Dundas County Players are back with “On Golden Pond”

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by Gabriele Thomas,  Dundas County Players

After two long years of darkness, the theatre at the Old Town Hall in Winchester will be lit up again when On Golden Pond, by Ernest Thompson, takes the stage on April 29 and 30, and May 1, 6, 7 and 8.

On Golden Pond is a well-known American comedic drama that’s every bit as touching, warm, and witty today as when it debuted off Broadway in 1978.

The play focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are spending their 48th summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. Their delightful summer routine – fishing, picking strawberries, playing board games, listening to the loons call – is given a worrisome edge by Norman’s unreliable memory and crotchety attitude. When their estranged daughter, Chelsea, visits for Norman’s 80th birthday, bringing her boyfriend Bill and Bill’s teenage son, Billy Jr., the whole family must come to grips with Norman and Chelsea’s turbulent relationship.

Norman ends up finding joy in the unexpected presence of young Billy and the opportunity to mentor him and go on fishing adventures together. The long-standing conflict between father and daughter, the generation gap, and the challenges of a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage, all combine in a play that holds a mirror to our own existence and illustrates the funny, heartbreaking, human moments of which life is made.

“It’s hard to believe that we started rehearsals for this play back in January 2020”, said director Tony Glen. “After a two year hiatus, the cast and crew are all looking forward to performing it live, in a theatre and in front of an audience. I especially enjoy the playwright’s analysis of old age. It is poignant, thought-provoking, and believable.”

Many people will remember the 1981 movie version of On Golden Pond, featuring Katharine Hepburn as Ethel and Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda playing what seemed to be a screen version of their own troubled father-daughter relationship. Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and playwright Ernest Thompson won Academy Awards.

Performances will take place on April 29 and 30 and May 1, 6, 7 and 8 at the Old Town Hall in Winchester. Evening shows start at 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, April 29 and 30 and May 6 and 7. There will be matinees at 2 pm on Sundays, May 1 and 8. The running time is approximately 2.5 hours, including a 20 minute intermission.

Tickets are $20 for adults ($10 for 18 and under) and are available through Eventbrite at dcplayers.ca, by contacting the DCP Ticket Line at 613-297-0097, or in person at the Painted Arrow in Winchester (535 St. Lawrence Street).

With the recent rise in Covid cases in the area, it is possible that last minute changes may take place to the scheduled performances of On Golden Pond. It is equally possible that new public health measures may come into effect. We ask theatre goers to check the Dundas County Players website or facebook pages before attending the show. At the time of this writing, masks are no longer required to enter the theatre, but are encouraged.

The Dundas County Players Theatre Society is a community volunteer organisation that promotes theatre arts in Dundas Country. For the past 26 years, Dundas County Players has been providing quality entertainment including plays, children’s summer workshops and cabarets.

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