Love Letters

by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Dodie Lovette

FOUR Performances in THREE locations!
Saturday, October 26, 2013, 7:30pm, Caldwell Consistory, Bloomsburg
Sunday, October 27, 2013, 2:30pm, Caldwell Consistory, Bloomsburg
Saturday, November 2, 2013, 7:30pm, Northumberland County Career & Arts Center, Shamokin
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 1:30pm, The Campus Theatre, Lewisburg

Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III are… childhood sweethearts? Just friends? Soul-mates? This funny and touching Pulitzer Prize-nominated play is the story of two people’s relationship, told entirely through their letters to each other over a 50 year time span.  They discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats that have passed between them throughout their separated lives.

Love Letters opened on Broadway in 1989, and has been a longstanding favorite among big-name TV and film actors as well as stage actors.  In productions across the country and world, Melissa has been played by actresses such as Holland Taylor, Kathleen Turner, Marsha Mason, Colleen Dewhurst, Lynn Redgrave, Stockard Channing, Jane Curtin, Linda Gray, Barbara Eden, Jill St. John, Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Taylor, and Carol Burnett.  Andrew has been played by a wide range of actors including John Rubinstein, Victor Garber, Richard Kiley, William Hurt, Christopher Reeve, George Segal, Christopher Walken, Jason Robards, Edward Hermann, Swoosie Kurtz, Elaine Stritch, Larry Hagman, Robert Wagner, Mel Gibson, Jeff Daniels, James Earl Jones, and Michael Emerson.

“We are excited for our audiences to see a local production of this really unusual, really poignant play,” says director Dodie Ripon-Lovett.   “Everything about it seems very simple at first:  there are just two actors, one man and one woman, and instead of them walking around a set talking to each other, we listen to these two characters sit and read their letters aloud.  But as the story unfolds over time, we really get caught up in their give-and-take, we see two people grow from schoolchildren into their separate identities, their separate families.  We see them get more sophisticated, but also see their missteps and stumbles along the way, and we get to know them even better than they know themselves because we’ve watched their entire lives.  It’s a very rich, human drama that also gives our actors a chance to bring the warmth and beauty of the spoken word to life in a unique way.  I think everyone will be able to see a piece of themselves in these characters and will really enjoy the show.”

The director, Ms. Lovett, received her bachelor’s degree in English and Theatre from Bucknell University, studying under the late Professor Harvey Powers, and has directed and performed across the Susquehanna Valley with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Valley Players, and Lycoming College.  The production stars Ken J. Kopf as Andrew and Mary Ann Stanton as Melissa.  Mary Ann Stanton, also a graduate of Bucknell’s theatre department, appeared on stage last season in RiverStage’s Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel: The Marx Brothers Lost Radio Show.  Ken J. Kopf has been an actor, producer and director with regional groups including Susquehanna University, Valley Players, and Milton Area Theatre of the Arts, and appeared as Dr. Zubritsky in last year’s RiverStage production of Neil Simon’s Fools.

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