New Jersey Stage

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hollywood Squares host PETER MARSHALL and Gilligan's Island DAWN WELLS star in SURFLIGHT THEATRE'S "LOVE LETTERS" by A.R. GURNEY

(BEACH HAVEN, NJ)  -  Surflight Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director and Surflight alum Roy Miller and Executive Producer Timothy Laczynski, present A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters" for six performances only from July 14 through 17.

Starring Peter Marshall (the five-time Emmy Award-winning host of The Hollywood Squares from 1966-1981 and the original Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from the classic TV series Gilligan's Island), Surflight's production of Love Letters is directed by Nancy Robillard.

Gurney's Pulitzer Prize nominated play chronicles the relationship between Andrew Makepeace Ladd (Marshall) and Melissa Gardner (Wells), whose poignantly funny friendship and ill-fated romance takes them from second grade through adolescence, young adulthood and into middle age.  Love Letters is about a fifty-year love affair carried on primarily through letters, written in and about a world where letter-writing was very much an essential mode of communication.

A.R. Gurney has been writing plays for most of his life. Among his many works are The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, and Sylvia. He lives in Connecticut and New York City.

Nancy Robillard's directing credits include extensive work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional and summer theatre.  Robillard has directed a number of world premieres including Fast Break (Culture Project), Honor and the River (Luna Stage) Rosemary & I with Olympia Dukakis (Metro Stage) and Unsinkable Women (Walnut Street Theatre and National Tour).  New York productions: Culture Project, Vital Theatre, Directors Company, Algonquin Theatre, Theatre for the New City, and HERE.  Regional: the Kennedy Center, Walnut Street Theatre, MetroStage, Northern Stage, Luna Stage, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Gateway Playhouse, Keystone Rep, and Tri-Arts. On Broadway Robillard was assistant director to Mike Ockrent on Big, and Alan Arkin on Taller than a Dwarf.  She also assisted Alan Arkin on the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Power Plays.

Robillard has an MFA in directing from Illinois State University (home of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre) and has taught acting and directing at several colleges. Currently she works with emerging writers in the MFA program at NYU. This fall she will direct the world premiere of the musical Slow Dance with a Hot Pickup by John Pielmeier and Matty Selman, which will open in Boulder, CO.

Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, is located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey.  Love Letters performances are Thursday at 8:00pm; Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 8pm.  Tickets are $36-$54.  Season Subscriptions are still available.  Tickets are available online at  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Surflight box office, by phone at 609-492-9477.  For groups (15 or more) call: 609-492-9477 x201.