Graphic courtesy Springville Center for the Arts

By Alex Simmons

“On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson, tells the story of an aging couple Ethel (played by Mary Sion) and Norman (Mike Sharrer) Thayer who spend their summer on the titular Golden Pond.

Throughout the year, they are visited by their daughter Chelsea (Kelly Gram), her fiance Bill Ray (Rick Manzone) and his son Billy Ray (Justin Simmons). The play explores the rocky relationship Chelsea faces with her father and the difficulties of a long marriage.

Director Patricia Maxwell “held the auditions early so the actors could get started on learning their lines in December,” she said. Maxwell “suggested the show because it is timeless,” also stating “it offers so much for those of us entering our retirement years, facing the struggles of mortality and for our children, who as adults now have their own struggles.”

The cast consists of six members, who mesh very well. “Everyone becomes family very early on,” Maxwell said, expressing that things are going well. “There are always bumps in the road when doing a production but amazingly, it does all come together.”

The set is beautifully designed by Bill McGirr, an alumnus of the theater.
Maxwell has enjoyed watching the characters develop and grow closer. That’s the magic of theater.

“Theater brings us together in a place where we all experience something together, we leave our lives at the door and enter a different world,” she said.

On Golden Pond has something for everyone. “There are certainly some laughs mixed in with tears,” Maxwell said. “If you enjoyed the movie, you will love the stage production also.” She said that you can see “yourself and your parents” with this production.

Maxwell, the cast of “On Golden Pond” and crew wish for you to “come fill those seats, come to the cottage and listen to the loons with us on Golden Pond.”

You can catch performances of “On Golden Pond” Feb. 27-29 and March 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and March 1 and 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale now by visiting or calling (716) 592-9038.