Totem Pole Playhouse 2005 season

June 16, 2005

The 55th season for Totem Pole Playhouse provides a variety of theatrical experiences with six productions this summer, said Carl Schurr, producing artistic director.

They include the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy-drama "Proof," the classic mystery-comedy "Ten Little Indians," and the romantic comedy "Mixed Emotions."

Schurr's Thunderbird Limited production company hired about 50 people for the summer theater, including about 25 actors, said Wil Love, associate artistic director. The shows are put on by professionals, including members of Actors' Equity Association and Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Actors are cast in late winter and early spring, including three days in New York City as required by the actors union to make sure everyone has a chance to be seen, Love said.

During those three days, he and Schurr saw an actor every three minutes for eight hours. "It's pretty intense," Love said.


Shows are performed at Totem Pole Playhouse, a cozy wooden and stone theater with wagon-wheel chandeliers, air conditioning that was added just two years ago and seating to accommodate 453 people.

The theater is set in the woods, in part of Caledonia State Park inside Michaux State Forest.

At Totem Pole Playhouse this season:

n "Nunsense" by Dan Goggin, being staged through Sunday, June 19. This is an "extraordinary successful piece of theater" never before done at Totem Pole, Schurr said.

Hit musical is about the Little Sisters of Hoboken, who create a fundraiser performance to bury the sisters who died unexpectedly.

"It's a terrific way to kick off the season. It's pure silliness," Schurr said.

n "Funny Money" by Ray Cooney, June 21 to July 3. The farcical tale of a mild-mannered accountant who accidentally picks up the wrong briefcase - one full of money - and decides to keep it.

n "Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie, July 5 to 17. Christie's classic mystery-comedy gives the audience a chance to be armchair detectives as dinner guests begin disappearing.

n "My Three Angels" by Sam and Bella Spewack, July 19 to 31. A classic family comedy that takes place in 1910 in French Guiana as three charming convicts hired to repair a leaking roof end up enchanting the shopkeeper's family and solve all of their problems.

n "Proof" by David Auburn, Aug. 2 to 14. The director and cast members, including Schurr, from the Everyman Theatre production in Baltimore will perform the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play. The comedy-drama tells the story of a woman and her famous mathematician father, who is unstable; her estranged but caring sister; and a young student who adds a touch of romance.

n "Mixed Emotions" by Richard Baer, Aug. 16 to 28. Romantic comedy about a 61-year-old and a 65-year-old who have been friends for more than 30 years. When she decides to leave New York City for Florida, he has just 18 hours to persuade her to stay with him.

Players meet the crowd

Audience members can chat with and ask questions of the cast and crew during the following post-show discussions:

n "Funny Money" - Thursday, June 23

n "Ten Little Indians" - Friday, July 8

n "My Three Angels" - Wednesday, July 27

n "Proof" - Thursday, Aug. 11

n "Mixed Emotions" - Friday, Aug. 26

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