As Pam McArdle says, it’s nice to “practice what you preach” as she and other performing arts faculty do as they share their passion and talent with the rest of the community in what has been dubbed “faculty plays.”
Faculty plays, though not regular occurrences, have become more frequent recently; nine faculty plays have opened in the last fifteen years. Last fall David Peck, Carlotta Zilliax and Cathy Cesario performed The Road to Mecca. This fall Pam McArdle and friend Waldo Fielding will perform A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters.
Faculty performances occur toward the beginning of the year when the Milton schedule is not jammed with performances and before the faculty get totally immersed and overcommitted. On some occasions, faculty plays have included a student or alumnus.
Volunteer energy and labor goes into one of these productions. Faculty plays are a way of sharing with the community and usually transpire when some faculty member falls in love with a particular play or performance idea.
Although Pam performs in community theatre, this is her first piece for the Milton community. “I decided to bring Love Letters to Milton for the loveliness of the message, the beauty of the language, the challenge of finding the characters and their connections, and the simplicity of staging it,” says Pam. Summer rehearsals focused on the text, the message and character development.
“Love Letters is really a listening piece,” says Pam, “very touching, very funny and revealing.” Love Letters is the story of the relationship and romance between Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and his childhood sweetheart Melissa Gardner. Their lifelong correspondence begins in 1937 with the exchange of birthday party thank-you notes and summer postcards while in second grade, and continues through boarding school, college years and adult life.