Theatre Woodstock ready for 'Golden' performances

Theatre Woodstock will take audiences to the lake with thoughts of summer when they perform On Golden Pond during the next two weekends at the Market Centre Theatre.

Theatre Woodstock will perform On Golden Pond at the Market Centre Theatre the next two weekends. From left: Edward Patterson will play Norman Thayler and Judy Hollinger will be his wife, Ethel Thayler. Bonnie Hartley/Special to the Sentinel-Review

Share Adjust Comment Print

In the midst of the recent ice and snow, Theatre Woodstock will take audiences to the lake with thoughts of summer.

The group will perform On Golden Pond during the next two weekends at the Market Centre Theatre.

The show opens tonight and run Saturday night and Sunday at 2 p.m., followed by performances from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a timeless classic. It’s a story that has a timeless quality to it. It has a multigenerational quality to it,” Theatre Woodstock publicity chair Bonnie Hartley said. “It has a very heart warming feel to it. It’s a wonderful play.”

The show is based on the hit 1981 movie starring Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. The play focuses on a couple, Ethel (Judy Hollinger) and Norman Thayler (Edward Patterson), who return to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year.

Norman has developed memory issues, often being unable to recognize family photos, and is coming to terms with growing older.

They’re visited by their only child, Chelsea, who is somewhat estranged from Norman. She comes with her fiance Bill, as well as his 13-year-old son Billy. Chelsea and Bill go to Europe, leaving Billy with Norman and Ethel. At first, Billy is irritated by being left with strangers and little to do, but Norman and Billy develop a friendship as they go fishing every day.

The show is directed by Scott Rooney, produced by Samantha Johnston and stage managed by Matt Thompson. More than 20 people helped with this production, including the six actors on stage.

Hartley said the theatre’s selection committee decided in the fall after Rooney brought the play to them. Auditions were conducted in November, with a cast selected before Christmas before 10 weeks of rehearsals.

The show could also continue beyond its Woodstock dates. The production is Theatre Woodstock’s pick for the annual Western Ontario Drama League (WODL) Theatre Festival in Guelph for March.

Hartley said the show will be adjudicated on Feb. 10, and the company will know by Feb. 17 if it’s selected. The adjudicator watches the performance and offers way to improve and help the production.

“It’s a great boon for local audiences since you get five plays in five days,” she said of the drama league festival. “It’s a tremendous learning experience for the cast and crew.”

The WODL has about 35 theatre members, and the festival picks five shows to play during a week of performances. If the Woodstock production is chosen, members will take down their set, and reassemble it for a one-day showing in Guelph.

The top productions at the festival have the potential to be picked for Theatre Ontario’s Theatre Festival in Richmond Hill in the spring.

Hartley said the proximity of the events in Guelph and Richmond Hill added to Theatre Woodstock’s hope in being selected.

“When people get involved, they know it has potential to do this, so the time commitment is amazing because they could be involved in it until May,” said Hartley, noting Woodstock previously hosted the festival in 2016. “It’s a great show. It adds another level to the production.”

The show itself can resonate with audiences as much as it can entertain.

“It’s a warm story with some dysfunctional elements in the family, history being mended and new relationships formed, so there’s elements people can relate to,” Hartley said.

IF YOU GO

What: On Golden Pond by Theatre Woodstock

Where: Market Centre Theatre at 22 Reeve Street

When: Feb. 8, 9 and 10 then Feb. 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. wit Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

How: Tickets are available at their website at www.theatrewoodstock.com or the box office at 519-537-2582.

gcolgan@postmedia.com

Comments