“Men pass on the family name – Women pass on the family stuff,” says Gayle Stahlhuth in her one-person play, “Goin’ Home.” She’ll be presenting highlights from this work at East Lynne Theater Company’s next “Tales in the Backyard” on Thursday, July 1 at 4:00 PM.
After her mother died in 1995, it was up to East Lynne Theater Company’s artistic director, Stahlhuth, an only child, to empty out the family home in Indianapolis. Treating this “de-cluttering” like an archaeological dig, Stahlhuth not only did the job by herself, but she created this touching and humorous play based on the experience. She received a New Jersey Humanities grant to tour it throughout New Jersey, and “Goin’ Home” was part of several one-person festivals, including one at Cape May Stage and “The Womenkind Festival” in New York City.
“Tales in the Backyard” are every Thursday at 4:00 PM through August 26 and reservations are required due to limited space. The location is revealed when making a reservation by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $5 cash-at-the-door, and ages 12 and under are free. Performers use microphones and every week is a different story, speech, or one-act.
For “Tales” on July 8, James Rana and Amanda Brinlee read letters between John Adams (1735-1826) and Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818). They exchanged over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John’s political career, until 1801. These loving and informative letters include John’s descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe, while Abigail wrote about their family, farm, and Boston, particularly during the Revolution.
Although decisions haven’t been made regarding material for upcoming readings, the following will be performing: Suzanne Dawson, who will read something humorous; Stephanie Garret will focus on Black writers; Sydia Cedeño Genat is looking to Latina personalities, and Phil Pizzi is considering various reporters and journalists.
All of the above have appeared in ELTC productions and have worked for other theaters. Stahlhuth and Dawson portrayed the two murderous sisters in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Genat and Pizzi have been in ELTC’s radio-style productions, Garret was in “Lost on the Natchez Trace,” and Brinlee performed in the virtual production of “Something to Vote For.” Rana, who has also been commissioned to write plays for ELTC, was in last year’s “Nothing Matters” about Ambrose Bierce. He was in the Broadway’s “The Band’s Visit” and will return to the national tour in the fall.
To learn more about ELTC’s “Tales in the Backyard,” stories, performers, and where to find videos, visit www.tinyurl.com/ELTC-tales. Not in Cape May? On April 30, 2020, ELTC began offering “Tales of the Victorians at Home” on ELTC’s YouTube Channel.
Meanwhile, ELTC’s mainstage production of “Vaudeville Variety” continues outside at West Cape May Borough Hall’s “Back Yard,” 732 Broadway, on the following Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM: July 10, 24, and 31, and Aug. 21 and 28. Sundays are the rain dates.
ELTC adheres to all regulations set forth by the State of New Jersey to ensure a safe and enjoyable theater going experience for our patrons, staff, volunteers, and artists.
In August, ELTC returns to its usual performance space, The Cape May Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, for its Student Summer Workshop, and the mainstage season goes inside from September through December. To learn more about ELTC’s season, visit eastlynnetheater.org.