Seem-to-be players: Actors ready to reunite for weekend

Players from across the country will perform next weekend in productions that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Seem-To-Be Players and generate money to keep the troupe alive for decades.

More than 100 Seem-To-Be Players have performed during the company's 30-year run. Former players now live in New York, Los Angeles, Colorado and around the world.

Current and alumni actors alike will join together to stage "The Ugly Duckling" all weekend and "The River City Revue" on Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

"The Ugly Duckling" by H.C. Andersen will be at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. In addition to the classic tale of acceptance, the players will conduct sing-a-longs and perform bits and a short "Adventure of Nyfrm the Sprite" from the troupe's original serial performed between 1973 and 1982.

Leading the cast will be Preston Girard (1993-2003) as the Ugly Duckling. Other performers will include Roger Nolan (1974-76), Christy Brandt (1975-95), Susanna Pitzer (1981-2003), Renee and David Carey (1978-82), Annie Mahoney (1981-83), Gail Bronfman Bunch (1981-83), Jerry Mitchell (1994-2003), and Jason Ware (1991-2003). New players Tom Picasso (2003) and Heidi Van Middlesworth (2003) will be introduced with musicians Ric Averill (1973-2003) and Mike Helvey (1975-1995).

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children.

Saturday evening, audiences can catch the variety of the troupe's annual talent show of music, vaudeville, comedy and dance. Wine and cheese will precede the performance at 7 p.m., and the show will run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost is $30 per person ($1 per year).

Featured along with a mix of community players and the cast of "The Ugly Duckling" will be Jeanne Averill (1973-2003), Jeff Dearinger (1973-2003), Beth Dearinger (1973-2003), Jeff Tamblyn (1974-82), Laurie McLane Higginson (1975-2003), Jennifer Glenn (1979-2003), Sara Hendricks Breeze (1975-77), David Naster (1974-75), Tommee Sherwood (1975-91), Heather Laird (1977-2003), Erin Kessler (1994-2003), Becky Ford O'Keefe (1985-2003) and pianist Mike Boring (1973-2003).

In addition to acts prepared by these players, audiences also can expect performances by Karen Fender's tap dancers, Steve Mason's bluegrass ensemble and Hank Booth as master of ceremonies.

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