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Welcome to Parish Players

Eclipse Grange Theater

Welcome to Parish Players, an incorporated not-for-profit membership theater group based at the Eclipse Grange Theatre in Thetford Hill, Vermont. We are a community theater staffed and run by volunteers. Come join us. We welcome your participation, whether as an audience member, on the stage or behind-the-scenes (or all three!). We have lots to offer.

Long Day's Journey into Night
An American Classic
by Eugene O'Neill


Ray Chapin, Director 802-785-4321 email
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Producer email

Shows will be at Parish Players' Eclipse Grange

Show Dates: Friday and Saturday - 7:00pm, October 10,11, 17,18, 24,25
Sunday Matinees - 2:00pm, October 19, 26

JAMES TYRONE, SR.: Mike Backman
MARY TYRONE: Katherine Morton
JAMIE: Chris Rosenquest
EDMUND: Sam Chapin
CATHLEEN: Melissa Noonan

By the time of his death in 1936, Eugene O'Neill was considered by many to be one of the greatest American dramatists of the 20th century, and Long Day's Journey Into Night is a semi-autobiographical representation of his own tortured family. A haunting story of addiction and despair, the play explores how bitterness and unspoken truths can pull a family apart.

But Long Day's Journey Into Night also concerns love, and the possibility of redemption. As the long day wears on, the Tyrones confront the demons that plague them individually, and they make a final effort to save their family. In reviewing the original 1956 production, The New York Times wrote, "It is the human compassion of the drama that raises it from something autobiographical into something universal. It raises it from the ingrown pessimism of much contemporary drama into an unfolding of love and understanding." The play received the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (posthumously), the fourth time O'Neill's work was so honored, and is widely considered to be his masterpiece.

Sam Chapin as Edmund, Mike Backman as James, Kay Morton as Mary, and Chris Rosenquest as Jamie, rehearsing the final scene from Long Day's Journey Into Night

Formed in 1966, we are approaching their 50th anniversary, and director Ray Chapin and producer Kevin Fitzpatrick believe Long Day's Journey Into Night is a fitting way to celebrate our troupe's history of presenting challenging works and raising the expectations of community theater, and the play's themes are especially relevant today. While Journey is widely produced, this will be the first Parish Players' production of the work and may be the first Upper Valley production, at least in recent memory. Our staging will be in-the-round, creating a heightened sense of intimacy, placing each audience member in the Tyrone's living room.

Our cast is well suited to tackle this challenging play. Katherine Morton, a long-time Parish Players veteran and one of the finest acting talents in the region, will play Mary Tyrone, is who based on Eugene O'Neill's mother, Ella. Mike Backman, whose impressive credits span the breadth of the Upper Valley theatre scene and beyond, plays Edmund's father, James Tyrone, whose life closely parallels that of James O'Neill, Eugene's father. Taking on the role of Edmund Tyrone – the surrogate for the author – is Sam Chapin, who most recently appeared in Pipeline Theatre Company's off-Broadway production of The Ash Girl. Chris Rosenquest, an experienced actor and musician, takes on the role of Jamie Tyrone, Edmund's brother. Melissa Noonan, will play the Tyrone family's maid, Cathleen.

Evening performances will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, October 10th & 11th, 17th & 18th, and 24th & 25th at a special 7:00 pm start time. Matinee performances at 2:00 pm will be on October 19th & 26th. Adult admission is $15, seniors $12, students $10.

Reservations can be made by calling 802-785-4344.

Kay Morton as Mary and Mike Backman as James, rehearsing a scene from Long Day's Journey Into Night, Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece.

Sam Chapin as Edmund and Chris Rosenquest as Jamie, rehearsing a scene from Long Day's Journey Into Night, Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece.

Sam Chapin as Edmund and Melissa Noonan as Cathleen, rehearsing a scene from Long Day's Journey Into Night, Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece.

Under Milk Wood
by Dylan Thomas


Sophie Wood, Director

Patrick Freund, Producer, (call 802-785-4291)

Auditions and shows will be at Parish Players' Eclipse Grange

Show Dates: Friday & Saturday, November 28 & 29 and Thursday, Friday & Saturday, December 4, 5 & 6, (evening)
Sunday Matinées, November 30 and December 7

Under Milk Wood is poet/playwright Dylan Thomas' most famous and popular work. "A moving and hilarious account of a spring day in a small Welsh town", the play begins with dreams and ghosts before dawn and closes "as the rain of dusk brings on the bawdy night". The play is lyrical, impassioned and funny; "an Our Town given universality".

For more information please call producer Patrick Freund at 802-785-4291

Windows and Drainage

Parish Players is extremely blessed to own its theater - the historic Eclipse Grange. Between 1998 and 2002, a major renovation made many improvements to the building. Since then, we have continued to maintain and improve our theater. We have replaced old, leaky windows with energy efficient ones in the green room and dressing room. We hope to do the same in the library and costume loft. Last summer we scraped and painted the front.

This summer, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation, we have remedied the drainage problem which caused water to collect in the cellar. We will next solve the ice build-up on the porch roof which causes leaking into the foyer. Many thanks go to the Byrne Foundation for their generous contribution and to the many members who have labored and will, hopefully, continue to give loving care to our theater.

Painting - Mission Accomplished

Thanks to the hard work of several Parish Players and a few friends, the front of the Grange is looking mighty fine. A big thanks to the following painters:

  • Sally Duston
  • Janet Eller
  • Philip Eller
  • Pat Freund
  • Li Haishan
  • Jasmine Li
  • Lizzy Marks
  • Neal Meglathery
  • Will Meglathery
  • Kay Morton
  • Duncan Nichols
  • Barbara Payson
  • Jim Schley
  • Dean Whitlock

New Bulletin Board

Shelby Grantham and Janet Eller worked on replacing the bulletin board on the porch with a new cork one sporting a green frame to match the newly painted front doors.

Restored Sandwich Board

If that weren't enough, Barbara Payson has restored the sandwich board to make it weatherproof and it looks great. THANKS TO EVERYONE!

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