Tag Archives: Our Productions

Back into The Swing of Things!

Dear Friends:

Wow—what a crazy few weeks!  We returned from our lovely vacation with our family and launched right into preparations for our latest performance of Ed Asner in FDR.  It was in Cape Girardeau, MO on October 8th.

We received the following letter from the Assistant Director with whom we were working and thought we’d share how well everything went!

“I must say the audience – myself included – loved the piece.  This is a fantastic play; it moved many people to tears.  It made me realize that just reading about world events isn’t enough.  Seeing “FDR” (the man) on stage, feeling his emotion, hearing his urgency – even terror – directly from the Oval Office at a time before I was born, brought a new dimension to history.

Mr. Asner is, absolutely, the nicest person I’ve ever met this side of the footlights.  He’s the only actor I’ve known who was interested in talking about something besides himself.  I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but he is just such a nice guy – and that is high praise coming from me.

I also enjoyed working with Ron Nash.  I don’t spend a lot of time hanging out backstage, but the short visits before and after the show with both Ed and Ron were so enjoyable.  Despite the hectic schedule and all the travel, both were true gentlemen.  It’s obvious they have worked together for a long time and get along well.  It was a most relaxed and congenial atmosphere.

I want to thank you for helping me bring this show to Cape Girardeau.  It’s the most enjoyable evening I’ve had in a long time.

All best,

Robert Cerchio, Assistant Director
Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts
Cape Girardeau, MO

A BIG Thanks to Ed and Ron for making it such a great night!

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The Lift of a Lifetime!

The events at the Theatre Guild leading up to the arrival of Oklahoma! on Broadway are quite interesting, and as always with the theatre: precarious!

While Oklahoma!  was in the creation mode, Broadway theatre was in huge difficulty as a result of the Great Depression.  Needless to say, no matter how much people wanted to go to the theatre, in the 1930s they didn’t have the money to do it.  And in the 1940s the war came along and made theatre-going feel like a frivolous thing to do when so much destruction was occurring around the world.

The mid 1930s brought a series of mistaken choices in the plays the Theatre Guild produced.  Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who had done 20 plays with the Theatre Guild, decided to part ways and join Noel Cowart in a partnership.  The Guild was in serious debt, but fortunately was rescued by producing Philip Barry’s play, The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn in the lead.

It helped the Guild through the end of the 30s.  However, with the war the mood at the Guild fell into a low ebb and only received “a lift of a lifetime” when they produced Oklahoma! in March 1943.


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Oh Othello!

This Throwback Thursday features a great photo of Paul Robeson in his garb as the well-known character of Othello, which The Theatre Guild produced on Broadway in 1943-1944.

Robeson’s portrayal of Othello was so masterful and well-performed that John Dover Wilson—one of the premier Shakespeare critics at the time—commented that Robeson’s Othello was the best performance of the century!

When I was about 10 years old, I used to spend wonderful times wrestling and playing with Paul’s son, Paul Jr.!

Paul broke through so many barriers coming from the son of a former slave, and knowing him and his family was indeed an honor!

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One of the plays we are currently producing and are proud to feature is a play starring two iconic figures: Ed Asner and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The beauty of this play, FDR by the incredible Dore Schary, is its simplicity—no fancy sets or scene changes, just Ed doing what he does best: extraordinary entertaining.

We have been touring all over the United States with Ed for over 5 years—he continuously sells out shows and audiences everywhere love him.  Not only is he commanding on stage, but Ed always takes the time afterward to meet with his fans—a seemingly rare quality in today’s performers.

Ed is magnificent as FDR, and he delivers an unforgettable performance as one of our most legendary presidents.

Asner gave a refresher course in patriotism, duty and tenacity as the man who was elected four times as president because he had a job to do and he wasn’t finished.

                   —Geri Parlin, La Crosse Tribune

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Our next engagement is in Laguna Beach for 5 performances November 19-23, 2014.


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