It’s the ultimate family-friendly outing. Talking Headstones 2011, a collaborative effort between the and the , premiers Thursday Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.
The show will be performed on a stage constructed in old St. Paul Cemetery off Moross Road and Country Club in Grosse Pointe Farms. Performances are nightly at 8 p.m. through Sept. 11.
The production is compilation of new, original short historical vignettes written by Grosse Pointe Theatre members, with assistance from award-winning Michigan playwright Kim Carney. This year’s Talking Headstones production features plays that span the time period of 1910 through the late-1940s. It also has a large cast, comprised of adults, teens and even a number of child actors, including first-timer Natalie Boehmer, 9, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who has the pleasure of "being" a little girl from the early 1900s.
"It's actually kind of fun to see the history," said Boehmer, a student at. "In the play I'm in I play Elodie Natalie Boone whose family is quarantined because of the Spanish Influenza in 1918."
Elodie could not attend school because of being exposed to the flu, which made her quite bored. It's something to which Boehmer said she can relate.
"I know what it's like being bored because I spent the whole summer at home not doing much," she said.
Ron Bernas, a longtime member of the Grosse Pointe Theatre will take to the stage for the first time in close to a decade. He joins nine-year-old son, Danny, who is also making his stage debut for Grosse Pointe Theatre.
“My son is really enjoying this experience,” said Bernas, who will also direct the GPT’s upcoming main stage production of A Trip to Bountiful.“I really like being with him and it’s nice to share this experience.
“Talking Headstones is a nice collaboration between two local community groups, with original work written by local people.”
This year’s production has more children in it than past years, with vignettes about the mystique of the Lone Ranger, and also one about a “young” Julie Harris of Grosse Pointe Park who longed to be a Broadway actress.
"This year's Talking Headstones is a continuation of the history of our area," said Jane Burkey, in her second year as the show's director. "It's a wonderful depiction of human interest stories of different people and events from Grosse Pointe."
Tickets for Talking Headstones are priced at $15 and can be purchased in advance at the Theatre's office (315 Fisher Road) or by calling the office at 881-4004. You may also purchase tickets at the gate, which opens at 7:30 p.m. each evening.
Be sure to bring your own folding chair . . . and a blanket if the weather forecast is for chilly weather. Then just sit back and enjoy theater the way it used to be--with no microphones and no special lighting other than torches!