Driftwood Players

"The Drunkard" July 1960

Directed by A. F. Daniewicz

Adapted by R. Robson and V. Webber

Richard Giron, A. Conklin, R. Roiko

Dick Robson, Vicki Webber

Rodney's Photo (Rodney McDaniel)

Walker, Robson, Conklin, Roiko

Rodney's Photo (Rodney McDaniel)

Kristine Olafson, Dick Robson

Leslie's Studio

This play was first performed at Cohassett Beach in the summer of 1960. It was performed at least two more summers in Ocean Shores and Cosmopolis, Friday Nights in Ocean Shores at the Convention Hall and Saturday nights in Cosmopolis. The pictures above are all that's in the Driftwood archives. It's impossible for me to name everybody who was in the play over the years. If you have any more pictures or names of actors, or if my facts are wrong, let me know and I will post them here. I have included all the newspaper articles that were in the Driftwood archives. 

From The Aberdeen Daily World Tuesday, July 12, 1960

'Drunkard' Cast Lauds Viewers

    WESTPORT (Special) - The Driftwood Players have been commended frequently for treating their audiences to fine entertainment.

    Now the group, currently producing "The Drunkard" each weekend at Cohassett beach, has turned the tables with high praise for its audiences.

    According to Miss Bernice Oliphant, a member of the cast, the Cohassett audience Saturday night treated the players to "the thrill of their lives."

    From the beginning of the first long entrance till after the final curtain and into the second curtain call, the audience demonstrated its enjoyment of the play.

    They smiled with the lovers, hissed the villain, wept with sorrow and laughed on the comedy lines. And, they shouted with glee at the portrayal of manners and customs of another day.

    "And all that," Miss Oliphant commented, "without putting on a competing show. Not once did they guffaw in the middle of a love scene. Never did they keep other members of the audience from hearing the lines. Members of the cast believe these people were tremendous, a perfect theater audience."

    Directed by A. F. Daniewicz, "The Drunkard" will be performed again at 8 o'clock Friday and Saturday nights at the Driftwood Players' summer theater at Cohassett beach.

From The Aberdeen Daily World Saturday, July 16, 1960

'Drunkard' Reeling Into Cosmopolis 

    "The Drunkard" is coming to town. By popular request, the sturdy melodrama which has been delighting audiences at Cohassett beach for the past four weekends, will be presented on two Wednesday nights, July 20 and 27, at the Driftwood Playhouse in Cosmopolis. Performances are scheduled for 8:15 o'clock. Tickets may be purchased at City Drug, Aberdeen; Bunker's Men's Shop, Hoquiam, and Breck's restaurant, Cosmopolis.

    Produced by the Driftwood Players and directed by A. F. Daniewicz, the 116-year-old melodrama is good entertainment for old and young alike. The audience is urged to come prepared to cheer the hero, Edward Middleton, played by Kenneth Walker, and hiss the villainous Squire Cribbs, portrayed by Richard Robson.

    Completing the cast of characters are Mary Lou Wolfe as Mary Wilson, Bernice Oliphant and Mrs. E. Mekosky as Mrs. Wilson, Joan Matzke as Miss Spindle, Ted Cottrell as William, Vicky Webber as Agnes, R. Roiko as Drover, Richard Giron as the barman, Charlene Conklin as Annie, Erling Olafson as Rencelaw, and A. Conklin and D. Daniewicz as Julia.

    Mrs. Frances Bussabarger will provide stirring and dramatic background music on the piano. Community singing during intermissions will be led by Mrs. Margaret Orr.

    The play will continue at the Cohassett playhouse each weekend through the summer.

From The Aberdeen Daily World Saturday, June 30, 1962

Skilled Villain Back For 'The Drunkard' Role

    Richard Robson, who has been cast as Squire Cribbs in this year's Summer Theater production of "The Drunkard," will be a villainous character for the third successive summer.

    Commenting on playing the villain for three seasons, Robson said that each night's audience is different and must be played to differently.

    "This makes a new show, new reactions and new experience each night. "But," he added, "I hope some day to be truly sweet, kindly, honorable man."


    In a sense the Driftwood Players' performances of "The Drunkard" are really Robson's own show since he first put his creative ability into reworking the old-time "Drunkard" to make it usable on stages of today. While this is his first play, creative writing is not new to him, as for many years he wrote novels of the old west professionally.

    Robson has been interested in little theater work since his college days and is a talented and versatile actor.

    His entire family is active in play work. His wife, Lois, appears again in this summer's play in which she alternates in the role of Agnes. Also she is such an expert at making stage moustaches that they could pass for the real thing.


    Another phase of theater work, make-up, is the interest of the Robson's 14 year old daughter, Mary. She has worked on make-up for many of the Driftwood plays and has been committee chairman for the Summer Theater every year. She is an expert at adding sideburns and beards and in the techniques of lines and shadows necessary for effectiveness under stage lighting.

    "The Drunkard" may be seen at Convention Hall at Ocean Shores Friday nights and at the Driftwood Playhouse in Cosmopolis, across from Breck's, Saturday nights, starting the first weekend in July. The play is directed by A. F. Daniewicz.

From The Aberdeen Daily World Wednesday, July 4, 1962

Lane Alternate Hero, Villain In 'Drunkard'

    Richard Lane is saint and scoundrel alternately this summer in the Driftwood Players' Summer Theater production of "The Drunkard," directed by A. F. Daniewicz.

