Cast Announced For ON GOLDEN POND, Opens 6/11


Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, under the leadership of Executive Director Stacie Burgua, presents Ernest Thompson's love story On Golden Pond, at 565 Camano Avenue, Langley, WA, on Friday, June 11, 2010 (with performances continuing through June 26).

The production is directed by Tim Rarick (Barnstorming, This Child); and features Ed Cornachio as Norman Thayer and Shelley Hartle as his wife, Ethel. The cast includes Adam Schults (Charlie Martin), Gail Liston (Chelsea Thayer Wayne), Jack Hood (Billy Ray), and Brian Plebanek (Bill Ray).

Most love stories follow the standard format: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back. These stories often end with a kiss, an engagement, or a wedding. On Golden Pond is a love story, too. This one, however, is a touching, funny look at a romance in its "golden" years.

Norman Thayer, a cranky 80-year-old retired professor is making his annual pilgrimage with his wife Ethel to their New England summer cottage. Their solitude is interrupted by a visit from their estranged daughter and her fiancé, who go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the "grandchild" the elderly couple has longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness -- and slang -- in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll. In the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel discover that time is now against them, but perhaps another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.

Tickets range in price from $12 to $16, with discounts available for seniors, military, youth and groups, and are available from or 360.221.8268 - 800/638.7631. 

The Creative Team.

Tim Rarick (On Golden Pond - Director) has been involved in theatre since l970 as a teacher, playwright, director and producer. In those forty years, he has directed scores of plays and musicals many of them during his tenure at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where he was the theatre director from l986 though 2003. During that time he was also a practicing playwright and wrote (and often directed) a dozen of his plays in the northwest. When he retired from teaching, Tim moved to Whidbey Island and focused on writing primarily... and occasionally directing plays. In the past five years, he completed a trilogy of plays concerning events in his mother's life between 1929-1940. These plays (The Moira Plays) were produced at North Idaho College between 2006 and 2009. The first in the trilogy, This Child, was produced at WICA in 2008. Other Credits at WICA include the A.R. Gurney play Sylvia (director) and Barnstorming (playwright/director).

The Cast.

Ed Cornachio (Norman) was last seen as playwright, Sidney Bruhl in the comedy-thriller, Deathtrap, a recent WICA production. A veteran of almost 50 stage productions, he first appeared on stage at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, Idaho in 1983, as Dr. Stuart Framingham in Beyond Therapy. Since then, his more memorable roles have included Willie Loman, Death of a Salesman; Cardinal Wolsey, Anne of the Thousand Days; Nat Miller, Ah Wilderness; Otto Frank, Diary of Anne Frank; Rev. Casey, Grapes of Wrath; Scrooge, A Christmas Carol; Van Helsing, Dracula; Willie Clark, Sunshine Boys; Frank, Over the River and Through the Woods; Nat, I'm not Rappaport; Harold, Orphans.

Shelley Hartle (Ethel) has been an actor on Whidbey for the past 25 years. Her work includes major roles in Crimes of the Heart, Agnes of God, Sea Marks, love is a place, Hamlet, Moon Over Buffalo, and The School for Scandal, to name a few. In Seattle, she appeared at the Northwest Actor's Studio in Miss Julie. And just two years ago, she toured western Ireland with the two Langley Marthas (Furey and Murphy), performing Talking With in Cork, Listowel and Lismore. Hartle has also narrated for the Seattle Peace Chorus and for Moving Images films. Over the years, she's worked on the other side of the footlights as musical director/stage director for Island Theater, Whidbey Children's Theater, and individual playwrights.

Gail Liston (Chelsea Thayer Wayne) has appeared at WICA as Kate in Sylvia, Dotty in Noises Off, Zorah in Inspecting Carol, and Mavis in The Murder Room. Other WICA shows include A Murder is Announced, Barnstorming, See How They Run, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Laramie Project. Elsewhere on Whidbey, she has been seen as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Winnie in Blue Virgins, and Elaine in Night Watch. Past favorite roles include Rosamund in The Robber Bridegroom, Lady Anne in Richard III, Beverly in The Shadow Box, and Jackie in Hay Fever, for which she won a Meritorious Achievement Award from the American College Theatre Festival. Gail has trained with Jose Quintero, Arthur Lessac, Tony nominee Lara Teeter, and members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and taught theatre at Cal State Fullerton, Victor Valley College, and Skagit Valley College.
Brian Plebanek (Bill Ray) WICA's opening show this season as Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Prior shows were at the Whidbey Playhouse in April 2009 as John Wheeler in Night Watch and in WICA's Inspecting Carol as Wayne in December 2008. Favorite musical roles include Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at WP (2008) and as Ernst in WICA's Cabaret (2007). Past favorite roles at WICA include Greg in the comedy hit Sylvia, the dual roles of Edgar and Abel in The Murder Room, Adult Ralph/Narrator in A Christmas Story, Clive in See How They Run, Darien in Blue Virgins at WCT, Patrick in A Murder is Announced, Lou Max in Seven Keys to Baldpate, Mr. Paravicini in The Mousetrap, Lane in The Importance of Being Earnest. Brian has been cast in Whidbey Playhouse's upcoming production of Chicago this September. Brian is also a singer/guitarist in the local band Breaded Fish and enjoyed singing in a special cameo appearance in WICA's production of The Laramie Project (2005). Brian is thrilled to be working with this cast of good friends and especially again with his wife, Gail Liston. Brian and Gail own Vino Amore Wine Shop in Freeland.
Adam Shults (Charlie Martin) made his first appearance at WICA in The Rocky Horror Show. He has appeared locally as Vernon in WCT's The Breakfast Club. In his idle time, he enjoys to sketch and to paint realistic portraits of people in everyday life. However, more than anything, Adam loves to sing. Most recently, he has taught himself to play the guitar and the harmonica, which he has combined with his singing. He has begun writing his own music and has developed an interest in folk music and the American songbook.

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