Totem Pole Playhouse, one of Pennsylvania's foremost summer theatres, continues it 52nd season July 2-14 with a new revival of Harvey — typical summer-stock fare — in the Cumberland Valley, 17 miles from Gettysburg.
The Caledonia Theatre Company presents an annual summer stock season there with professional Equity talent plucked from all over the East Coast. The 52nd season under the Totem Pole marquee has Visiting Mr. Green and Breaking Legs behind it.
Under artistic director Carl Schurr, the 2002 season includes Not Now, Darling July 16-28, Douglas Post's Murder In Green Meadows July 30-Aug. 11, Sanders Family Christmas (a musical sequel to the folky Smoke on the Mountain) Aug. 13-25.
The troupe presents works in its third location in 50 years in Caledonia State Park. Totem Pole was led by Karl Genus 1951 53 and by William H. Putch for the next 30 years. He and wife Jean Stapleton helped make the playhouse a nationally-known company. Carl Schurr has served as producing artistic director since 1984.
In 1994, he helped establish Caledonia Theatre Company (CTC), a non-profit organization "to preserve, secure and promote professional theatre at Totem Pole Playhouse." The CTC mission also includes providing arts education opportunities for area residents, including theatre camps for students. Stars have been a part of the Totem Pole experience in the past, with appearances by Keir Dullea, Sada Thompson, John Ritter, Sandy Dennis, Harry Groener, Curtis Armstrong and Jean Stapleton. A core company of regulars is also part of the Totem Pole experience, with performances by Schurr, Will Love and others.
Totem Pole Playhouse is located at the junction of US Route 30 and PA 233 South, between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA, in Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville, PA. For information, call (717) 352-2164 or (888) 805-7056 or visit totempoleplayhouse.org.
— By Kenneth Jones