Driftwood Players

"On Golden Pond" Feb. - March 1982

By Ernest Thompson, Directed by Bill Davis Assistant Director LaRayne Watts


Sue Rahi as Chelsea, Phyllis Shrauger as Ethel, Jim Watts as Charlie

Phyllis Shrauger as Ethel, Jim Watts as Charlie

Phyllis Shrauger as Ethel, Kurt Swaney as Billy, Tony Daniewicz as Norman

Jay Windisch as Bill, Sue Rahi as Chelsea, Rob Slater as Billy

Kurt Swaney played Billy on Fridays

Rob Slater played Billy on Saturdays

Pictures by
Jim Bates

From The Daily World, February 1982

Lots of love "On Golden Pond"

By Betty Butler
World Arts Editor

    "On Golden Pond" is a play that promotes the unique idea that life -- more than that, humor, love and excitement -- actually exists in persons who have lived beyond the 70-year mark.

    The humor and compassion with which Ernest Thompson wrote this play were delineated recently on film by Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and now on stage in Hoquiam by a Driftwood Players cast directed by Bill Davis.

    Tony Daniewicz and Phyllis Shrauger, who play Norman and Ethel Thayer (the Henry Fonda and Hepburn roles) with humor, feeling and considerable acting skill, are in real life a few decades away from the Thayer's ages.

    But Daniewicz, almost stumbling around with obvious and comedic lapses in memory, brings to life with a sudden gleam in the eye and a fanciful "mind-trip" the puckish character of the 80-year-old Norman, while Shrauger tenderly recreates the long-suffering wife who copes with him and other vicissitudes of life with sprit, compassion and -- once again -- humor.

    The key word is humor -- a tender, compassionate and perceptive humor that is bound to touch a chord in almost anyone's heart. That's no doubt why it got such a good reception in its first two performances, even though it deals with an almost-distasteful topic: growing old.

    The 14-year-old boy, Billy, whose unexpected presence subtly rejuvenates Norman, is played on Saturday nights with aplomb and unusual stage-presence by Rob Slater; on Friday nights, the role of the recently-acquired step-grandchild is taken by Kurt Swaney. Both are Hoquiam High School students with considerable stage experience.

    Sue Rahi is the Thayer's daughter Chelsea, approaching middle-age but still hanging on to childhood resentment of her father and his methods of forcing his will on others. Jay Windisch is her boy-friend, Billy's father, and the scene in which he attempts to get the old man's permission to sleep with Chelsea is one of the funniest in the play.

    Jim Watts injects both comedy and pathos into the role of Chelsea's one-time boy-friend, a laughing mailman who never quite made it with Chelsea or anyone else.

    We won't give away the climax, but Shrauger's fine performance in the final scene will change laughter to tears, and then back to laughter.

    The Maine summer home set was designed by Tom Lonergan; lights and sound are by Jack Shrauger and Dorcas Richardson, who also is production manager, and Mae Brook and Shirley Fogde are the makeup artist who subtly "age" Shrauger and Daniewicz for their roles. LaRayne Watts is assistant director.

    The play will show on Friday and Saturday nights through March 13 at the Playhouse in Hoquiam, with curtain at 8:15. Tickets are available at City Drug in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam and Sagen's Drug in Montesano.

Home            Driftwood Players Inc.            Webmaster Larry Tingwall