What a wonderful Holiday gift is coming on Friday, December 17, 2021 for not only the residents of Laurel, Maryland but for all of those in the DC-Baltimore Area. Laurel Mill Playhouse will be reopening, officially, with a brand-new production, “World War II Radio Christmas” by Pat Kruis Telinghusen. The play will be directed by the well-respected, Michael Hartsfield and produced by Maureen Rogers. The only bit of sadness is that it will only run for one weekend.
The show takes us to a radio program at Christmas Eve during World War II. It spotlights stories from actual veterans and has wonderful songs and commercials from that era. These stories and music should be not only moving but inspirational, reminding us how strong we can be as a country and as a worldwide community when we all come together for the holidays in times of fear hardship.
Maureen Rogers (Producer) is the Artistic Director/Public Liaison at LMP. She also has appeared on stage with Merely Players, GAC, RLT, Pasadena Theater Company, and Laurel Community Theater. Recently you may have seen her in “Auntie Mame”as Vera, “Barefoot in the Park” as Mother, “I Never Sang for My Father” as Margaret, “Dancing at Lughnasa” as Kate, “Black Coffee” as Aunt Caroline, “The Man Who Came to Dinner”asMrs. Stanley, and “The Hollow” as Lady Angatell. Some of her favorite roles have been as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in “The Music Man,” Nurse Ratched in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Marilla in “Anne of Green Gables,” Emma Goldman in “Assassins”and Jessie in “Calendar Girls.”
After being dark for almost two years how does it feel to be reopening Laurel Mill Playhouse for a production?
It is so exciting to be able to open up for shows again! The Laurel Mill Playhouse Board of Directors are so grateful for the support from our patrons, our actors, the City of Laurel and the grants we received that have allowed us to stay in business throughout the pandemic. To be able to reconnect with these talented actors, directors, tech crew and patrons who are our friends has been a wonderful and energizing experience.
Who is in the cast and production staff?
I am the producer for this show as well as the Public Liaison and Artistic Director for Laurel Mill Playhouse. The cast includes Brian Binney, Tracy Davidson, Leena Dev, Sanjeev Dev, Lenny Dinerman, Nina Harris, Nik Henle, Cathy Holmes, Magdalena (Maggie) Johnson, Hillary Leyendecker, Delaney McGinniss, Reese, Jill Robinson, and Jill Vanderweit. The director is Michael V. Hartsfield, the music director is Mimi McGinniss and costume, prop mistress and sound designer is Marge McGugan.
Why did you choose this format (a radio play) and this particular play, “World War II Radio Christmas” for your reopening?
Having been closed for 21 months we thought a radio play would be a great way to ease actors back into performing as there is little memorization. The blocking is simple and the prospect of doing different voices is very enticing.
What other plays do you have waiting in the wings for the upcoming year?
We will be doing another radio play January 21 – January 30, 2022. It is called “The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script” based on the novel by H. G. Wells. We will be having some one-acts written by local playwrights and our spring musical will be “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
What special regulations or changes will you have due to Covid?
All our cast and crew must be fully vaccinated, and all patrons must show their vaccination card and ID. Mask must be worn during the production.
“World War II Radio Christmas” will be presented at Laurel Mill Playhouse at 508 Mains Street, Laurel, MD 20707. The performances, as stated, will be only one weekend, Friday, December 17 at 8pm, Saturday, December 18 at 2 pm and 8 pm and Sunday, December 19 at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance through Laurel Mill Playhouse. Tickets are only $10.00 for all as part of their Welcome Back Christmas Special. You can go to LMP site or contact Maureen Rogers. Don’t delay and order your seats right away. Let Laurel Mill Playhouse make your season brighter.