(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Since Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007), the author of "Slaughterhouse-Five," would have been 100 this year, the Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company is celebrating the occasion by offering three of his charming stories in "Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love.)" Adapted by Aaron Posner, these humorous tales filled with heart take place in the small town of North Crawford, Connecticut in 1962.
The first tale, "Long Walk to Forever," is about a soldier who goes AWOL so he can hitchhike home to talk his childhood sweetheart out of marrying the wrong man. In the next one, "Who Am I This Time?," a new woman in town falls in love with the man she's performing with in the community theater production of "A Streetcar Named Desire." The last of the trio, "Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son," centers on a successful writer who realizes that being married to a film star can be difficult.
This comedy runs from July 27 – September 3, every Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM at The Cape May Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, where ELTC is in residence. Tickets are $35; $30 senior; $20 full-time student and military (active/retired/vet); and ages 12 and under are free.
The cast for the most part will be familiar to ELTC patrons. Veronique Hurley, Mat Labotka, and Mark Edward Lang were in "The Rainmaker" in 2019 and Alison J. Murphy last trod the ELTC boards in "Ah, Wilderness!" Andrew Lofredo worked backstage for ELTC in 2019 and performed in "Tales in the Backyard," in 2020. New to ELTC are Liz Mattera and Nathan Garcia. Liz is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Nathan is currently taking film and theater classes at Anne Arundel Community College in Annapolis where he recently performed in "Clue." He retired from the New York City Police Department as a Detective in 2017 and from the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Chief Petty Officer in 2019.
Playwright Aaron Posner is currently an Associate Professor at American University in Washington, D.C. He's directed more than 100 productions at major regional theaters and written about 20 plays, all (but one) of which are adaptations of short stories, novels, novellas, or plays.
Costume designer Gail Kennedy works regularly at The Metropolitan Opera. Stage manager Amanda Brinlee has worked both backstage and on stage for ELTC.
Gayle Stahlhuth is directing "Who Am I This Time?" and taking on a small role. Since 1999, as producing artistic director, she's brought to life over 120 different shows for ELTC, most of them with her husband, Lee O'Connor, who was the technical director until 2021. She not only produces and directs for ELTC, but also functions as managing and marketing director, grant writer, set and sound designer, prop mistress, house manager, and the person who takes reservations on the phone, which means putting in fifty and sixty-hour work weeks most of the year. Her last vacation was in 2004. At the end of this year, she'll be leaving ELTC so she can work for other theaters, get back to her playwriting, and take a vacation.
The nonprofit ELTC would not be able to produce without the financial support of New Jersey Council for the Arts, The Department of Travel and Tourism, Department of State, and Season Sponsors La Mer Beachfront Resort, The Washington Inn, and Curran Investment Management. The Sponsor for this show is Just for Laughs, a store on the Washington Mall in Cape May. ELTC is also thankful for contributions from foundations and many individuals.
Meanwhile, "Dorothy Parker: A Certain Woman" runs through July 23, and "Tales of the Victorians" continues at 4:00 PM on Thursdays at different venues. The next one will be at End of the Road Theater on July 28. For more information about East Lynne Theater Company visit eastlynnetheater.org or call 609-884-5898.
PHOTO: The cast of ELTC's "Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love)": Mat Labotka, Mark Edward Lang, Nathan Garcia, Andrew Lofredo, Veronique Hurley, Gayle Stahlhuth, Alison J. Murphy, and Liz Mattera. Photo credit: Amanda Brinlee