On Golden Pond (2013)

Written by: Ernest Thompson

Directed by: Bill Kane


“On Golden Pond” was presented to great critical and popular acclaim on Broadway in the late 1970’s and then made into a movie nominated for 10 Academy Awards in the early 1980’s. The story is a touching, funny and warmly perceptive study of a spirited and lovable elderly couple facing their twilight years, for which Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn won Academy Awards playing Norman and Ethel Thayer. While the play and film are quite similar, the theater version is often just plain more funny than the film. You could tell from the language, the word-play and split-second timing that humor is an integral part of the play’s fabric.

The plot focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their cottage on a lake called Golden Pond. They are visited by daughter Chelsea, who is somewhat estranged from her curmudgeon of a father. Ethel is constantly playing the peace maker between them. Chelsea introduces them to her new fiance, Bill, and asks the Thayers to permit Bill’s young son Billy to stay with them while she and Bill have some time to themselves.

A rather bratty Billy is annoyed by being left with elderly strangers with no friends nearby and nothing to do. He resents Norman’s brusque manner at first, but eventually comes to enjoy their Golden Pond fishing adventures together. Chelsea returns, a little exasperated and envious of the fact that Norman seemingly has bonded with the stranger’s child in a way he never quite did with her. The play explores the often turbulent relationship the young woman shared with her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage.


Norman Thayer Lee Henry
Ethel Thayer Marsha Propps
Chelsea Melanie Hull
Bill Michael Hull
Bill Jr. Dylan Wolff
Postman Ron Young
Phone Operator Susan Liberty


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