Winchester’s Old Town Hall theatre is hosting its first Dundas County Players production since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Players began performances of “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson last weekend, with final performances on May 6, 7, and 8. “On Golden Pond” is a well-known American comedic drama which debuted in 1978. The plot takes place in the summer, focusing on an elderly couple who are accustomed to a happy and simple life, only to be surprised by a visit from their estranged daughter, her boyfriend and his teenage son. “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,” writes the Dundas County Players.
COVID-19 hit area performing arts groups hard, as live entertainment was not considered “essential” throughout most of pandemic. Performances which were in the works in the months leading up to the pandemic were suddenly cut short for much longer than anyone could have anticipated. “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.” Tony told the Times that he is very pleased with how work on the production is going, and that the whole cast and crew was very excited to be getting back on stage after the COVID-19 hiatus. He stressed that “On Golden Pond” is a very moving and emotional play, which is made even better by the presence of local actors. “Some of the people who are in it may be well known,” said Tony, using the example of lead actor Terry Green who is a retired teacher from North Dundas District High School.
The Dundas County Players Theatre Society is a community volunteer organization that promotes theatre arts in Dundas Country. For the past 26 years, Dundas County Players has been providing the community with plays, children’s summer workshops, and cabarets. This weekend’s performances of “On Golden Pond” will start at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday, with a matinee performance on Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are for sale online through Eventbrite at dcplayers.ca, over the phone through the Players ticket line at 613-297-0097, or in person at the Planted Arrow in Winchester (535 St. Lawrence St). Tickets cost $20 for adults, and $10 for those under 18. Ticket holders are encouraged to check social media at https://www.facebook.com/DundasCountyPlayers before attending in case of pandemic rule changes.