NEPA Scene Staff

Actors Circle presents classic play ‘On Golden Pond’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton July 8-18

Actors Circle presents classic play ‘On Golden Pond’ at Providence Playhouse in Scranton July 8-18
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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, July 8 through Sunday, July 18.

Originally, the show was scheduled for March 19-March 29, 2020 but was canceled due to the pandemic. These new dates will mark their first live performances at their home theater in over a year.

Directed by Katie VonBergen, “On Golden Pond” 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 Mark Fryer as Norman Thayer, Carol Davis as Ethel Thayer, Marcie Herman Riebe as Chelsea, Eric Lutz as Billy Ray, Michael Seamus Fenton-Kapacs as Billy Ray, Jr., and Jeff Ginsberg as Charlie Martin.

“On Golden Pond” runs at the Providence Playhouse (1256 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on July 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students, with the exception of Thursday, July 8, when tickets are $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.

For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or e-mail tickets@actorscircle.com. All reservations are held 10 minutes until showtime. In respect for those having COVID-19 issues, and in compliance with CDC regulations for close quarters, Actors Circle respectfully requests that all audience and staff wear a mask inside the building. The cast will not be wearing masks while on stage.

Now in their 39th season, 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.