Director Bonnie Hill is looking forward to the production of “On Golden Pond,” at Church Hill Theatre (CHT) between April 6 and April 22. The play, written by Ernest Thompson, was a critical success on the New York stage and a blockbuster hit in the film adaptation. Bonnie has assembled a fine cast of area residents, including both newcomers and experienced actors with credits at CHT and other theaters. Bonnie herself, a proud graduate of Washington College’s drama department, is a veteran Church Hill Theatre director who most recently directed “Wait Until Dark” at CHT and “A Delicate Balance” and “Sylvia” at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown.
“On Golden Pond” is as simple, and complex, as life itself. Norman and Ethel Thayer, an almost elderly couple, return to their summerhouse on the lake, where their daughter, her boyfriend, and his son join them. As Norman’s memory loss becomes more obvious, the family and a local friend deal with the current situation, as well as unresolved issues from the past.
In the Church Hill Theatre production, Brian McGunigle, an experienced actor with Tred Avon Players and Shore Shakespeare, credits making his CHT debut, plays Norman Thayer. Nita Wieczoreck, an actor with extensive CHT credits in both musicals and dramas, portrays Ethel Thayer. Their daughter Chelsea is played by Heather Oland and her boyfriend Bill Ray is played by Jeff Daly. Both Heather and Jeff have appeared often in CHT productions. John Crook, a young actor who has participated in multiple years of CHT’s Greenroom Gang summer camp, takes on the role of Billy Ray, Jr. Charlie, the local postman and a family friend, is played by the well-known area actor Paul Briggs. Kathy Jones is heard in the cameo role of a telephone operator.
Bonnie’s production team includes Liz Clarke, Kathy Jones, Steve Atkinson, Earl Lewin, Carmen Grasso, Doug Kaufmann, Brian Draper, Patrick Fee, Nita Wieczoreck, Meg Lenher, Cynthia Fields, and Michael Whitehill.
“On Golden Pond” opens at Church Hill Theatre on April 6 and runs through April 22, with weekend performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members, and $10 for students. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more. CHT offers two for the price of one tickets on opening night, Friday, April 6, to those who reserve by phone. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org.