Charles M. Schulz’s and Vince Guaraldi’s
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
based on the 1965 TV special
Opens on December 2 – 11, 2016
Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:0opm
Produced by Cindy MacKechnie/Directed by Art Kilmer
Music Direction by Carol Mahany/Choreography by Andie Asacker
Buy reserved online tickets on this website (NO Additional Fees for Online Sales!)
Show Proposal Form for 2017/2018 Season!
If you’ve ever been interested in putting on a show, this is your chance. We welcome first-timers and experienced volunteers interested in directing, producing, and creating the best of the best here at Essex Community Players!
Please take a look at our brief show proposal form if you have a show in mind. We are happy to help you fill positions that you may need to enhance your production and make it everything you want it to be.
We are about four weeks into rehearsals for this masterpiece. The actors are learning their lines diligently. The set, lighting, and props folks are all assembling materials and supplies as they prepare for the day we will transform Memorial Hall into a hardscrabble tenant farm carved out of the rocky terrain of the unforgiving Connecticut countryside in 1923.
I never cease to be amazed at the dedication actors show. Here is a group of people who are working very hard together to create something that transcends the banality of everyday life – that soars toward genuine art. They are not getting paid, but you’d think they were earning fat paychecks, given their work ethic.
What I love most is watching actors assimilate the words on the page and take in the direction, and transform from Kevin Cahoon and Lauren Patterson and Frank Kehoe and Devon Ewalt and Ethan Alsruhe into Mike Hogan and Josie Hogan and Phil Hogan and Jim Tyrone and T. Stedman Harder – full-fledged, believable characters that get richer and more complex with each rehearsal. And when you have a play as sensitive, as hilarious, and as sad as A Moon for the Misbegotten is, the potential to create something very special for the audience gets more attainable every day. We are working toward that day when audience members file into the hall and, instead of watching a play, they will become immersed in an unforgettable, profound, and beautiful experience.
This is the first in a series of blog posts by director Adam Cunningham. Check in weekly for updates – and, by all means, come and see A Moon for the Misbegotten in October!
I can’t believe we’ve already been in rehearsals for almost three weeks. Good things are happening.
I first read this play about three years ago. Immediately, it grabbed me by the metaphorical lapels and shook me. O’Neill believed that life was inherently tragic, but that beauty – man’s noble attempt to carve joyous order out of malevolent chaos – endowed our common struggle with meaning. In this play, situated on a small, hardscrabble tenant farm in Connecticut in 1923, we see that duality laid out like a rich tapestry unfurled before us.
Jim Tyrone is a hopeless alcoholic, undermined by self-loathing shame, and hollowed out by two decades wasted cozying up to the bottle and cheap women. Josie, the bulwark of the tenant farm, is his friend, who, despite her naive infatuation for him, recognizes the poetic soul within the corroded edifice of Jim’s failing body. An unlikely love interest, Josie is, as written by O’Neill, an unattractive, oversized hulk of a woman, as far from the petite tarts Jim usually runs with as her irascible, hard-drinking Irish father, Phil, is from the nouveau riche protestant snobs that live on an estate nearby.
Circumstances bring Jim and Josie together in one of the tenderest – and most harrowing – love scenes ever written. It is during this transformative night, under an ambiguously incandescent full moon, that Jim finds the forgiveness he so desperately needs, and Josie discovers the bottomless depth of her true beauty.
This play is a precious, multifaceted diamond fashioned out of the prosaic carbon of base human existence both by O’Neill’s artistry and the aspirations of the human soul.
It is a great pleasure to be working with the actors in this play:
Kevin Cahoon plays Mike, Josie’s younger brother, who escapes the tyranny of the farm to chase the illusion of freedom;
Lauren Patterson plays Josie, the sensitive, poetic soul trapped (she thinks) in an odious body, forever fated to feign sexual promiscuity in order to hide her virginity, which has been frozen in the amber of fear that she is too disgusting to ever be loved, but who loves Jim unconditionally – first with a school girl’s innocence, but later, with the wisdom of a mature and beautiful woman.
Frank Kehoe plays Phil, Josie’s scheming, mischievous, combative, hard-drinking father, a proud Irishman who, in his youth, fled his native land’s poverty to carve out a meager existence on this small, rocky piece of earth. Phil uses his stereotypical Irish behavior to mask a surprisingly tender love for Josie.
Devon M. Ewalt plays Jim, the tortured, alcoholic, fifth-rate actor who has never been able to escape his shame – a profound and debilitating self-loathing that was imposed on him early and led to his flight to the illusory comfort of bourbon, which only serves to rot his body even as it fuels more self-loathing. A lost soul who lives in a black hole of nihilism, Jim desperately needs forgiveness so that he can die in peace. He loves Josie more than he knows, and his natural, life-affirming stirrings draw him further toward her light – and the light of salvation.
Ethan Alsruhe plays T. Stedman Harder, the heir to a fortune and owner of the lavish estate that butts against the Hogans’ shard of rocky land. Harder is mortified to be living so close to white trash, and, when Phil’s pigs invade Harder’s ice pond, Harder confronts the Hogans in order to reclaim his property – and to affirm his place in the social hierarchy that Phil Hogan so contemptuously disdains.
ANNOUNCING OUR CAST for Eugene O’Neill’s
“A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN”
Tickets will be on sale at www.essexplayers.com on September 1, 2016
Our 2016/2017 Season
Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon For The Misbegotten” – OCT 2016
Charles M. Schulz’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – DEC 2016
Sarah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss” – FEB/MAR 2017
George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” – MAY 2017
AUDITIONS ARE FROM 1:00-5:00 SUNDAY, JULY 17 AT MEMORIAL HALL IN ESSEX; AND FROM 6:30-9:00 MONDAY, JULY 18 AT THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN ESSEX.
A Moon For The Misbegotten – script
***Audition Sides ***