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Our Town

 

August 15, 16 & 17, 2014:

Our-Town-300Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” Live at Town Hall

Hosted by

The Sandwich 375 Committee & The Sandwich Town Hall Preservation Trust

Directed by Melinda S. Gallant

Sandwich Town Hall Auditorium

Tickets $15 at Splash Stationers,

Heart of Stone & Titcombs Book Store

OUR TOWN–The simple story of a love affair is constantly rediscovered because it asks timeless questions about the meaning of love, life and death. In the final moments of the play, the recently deceased Emily is granted the opportunity to revisit one day in her life, only to discover that she never fully appreciated all she possessed until she lost it. “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you,” she says as she takes her place among the dead.


By Randy Hunt, August 17:
Congratulations to the cast, crew and director of the community production of Our Town at the Sandwich Town Hall last night. They played to a packed house. If there are any tickets left for this afternoon’s matinee, grab ’em up.

Cast: Janet Moore, G. Jason Santos, Braden Misiaszek, Liam Prendergast, Cathy Ode, Pat Farrell, Daniel Souza, Sophia Perkins, Andrew Lisset, Hannah Carrita, Robert McManus, Dillon O’Connor, Jeanne Prendergast, Jud Ode, Todd Herrmann, Carol McManus, Jim Coogan, Drew Lisset, Harold Weeks, Jim Ellis, Jane Ellis, Mary Ellen Anderson, Kathy Catania, Bob King, Tobin Wirt, Frank Pannorfi, Bill Daley, Trish Daley

Crew: Michael Kristy, Jim Ellis, Anna Rohlf

Director: Melinda Smith Gallant

Tech Assistants: Paula Johnson, Rob Vinciguerra, Michael Dubois


By Melinda Smith Gallant:

Nice job done by all…big parts …little parts…thank you all.  Sold out at Our Town…great 2nd night performance!


More Reviews:

Pamela Wills:  Great show Melinda, et al, we loved it!!!

Shelly Janczak:  Loved it…. Wiped tears at the end.

Denise Dever:  Great show Melinda. I really enjoyed it..wonderful cast! I’m with Shelly…tears as well!


wickedLocalsandwich_logo

Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ is a local love for Sandwich

It was directed by Sandwich resident Melinda Gallant and was produced with over 20 Cape resident cast members as an event for the Sandwich 375 celebration.

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Wicked Local photo by Emma Gauthier | From left: Janet Moore as the stage manager and shopkeeper, Hannah Carrita as Emily Webb, and Daniel Souza as George Gibbs.

By Emma Gauthier
Posted Aug. 27, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
Sandwich
“People always ask me, ‘Is there any professional theater on Cape Cod, or is it all amateur?’” says Carol McManus, a Sandwich resident and proud local theater actress.

She sometimes gets a little annoyed with the question. “People want to see good theater, which might translate to professional theater for them. But by and large, community theater is excellent on the Cape and Islands,” she says.

McManus recently played Mrs. Louella Soames in “Our Town,” a three-act play written by Thornton Wilder in 1938, about Grover’s Corners, a small town in New Hampshire. It details the daily life of its inhabitants — through birth, marriage, and death — and asks the audience to consider the value in what they might see as their own mundane lives.

It was directed by Sandwich resident Melinda Gallant and was produced with over 20 Cape resident cast members as an event for the Sandwich 375 celebration.

“Our Town” is the definition of a community theater production: local folks of all ages getting together with a vast array of experience and a limited budget to put on a couple of shows in a very short amount of time. Most cast members work full days and then attend rehearsal at night, working some more to perfect their roles. The cast members for this production of “Our Town” only had about five or six weeks to rehearse, with three rehearsal sessions per week, says Gallant.

Even though they all come together for the curtain call, their reasons for performing at the local level are rather diverse.

Pat Ferrell of East Falmouth has been involved in several aspects of community theater for over 30 years on Cape Cod, including acting, directing, and costume management. She says that she loves the wonderful people she gets to work with.

“It’s where I found my friends,” Ferrell says. “It’s great sharing something that we all love and creating something together, and it’s fun.”

For Hannah Carrita, community theater is a passion as well as a stepping stone for her future career as a Broadway actress. At 19, she’s already performed in over 30 shows, predominantly in musical theater.

“I always liked being the center of attention and, as I got older, I liked being someone else for a change,” Carrita says.

She says “Our Town” was her first non-musical show, adding that there was “something special about the cast” and that “there was a lot of trust between everyone.” Carrita also enjoyed learning from more experienced cast members who were in Broadway and film.

