Hugh Humphreys brings to life a production of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology at the Earlville Opera House on Saturday, June 15th at 8pm and Sunday June 16th at 3pm. The citizens buried in the graveyard of this fictional Illinois town tell the riveting stories of their lives, their failures, their loves, their philosophies, their triumphs, their sins, their conflicts, their hopes, their secrets, their crimes. This production by Hugh Humphreys supports two of his favorite organizations – the Earlville Opera House and the National Abolition Hall of Fame.
Hugh Humphreys is an attorney, a popular playwright and speaker in Central New York. He explains how Spoon River Anthology relates to us now, and to our love of history: “The rural mid-west voices of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are similar to those of our own today in Madison and Chenango Counties. The characters hail from many walks of life: farmers, lawyers, grocers, Civil War soldiers and their sweethearts and mothers, seamstresses, scoundrels, people of fine and not-so-fine repute, workers, doctors, preachers, judges, adulterers, and so on. Those dead speak to us, many in words they would never have dared to use in life. Their lives still resonate with us.”
Hugh Humphreys’ staged production takes on this classic examination of the American character. Edgar Lee Masters, the author of Spoon River Anthology was an Illinois lawyer who was Clarence Darrow’s one-time law partner. At the time of its publication, in 1915 and 1916, “Spoon River Anthology was wildly successful, going through several editions rapidly and becoming one of the most popular books of poetry in the history of American literature” (Poets.org)
Eight actors from the area will each perform five to seven characters. The cast includes Hugh Humphreys of Hamilton, Colleen Law-Tefft and Jenni Larchar from Sherburne and John Grossman of Earlville. Two fine actors, Brian Erhard and Cindy Hendrickson, are attorneys who work with Hugh at the Legal Aid Society in Utica. Charlie Decock and Haley McArn, both of Hamilton, add the sparkle of youth to the program. Larchar, who starred in last summer’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, also anchors the musical part of the program with her outstanding voice. And her fiddle too!
Don’t miss the production of Spoon River Anthology adapted by Hugh Humphreys! He explains, “The Spoon River Anthology is a lovely piece that fits perfectly into the historic venue of the Earlville Opera House. I wanted to do a benefit for the EOH, and for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, two very worthy causes, and what better way than to join them with Spoon River.”
The evening performance is on Saturday, June 15th and the matinee is on Sunday June 16th! General admission is $15 and $13 for EOH and NAHOF members and students are discounted to $10. Premium seating in the first 4 rows is an added $5. The EOH Theater is wheelchair-accessible with a ramp and a lift.
During your visit, take advantage of the new exhibits in the three EOH Art Galleries, the Artisan’s Gift Shop featuring New York artists and the EOH Arts Café! Delicious refreshments will be available before the show and during intermission, including hot and cold drinks. For more information, or to reserve your seats, call 315-691-3550 or order online at www.earlvilleoperahouse.com. The Opera House is located at 18 East Main Street, in Earlville, NY.