'I Remember Mama'

Camelot Theatre Company will present "I Remember Mama." The play was adapted in 1944 by John Van Druten from Kathryn Forbes' book "Mama's Bank Account," her fictionalized memoir about a Norwegian-American family. The play was made into a 1948 film, a popular long-running television series and a Broadway musical.

"I Remember Mama" previews at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, April 22 and 23. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24, and runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through May 24.

It's 1910 in San Francisco. Mama and Papa are raising their children in a modest home. A sweet and capable manager, Mama guides her four children through childhood, manages to educate them and sees daughter Katrin begin her career as a writer. Mama's three sisters and eccentric uncle furnish a rich background for a great deal of comedy and tenderness. All the while, the children keep the house in pleasant commotion.

"I Remember Mama" is directed by Camelot veteran Paul R. Jones; dramaturgy is by Richard Moeschl. Jones has more than 220 stage productions to his credit as an actor, director, set and lighting designer. A professor of theatre arts at College of the Sequoias for 27 years, Jones retired in 2004 and relocated to the Rogue Valley. At Camelot, he has acted in "Judgment at Nuremberg" "Camelot," "1776," "Fahrenheit 451," "Man of La Mancha," "Sockdology" and "1984." Directing credits at Camelot include "The Heidi Chronicles," "The Dresser" and "The Grapes of Wrath."

Moeschl, arts and entertainment editor for the Ashland Daily Tidings and the Mail Tribune, is a weekly columnist, theater critic and lecturer. His play, "Arthur's Dreams," won the 2006 Oregon Book Award for Drama.

"I Remember Mama" stars Presila Quinby as Mama, Sarah Gore as Katrin and Bruce Lorange as Uncle Chris, and features Jack Seybold (Papa), Dianna Warner (Aunt Jenny), Susan DuMond (Aunt Sigrid), Renée Hewitt (Aunt Trina), Daniel Stephens (Mr. Thorkelson) and Ruedi Vest (Mr. Hyde).

Quinby last appeared at Camelot as Lenya in "Bullshot Crummond." Other credits include Mrs. Muzzy in "Sockdology" and Kate in "Dancing at Lughnasa." She has worked regionally on both coasts in dramatic and musical productions and in New York City for 16 years. She appeared on Broadway in "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "The Secret Garden" and in the national tour of "Blood Brothers."

A recent transplant from Pennsylvania, Gore has had roles in a number of musicals, including Chip in "Beauty and the Beast" and Margie in "Bye, Bye Birdie."

Lorange's most recent roles at Camelot include the Preacher in "The Grapes of Wrath" and Dr. Dreyfuss in "Promises, Promises." A graduate of the Pasadena Playhouse with a master's in speech and theatre, Lorange worked as a professional actor in stage and on television in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years before moving to Oregon.

Seybold is a retired teacher with an master's in linguistics. He appears in his 15th Camelot production. He was Wally Fergusson in "The 1940's Radio Hour," Padre in "Man of La Mancha," Tito Merrelli in "Lend Me a Tenor" and Mr. Lundie in "Brigadoon."

Warner's many Camelot roles include M'lynn in "Steele Magnolias," Jack's Mother in "Into the Woods" and Queen Elizabeth in "the Beard of Avon." Warner has worked with Rogue Music Theatre in productions including "Godspell," "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and "South Pacific."

After graduating from Bennington College with a bacherlor's in Theatre, DuMond continued to study acting at HB Studio in New York. In 2008, she appeared as Rose Mundy in CTC's production of "Dancing at Lughnasa."

Hewitt's Camelot credits include Fiona in "Brigadoon," Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha," Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker" and Guenevere in "Camelot."

Stephens last appeared at Camelot as Archie Beaton in "Brigadoon." His other Camelot roles include Saunders in "Lend Me a Tenor," Mr. McIlhenny in "Do I Hear a Waltz," James Cagney in "Shakespeare in Hollywood," B.J. Gibson in "The 1940's Radio Hour" and Jacqout in "Carnival."

Vest was a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival acting company in the 1950's. In the Bay Area he was active in theater for more four decades. Favorite roles include H.C. Curry in "The Rainmaker," Nunz in "Over the River and Through the Woods," the Stage Manager in "Our Town," Giles Corey in "The Crucible," Willie Loman in "Death of a Salesman" and Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Rounding out the "I Remember Mama" cast are Peter Wickliffe (Nels), Kenzie McKillip and Lisa Marie Werfel (sharing the role of Christine), Rosamond Kimball and Kaya Van Dyke (sharing the role of Dagmar), Reese D. Rush (Arne), Kathleen Marrs (Jessie), Timothy Kelly (Dr. Johnson), Joanna Knower (Dorothy), Maria Ciamaichelo (Florence Dana Moorehead) and Lilly Michaels (Madeline).

The production team for "I Remember Mama" includes Camelot's resident designers: costumer Emily Ehrlich Inget; set designer, properties master and master carpenter Don Zastoupil; lighting designer Bart Grady and sound designer Brian OConnor. Stage management is by Taja Watkins; assistant stage manager is Stephen Krause. Stage management intern is Lisa Marie Werfel.

Tickets are $10 for the Thursday preview. Regular performances are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. Reserved seating is an additional $2. Tickets are available online at camelottheatre.org, by phone at 535-5250, or at the theater box office from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances.

The Tuesday, April 22, performance is a fundraiser for Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity. All tickets for this performance are $18. There will be a pay-what-you-can performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.

Share This Story