Jaci Metivier and George Rithaler star in Shuswap Theatre’s upcoming production of the A.R. Gurney play Love Letters, which begins Feb. 11 and runs to Feb. 26. (Shelly Massey photo)

Jaci Metivier and George Rithaler star in Shuswap Theatre’s upcoming production of the A.R. Gurney play Love Letters, which begins Feb. 11 and runs to Feb. 26. (Shelly Massey photo)

Close confidants share lives, love while apart in upcoming Shuswap Theatre production

Kim MacMillan directs production of A.R. Gurney play, Love Letters

An unusual drama will be unfolding on February 11 as Shuswap Theatre opens its newest regular season play, Love Letters.

The subject matter, as might be expected, is the hand-written correspondence of two old friends and sometimes lovers over the course of their lifetime.

Written by the prolific A. R. Gurney, this play was a finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

When Andrew Makepeace Ladd III accepts an invitation to Melissa Gardner’s birthday party, and Melissa writes a thank-you note in return, a passionate friendship and correspondence is born, destined to last for half a century. Both from affluent, East Coast families (Melissa has more money, but Andy has better parents) the friends communicate with each other through angst-ridden boarding school experiences, European adventures, failed marriages and the ups and downs of careers. Despite painful differences they remain each other’s most trusted confidante, and are “true lovers” on paper, if not on the earth.

Director, Kim MacMillan, (Mary Poppins, Trying) spoke of the particular challenges of presenting this story.

“Gurney wants the play be presented with utmost simplicity. The whole thing consists of the two characters reading their decades of correspondence to each other. There is almost no movement, meaning the actors must convey everything with their voices,” said MacMillan. “In spite of its simplicity, the play is highly engaging as these two complex characters work out their lives and loves together and apart.”

Andy and Melissa will be played by actors Jaci Metivier and George Rithaler.

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Love Letters opens Friday, Feb. 11 and plays through Feb. 26. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1:30. Thursday, Feb. 17 is “Pay What You Can,” with no advance tickets, admission by cash only at the door. Tickets are available online at shuswaptheatre.com, or at Wild Craft Mercantile, 121 Shuswap Street NW (the old Blue Canoe building).

Shuswap Theatre follows all public health orders. At present those include a maximum audience size of 75 (half capacity), proof of double vaccination and the wearing of masks while in the building. There will be at least two empty seats between each party of patrons. There will be a brief intermission but no concession.

For more information and tickets, go to shuswaptheatre.com.

Submitted.


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