On Golden Pond

Sponsored by

  • Two Friends
  • The Richard A. and Mary T. Whitney Fund for the Arts
  • Susan S. Kettering
  • Patti Giering

On Golden Pond

by Ernest Thompson
directed by Richard E. Hess

April 6 – 23, 2017

For forty-eight years, Norman Thayer and his energetic wife, Ethel, have been spending the summers at their lakeside home on Golden Pond, fishing and watching for loons. This year, their divorced daughter, Chelsea, her new fiancé and his teenage son make an unexpected visit. When Norman develops an unlikely friendship with the boy, it reinvigorates the grumpy retired professor and highlights the rocky relationship between this father and his now middle-aged daughter. As the summer days grow short, there is still time for their family to heal, and to rediscover the joys in everyday life.

Run time: 2 hours 10 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission

Sponsored by

  • Two Friends
  • The Richard A. and Mary T. Whitney Fund for the Arts
  • Susan S. Kettering
  • Patti Giering

Performance Schedule

  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun Apr 23
  • MonApr 24
  • MonApr 25
  • MonApr 26
  • MonApr 27
  • MonApr 28
  • MonApr 29

Special Performance Legend

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Thursday night Preview Performance

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Inside Track pre-show discussion, begins in the Loft lobby at 7:15 pm

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Opening Night with post-show cast party in the Loft lobby

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Sawbuck Sunday, all available seats just $10 at the door starting 2 hours prior to performance

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Lite Fare food and drink available for sale in the Loft lobby starting at 5:30 pm

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Audio Described / Sign Interpreted performance (available with two weeks notice)

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Talk Back: “While We’re on the Subject” post-show discussion (following the matinee performance)

Creative Team

Ernest Thompson • Playwright

Ernest Thompson • Playwright

Mr. Thompson is an author and director. His plays include Answers, On Golden Pond (Broadway, 1979; Best Play, Broadway Drama Guild), The West Side Waltz (starring Katharine Hepburn; Broadway, 1981), A Sense of Humor (Jack Lemmon), The One about the Guy in the Bar (Off-Broadway, 1987), The Valentine Fairy (Off-Off-Broadway, 1993), Murdering Mother (Seacoast Repertory Theatre, 1994), Zipless (Off-Off-Broadway, 1994), Amazons in August (Generic Theatre, Norfolk, VA, 1994), Rip Your Heart Out (Arena Stage New Plays, 1996), Another Summer (the musical version of On Golden Pond, Seacoast Rep), The Penis Responds (Off-Off-Broadway, 2000), and White People Christmas (Zephyr Theatre, Hollywood, 2003). His film and television credits include Answers (Arts and Entertainment; Burgess Meredith, Eileen Brennan), On Golden Pond (Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda; Academy Award, Golden Globe), Sweet Hearts Dance (Susan Sarandon, Jeff Daniels), 1969 (Robert Downey, Jr., Winona Ryder), Take Me Home Again (NBC, Kirk Douglas, Craig T. Nelson), The West Side Waltz (CBS, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli), Out of Time (Showtime, co-writer), and the CBS Special Live On Golden Pond (Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer). ernestthompson.us

Richard E. Hess+ • Director

Richard E. Hess+ • Director

Richard has been chair of the CCM Acting Department at the University of Cincinnati for the past 23 years. He is so proud of former acting students now appearing on stage, on television, and in films across the country and around the world. As a proud Resident Artist, directing credits for The Human Race Theatre Company include Miracle on South Division Street, Red, Race, Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza, Doubt, I Am My Own Wife, A Delicate Balance, The Drawer Boy, Proof, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Little Night Music, The Fantasticks, All in the Timing, After Play, Beau Jest, and his first collaboration with The Human Race Theatre in 1993, Speed-the-Plow. Associate Member: Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Mark Halpin • Scenic Designer

Mark is an Assistant Professor of Stage Design at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he has designed over 40 Productions. On Golden Pond is Mark’s seventeenth design for HRTC, some previous favorites including Proof, Seussical, and A Delicate Balance. Mark has designed scenery for Williamstown Theater Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Arizona Opera, Ensemble Theater Company, Stages St. Louis, Theater by the Sea, and Honolulu Theater for Youth. He has created scenery for numerous theme parks, zoos, cruise ships, and corporate clients, including Universal Studios - Florida, LegoLand Windsor, Radisson and Princess Cruise Lines, and Steven Spielberg’s The Dive restaurant. Fond of exploring far-ranging creative pursuits, Mark has created word puzzles appearing in The New York Times and on NPR’s Ask Me Another, and his original musical The Kid in the Dark (directed by Richard Hess!) was named Cincinnati’s Best Alternative Production in 2007.

