Valley Repertory Company to present ‘The Golden State’

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Thu., Oct. 27, 2011
(Back, left to right) Erik Leeming of Hartford, as Luis, Logan Lopez of Ludlow, Mass., as Federico, Monica Ceresa of Glastonbury, as Blanca, and Summer Echelson of Enfield, as Ursula. (Front, left to right) Suzanne Robertson as Sylvia, Lisa Coleman Hasty of Bloomfield as Gertrude, and Mark Vogel of Hartford as Cubby will star in ‘The Golden State.’ Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The Valley Repertory Company is performing “The Golden State,” a play written by Lauren Wilson, on Friday and Saturday nights from Nov. 4 through Nov. 19. The play is loosely based on Moliere’s “The Miser,” a classic French farce.

This very American play is about Gertrude Hopper, a California millionairess, and her adult children, who live with her in an old, sprawling - and deteriorating - mansion and face issues of employment and immigration, love, money and family. Just as Hopper is figuring out how to extricate herself from her adult children, they are conniving to relieve their mother of her vast fortune.

“A theater person knew I was looking for a comedy,” explained the play's director, Lisa Eaton, of Enfield. He gave the script to Eaton to read. “It was very funny, out-loud laughter type of funny,” she said. “I could picture it in my head right from the get go. I thought it was something the audience would find as fun.”

“There is a core group of directors, who swap off,” Eaton said. “In January and February, we do Lab Works, where we produce short-run productions.” That is how Eaton herself started directing. This play is produced by Janine Flood and co-produced by Amanda Bates.

The 20 to 30 core members of the Valley Rep. theater group are the drivers of the productions, but there is a much wider group of volunteers and people who get involved with the shows.

The main character, Gertrude Hopper, is played by Lisa Coleman Hasty, of Bloomfield, who has performed several times for the Valley Rep. The character Cubby is played by Mark Vogel, and Sylvia is performed by Suzanne Robertson.

Rehearsals for “The Golden State” began in September, and dress rehearsals were scheduled to begin for Oct. 26. Actors have a total of at least 10 rehearsals before the show opens, but they also put in extra stage time preparing their accents for this production.

“Five of the 10 actors had to learn accents,” said Eaton. “There are two acts to the play, with three scenes in the first act and two scenes in the second act.”

Tickets are on sale now at the web site, or by calling the new box office ticket number, 860-810-6152. If you buy your tickets online, by photo or in person before the show, they are $10 for adults, and $8 for youth up to age 18 and senior citizens age 60 and older. If you buy at the door on the night of the performances, tickets are $12 and $10, for adults and seniors/youth.

The Valley Repertory Company is located at 100 High St., in Enfield, in the former senior center. Its small, white building is a former church. Parking is free directly across the street.


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