Amelia Community Theatre
Submitted by Linda McClane
June 7, 2021
Tickets for in-person or live streaming are available at AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org
Amelia Community Theatre presents “Men on Boats,” a comedy based on the 1869 exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers. While based on real life men and an historical, government-sanctioned expedition, this play puts an alternative spin on the story.
Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus stipulates that female actors portray the male explorers, setting a rollicking tone to the show, with a new interpretation to the tale. Backhaus reasoned that in 1869, women were rarely invited on grand adventures of this nature, so any resulting movies or plays would feature male actors. This show was her way to change that.
Ten men in four boats, led by John Wesley Powell, navigate their way through rapids and over waterfalls into the big canyon they had heard about. The men are in awe as they arrive in what we know is the Grand Canyon, saying, “What a chamber for a resting place is this.”
“The boat scenes, while challenging to rehearse, are so much fun to watch. Our actors paddle through rapids, capsize, rescue each other, and face scary-as-a-rollercoaster waterfalls,” says director Linda McClane.
There is strong adult language throughout the show, at the evening campfires and on the boats, as the explorers attempt to survive another day on the raging river.
The cast includes Susan Balée, Violet Boerescu, Shannon Brandt, Jan Cote-Merow, Olivia Else, Jayne Jeney, Bunny Halsted, Diana Herman, Tyla Holloway, and Renée LaCroix.
In-person and livestreamed performances are at 8 p.m. on June 11-12, 17-19, 24-26, and at 2 p.m. on June 13 and 20, on the Main Stage at 207 Cedar Street.
Tickets are available at AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org or by calling (904) 261-6749, with in-person tickets $25 for adults and $10 for students through college. Livestream tickets are $15 for an individual and $30 for a household.
The ACT Box Office is open from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and opens ninety minutes before curtain on show dates. Amelia Community Theatre is celebrating its 40th season of putting the community on stage.