    Every other weekend Lane will be cheered on, encouraged and admired by audiences as he portrays the honorable young hero, Edward, who is struggling against the plots of the villainous Squire Cribbs. On the alternate weekends he will be hissed and reviled as the dastardly Cribbs who is trying to ruin young Edwards noble character.

    Queried about his reaction to playing two characters who are struggling against each other, Lane replied that he is fascinated.


    "The change from saint to scoundrel," he said, "is  an experience and a half. It's terrific being on both sides of the fence. Since I never have determined what type of character I am in reality, it is fun trying two separate courses."

    Lane is well known to Harbor theatergoers as the director of "Pajama Game," "Angel Street," "Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" and "The Boy Friend." He has acted in "Brigadoon," "Finian's Rainbow," "See How They Run" and "You Can't Take It With You." All of the productions have been by either the Civic Choir or the Driftwood Players. Lane is forensics director at Grays Harbor College where he is an instructor in speech, radio and English.

    "The Drunkard" will play, starting this week, every Friday night at Convention Hall, Ocean Shores, and every Saturday night at the Driftwood Playhouse in Cosmopolis. Curtain times will be 8:30 o'clock. Tickets will be available at the door.

From The Aberdeen Daily World Saturday, July 7, 1962

"The Drunkard" Reels In:

Driftwood Players Open Third Summer Season


    OCEAN SHORES (Special) --Last night at Convention Hall in Ocean Shores the Driftwood Players began their third summer season.

    "The Drunkard," one of the most famous of all melodramas, was played before a large, enthusiastic audience. Though the play is an encore for the group, having inaugurated their opening season three years ago, for the most part, with exception of five roles, a different cast and a different setting makes it a new play.


    Therefore, those who viewed the original production, should not hesitate at seeing it again. They will be delighted with it.

    It will be presented tonight and subsequent Saturdays in the Driftwood Playhouse, Cosmopolis, and on Fridays at Ocean Shores.

    Particular applause should be accorded Richard Lane, whose talent as a director is topped only by his versatility as an actor.

    In the part of the hero, Edward Middleton, he adroitly mixes the farcical with the more serious qualities of the part.

    His enactment of a man suffering delirium tremens is of such caliber that the audience finds itself physically recoiling from the imaginary snakes.

    With Lane playing the villain as well as the hero, on alternate weekends, and a double cast in the majority of the other parts, seeing the play twice is recommended.

    Tommy Calhoun, who plays the heroine Mary, fits admirably the part of the self-effacing, loyal wife, but showed some effects of opening night. A fuller, broader characterization will be forth-coming as the season progresses.


    Paul Miller, as William, the sharp but provincial half-brother of the hero, gives a droll performance. Lois Robson, as William's sister Crazy Agnes, gives more authenticity and less of a parody in her part, than others of the cast, whose roles call for more full-blown characterization.

    As Annie the Barmaid, Marilyn Smith "shapes up" excellently as the instrument of Edward's downfall. The actual ruin of the hero is left to Dave Gadwa, the drover who with the butt end of his whip throws Middleton into the middle of the barroom.

    Praise also goes to the younger members of the cast. Evelyn Olafson provides the mood-setting music for the performers, and little Diane Matzke as the daughter of Edward and Mary brings special charm.

    The others in the cast are the originals and give performances marked with there experience.


    Richard Robson as Squire Cribbs is despicably villainous, Joan Matzke as Miss Spindle does a perfectly tailored performance. Erling Olafson's ponderous Arden Rencelaw, benevolent philanthropist, is peerless. Dick Giron plays to the hilt the part of the barman. Evelyn Mekosky, as the mother-in-law, completes the cast with a well-studied performance.

    Karole Riipa leads the community sing portion of the program between acts and at intermission.

From The Aberdeen Daily World Friday, July 13, 1962

Mrs. Tommie Calhoun:

Driftwood Newcomer Seasoning Rapidly

    Mrs. Tommie Calhoun, a newcomer to the Driftwood Players and with the experience of only one high school play behind her is rapidly becoming a seasoned actress in the training grounds that only a summer theater can offer.

    In "The Drunkard," Mrs. Calhoun plays the part of Mary, the pure and sweet young heroine who marries Edward Middleton and stands by stoutheartedly while Edward succumbs to the evils of drink and finally wins the battle back to respectability.

    Mrs. Calhoun's opening weekend was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. She suffered the usual opening night jitters and ended the weekend in triumph when a member of the audience came on stage to present her with a bouquet of flowers.

    This was a spontaneous gesture on the part of 12 Seattle residents who attended the play last year and came to the Harbor again this summer for the sole purpose of seeing the Driftwood Summer Theater.

    The Seattle friends made the play an exuberating occasion for the cast as they knelt on the floor to plead wit h the hero not to take his first taste of liquor. They wept bitter tears (with the aid of water soaked napkins) at Mary's sad plight after Edward was driven off in degradation.

    Mrs. Calhoun agrees with Director Tony Daniewicz and other members of the cast that a few weeks of summer theater make a seasoned performer of any novice and constitute a real training ground for all types of acting work.

    Performances will be presented throughout the summer at Convention Hall, Ocean Shores, Friday nights and in the Driftwood Playhouse, Cosmopolis, Saturday nights. Curtain time is 8:30.   

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