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"On Golden Pond"

"On Golden Pond"

Director comments on 'On Golden Pond'

"On Golden Pond," a touching, funny, and warmly perceptive play by Ernest Thompson, will be performed July 13-29 at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

"On Golden Pond" offers a light-hearted look at a loving marriage in its golden years. Director Janan Terpstra encourages people to come see the show and not to "assume that because you've seen the movie you know the story. The play is much funnier and lighter than people would expect." Terpstra is pleased that the actors in the cast handily capture the humor in the script.

The story centers around a spirited elderly couple returning for their 48th summer to their cottage on a lake called Golden Pond. The sweetness of the romance between Norman and Ethel Thayer is offset by conflict with their adult daughter, Chelsea, and the rebelliousness of a young teenager, Billy Ray.

The cast for "On Golden Pond" consists of Jim Reidenbach (Hudson) as Norman Thayer, Cynthia Elmquist (Marine on St. Croix) as Ethel Thayer, Darcy Bell-Myers (Stillwater) as Chelsea, Bruce Bell-Myers (Stillwater) as Chelsea's fiancé Bill Ray, Landon McDermott (North Oaks) as his son Billy, and Scott H. Peterson (Hudson) as Charlie. Terpstra feels the cast is very well-balanced, and will offer audience some new faces in addition to familiar actors.

"In addition to highlighting the comedy, the cast portrays a very believable family," says Terpstra. "They look like a family, their interactions are characteristic of a family, and they will remind our audience members of their own families. Everyone has had family conflicts, health issues, and rebellious circumstances to deal with. This play will touch everyone and remind them of a situation they have faced."

Terpstra enjoys The Phipps because "It provides quality theater in our own backyard. Phipps productions are excellent and can be compared to other non-equity theater in the Twin Cities. The sets are gorgeous, the production staff and volunteers are friendly, and the productions feature great casts."

Terpstra has both directed and performed at the center and at theaters in River Falls, New Richmond, and Baldwin. She has produced and directed shows for her own outdoor theater company, St. Croix Classic Theater, with shows at local parks and the Octagon House.

Performances will be given July 13-29 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students of all ages, with a $2 discount for the opening weekend, and a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. Discounts are also available by purchasing season tickets.

Champagne brunch cruise and theater packages are available for the Sunday matinees. Reservations may be made by contacting Afton-Hudson Cruise Lines at (651) 436-8883 or online at