“We are thrilled to be bringing this much-loved play and such renowned actors to Central Oregon for this production,” said co-producer Jeri Fouts. ‘Love Letters’ has been a success wherever it has been staged, and the opportunity to feature such fine actors as Gregory Harrison and Linda Purl in the lead roles will make it even more special. We are especially thankful that Gregory and Linda have offered to donate their time on behalf of the Sisters Schools Foundation.”
The play chronicles the relationship between Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, who meet as second graders. “Love Letters” is funny, sad, witty, poignant and provocative, taking the characters through their mid-fifites and their unique and often intertwined life journeys. It has been performed on Broadway and in many theater companies across the country and has been done as a fund-raiser for a variety of charities. The producers note that it does contain some adult language and situations, and is not recommended for children.
Gregory Harrison is a veteran of many stage and television roles, who is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Gonzo Gates on the series “Trapper John, MD and his lead role in the mini-series “Centennial” based on the book by James Michener. On Broadway, he has performed in such plays as “Follies” “Steel Pier” and “Paper Moon,” and has played the lead role of Billy Flynn in over 1,000 performances of the hit musical “Chicago,” both on Broadway and in the national touring company. His production company produced numerous stage projects and nearly two dozen television movies from 1981-1992, and in 1990 he was honored with the L.A. Ovation Award for his Outstanding Contributions to the Los Angeles theater scene. He is also a recipient of the Drama Critics Award for his work in “The Hasty Heart” and a Dramalogue Award for his role in “Picnic.”
Linda Purl is an actress, singer and dancer whose credits include lead roles in more than 40 television movies, including “Born Free,” “The Manions of America,” with Pierce Brosnan, “The Last Day of Pompeii” opposite Sir Laurence Olivier and the award-winning docudrama “Like Normal People.” Her extensive theater credits include the Tony-nominated Broadway production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” the Mark Taper Forum productions of “The Real Thing” and “Hedda Gabler” and the Williamstown Theatre Festival productions “Nora” with Michael York, “The Three Penny Opera” with Betty Buckley, and “The Road to Mecca” with Julie Harris. She is well-known for her roles on such shows as “Happy Days” and “Matlock,” and is currently seen in the role in the recurring role of Helen Beasely on “The Office.”
Proceeds from “Love Letters” will benefit the Sisters Schools Foundation, which provides funding support for Sisters Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Since 1997, the Sisters Starry Nights Benefit Concert Series has brought artists including Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kenny Loggins, Lee Ann Womack, Lyle Lovett, Kim Carnes, Keb’ Mo’ and Michael McDonald to Sisters, raising nearly one million dollars in net funding for the Foundation. While on hiatus this season, Starry Nights will return in 2011 with another stellar line-up of artists.
“Public schools across our state continue to be affected by budget cuts and the Sisters Schools Foundation has been very effective in helping the Sisters Schools maintain activities and programs that might otherwise lose funding,” said co-producer Susan Arends, Vice-Chair of the Sisters Schools Foundation. “The Sisters School District is now faced with cutting two and a half million dollars from their budget in the next two years alone, and the need for community support is greater than ever. “Love Letters” is not only an evening of first-class entertainment, but is a great way to help the schools.”
The evening will feature a silent auction with fine art pieces including a beautiful quilt donated by Jean Wells of The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters; a Plein Air painting by renowned pastel artist Norma Holmes; a golf foursome with Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Fouts; and a guitar signed by legendary rockers Crosby, Stills and Nash.
“Love Letters” is presented by Ray’s Food Place and The Oxford Hotel, with special thanks to The Tower Theatre, X-Press Printing, Murray and Holt Motors, Bank of the Cascades, and silent auction donors Jean Wells and The Stitchin’ Post, Dan Fouts, The Mockingbird Gallery and Norma Holmes.
Tickets for this benefit performance are priced at $75, $50 and $35 and are available online at towertheatre.org or at the Tower Theater box office starting July 1, with a presale for Tower Theatre members starting on June 24. For information, contact co-producer Novella Swisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Tower Theater at 541-317-0700.