“Love Letters” premieres Friday Feb. 9 at Marion Civic Theatre and will be the debut show for first time director, Priscilla Alter.
Alter has been in the theatre world for many years but is excited to have come full circle by directing her first play.
“I’ve done most of the backstage, I’ve been onstage, and it’s kind of nice to be on this side of that stage … it’s kind of cool to all come full circle,” Alter said.
According to the Marion Civic Theatre webpage, the play is about two people, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner. The two characters grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences over forty years of exchanging letters.
Although the show is titled “Love Letters” the female lead, Marsha Vermilion, said the play is not all about romance.
“It’s a great nontraditional love story … romance is really a rather minor part of the relationship that Andy and Melissa have. It’s their friendship and their understanding of who they really are at the soul level that is truly the enduring love,” Vermilion said. “To use the vernacular of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’… I’d say Andy and Melissa are each other’s people. So it’s a great show in that sense.”
This specific play is unique in the fact that the characters are not memorizing their lines but reading directly from the letters they have on stage. Male lead, Brian Sprayue, said he thinks reading the letters on stage is more authentic.
“Honestly the idea of reading the actual letters that we have supposedly been writing for forty years back and forth and not memorizing them feels more authentic … I was really looking forward to that,” Sprayue said.
Both the director and cast hope people come and enjoy the show.
“I’m actually getting really excited about opening night! And hoping that we fulfill the expectations of people who come to see,” Sprayue said.
Performances are Feb. 9-10 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a matinee Feb. 11 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. Adult tickets are $12, and tickets for seniors and students are $10.
“I just think if you’re in for a good time, and for a good laugh, cry a little … it’s a great show,” Alter said.