A World Premiere (THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW), a NJ Premiere (LOST ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE), a comedy by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (THE LATE CHRISTOPHER BEAN), an American detective joins Holmes (HOLMES AND CARTER MYSTERIES) and Christmas in the Old West (CHRISTMAS WITH HARTE AND O. HENRY) AND a Sunday Film Series! (See Sidebar) What a great line-up that you won't want to miss! See Details below for Shows!
March 15 and 16 at 8:00: Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder ELTC's exciting 1930radio-style adventure returns, complete with live sound effects and commercials. Adaptation is by Gayle Stahlhuth, based on the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Inspector Lestrade is convinced that a young lawyer committed murder. But did he, or is he being set up and if so - why? Another adventure for Holmes and Watson! Click Here for Cast Bios and Notes
June 12 - July 20 at 8:30 (no show on Thurs. July 4; added show on Sunday July 7) (NJ Premiere): Lost on the Natchez Trace The year is 1825 and slave auctioneer Malcolm Jeters is headed home when he falls from his mule in Mississippi's Natchez Trace during a violent storm. Injured and starving, he yells for help. The only one who appears is a runaway slave. The question is, who will save whom? Written by Jan Buttram, co-founder and artistic director of Abingdon Theatre Company in NYC, the play was first produced at Abingdon in 2012. After seeing it, ELTC's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, asked Jan if she would like to make further changes to the script and have another theatrical run. Jan jumped at the chance, and here it is! (The photo is from the Abingdon Theatre Company production with Peter Brouwer and Leopold Lowe; photo credit Kim Sharp)
The Natchez Trace is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. Today tourists enjoy driving along scenic Natchez Trace Parkway where they can go horseback riding, camping and hiking. In 1825, however, the Natchez Trace was a ghostly swamp tangled with vines, animal bones and rotted trees.
This production was also chosen to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. As a companion piece, ELTC and the Cape May Film Society selected Amazing Grace to be shown on June 30. (See the sidebar.)
Leon Morgan takes on the role of the runaway slave. He’s performed in NYC and in several independent films including Transatlantic Coffee. Other cast members are ELTC favorites Tom Byrn and Stephanie Garrett. Tom performed in ELTC’s It Pays to Advertise and The Ransom of Red Chief, among others, and recently performed in Trip to Bountiful at People’s Light & Theatre Company. Stephanie was in ELTC’s Christmas in Black and White and Rain, and is one of ELTC’s popular performers for “Tales of the Victorians.”
To See Complete Bios Click Here
A Sample of the Reviews from Abingdon Theatre Company’s 2012 Production:
“Buttram gives her characters a moving humanity, and "Lost on the Natchez Trace" is a cautionary reminder of the inhumanity of which man has been and still is capable.” – Ron Cohen at “Back Stage”
“A powerful, carefully-crafted play igniting a debate on what it takes to be a moral person and how far we would go for those values.” – “Curtain Up”
“Powerful and illuminating theater. . . .Talented playwright Jan Buttram has created a richly textured encounter epitomizing the immorality and searing particulars of (American) slavery on a human scale. There’s no pedantry here, no pontificating. This bold entertainment illuminates. It sends us into the night reflecting on modern examples of justifying self preservation, biblical (not religious) responsibility, and the question of good and evil . . . The play is masterfully structured and filled with crosscurrents, surprising us to the very end. . . It’s a gothic dance—either with the devil or redemption depending on your point of view.” – Alix Cohen for “Women Around Town”
Wednesday, June 12: After-Show Opening Night Party at Pier House Restaurant, 1317 Beach Ave.
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar AND the
opportunity to mingle with actors and fellow theater lovers!
Friday, June 21: After-Show Q&A with Cast and Crew
Friday, July 12: American Sign Language Interpreted Performance
Tues. July 2 at 8:00: An Evening of Fables: Student Workshop Production with an admission-free performance. For more information about our Summer Theater Workshop and other workshops for all ages and school residencies, go to Click Here. For an application for the Summer Theater Workshop Click Here (Photo is from the recent performance of ELTC's Wildwood's After-School Program, a play written and performed by 6th and 7th grade students.)
July 24 - Aug. 31at 8:30: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (World Premiere) The townsfolk of Sleepy Hollow believe that the headless body of a Hessian soldier astride his horse haunts their isolated village. When Ichabod Crane suddenly disappears, is it the fault of the Headless Horseman, or something else? Washington Irving’s supernatural story is adapted by James Rana who so vividly created ELTC’s last season’s The Poe Mysteries, with a cast of six playing many roles to bring the tale to life. (From Oct. 23-27, the production goes to Ocean Professional Theatre in Barnegat.) Click Here for Bios of Adaptor James Rana and Washington Irving
Wed. July 24: After-Show Opening Night Party at one of Cape May's fine restaurants, at no extra cost
Friday, August 2: After-Show Q&A with Cast and Crew
Friday, August 23: American Sign Language Interpreted Performance
Sept. 18 – Oct. 13 at 8:00 (No show on Wed. Oct. 9; added show on Sun. Oct. 13 at 7:30): The Late Christopher Bean After his death, Bean is heralded as “not merely a great American artist, but one of the greatest masters of all time,” and the art world now wants his work. But did a New England family destroy his paintings, misplace them, or hide them? A 1932 Broadway hit written by Pulitzer-prize winner Sidney Howard, with a cast of nine.
