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Westport Country Playhouse To Rename Campus After Philanthropist Howard Aibel

Laura Ballou/WSHU and Westport Country Playhouse
Philanthropist and Weston resident Howard J. Aibel has donated $3 million to the Westport Country Playhouse, which will be renaming its campus in his honor. The Playhouse has been a mainstay of the performing arts in Connecticut for 87 years.

The Westport Country Playhouse will be renaming its theater complex after Playhouse Trustee Howard J. Aibel, who donated $3 million to the not-for-profit this week.

The Playhouse says $500,000 will be designated for current operations, another half a million for working capital reserve, and $2 million as a bequest to establish an endowment.

The campus will soon be renamed the Howard J. Aibel Theater Center at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Aibel told WSHU that he remembers the first time he visited the theater – in 1954 – to see the play Right You Are (If You Think You Are) by Luigi Pirandello.  

“It was a real country playhouse, and there we are in the woods, and here we are [watching] professional actors putting on a play we wouldn’t see elsewhere.”

Aibel told the Norwalk Hour that live theater has been transformative for him.

And with his gift, he will be helping to secure its continuance at the Playhouse for the long-term.

Aibel is also a supporter of WSHU and a trustee emeritus at Sacred Heart University. 

Dan is a former News Director at WSHU