Coldwater- With a rotating cast of Tibbits Summer Theatre alumni couples, Tibbits will present four readers theatre performances of “Love Letters” July 30-Aug 1 with a special retirement reception celebrating Tibbits’ Artistic Director Charles Burr following the Saturday matinee.
Time magazine sums up “Love Letters” perfectly: “Few plays have been tinier, or more beautiful than this tender sketch of the bond between two people who cannot live with, or without, each other.”
In this two-person production, letters exchanged over a lifetime create a unique and imaginative piece of theatre detailing a lifetime of correspondence and confidences despite each going their separate ways. Beginning with childhood thank you notes and postcards, moving into letters through boarding school, college and their adult lives navigating their marriages, children and daily struggles.
“Love Letters” will be presented with a different couple each performance. All of the performers have extensive history with Tibbits Summer Theatre, some going back more than 30 years. The 7pm opening night performance on Thursday, July 30 will feature Peter Riopelle and Stephanie Burdick. The Friday, July 31, 7pm show will showcase Craig Hammerlind and Suzanne Ogden Timler. The 2pm performance on Saturday, Aug 1 will feature Charles Burr and Gloria Logan, with the 7pm show that night showcasing Paul Kerr and Kiersten Vorheis.
While other summer theatre productions are fully staged readers theatre or concert-style performances, Tibbits Artistic Director Charles Burr said, “We aren’t taking any liberties with this production-We are doing exactly what the playwright wanted, which was sitting and reading the letters.”
“Each of our alumni couples has some sort of history with each other, whether they are friends who met here, began their relationship as a student/teacher, or are currently married. Each couple will bring a different value to the friendship that’s talked about in the play. Each show will be a very different reading because you have eight very distinct personalities which will seep through,” Burr continued.
Production supervision will be provided by Charles Burr. Catie Blencowe will provide lighting design, Leon Kriser with set design, and Weston Felker with sound design, with Rachel Marengere as stage manager and Bryce Dansby as Master Electrician.
“Love Letters” and the TST Season are presented through the generous sponsorship support of Coldwater Board of Public Utilities; Parrish Excavating, Inc.; and Frederick Family Dental. Additional sponsors include Coldwater Orthodontics; Dr. Jon & Seibra Herbener; Stan and Judy Bushouse; Great Lakes Chiropractic; Honor Credit Union; Coldwater Exchange Club; Matthew C. Christopher, DDS; and Vested Risk Strategies.
Tickets for “Love Letters” are $20 (including fees) for all seats, with discounts available to Tibbits members. Performances will run Thursday through Saturday, July 30, 31, and Aug 1 at 7pm with a 2pm matinee on Aug 1. A special retirement reception honoring Charles Burr will take place at 3:30 in the theatre after his 2pm performance on Aug 1.
To add to the Tibbits experience, Tibbits' Ghost Light Bar in the theatre’s elevator lobby is open before the show and at intermission. After the 7pm Aug 1 performance, the public is also invited to join the cast and crew for a talkback to discuss the show and ask questions.
Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, through the Tibbits Box office at the theatre 9 am to 5 pm weekdays or by calling 517-278-6029. All performances are held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. For more information call or visit Tibbits.org.
Tibbits has revamped its summer theatre schedule to respect social distancing guidelines and still offer the quality professional entertainment that has become synonymous with Tibbits Summer Theatre. Tibbits has added Plexiglas at points of sale, revised its seating, taken additional cleaning steps to ensure the safety of patrons and staff, and encourages the use of masks.