ELTC prides itself on not only producing forgotten gems, but also producing new works that are based on American literature and history. Most of ELTC's works by living playwrights move on to other venues, like "The Poe Mysteries" had a run at Ocean Professional Theatre in Barnegat, and "Emma Goldman: My Life," was at The Metropolitan Playhouse in New York. Although "Lost on the Natchez Trace" was first performed at the Abingdon Theatre Company in NYC in February 2012, plans are in the works to remount it in Manhattan.
"Lost on the Natchez Trace," written by Abingdon's artistic director, is directed by ELTC's artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, with Leon Morgan, Tom Byrn, and Stephanie Garrett in the cast. Stahlhuth selected this play to open ELTC's mainstage season in Cape May not only because it's compelling, but also because this year marks the 150th anniversary of America's Emancipation Proclamation.
The plot revolves around a wounded slave auctioneer in 1825 who is stranded in a wasteland. His yells for help are heard by a runaway slave. To further commemorate this anniversary, ELTC, with The Cape May Film Society, is showing the 2006 film "Amazing Grace" about England's struggle to end the slave trade, on Sunday, June 30 at 8:30p.m.
ELTC also prides itself on continuing to present ASL performances for at least one night for each of three mainstage productions yearly. Beginning this practice in the early 1990's, ELTC was the first theater in the area to hire American Sign Language interpreters. The theatrical ASL interpreters for "Lost on the Natchez Trace" are Kathy Filippo and Gina Lanza, who have performed many times for ELTC. The process involves them seeing the production at least once, plus going over the script several times to figure out who will interpret which roles, and in many cases, come up with signage for unusual names and words.
There will still be the previously scheduled ASL performance on Friday, July 12.
Tickets are $30 general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; and $15 for full-time students. Children ages 12 and under are always free. For "Lost on the Natchez Trace," it is suggested that those attending have an understanding of slavery in this country, and is therefor not appropriate for most under the age of 15.
ELTC performs at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. "Lost on the Natchez Trace" runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30p.m. through July 20, except pet thSeptember 1 only. For information and reservations, call 609-884-5898 or visit www.eastlynnetheater.org.