Boasting a 32 percent jump in paid attendance, Ellenville's Shadowland Theatre, in New York State's mid-Hudson Valley, announced its 1997 season, to begin May 16.
Here's the line-up:
The Diary Of Anne Frank (May 16-June 8). Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's adaptation of concentration camp victim Frank's writing. The play, soon to have a major NY revival, won the Pulitzer, Tony and New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Featured in the show are Lizzie Raetz (Anne), Joseph Francis (Mr. Frank), John Adair (Van Daan), Brendan Burke, Brian Cichocki (Peter), Arlene Dollard, Kathryn Graybill, Elizabeth DeBetta, Fred Velde and Mary Fox. T. Newell Kring, former artistic director of MN's Purple Rose Theatre, directs this production, which has original music by Richard Masloski. Julie Duro and Beverly Post have designed lighting and costumes, respectively.
To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (June 13-29). Michael Brady's comedy/drama about a sweet 16, where one guest is the birthday girl's dead mother.
1959 Pink Thunderbird (July 4-27). Two comic one-acts by James McLure, author of Pvt. Wars. Act one, Laundry & Bourbon, offers women gossiping, sipping bourbon and whiling away the time; act two offers Lone Star, wherein Roy returns from Vietnam to discover all is not as he left it.
Forever Plaid (Aug. 1-24). The national cabaret juggernaut, about four young men giving one last concert before going on to the afterlife. Stuart Ross and James Raitt's musical revue features four-part harmonies, crew cuts and a tribute to the Ed Sullivan Show. Valley Song (Aug. 29-Sept. 14). Athol Fugard's drama about a growing girl, her grandfather and a white land-owner in post-apartheid South Africa.
This will be the 13th year for Shadowland Theatre, its third as an Equity house. Artistic Director Bill Lelbach told Playbill On-Line he saves money by designing and building the season's sets himself. He generally chooses shows for the season by selecting two cornerstone plays and filling the rest of the season around them. We have to do the classics to catch the kids in school, so there's Anne Frank. Valley Song is especially relevant to this very small community, where a lot of kids feel as soon as they get out of school, they want to get out of town." Shadowland's CLASS program (Classics Live At Shadowlands) will tour Anne Frank to over 1,000 children at local junior and senior high schools.
Though the theatre only produces during the summer, Shadowland shows films all year round as a community service, and Lelbach uses the off season to read and make his choices. "An Equity theatre in a small town requires doing what you can with available labor. I basically work myself to death!"
Basic five-show subscriptions start at $63, but new subscribers and "Sunday Only" patrons pay only $39. For information on Shadowland Theatre, at 157 Canal in Ellenville, call (914) 647-5511.
--By David Lefkowitz