(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- In spite of not being able to perform as usual, East Lynne Theater Company's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, figured out how two of its programs can continue: "Tales of the Victorians" and the "Student Theater Workshop." "Tales" aren't taking place as usual on the porches of B&Bs, and the "Workshop," usually 9 days inside, is now 4 days outside in July, but still with a performance.
Stahlhuth was thinking of cancelling the workshop, but parents and guardians started reaching out to her, eager for the workshop to continue in some fashion. With the success of "Tales of the Victorians" taking place in a backyard, she decided to locate the workshop in a backyard, too. The "Student Summer Workshop" schedule is Monday July 27, Tuesday July 28, and Wednesday July 29 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm, with a performance at 4:00pm as part of the regularly scheduled "Tales of the Victorians," on July 30 at 4:00pm. Cost per student is $25.00. For information and application, click here.
Meanwhile, "Tales of the Victorians" continues every Thursday at 4:00pm. On July 2, Susan Tischler will read from her play "Helpful Hints," based on "Putnam's Household Handbook" (1916). ELTC commissioned her to write this comedy and perform it in 2008, under the direction of Karen Case Cook. Not only was it seen in Cape May, but it went on tour. Some of the "helpful hints" include how to wash your clothes in kerosene and the importance of a cheerful doctor.
On July 9, Stephanie Garrett and Lee O'Connor will read John L. Balderston's "A Morality Play for the Leisure Class” (1920) about a man who is given everything he wants – almost. Balderston is best known for writing the first successful adaptation of "Dracula" (1927), produced by ELTC in 2016. ELTC also produced his "Berkeley Square" based on Henry James' unfinished novel "A Sense of the Past," in which the hero time-travels between 1928 and 1784.
No decision yet about what will be read on July 16, but on July 23, Gayle Stahlhuth will read her one-act play, "Eve’s Diary," based on the writings of Mark Twain.
The only way to find out the Cape May location for "Tales of the Victorians," is to make a reservation by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing email@example.com. The cost is a minimum donation of $5.00, paid with cash, at the door. As usual at ELTC, ages 12 and under are free.
Until further notice, ELTC is making the following requests: please wear a mask, and sit where socially-distance seats have been cleaned and placed. They'll not be serving drinks and food, but guests may bring a beverage. No restroom facilities will be available.
Not in Cape May? ELTC is offering "Tales of the Victorians at Home." "Tales" on their YouTube Channel include the works of Poe, Service, Stowe, Glaspell, Stockton, Chopin, and Wells. To learn more about ELTC's "Tales of the Victorians," stories, performers, and where to find the videos, visit www.tinyurl.com/ELTC-tales.
Visit www.eastlynnetheater.org, for updates on streaming productions in July and August, and the 40th Anniversary Mainstage Season.
Photo: A student in a past "Student Theater Workshop" production