Did you ever want to know what it was like to run a bed and breakfast, and have unique guests? The Walpole Players will show you at 8PM on Thursday May 2nd, Friday May 3rd and 10th, Saturday May 4th, and 11th and at a 2PM matinee on Sunday the 12th of May when the curtain rises on TOURISTS ACCOMMODATED at the Helen Miller Theater at the Walpole Town Hall.
This is a gentle comedy in which we find a Vermont family taking in summer tourists in the early 1930s to raise money to send their daughter to teaching college. Wryly drawn from observing the “ways of travelers” and the “absurdities of city life” you will meet a host of characters familiar to us all when eight completely different groups of tourists stay with the Lyman family at their Vermont farmstead.
Written by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, it was on a cold January day in 1930 that Dorothy and her friends in Arlington, Vermont, were sewing a baby outfit for a neighbor and talking and laughing a great deal. Several of the families had in recent years begun taking in summer automobile tourists, who were finding their way north, providing them with beds for the night and meals. This was a new and strange experience for these strong minded New England mountain folk, and the women soon started sharing stories about the strange ways of these travelers. One funny story followed another with each hilarious incident being true. Finally one of the group said, “We ought to make a play out of all this.” Dorothy, a best-selling author who was also named by Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the ten most influential women in America for her work in bringing the Montessori School movement to the US, took up the challenge. This seldom seen side-tickling play was the result.
Directed by Ray Boas, the cast includes: Jean Jobeski; Whit Aldrich; Gail Golec; Carolyn Norback; Fran Kemp; Dave Adams; Tom Durnford; Joan Balla, Sarah Manning; Kathy Reilly; Jim Baucom; Laurel Perron; Tara Sad; Stacey Allen; Deb Robarge; Becky Pearson; Mike Delaney; Gail Connelly; Anna Kendall; and, Cameron Tollett. A number of the Walpole Junior Players are also featured: Maeve Perron; Ben Robison; Kaylie Litner; Anya Bierweiler-Franks; Sophia Bruzgis; Madeleine Manning; Kathleen Dole; Isabella Smith, Patrick Manning; and, Holden Perron. Tickets, which are $10 for adults and $5 for under 12, are available at Galloway Real Estate; Real to Reel; Murray’s and Costume Ladies in Walpole; and at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls. For more information, call (603) 756-4545 or visit http://thewalpoleplayers.org/
A CHRISTMAS CAROL — CONCLUDED FOR A FIFTH TIME
Almost 500 people were in the audiences on 12-15 December to enjoy The Walpole Player’s fifth annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. “It was gratifying to see so many new and younger faces join us this year,” Ray Boas observed while greeting the guests at the door, “to hear Dickens’ tale and receive his timeless message.”
Each year Tara Sad and Ray Boas, co-directors of the production, have made small changes to the cast and effects, and this year was no exception. In fact, this year more changes and additions were made than in the past four years. The entrances of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present were brought more to life in keeping with Dickens’ descriptions, and the Fezziwig dance was choreographed by a professional to the delight of the dancers and audiences both. With a cast of just under 50 “players” many of Dickens’ characters were portrayed by different people this year providing variety not only for the actors but for the faithful audience members who have returned every year. In fact, everyone involved commented that this year’s performances were the best all round since the first production in 2008. It was the magical mix of the cast and their interactions that made this year’s show so phenomenal. Michael Wright of Charlestown played Scrooge this year, and not only made suggestions for Scrooge interacting with the audience following Scrooge’s redemption, but gave everyone an outstanding interpretation of Scrooge’s transformation enabled by his three ghostly visitors. Playing Marley, Scrooge’s late business partner, for the second year, Jim Baucom finely tuned his performance fettered in chains terrifying not only Scrooge but some
audience members as well. If you did not attend this year thinking that you had seen the show, you would have been truly amazed at the subtle but profound differences and improvements. And these subtle changes from year to year will continue to delight and bring you back again and again promises Ray. “I have one effect I have been working on for four years, and hope to get it right to introduce in 2013,” he has commented.
But most important in keeping with the lessons learned by Ebenezer Scrooge, this year’s audiences contributed almost $3700 to the Fall Mountain Food Shelf and Our Place Drop In Center. The cast too, in addition to the number of hours of hard work since the first audition on November 7th, made a generous cash contribution to these important organizations. The total cash contributions in the first five years of Walpole’s newest tradition have now exceeded $16,700. Mark your calendars now because The Walpole Players will present A CHRISTMAS CAROL for the sixth time 11, 12, 13 and 14 December 2013.