“It’s a play that has remained fresh and funny, proving once again that a strong script is rarely tarnished by time.” - Ken Jaworowski, “New York Times” about the Actors Theater Company Production in NYC (2009)
Wed. Sept. 18: After-Show Opening Night Party at one of Cape May's fine restaurants, at no extra cost
Friday, September 27: After-Show Q&A with Cast and Crew
Nov. 1 and 2 at 8:00: Holmes and Carter Mysteries ELTC’s popular vintage-radio style production, complete with live sound effects and commercials, with two great detectives! Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Copper Beeches about a governess in peril, and Nick Carter and the Strange Dr. Devolo, in which Manhattan millionaires are missing.
While Sherlock Holmes was solving crimes in England, Nick Carter, originally known as “Nicholas” Carter, was busy in Manhattan. Carter first appeared in “The Old Detective’s Pupil” published in Street and Smith’s “New York Weekly” in 1886 – a year before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes’ first caper, “A Study in Scarlet.” In October, 1930, the Sherlock Holmes radio series began with The Adventure of the Copper Beeches and in April, 1943, the Nick Carter series was launched with The Strange Dr. Devolo. Holmes on radio lasted until 1950, with a variety of actors portraying Holmes, including Basil Rathbone. The Carter series lasted through 1955 with only one actor playing Carter: Lon Clark. While Copper Beeches is not the original script by Edith Meiser (this one is adapted by Gayle Stahlhuth), The Strange Dr. Devolo IS the original script. The Nick Carter Detective character, copyright, and trademarks are owned by Conde Nast. Used with permission.
Nov 29 - Dec. 14 at 8:00: Christmas with Harte and O. Henry Christmas tales from the old West written by Bret Harte and O. Henry, presented in storytelling fashion by Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth, who has been praised by reviewers and audience alike for her portrayals of 30-plus roles in the telling of one tale.
(Fri. & Sat. Nov. 29, 30; Sun. Dec. 8, Thur. Dec. 12, Fri. Dec. 13 & Sat. Dec. 14 at 8:00; Saturday Matinees on Nov. 30 and Dec. 14 at 2:00)
Francis Bret Harte (1839-1902) and his mother moved to California from Brooklyn after his father died in 1854, where he found work as a miner, teacher, express messenger, and freelance writer. In 1868, he became the editor of “The Overland Monthly,” where his famous stories, "The Luck of Roaring Camp" and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” were first published. These propelled him to nation-wide fame, and his stories of the American West were sought after by publishers back East. He moved to Boston, and in 1871 signed a contract with “The Atlantic Monthly,” agreeing to write twelve stories in one year for $10,000, the most that had ever been offered an American writer up to that time.
O. Henry (1862-1910), born William Sydney Porter, was a master of writing surprise endings. After moving to Texas from his native North Carolina and pursuing several occupations, he found employment in Austin in 1887 as a teller with the First National Bank of Texas, a job that eventually led to his being charged with having embezzled $5,000. There has been much debate over his actual guilt, and many believe he was protecting someone. While in prison, he adopted his pseudonym, and wrote his first short story, “A Retrieved Reformation” about a robber who desires to go straight. It became an immediate success. O. Henry served only three years of his prison term, and was released in 1901. The next year, he moved to NYC, and nearly three-quarters of his 600-plus published stories during his lifetime, are set in this city, including one of the most famous Christmas tales of all time, “The Gift of the Magi.” When he died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 47, he had 23 cents in his pocket. His life, like his stories, ended with a certain “twist.” His funeral was scheduled on the same day as a wedding – which began the moment the coffin was carried out of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, located on 28th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue, not far from his home on Irving Place near Gramercy Park. O. Henry was such a prolific writer that it took his publishers thirteen years – from 1911 to 1923 – and four posthumous volumes of his collected stories to catch up with him. To this day, he is honored by having the most renowned annual collection of American short stories named after him.
An American Sign Language Performance TBA
for Christmas with Harte and O. Henry
Shows run Wednesdays through Saturdays unless otherwise noted.
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May
Tickets: $30 general; $25 senior; $15 students; ages 12 and under free.
Tickets for Holmes and the Christmas Show: $25; $15; age 12 and under free
Group Rates Available and Dinner/Show Packages
SEASON SPONSORS: CURRAN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT,
THE HENRY SAWYER INN and ALEATHEA'S RESTAURANT
SHOW SPONSORS: LA MER BEACHFRONT INN and EXIT ZERO