UNDER MILK WOOD
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s 1953 masterpiece, Under Milk Wood, was written as a radio play, making it perfect for a reader’s theater format. At turns funny and poignant, the play’s luscious language chronicles a single day in the life of an only-slightly-fictional Welsh seaside village. Its memorable inhabitants, who are both ordinary and eccentric, include Captain Cat, Organ Morgan, Polly Garter and three dozen more characters. Guilford Center Stage, which specializes in plays with a connection to its home locale, has chosen this work as particularly suitable to the 1837 Guilford Center Meeting House, which is used on this occasion due to renovations which will temporarily close the theater group’s usual venue up the road at the Community Center. Guilford Center Stage presented another play for voices, Verandah Porche’s “Broad Brook Anthology”, at the Meeting House in 2018, and finds the setting ideal for reader’s theater. How is a Welsh play connected to Guilford? The answer is that this play was performed over a half-century ago at Packer Corners Farm in Guilford, and the current production includes three of the original five readers: Don McLean, Verandah Porche, and Richard Wizansky. Since that 1969 reading, the play has been repeated several times in Guilford: In 1993, Evelyn McLean joined the cast, and has been in each revival since; subsequently, Todd Mandell joined the group, and rounds out the cast on this occasion. In 2014, in commemoration of the Dylan Thomas Centenary, this group of 5 reader/actors presented the play at Broad Brook Grange (now the Community Center) and it was as a result of that performance that Guilford Center Stage was founded. These performances are given by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
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