Kathie Brookfield • Costume Designer

Kathie is a Costume Designer/Technician with over 40 years of professional experience. She has designed and/or built costumes professionally for theatres in Wisconsin (Wilson Street East Dinner Playhouse, Fireside Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Great American Children’s Theatre, Melody Top, American Players Theatre), Texas (Capitol City Theatre), Missouri (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Utah (Utah Shakespearean Festival), Tennessee (Theatre Memphis and University of Memphis), and Ohio (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Costume Gallery, The Human Race Theatre Company). She has received awards for both her design and technical work from Design Texas, USITT Ohio Valley, and The League of Cincinnati Theatres. She served as the Costume Studio Manager at the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music for 24 years (1984-2008) when she decided to return to professional theatre work as a freelance Designer/Technician. Returning to American Players Theatre in 2014 brought her “home” in many ways after a 30 year absence, having been a draper there during the 1981-1984 seasons. On Golden Pond is the second collaboration with Richard Hess at The Human Race Theatre.

John Rensel+ • Lighting Designer

John is the long-term Resident Lighting Designer for The Human Race Theatre Company, Muse Machine, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Pops series and Dayton Opera Association. He also serves as the long-time Technical Director for the Fraze Pavilion and has provided technical advance production coordination, lighting designs, automation programming and performance operation services for many artists and productions that have visited that venue. John also has a diverse dance lighting background, having provided lighting designs and technical production services for many years to The Dayton Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. John’s national credits included a lighting design package for a National Touring Production of the Elton John/Tim Rice collaboration Aida. Some of his most recent local credits include all the designs for the 2015-16 Human Race Theatre Company’s season at the Loft Theatre; Muse Machine’s productions at the Victoria Theatre and the Dayton Opera Association’s 2015-16 season at the Schuster Center. John freely admits that he often loses his copies of the shows’ scripts.

Jay Brunner+ • Composer/Sound Designer

Jay Brunner+ • Composer/Sound Designer

Jay’s HRTC Sound Design/Original Composition credits include: 26 Pebbles, Hail Mary!, The Glass Menagerie, Sweeney Todd, Taking Shakespeare, Crowns and others. Music Director/Musician credits: Fiddler on the Roof, Mame, Play It by Heart, Next to Normal, Avenue Q and others. Jay has designed sound/incidental music for countless voiceovers, regional commercials, radio spots, training videos, collegiate theatre projects, marching bands, clubs, and organizations, as well as conjuring sound at many venues throughout the region. He owns and runs a professional recording studio (Ardmore Underground) with his wife, fellow HRTC Resident Artist Christine Brunner.

Lexi Muller* • Production Stage Manager

Lexi is thrilled to be returning to the Loft Theatre, where her previous productions include 26 Pebbles, The Santaland Diaries, Hail Mary!, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, One Slight Hitch and The Glass Menagerie. Other regional credits include Dayton Philharmonic’s Best of Broadway II concert at the Schuster Center. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and also a recent graduate of Wright State University, where she received her BFA in Stage Management

Cast

Kaleb Barlow • Billy Ray

Kaleb Barlow • Billy Ray

Kaleb was born on November 1, 2000 in Dayton, Ohio. Currently attending Stivers School for the Arts, Kaleb is a young actor eager to get his start in the professional film and theatre world. He is appearing in his first major role as Billy Ray in On Golden Pond. Kaleb would like to thank Mrs. Gina Minyard and Shanessa Sweeney, his theatre magnet teachers, for the opportunity, The Human Race Theatre Company for the role, and his family and friends for the support.

