Hatbox to host ‘Love Letters’ for three weeks

Love Letters, a two-person play by A. R. Gurney, will be the next play staged at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord opening on Sept. 11.

The play is a Pulitzer Prize finalist. It follows the ever-changing relationship of Andrew and Melissa through 50-plus years of correspondence, starting at age 6 in first grade. Gurney deftly creates characters, their personal growth, locations, historic and cultural shifts through his articulate and often funny pen. It illustrates how relationships formed and flourished before the advent of television and the variety of ubiquitous screens that mold today’s lives.

Performances run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for members, seniors, and students and $12 for senior members. Tickets may be reserved by calling 715-2315 or purchased online at hatboxnh.com.

From Wayland Bunnell, the director: “Love Letters has been a favorite of mine for years. I saw the national tour at the Wilbur Theater in Boston with Julie Harris and Richard Kiley around 1990, and have directed about a dozen casts in New Hampshire. I strive to re-create the magic and simplicity of that introduction! For the past 36 years, The Community Players of Concord NH has been my theater home and I’ve worked in almost all capacities in about 130 productions there. I’m very glad (thank you Andrew Pinard) to be making my Hatbox “debut” directing two other Players’ veterans, Erik and Kathy Hodges.”

Love Letters is a wonderful relationship show that shares the entire lives of two people. Plus, what could ever be better than ‘writing’ love letters to my Erik?” said Kathy Hodges, who plays Melissa. “Last time I was on stage was Once on This Island (Community Players of Concord) five years ago. Other roles have been Sister Aloysius in Doubt (Players), Bloody Mary in South Pacific (Players and Majestic), Grandma Kurnitz in Lost in Yonkers (Majestic). Sharing a stage with Erik is an experience I don’t usually get. So, I am planning on making the most of this experience and having a great time.”

“I was drawn to the simplicity and intimacy of this play,” said Erik Hodges, who plays Andrew. “It’s a play that calls for both the audience and the actors to listen, and however socially distant we may have to be right now, it is listening that brings us together. I was also drawn to this production to be onstage with my darling wife, something that doesn’t happen often enough. I love the Hatbox experience as a performer and an audience member. The setting brings me back to a time when actors were not wired for sound or moved on hydraulic stages. With fifty plus years as a performer in the Concord area, this place feels the most like home.”

Hatbox Theatre is located at the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord.

Mask use will be required for all patrons and production crew. Hatbox Audience capacity will be capped at between 21 to 40% with social distancing. The venue will continue to be cleaned before each performance, with special emphasis on areas of common contact (seat arms and backs, door pulls, knobs, etc.). Hand sanitizer will be available in several locations in the lobby. Patrons are asked to observe social distancing upon arrival, while in the space, and upon exiting.

Author: Insider Staff

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