Struthers finds nonstop laughs in 'Nunsense'

October 23, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Actress Sally Struthers has this thing about stopping: She doesn't like to do it.

"You've got to keep moving to create a breeze," said Struthers in a phone interview during a tour stop in Massachusetts.

Struthers has the lead role as Mother Superior in a 25th anniversary production of "Nunsense," directed by its creator Dan Goggin.

The show is coming to Gettysburg's Majestic Theater for a one-night-only show Friday.

Struthers said that in an environment when good work is getting harder to come buy, she's glad to still be in the business. She doesn't envy today's batch of up and coming actors who face fewer opportunities for roles because of reality shows and tighter budgets from movie makers.


"It means a lot to me to be able to say I'm a working actress," Struthers said.

Struthers is known to many as Gloria from "All in the Family" and as the lady from those International Christian Children's Fund commercials. Recently, Struthers had a recurring role on The CW's "Gilmore Girls."

But what you might not have known is that Struthers' roots are in theater, where she started before she starred in primetime TV.

"I've done so much theater it's crazy," Struthers said.

Struthers was in the Broadway revival of "Grease" in the 1990s. She starred in Broadway productions of "The Odd Couple" and "Wally's Cafe" in the 1980s. She was in the 20th anniversary tour of "Annie," cast as Miss Hannigan, and has been in various other productions including "Hello Dolly," "The Fifth of July" and "The Full Monty."

Outside of theater, Struthers is a watercolorist, oil painter and crossword puzzle maniac. She's no longer as involved with the International Christian Children's Fund, but she still sponsors kids.

Through the Christian Children's Fund, Struthers used to travel to impoverished places world wide. She recalled visiting a garbage heap in the Philippines called "Smoky Mountain," where people lived and sold what they could find for money.

During her visit to Smoky Mountain, she witnessed the funeral of a man who was murdered elsewhere. His body was dumped at the trash heap. She said you could see the body because the casket had no lid. Some one had cut off his nose. The people who lived there were strangers to the man, but they still gave him a funeral.

"These people rose above their existence to give him a dignified funeral," Struthers said.

Today Struthers lives in Southern California, though recently "home" has been in and out of hotels and on and off tour buses for the "Nunsense" tour. Life on the road has its downside, Struthers said, the perks present themselves every time she hits the stage.

"To me, music is hearing people laugh," Struthers said. "That's always been my music."

If you go ...

WHAT: Sally Struthers in "Nunsense," a musical comedy directed by the play's creator Dan Goggin

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24

WHERE: Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle St. Gettsyburg, Pa.

COST: $59, $62, $65

MORE: For ticket information, go to or call 717-337-8200.

The Herald-Mail Articles