John Louth and Gail Swain performing “Love Letters.” (Photo: Roberta McIntosh)
The Writers and Actors Guild (WAG) production of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” kicks off next weekend at the Edison Theatre in Mammoth.
WAG’s Eva Poole-Gilson said she chose to produce “Love Letters” because she really likes the playwright (Gurney).
She was also pleased by the idea of a nice, small cast (2 characters).
Having just produced “Tuesdays With Morrie,” Poole-Gilson is well aware of the logistical challenges inherent in any production, especially for a traveling one (Love Letters will play at different venues in Mammoth, Mill Creek, Bishop and Lone Pine).
“I have to keep the production values simple,” she said.
“Love Letters” is a romantic tale, told via a 50-year correspondence between a man and woman who met during grade school.
John Louth, who just appeared as the male lead in the Playhouse 395 production of “Hello Dolly,” plays the man.
Poole-Gilson and Gail Swain will actually share the woman’s role, with each doing three shows.
Swain, who has a degree in theatre and taught drama in public schools, is active in Playhouse 395, the Mural Society, Master Gardeners and WAG.
Poole-Gilson has spent a lifetime in the arts. Along with founding WAG, one of her most recent achievements was the publication of a young adult novel called “Little Star Sleeping.”
Poole-Gilson said a teaser 15-minute staged reading down in Bishop last weekend drew a lot of positive reviews … and laughter. “It’s a funny play,” says Poole-Gilson. “Gurney’s subtle. He makes a lot of commentary on American society.”
As Gurney himself says in an introduction to the play, “Writing can be a salvation for certain people. It’s a way of making things manageable, by organizing them and putting them down in words. That’s the case with Andy Ladd in Love Letters. Writing enables him to express feelings he never could articulate otherwise … writing to him is the only way out of the restrictive prison of the self, and the only way to extend himself toward the woman he loves.”
The show debuts May 18 in Mammoth at 7 p.m.
The ultimate goal of WAG however, according to its mission statement, is to showcase local writers by having local actors perform their work.
If you’d like to learn more, contact Poole-Gilson at 760.872.2446. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.