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Guilford Plays Next Weekend

“Wonderful, little plays,” is the comment of a cast member at a recent rehearsal, as all of us involved in the Guilford Center Stage fall production are discovering that these short plays, which have been sleeping on the printed page for 7 decades, are both moving and entertaining on stage.

I have known these plays since before my mother died in 1963, and always hoped to see them come to life. It’s been very rewarding to watch our fine director and skilled community actors work on these pieces, and we look forward to sharing them with you next weekend.

To Their Appointed End, is the title of our production, four short plays by Jean Stewart McLean, presented here for the first time.   The production commemorates the centenary of the playwright..

Performances are Friday and Saturday, October 6 & 7, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday the 8th at 2 pm, upstairs at Broad Brook Grange, 3940 Guilford Center Rd.

A cast of 18 community actors will perform the plays, which average about 20 minutes in length.  William Stearns directs.

The cast is: Nancy Detra, Ian Hefele, Jenny Holan, Julie Holland,  Joel Kaemmerlen, Glenn Letourneau, Todd W. Mandell,  Nan Mann, Evelyn McLean, Cris Parker-Jennings, Maryann Parrott, Arthur Pettee,  Jen Rainville, Genevieve Redmond, Marvin Shedd, Susan Shedd,  William Stearns,  and Bob Tucker. 

Jess Rodrigues is handling our wardrobe, with Maria Pugnetti designing the lighting.  Music includes a 1940 recording of the playwright’s mother playing Chopin!  Sue Shedd is our Stage Manager.

The future playwright was born in Rahway, New Jersey in 1917.  The family lived in the rectory of the Episcopal church where her father was the minister, thus she grew up in a setting which particularly informs two of these plays. 

The show opens with The Vine, a drama about a young man who has a deep-seated dependence on a large vine growing outside his family home.

Two of the plays are based on the author’s upbringing in a church family.  In To Their Appointed End, an aged minister faces the possibility he will have to retire.  In a sort of sequel,  the comedy, Where the Saints Have Trod finds a young minister challenged by his new congregation’s fond memories of his much-beloved predecessor.


The finale, Happy Hollidays, is a fast-paced comedy about the Hollidays, a theatrical couple who host a radio show from their New York apartment.  To their listeners, they are a happy couple.  Off the air is a different matter.

         Seen here: Marvin Shedd and Nan Mann rehearsing a             moment from Happy Hollidays

General admission is $10.  Cash or check will be accepted at the box office.  For those wishing to use a credit or debit card, you may go to Brown Paper Tickets at  bpt.me/2792780 or   1-800-838-3006.

Hope you can join us!  Don McLean, producer.


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