NEPA Scene Staff

Actors Circle presents classic play ‘On Golden Pond’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton March 19-29

Actors Circle presents classic play ‘On Golden Pond’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton March 19-29
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

Community theatre group Actors Circle will present the classic play “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson at the Providence Playhouse in Scranton on Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 29.

Directed by Katie VonBergen, this is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. He is a retired professor, nearing 80, with heart palpitations and a failing memory but still as tart-tongued, observant, and eager for life as ever. Ethel, 10 years younger and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together.

They are visited unexpectedly by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness – and slang – in return.

Thompson adapted the play into a film in 1981. Directed by Mark Rydell, produced by Bruce Gilbert, and starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda, “On Golden Pond” received 10 Academy Award nominations and won three: Best Actor (Henry Fonda), Best Actress (Hepburn), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Thompson). In 2001, CBS aired a live television adaptation that reunited former “Sound of Music” stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles.

The Actors Circle cast members are Bob Taylor as Norman Thayer, Carol Davis as Ethel Thayer, Marcie Herman Riebe as Chelsea Thayer, Eric Lutz as Billy Ray Wayne, Michael Semus Fenton-Kapacs as Billy Ray Wayne, Jr., and Jeff Ginsberg as Charlie Martin.

Mariely Colin is the stage manager, Jeff Ginsberg and Lou Bisignani are producers, John VonBergen is the set design and master builder, Margo Azzarelli is the set decorator, and Cathy Rist Strauch is the artistic painter and publicist. Holy Cross High School students Keelin Schimelfenig and Jillian Brennan designed the artwork for the poster. Kristina Toolan is their art teacher, Benjamin Tolerico is the high school principal, and Jane Foy is Actors Circle’s president.

“On Golden Pond” runs at the Providence Playhouse (1256 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on March 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students, with the exception of Thursday, March 19, when tickets are $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.

For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or email All reservations are held 10 minutes until showtime.

Actors Circle was formed in 1982. A group of actors was sitting in a circle on the floor of the University of Scranton auditorium and decided on the name for their organization before performing their first production, “The Crucible.” Originally, the group was known as the Jefferson Hall Players, but the University asked them to change the name because there was already a small theater group at the University with that same name.

Over the years, Actors Circle has also performed at other venues, such as the Scranton Cultural Center, the Century Club, the Jewish Community Center, Nay Aug Park, the Everhart Museum, the Lackawanna Children’s Library, the Lackawanna County Courthouse, and the Tripp House.

In 1984, Providence Playhouse became home to Actors Circle. In this small intimate theater, productions such as comedies, dramas, classics, musicals, plays from well-known authors, and obscure, but important playwrights have been performed. Actors Circle has also commissioned original works, such as the adaptation of “Frankenstein” by Scranton native Ted LoRusso and an original play by John McInerney. Other theatrical organizations have also been welcomed to perform in the home of Actors Circle, such as DGM Productions, Inc.

The founders’ mission was to keep live theatre accessible to the general public, as well as to educate and enlighten not only audiences, but actors, directors, technical crew, and stage managers as well. Actors Circle continues to strive to fulfill this goal by providing the community with laughter and thought-provoking performances.