University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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June 25, 2004


Acclaimed "On Golden Pond" Opens 38th Summer Theatre Season

The critically acclaimed Broadway hit play "On Golden Pond" opens the 38th season of the St. Croix Valley Summer Theatre, July 6 - 10. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Davis Theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building on the campus of UW-River Falls.

The touching drama by Ernest Thompson is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for their 48th year. Norman is an elderly retired professor with heart palpitations and a failing memory--but still tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Wife Ethel is 10 years younger and the perfect foil for Norman. She delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together.

The SCVST production features retired UW-RF professor Mike Norman as Norman and popular River Falls Community Theatre actor Sandee Blakeley as Ethel.

Director Ken Hill returns for his third season with the SCVST in River Falls. He previously directed "The Miracle Worker" and "You Can't Take It With You." Hill is a professor of theatre at Ripon (Wis.) College.

"'On Golden Pond' is a humorous and touching story of love that is both endearing and enduring," says Hill. "It gives us hope that it is never too late to connect with our family, to renew our love, and to grow. Written in the late 1970s, 'On Golden Pond' has become one of the favorites of world theatre and film audiences. It is a timeless and timely piece that will delight and touch the SCVST audience."

In the play, the Thayers start the summer with the arrival of their divorced daughter, Chelsea, and her dentist fiancˇ. The couple goes to Europe leaving their young son behind for the summer. He quickly becomes the grandchild Norman and Ethel never had. But the summer idyll on the lake does not last. In the final moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together during a crisis. Though they know time is against them, the years have been kind and perhaps yet another summer "On Golden Pond" awaits them.

The movie adaptation of the play starred Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. The actors won Best Actress and Best Actor Oscars for their performances.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $9 for students and seniors, $8 for children 12 and under, and $5 for UWRF students. Tickets may be purchased at the SCVST Box Office in the KFA lobby from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the nights of performances. Reservations may also be made by calling the box office at (715) 425-3114 or 1-800-228-5423.

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