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Classic American Tales presents more "Tales at the Dormer House" in July

originally published: 07/01/2024

Classic American Tales presents more "Tales at the Dormer House" in July

Gayle Stahlhuth, photo by Katrina Ferguson

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Pulitzer-prize winner and Algonquin Round Table wit, Edna Ferber (1885 – 1968) wrote short stories, plays, and novels, many requiring extensive research. For example, she lived on a riverboat before writing "Show Boat." Many of her novels were adapted into other mediums, including "Show Boat" (musical) and "Giant." (movie). "The Royal Family" and "Dinner at Eight" were just two of the plays she wrote with George S. Kaufman.

On Thursday, July 11, Gayle Stahlhuth is reading her 45-minute solo show, "Fabulous Ferber," about this incredible woman. She received a commission from the Illinois and Missouri Humanities Council to create "Ferber" to perform on the Chautauqua Circuit, later turning this shorter version into 90 minutes to perform for East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May. Stahlhuth also received other writing and performing commissions from The National Portrait Gallery, and funding from the NJ Humanities Council, the NYS Council on the Arts, Utah State Arts Council, and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for the Arts. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, Actors' Equity Association, and is listed in the latest version of "The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre." The League of Professional Women honored her in 2016 for her work in theater.

"Fabulous Ferber" is presented by Classic American Tales’ (CAT) "Tales at the Dormer House."  Every Thursday at 4:00pm through October 10, except for July 4, "Tales" takes place at the historic Dormer House Bed and Breakfast, 800 Columbia Avenue in Cape May.  Performances are on the front porch, weather permitting, and inside otherwise. Guests are also treated to lemonade and tasty homemade treats. Cost is $12.00, cash at the door, and guests at The Dormer House and children ages 12 and under are free.

On July 18, Michele LaRue reads stories from "Gettysburg: One Woman's War" (1913) by Elsie Singmaster.  In Singmaster’s powerful novel, fictional townswoman Mary Bowman lives the war and its legacy—from the first shots at Willoughby Run to the consolation of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the country’s healing a half century on.  LaRue, who lives in Central Jersey, tours the country with a variety of short story readings in which she brilliantly defines each character, under the title "Tales Well Told."  She has performed several times on the East Lynne Theater Company stage as well as a variety of Cape May locations for her own "Tales."

CAT celebrates "Christmas in July" on July 25, with longtime favorites Stephanie Garrett and Frank Smith.  Both have performed in East Lynne Theater’s mainstage productions and read many stories on Cape May’s porches. Other performers and topics will be joining those mentioned here in the weeks to come.

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Reservations for "Classic Tales" are appreciated and may be made through CAT by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing Details about this and other CAT events are found on After 23 years serving as the producing artistic director of East Lynne Theater Company, Gayle Stahlhuth founded CAT in 2023 to tell America's stories "one tale at a time."  Through CAT she has been teaching acting and playwriting workshops, with the goal of these participants performing classic and new works in front of an audience.



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