Oregon Community Theatre will present its spring show, “On Golden Pond,” April 25 and 26 and May 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and April 27 at 3 p.m. in Fassett Auditorium, 3025 Starr Ave., Oregon.
The American classic comedy/drama offers a touching, funny and a warmly perceptive study of a spirited and lovable elderly couple facing their twilight years. The much-loved story, written by Ernest Thompson, will be directed by Dawn Yard and produced by Tim Yard.
“On Golden Pond” showcases the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. A retired professor, Norman has heart palpitations and a failing memory, but is still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together.
The couple is visited 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 has longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns a few lessons about modern teenage awareness and slang in return.
The cast of "On Golden Pond" includes (standing) John Henry
Dawn Yard is excited to direct the play because, “I’ve always loved the movie and it’s a great classic, she said, adding one of the first challenges she faced was in casting, to get the right fit since the production called for people from 80 to 13. “We had to find someone old enough to play Norman and young enough to play Billy Ray Jr.” she said. “I think I picked a wonderful cast.”
In fact, the actor playing Norman, John Henry, is 85 . He actually played the part before 40 years ago. Other cast members include Ethel Thayer - Cheryl Tanner; Bill - Eric Collier; Chelsea Thayer Wayne - Amy Carpenter; Billy Ray, Jr. - Noah Hagedorn; Charlie Martin- Reed Steele and The Operator - Lori Bee.
Another challenge, Yard said, will be set design. “The set’s going to be huge; it’s a lot of work in a limited amount of time.”
Yard’s favorite scene in the show is “when Chelsea reconciles with Norman, her father, and they work out their problems. It makes me cry every time,” she said, adding that while the show is touching, there’s plenty of humor, too.
“Norman is sarcastic and throws one-liners out there,” she said. “The scene with Norman and Bill about Bill and Chelsea staying in the same bedroom will have people rolling with laughter in their seats.”
Tickets for “On Golden Pond” are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. For tickets, call 419-691-1398 or visit oregoncommunitytheatre.org.