Janet Geist Moore, who played the stage manager in the production and has been involved in film, Broadway and TV in the past, says this was one of her first experiences with community theater.
“I didn’t have many expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised with everything,” she says. Compared to her experiences in larger productions, she says that the main differences were with the budget for costumes and set design and with rehearsal time. In smaller performances, there was only about three hours a week of practice, as opposed to six or more with professional acting, she says.

But as far as the product is concerned, she notes it was “of good caliber, and the bare bones aspect brought out the play better.”

McManus has been a part of her fair share of theater guilds and acting groups throughout her 30-year acting career and encourages those who are interested in trying theater in any way to try it, as different organizations are always looking for people to get involved.

And, for anyone still concerned about the quality of “amateur acting,” McManus says:
“Lots of people in community theater would do very well on Broadway. Do you know where the word ‘amateur’ comes from? It means ‘for the love of’…and if you didn’t love it, why else would you do it?”

The Sandwich Town Hall Radio Musical

November 2, 2013:

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An Evening of Fun and Pure Entertainment

On November 2 at 7pm in the Sandwich Town Hall, the Friends will present another episode of Sandwich Public Town Radio at 1637 on your radio dial, “SPiT” Radio Hour featuring the kings and queens of entertainment from beautiful downtown Sandwich. So forget all the government closings, the bad week at work, and network news–come to have a great laugh.

This “rhubarb- style” 1940’s radio show with an updated twist has plenty of entertainment for the entire family. In the style of “A Prairie Home Companion” SPiT Radio Hour features local talent. Dave Read, local radio personality plays himself the ever witty announcer. Patrick Ellis, former selectman, hosts the show as master of ceremonies. There will be music, singing and comedy plus the audience becomes the SPIT Radio “rhubarb” audience participating in “cheers and boos” as the various acts perform.

The cast includes Bob King, Tobin Wirt, The Ellis Family Singers including Kathy, Jimmy and the matriarch at 90 years young, Jane. Also in the cast is Chris and Ethan Bailey, Celia Krefter, Jason Santos, and Nancy Wendlent and Maria Marasco. Plus Sandwich Community Televisions’ Paula Johnson and Michael DuBois will be providing realistic 1940’s sound effects for the show.. Marge Dolby will be tinkling the ivories of the restored piano. Melinda Gallant is directing.

The Sandwich Town Hall Radio Musical

The variety show known as the “Sandwich Town Hall Radio Musical” will bring the venerable “Prairie Home Companion” format; songs and skits by a variety of acts with a combination of down home and witty flavor, to the beautifully restored Town Hall building.

Performed by a lineup of local singers, actors, comedians, and tale spinners, the show will be on Saturday, November 2 at 7pm. Tickets are $15 and are available at Town Hall and Splash Stationers, 126 Rte. 6A. A limited amount of tickets will also be available at the door until sold out.

The idea of a show sprung from Patrick Ellis of the Friends of Town Hall, who enlisted the help of Melinda Gallant. “It started out as a variety show,” says Friends member Bill Daley, “but melded into a live radio show as a way to better entertain the audience.”

Many of the performers have appeared on stage before, and some are band members.”

“Most of the performers are seasoned,” adds Gallant, “and if not are fast learners.”

The inspiration for the evening’s final form was taken from Garrison Keillor’s long running “Prairie Home Companion.”

“It will be a ‘live radio show,’” in Daley’s words, “with an announcer, and a host, and people on stage doing the props.”

Live sound effects will be provided by Sandwich Community Television .

(Adapted from an article in The Broadsider about our first Radio Musical.)

Here’s the complete article:
By Anthony Basile

Posted Nov 03, 2011

Sandwich —

The newly restored Sandwich Town Hall is a historical throwback, a fresh updating of a classic style.

The inaugural event held in the building by the new Friends of Town Hall aims for that same blend of the historical and the now.

The variety show known as the “Sandwich Town Hall Radio Musical” seeks to bring the venerable “Prairie Home Companion” format; songs and skits by a variety of acts with a combination of down home and witty flavor, to the restored building.

Performed by a lineup of local singers, actors, comedians, and tale spinners, the show’s two performances on Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6 will effectively begin the Town Hall’s new life as a performing arts venue.

The idea of a show sprung from Patrick Ellis of the Friends of Town Hall, who enlisted the help of Melinda Gallant. “It started out as a variety show,” says Friends member Bill Daley, “but melded into a live radio show as a way to better entertain the audience.”

With Gallant signed on by director, the search was on for local talent to fill the bill.

The acts brought in were gathered through personal connections of Ellis and Gallant. In Gallant’s words, “Some of the acts came through word of mouth; however most were known to Patrick and me.”