Charlie Clark* • Charlie Martin

Charlie Clark* • Charlie Martin

Charlie is thrilled to return to The Human Race and Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Clark graduated from Wright State University and was classmates with Jennifer Joplin. Previous Human Race productions include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Dayton Stories Project tour, The Rocky Horror Show and Patient A. He also recently sang with the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus as Harvey Milk. Charlie has stayed in the Midwest, working and living in Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and now Minneapolis. Credits include Luna Gale; Hands on a Hardbody; Rapture,Blister,Burn; Church Girls; Next to Normal; Next Fall; Grey Gardens; Carousel; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Full Monty; Sunday in the Park with George; Take Me Out; See What I Wanna See; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Merrily We Roll Along and Company among others. Mr. Clark would like to thank his wife, Greta, and sons Ben, Jack and Owen for letting him play.

Ken Early* • Bill Ray

Ken Early* • Bill Ray

Mr. Early is excited to be making his Human Race Theatre debut in On Golden Pond. A Cincinnati native and resident, Mr. Early’s regional credits include: Jitney and To Kill a Mockingbird at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Around the World in 80 Days at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati; Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He’s thankful to God, family, church members and friends for their support.

Dale Hodges* • Ethel Thayer

Dale Hodges* • Ethel Thayer

Dale is delighted to be back at The Human Race, where she previously performed in Angels in America, Part One; After Play; Steel Magnolias and Romeo and Juliet. Since joining Actors’ Equity in 1974, Dale has appeared in over 120 productions, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and in regional theatres around the country. In 1988, she moved from New York City to Cincinnati where she has worked at all the major theatres in the region, as well as spending 13 summers with Peterborough Players in New Hampshire, an area of beautiful lakes like Golden Pond. Some favorite acting memories are in Wit; Seascape; Long Day’s Journey into Night; Other Desert Cities; Noises Off; Mrs. Mannerly; Driving Miss Daisy; 23 years of A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse, and her two musical credits, Grey Gardens and The Fantasticks. Dale was a Fellow at Ten Chimneys in Madison, Wisconsin in 2014, is married to counselor David Logan, and has a son, Sebastian, and a stepson, Hugh.

Jennifer Joplin*+ • Chelsea Thayer Wayne

Jennifer Joplin*+ • Chelsea Thayer Wayne

Jennifer is thrilled to be back at HRTC, having just closed their world premiere of 26 Pebbles. Local audiences may also remember Ms. Joplin as “Amanda Wingfield” in The Glass Menagerie, “Brooke” in Other Desert Cities, and “Annette” in God of Carnage. She’s been honored to work with director Richard Hess previously in Proof, Doubt and Miracle on South Division Street. Originally from St. Louis, Jen has worked nationally as an actress, corporate trainer, voiceover artist and teacher. Some of her other favorite roles include “Rosemary Muldoon” in Outside Mullingar and “Gwen Harper” in Rapture, Blister, Burn at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati as well as “Lady Macbeth” and “Cleopatra” at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and a graduate of Wright State University. This production marks the 4th time she has shared the stage with her father, Joneal Joplin – her mentor, her friend, and her hero. All the love, Jop!

Joneal Joplin* • Norman Thayer

Joneal Joplin* • Norman Thayer

Jop is happy to return to The Human Race Theatre Company having previously appeared as “Joe Keller” in All My Sons and “Robert” in Proof (directed by Richard Hess) both with his daughter, Jen. He has performed in over 350 productions in the US and Canada. Some of his favorite roles (including the above) are “Lear” in King Lear, “Willy Loman” in Death of a Salesman, “Alfieri” in A View from the Bridge, “Tony Reilly” in Outside Mullingar, “Scrooge” in A Christmas Carol, “Judge Turpin” in Sweeney Todd, “Grandpa” in You Can’t Take It with You, “Captain Smith” in Titanic, and “Don Quixote” in Man of La Mancha. He has received multiple awards for his work as well as 4 Lifetime Achievement recognitions. The things he is most proud of are 50 years in Actors’ Equity, two terrific actors in the family, Jen and Jared, and the saint who makes everything possible and meaningful, his wife of 54 years, the incomparable, Janie.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
+Resident Artist of The Human Race Theatre Company.
The Director is an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union.