Driftwood Players

"Artichoke" May 1992

By Joanna M. Glass
Directed by Valentine Pearson, Assistant Director Pat Stevenson

 Doug Sipe: (Archie) Rich Rice: (Grandpa) Jim Eddy: (Walter) Diane Majors: (Margaret) Ron Martin-Dent: (Gibson McFarland) Kati Bennett: (Lily Agnes) Dave Savage: (Jake)

Rich Rice


Rich Rice, Jim Eddy

Diane Majors, Doug Sipe, Dave Savage


Diane Majors


Kati Bennett, Ron Martin-Dent


Doug Sipe


Ron Martin-Dent, Jim Eddy

Diane Majors, Ron Martin-Dent



Artichoke Set


Set Design: Ernie Ingram
Set Construction: Ernie Ingram, Jack Shrauger, Don Stubb, Bruce Walloch, Glen Piehl
Backdrop Painting: Margaret Tingwall, Diana Dena
Pictures: Alan Stamwitz

From The Daily World, May 1992

'Artichoke' a superb drama

By Micki Colwell
Daily World correspondent

    "Artichoke" has heart. A turbulent drama with smatterings of comedy, the Driftwood Players production opened last weekend to capacity audiences.

    More of the same is likely when it resumes at 8:15 tonight and Saturday at the Playhouse off Broadway in Aberdeen. The play continues weekends all month, including an afternoon performance May 31.

    Tickets are available for $7 each at Harbor Drug in Hoquiam, City Drug and Captain's Cove in Aberdeen, and Monte Valu Drug in Montesano.

    THE story highlights the mortality of humans and the immortality of the land on a farm on a Saskatchewan prairie. It features a family that appears to be disconnected emotionally yet united by strength of character.

    The sets are enhanced by a wheat field panorama -- a joint artistic effort by set designers Diana Dena and Margaret Tingwall, both of whom are usually found working in the make-up room.

    VALENTINE PEARSON directed this moving play, with Pat Stevenson as assistant director. Pearson came to Driftwood from Latvia, where she performed on the professional stage.

    Driftwood audiences have enjoyed her numerous performances (including her first, "The King and I" in 1967 and her most recent, "Lion in Winter" in 1989) as well as her many directing successes.

    The play is beautifully written by Joanna Glass, and the cast brings it alive.

    "ARTICHOKE" is about Margaret (played by Diana Majors) and her husband, Walter (played by Jim Eddy). They may live on the same farm, but emotionally they're miles apart.

    Grandpa (played by Rich Rice) and Walter's illegitimate daughter, Lily Agnes (played by Kati Bennett) complete this little family.

    Gibson McFarland (player by Ron Martin-Dent) was a childhood friend of Margaret's He is a man of learning who is coming for the summer to write an important paper.

    Majors is new to Driftwood but not to the stage. She was involved in many community theater productions in the Seattle area. She does a beautiful and moving job with this strong, bitter women, who does not like the lot she has been handed, but continues to stay down on the farm.

    Majors, a former KAYO radio disc jockey, hopes to continue her education at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.

    Eddy plays the angry husband who is too stubborn to ask forgiveness for his infidelity and yet won't do anything to change things.

    Eddy, Executive Director of Timberland Opportunities and a Hoquiam city councilman, is no stranger to the stage. He turns in a very sensitive portrayal of Walter, Majors and Eddy are excellent counterparts.

    KATI BENNETT, an eighth-grader at Miller Junior High School in Aberdeen, has been performing several years and is excellent in her portrayal of Lily Agnes, Walter's illegitimate child.

    With maturity well beyond her years, Lily wears her hat at all times (so she won't fly off) and hides behind a book on etiquette, from which she continually quotes.

    Kati performed in Driftwood's "Christmas Carol," as well as several school plays.

    Martin-Dent plays the old friend who comes to visit and subsequently disrupts the household.

    Although a first-timer at Driftwood, Martin-Dent seems very much at ease on stage, and does a realistic job of being the "outsider" in the house.

    Pastor at the Saron Lutheran Church in Hoquiam, he is active in community work. He enjoys doing clown mime as well as dinner theater presentations.

    Rich Rice lives in Olympia and is a Washington State Supreme Court systems analyst. Fairly new to the stage, Rice has turned in several fine performances, and this is no exception. As the patriarch of the family, he is solid and believable.

    Two fine characters actors, Doug Sipe and Dave Savage, play neighbors and provide a homespun kind of comic rhetoric.

    Sipe has been with Driftwood since its inception, and spent many years working backstage for the productions. But he eventually moved in front of the lights, and has been hooked ever since.

    Savage has been performing for more than twenty years with both Driftwood and the Grays Harbor Civic Choir,. In his spare time, he is secretary of the First Presbyterian Church of Aberdeen.

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