With the cast assembled, it came time to polish the acts for their big days, sewing together their individual talents into a nonstop radio-style production. “There was one walk through,” reports Daley, “and there will be one full dress rehearsal. Many of the performers have appeared on stage before, and some are band members.”

“Most of the performers are seasoned,” adds Gallant, “and if not are fast learners.”

The inspiration for the evening’s final form was taken from Garrison Keillor’s long running “Prairie Home Companion.”

“It will be a ‘live radio show,’” in Dailey’s words, “with an announcer, and a host, and people on stage doing the props and sound effects.”

One of the stars of the evening is the building itself, the newly restored Town Hall getting its public moment to shine. “The idea began in September as a way to begin the community into the restored Town Hall,” says Daley. “There have been a series of meetings since that time to bring it from an idea to a show.” Tickets revenue will go toward the continued maintenance of the building, built in 1834.

While the upcoming show is the first post-renovation show at the Town Hall, the Friends have plans to make entertainment a permanent part of the building’s character. “The idea is to continue this use of the Town Hall as a gathering place for the Community of Sandwich,” says Daley. “I suspect that there will be more shows in the future.”

With a new gathering place in a classic building and an organization interested in making it an enjoyable place to congregate, the people of Sandwich have plenty to look forward to. At the end of all of the planning and rehearsals, a new chapter in Town Hall’s long life will begin.

Read more: Let’s put on a show! Friends celebrate Sandwich Town Hall restoration – – Wicked Local – Cape Cod https://www.wickedlocal.com/capecod/news/x1408200084/Let-s-put-on-a-show-Friends-celebrate-Sandwich-Town-Hall-restoration#ixzz21ElRKahE

The Restoration

SCTV’s Melinda Gallant interviews Town Manager Bud Dunham who describes the restoration:

PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION 2009 – 2010

The preservation and restoration of the 1834 Sandwich Town Hall was begun in July 2009 following several years of study & planning, initially by a committee of citizens and later by a task force of town staff & citizens, and with the aid of Community Preservation funds of 3.1 million authorized by three successive Town Meetings.


Historic preservation & restoration, under the direction of a leading Massachusetts historic preservation architect, was focused on retaining the historic character-defining features of the Town Hall and specificallyon restoring:
• linear first floor corridor and rear doorway
• original Meeting Hall and 1870’s stenciled ceiling
• 1914 extension and stage
• historic exterior and original paint colors


Major adaptive changes to ensure functional use were: raising the main granite entrance-way & installation of an elevator–for the handicapped and physically challenged; reconfiguration of first floor Town administration
office spaces; installation of new/additional toilets on both floors; installation throughout of multi-zoned heating & air conditioning, and complying with all ADA and Building Code safety requirements.
Major corrective changes included: new supporting piers throughout the cellar; covering, channeling, and suppressing cellar water intrusion; and a pair of enclosed steel “summer” beams to support the second floor Meeting Hall.

 

Click for a Slide Show of the Restoration  (credit: Cape Cod Times)
Click for a Slide Show of the Restoration
(credit: Cape Cod Times)

 

October 2, 2010 Rededication – 1834 Sandwich Town Hall

The Sandwich Town Hall reflects over 175 years of Sandwich’s history, government and culture as well as the larger issues of State and National life that have had an impact on the Sandwich community. The Town Hall has been in active use as the seat of Town government for every one of those 175 years. There are few towns that can make this claim.
In 2010 the Oldest Town on Cape Cod “Celebrated History & Celebrated Sandwich” with the completion of the historic preservation and restoration of the Sandwich Town Hall, the Town’s most significant structure architecturally and historically, and a vital presence in the living history of the Town of Sandwich.

Prepared by Jonathan A. Shaw,
Sandwich Historical Commission

 

Sandwich Massachusetts Town Hall RestorationSandwich Town Hall Restoration PDF
Built in 1833-4, the first floor was originally rented out as commercial retail space, just as Boston’s Fanuel Hall is today. Sandwich Town Hall LanternEventually, as fortunes changed in the town, the first floor was taken over by town administrative offices and the second floor ball room was relegated to use as attic storage. The entire building was restored to its former glory in 2009 through the urging of many town citizens and the Historical Commission.

The project was selected for a Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for 2011. The work would not have been feasible without Community Preservation Act funds.

MHC – 2011 Preservation Award

Sandwich Town Hall CeilingThe second floor ballroom is particularly beautiful with its historically accurate stenciling of tan and brown paint and gold leaf, theatrical stage, balcony seating and fully restored historic shuttered windows.

The entire buildSandwich MA Town Hall 1st Flooring is open to the public with the first floor occupied by town administrative offices. Groups and individuals are invited to rent the town hall for non-political events.

