Driftwood Players

"The Four Poster" February 1981

By Jan De Hartog, Directed by Jane Mezera & Earl Johnson

Bunny Ronald: (Agnes) Bob Ronald: (Michael)

Pictures by Jim Bates

From The Daily World

Bob & Bunny Ronald star in Driftwood "Fourposter"

By Betty Butler
World Staff Writer

    Marriage, as some philosopher (or maybe it was a marriage counselor) once said, is just life, doubled. Because when you get married, there are two of you and there's more of everything--laughter and tears, happiness, sadness, accomplishments, disappointments, relationships broken and mended, compromises, pain and joy.

    That's the theme of "The Fourposter," the Driftwood Players' latest play, which opened at the Playhouse in Hoquiam Friday night. It's subtitled "the story of a marriage," and that's just what it is, interpreted with skill and understanding by sensitive actors and directors.

    BOB AND BUNNY Ronald brought alive for a large opening night crowd six scenes from 45 years of a marriage which began in 1890, produced two children, survived the "middle-age itch," brought teen-agers safely to their own wedding days, weathered the empty-nest syndrome, and, finally, entered the December years in a sunset glow of understanding and tolerant (although not entirely conflict-free) love.

    Both the Ronalds turned in fine performances, building steadily in credibility as they progressed from the somewhat petulant young bridegroom and the giddy-bride through the trauma of becoming parents and the various emotional crises of a ripening marriage. Bunny's best scene, in our opinion, was 1917, when the youngest child married and the wife tried to face the loss of her role as a mother and the resultant lack of identity. Bob's best was the final scene, when the self-centered bridegroom had matured to a wise, understanding and gallant old man.

    The Ronalds, director Jane Mezera and assistant director Earl Johnson can take bows for a fine production that, without preaching or histrionics, leaves an audience with a good feeling and things to ponder over in their own inter-personal relationships.

    THE BIG, OLD-FASHIONED bed around which all the scenes were played was loaned by Alice Delaney; the bedroom which contained it was designed by Michael Bennett and decorated in the styles of the passing decades by Bill Davis. Pat Stevenson coordinated the very interesting costumes, some of which were created for the occasion, and makeup artists Mae Brook and Shirley Fogde added years to the two actors' faces as time moved on. Billie Jean Homchick and Linda Rattie were responsible for assembling the large array of period properties.

    The play will show Friday and Saturday nights through March 14, and tickets are available at City Drug in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam and Monte Drug in Montesano.

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