The Community Players’ 100th anniversary season opens with a special presentation of A.R Gurney’s “Love Letters.”
Performed by three different casts, this unique, touching, funny and imaginative theatre piece is comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grew up together and went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences. Their lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards and continues through boarding school, college years, and married life.
Featuring the talents of popular comedian Frank O’Donnell and beloved television personality Kelly Bates Riley, directed by Patricia Hawkridge, who take the stage on Nov. 19, followed by longtime members of the local theatre scene Lara Hakeem and Jeff St. Germain, directed by Marcia Zammarelli on November 20, and concluding with Community Players’ audience favorite and past president Claire L. Beauregard, reunited with a very special guest artist, directed by Lynne Collinson on Nov. 21, “Love Letters” is not to be missed!
“Love Letters” will be presented for one weekend only, from Nov. 19-21.
The season continues with the world premiere of “A Tree Falls in Brookline,” by local Rhode Island award-winning playwright David Christner. Directed by Richard Griffin, this comedic play tells the story of Cormac “Mac” McIntyre, a largely unproduced and unrecognized playwright whose work is beginning to get some recognition abroad, when a tree falls in Brookline, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and only a shadowy recollection of his past. Could the key to his recovery be through the characters he created in his plays? Does every character he created represent some aspect of his persona, which could help him piece together his fragmented memory? Mac’s roller-coaster ride through his tumultuous past to discover who he is in the present is a trip you’ll not soon forget.
“A Tree Falls in Brookline” will be presented from Feb. 18-27.
In the spring, Terry Murray directs the worldwide mega hit musical “Mamma Mia!” Told through the legendary music of ABBA, the tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise where Sophie, a 20-year-old bride-to-be, is on a search for her father. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s quest to discover her father’s identity brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they had last visited 20 years earlier. Packed with 22 ABBA hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” “Mamma Mia!” will have audiences dancing in their seats!
“Mamma Mia!” will be presented from April 1-10.
The season concludes with Rick Abbot’s comedy “Play On!,” directed by Greg Geer. A community theatre is desperately trying to produce a murder mystery in spite of maddening interference from a haughty local author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance, in which anything that can go wrong, does. When the author decides to give a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax and a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter.
“Play On!” will be presented from July 8-17.
The Community Players join other RI and national arts organizations in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants and protect the health of our audience members, artists, volunteers, and staff. Effective immediately, before entering the building, all patrons attending performances will be required to provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, (minimum 14 days since final dose), along with an official government-issued identification, AND will be required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth for the duration of their time in the building. There will be no exceptions to this policy. These protocols will remain in effect until such time that CDC guidance and school department requirements are revised.
Produced at Jenks Auditorium located at 350 Division St. in Pawtucket, (across from McCoy Stadium), performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Individual tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students (with a valid ID) for non-musicals, and $23 for adults and $18 for students for musicals. Memberships for the 2021-22 season are currently available. Members enjoy substantial savings with two different membership options. A Standard Membership entitles the bearer to one ticket for each of the four shows. The second option, the Flex Pass, provides members with four tickets to be used as desired. For example, all four tickets can be used for one show, two tickets can be used for two different shows – be creative, the choice is yours! Discount rates are also available for all performances for groups of 20 or more. Come and experience live theater at its best!
Memberships and individual tickets can be purchased online at www.thecommunityplayers.org. Visa and Mastercard accepted. Individual tickets may be reserved by calling (401) 726-6860.
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