Time and the Conways

Who's Who

ELIZABETH McGOVERN (Mrs. Conway). Academy Award-nominated actress Elizabeth McGovern is Cora, Countess of Grantham in the critically acclaimed series “Downton Abbey.” The smash hit “Downton Abbey” wrapped its final season after winning multiple awards including Emmys, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs. Elizabeth has been nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Lady Cora. While studying at The Juilliard School in New York City in 1980, Elizabeth was offered a part in her first movie, Ordinary People, starring opposite Timothy Hutton and directed by Robert Redford. She then went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Evelyn Nesbit in Milos Forman’s Ragtime. In 1984, Elizabeth starred with Robert De Niro and James Woods in Sergio Leone’s cult gangster movie Once Upon a Time in America, and later opposite Mickey Rourke in Johnny Handsome. Her recent film Unexpected, in which she stars opposite Cobie Smulders, premiered at Sundance, and she just finished shooting Showing Roots with Maggie Grace. Her other film credits include Buffalo Soldiers, King of the Hill, She’s Having a Baby and Racing with the Moon. Since moving to England and starting a family of her own with husband Simon Curtis (director of My Week With Marilyn and Woman in Gold), Elizabeth continued to work in theatre and television. Born in Illinois, Elizabeth is also a singer-songwriter and has just recorded her third album, Still Waiting, with the band she formed and fronts, Sadie and the Hotheads. Sadie and the Hotheads have played the Isle of Wight and Hard Rock Calling Festival (Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon headlining) and have completed a mini tour with Mike and the Mechanics. She will next be seen opposite Liam Neeson in The Commuter.
 
J. B. PRIESTLEY (Playwright) was born in 1894 in Bradford, Yorkshire, son of a schoolmaster. He left Belle Vue School at 16 and worked in a wool office, beginning to write in his spare time. He volunteered for the army in 1914 and served throughout the First World War, surviving the grim conditions of the trenches. He gained a grant to go to Cambridge, and launched his professional career with Brief Diversions, a collection of short pieces, which attracted attention in London. After graduating, he moved to London with his first wife Pat and set up as a professional writer, reviewing, writing essays and literary biographies and reading for the publisher John Lane. His fourth novel, The Good Companions, came out in 1929 and was a huge success, followed by Angel Pavement in 1930. He entered the Theatre in 1932 with Dangerous Corner, and dominated the London stage during the 1930s with a succession of plays such as Eden End, I Have Been Here Before, Time and the Conways, When We Are Married, Johnson Over Jordan, and into the 1940s with They Came to a City, An Inspector Calls, The Linden Tree, Summer Day's Dream and The Glass Cage in 1958. During the Second World War he established a new reputation as a broadcaster. A prolific writer he continued writing novels, notably Bright Day and Lost Empires, and an important list of non-fiction, English Journey launched him in a new role as a social commentator. “Midnight on the Desert” and “Rain Upon Godshill” were chapters of his autobiography, Margin Released; “Literature and Western Man,” the sum of a lifetime's reading; and three social histories “The Prince of Pleasure,” “The Edwardians” and “Victoria's Heyday.” Over all, he published more than 100 books – non-fiction, fiction and drama, as well as countless newspaper articles and reviews. He was married three times and had four daughters and one son. He was a lifelong socialist of the old kind, yet never joined the Labour Party. He was a spokesman for the ordinary people, unashamedly middlebrow, patriotic and honest, and opposed to the class system. He turned down offers of a knighthood and a peerage, but gladly accepted the Order of Merit in 1977. He died in 1984.
 
REBECCA TAICHMAN (Director). Broadway: Indecent by Paula Vogel (co-creator; Tony nomination, Drama League nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination, and Lucille Lortel nomination). Select Off-Broadway: Time and the Conways (Old Globe); How To Transcend A Happy Marriage and The Oldest Boy by Sarah Ruhl (LCT); Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge (LCT3); Familiar by Danai Gurira, Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl, Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge (Playwrights Horizons); Orlando by Sarah Ruhl (CSC); Orpheus (NYCO); Dark Sisters (MTG/Gotham); Menopausal Gentleman (The Ohio). Regional includes productions at Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, ART, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter, and Woolly Mammoth among others. Rebecca is a Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute, and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. rebeccataichman.com.