 73 years old, for his actions.

“One of the things that comes up often at the heart of this play is that words can make a difference,” said Butler. “Words can kill. Words can have dire consequences, even when you don’t realize it.”

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Kips Bay resident running for Assembly in primary

Akshay Vaishampayan

By Sabina Mollot

On September 13, a primary will be held in the 74th Assembly District for the seat won by Assembly Member Harvey Epstein in the special election in April.

The 74th Assembly District covers the East Village, Alphabet City, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, Murray Hill and Tudor City.

The candidates are, along with Epstein, Juan Pagan, an East Village Democrat who ran on the Reform Party line in the special election, and Akshay Vaishampayan, a 29-year-old resident of Kips Bay, who, prior to running, worked in the field of financial compliance.

In an interview this week, Vaishampayan told Town & Village he was running because he doesn’t think enough is being done to improve the subway system and because he felt Epstein’s victory as the Democratic County Committee nominee in February smacked of party politics. Epstein had bested two other candidates who withdrew from the race prior to the County Committee vote, when it was clear he had garnered the most support. Epstein then went on to beat three challengers in the special election.

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