Amenities include a professional sound system, refreshment galley and new accessible restrooms and elevator.

Contact the Town Manager’s office for details. Phone: (508) 888-5144

Email: townhall@townofsandwich.net

Town Hall Through the Years

Drawing by John Warner Barber, about 1837
Drawing by John Warner Barber, about 1837

At its 1834 Town Meeting, pursuant to a constitutional amendment in 1833 requiring formal separation of church and state, the town voted to erect a new Town Hall. The First Parish Meetinghouse (and earlier meetinghouses) at the corner of Main and River Streets had served as the religious and political center of Sandwich almost since the founding of the village in 1639.

The new Town Hall building was to be at the northern end of Lower Shawme Lake at the intersection of Main and Grove Streets on bog land donated by the Newcomb family at 8 Grove Street. Construction was preceded by extensive filling of the marshy land with gravel.

READ MORE

Nosferatu Haunts Sandwich Town Hall

Back By Popular Demand: Saturday, October 12, 2013, 7PM

From: The insider’s guide to going out on Cape Cod

By: Sam Houghton, February 17, 2012

On Saturday, February 18, the Sandwich Town Hall transformed back into its origins as an early 1900s film auditorium with a special screening of the silent classic film Nosferatu, complete with a live piano accompaniment.

Continuing its celebration of the oldest running Town Hall in Massachusetts the volunteer group Friends of Sandwich Town Hall (the recent winners of the 2011 Massachusetts Historical Commission Award) presented the film, accompanied by John Read on the piano.

Dressed in traditional flapper garb, silent film enthusiast Liisa Niemi gave a brief introduction on the history of the genre and the story and themes of Nosferatu.

Nosferatu dates back to 1920s Germany when director F. M. Murnau adapted, without authorization, Bram Stroker’s Dracula, portraying the haunting story of a young Mr. Hutter and his stay at the vampire Nosferatu’s eerie mansion in Transylvania.

Although this first-ever vampire movie may feel slow compared to those made later in the century, Nosferatu is rife with historical significance.

Around the same time that Nosferatu was released, Sandwich Town Hall was a hot bed for silent films.

“This is our way of bringing back the spirit of community to the Town Hall,” said Friends of Sandwich Town Hall member Bill Daley.

“We have never done this before, but it should be fun for the whole community.”

Whether or not Nosferatu originally played in the Hall, Daly is not sure, but he is pleased with the selection of a film regarded as one of the best in the silent genre.

Pianist John Read, a Yarmouth Port local, has over 30 years experience entertaining as a musician. He attributes his success as a silent film accompanist to his passionate knowledge of 30s and 40s pop songs and the live organ music from early soap operas.

Read and Niemi have hosted silent movie events for the past few years around the state. In addition to her introduction, Niemi will share her collection of antiques and vintage clothing at the event, a passion that she gained from her grandmother, an original flapper girl and antique collector.

The Friends of Sandwich Town Hall is a group created to maximize the potential of community building within the Hall. After a recent restoration project to the building, the group aims to host regular events similar to the viewing of Nosferatu.

Back By Popular Demand:  Saturday, October 12, 2013, 7PM

More Info

The Rededication

October 2, 2010 Rededication – 1834 Sandwich Town Hall

The Sandwich Town Hall reflects over 175 years of Sandwich’s history, government and culture as well as the larger issues of State and National life that have had an impact on the Sandwich community. The Town Hall has been in active use as the seat of Town government for every one of those 175 years. There are few towns that can make this claim.
In 2010 the Oldest Town on Cape Cod “Celebrated History & Celebrated Sandwich” with the completion of the historic preservation and restoration of the Sandwich Town Hall, the Town’s most significant structure architecturally and historically, and a vital presence in the living history of the Town of Sandwich.

This is a preview of the Town Hall Re-dedication Ceremony from October 2, 2010

 

Sandwich Town Hall Rededication remarks by State Rep. Jeff Perry

 

SCTV’s Melinda Gallant interviews Town Manager Bud Dunham who describes the restoration:

An Early View

Drawing by John Warner Barber, about 1837
Drawing by John Warner Barber, about 1837

A John Warner Barber drawing from about 1837: Town Hall, built in 1834, is prominently displayed.  From Sandwich historian Russell Lovell: “This is the only view found showing the early Calvinistic chapel on the site of the present First Church of Christ (the ‘Elvis’ Church). The smaller buildings in the left foreground are a blacksmith shop, the building that was moved to become (part of) the glass museum and lastly the shop that became the Fred Bunker museum (now gone). At left rear is the Unitarian Church with the Titus Winchester clock and in the distance the two stacks of the Glass Factory casting their prosperous pall of black smoke.”