Readers’ Theater presenting ‘Dandelion Wine’

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GARDINER — The Open Book Players, a readers’ theater company, will present an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s 1957 novel, “Dandelion Wine,” on April 8, at 7:30 p.m. and April 9 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Hall in Gardiner. 

This story takes place in the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of Green Town, Illinois, based upon Bradbury’s childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois. The novel developed from the short story “Dandelion Wine” which appeared in the June 1953 issue of Gourmet magazine. The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and other ingredients, commonly citrus fruit. In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist’s grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the joys of summer into a single bottle.
The main character of the story is Douglas Spaulding, a 12-year-old boy loosely patterned after Bradbury. Most of the story is focused upon the routines of small-town America, and the simple joys of yesterday.
Included in the cast are Jay Barnett in the title role of “Douglas” with other cast members Kathy Kauffman, Andy Tolman, Cindy Turcotte, Kathleen Brainerd, Rita Moran, Bob McIntire, Staci Fowler, Ginger Smith, and Kelsey Parker playing multiple roles throughout the production.

Musical accompaniment is provided by Curt Jack, artistic direction by Lucy Rioux, and lighting by Lyn Swan. General admission is $8 and $5 for students.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Johnson Hall at 582-7144 or on line at www.johnsonhall.org.

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During rehearsal for ‘Dandelion Wine,’ from left, Staci Fowler, Rita Moran, Jay Barnett, Bob McIntire, Kathleen Brainerd, and Cindy Turcotte.

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