ACT Season to Open With a Witty Family Clash

By Linda McClane

Amelia Community Theatre kicks off its 42nd season on Oct. 7 with “The Country House”

A show that blends comedy and drama, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies.

Set at their home in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, a family of actors has gathered for the Williamstown Theatre Festival and to mark the somber anniversary of a death.

Anna, the matriarch of the family and a Broadway star, has asked her son Elliot and her granddaughter Susie to join her to reminisce about Kathy, who died a year previously. Kathy was Anna’s daughter, Susie’s mother and Elliot’s sister. Joining them is Susie’s father Walter, a movie director who was married to Kathy. Walter brings his new girlfriend Nell, also an actor, which is an unwelcome surprise to daughter Susie. In addition, Michael, a well-known television star who is appearing at the festival, is invited to stay with the family. His presence has a startling effect on each of the three women in the house.

Clashing egos and the jealous and frustrated temperaments of those gathered provide the ingredients for witty and stimulating conversations.  Director Gill Johnston says, “These characters are dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love, some desire success, and some want artistic genius. They are all searching for the piece of the puzzle that they think will make them happy. Playwright Margulies is a master at showing characters at their best and at their worst.”

The cast includes Robert Davis, Diana Herman, Samantha Hilliker, Frank O’Donnell, Clarisse Phillips, and Joseph Stearman.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on October 7-8, 13-15, 20-22 and at 2 p.m. on October 9 and 16 at 207 Cedar Street in Fernandina Beach.  Opening night ticket holders who are 21 and over will be treated to a complimentary wine-tasting from 6:30-7:15 on October 7. Show tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students through college, available at and by calling (904) 261-6749. Box office hours are from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, plus is open 90 minutes before curtain on show dates. Season ticket passes for the entire 42nd season of plays are also available.

Amelia Community Theatre