STS gears up for "Mt. Morgan" performances

The Shandaken Theatrical Society (STS) will present Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, “The Ride Down Mount Morgan” beginning Friday, July 11 in Phoenicia. “The Ride Down Mount Morgan” is one of Miller’s later plays. The author felt that America in the 1980s was suffering from a collapse of values and that self-interest had triumphed over social responsibility.
The protagonist, Lyman Felt, is a businessman who splits his time between upstate New York and Manhattan. He takes advantage of this situation to lead a double life, which is abruptly dismantled when he smashes his car on a mountain road. Two women rush to his hospital bedside, each believing herself to be his wife. We watch Lyman, his family members, and his trusted lawyer pick up the pieces of their relationships, as he discovers, in his ride down Mount Morgan, that the removal of barriers may lead to disaster.
Blending drama, comedy, and farce, Miller’s crisp dialogue illuminates the struggle to balance one’s own truth with the needs of others.
Cast members are Jack Schoenthaler, Deborah Ann Warren, Violet Snow, Lewis Gardner, Elizabeth Fraser Barrows, and Jody Satriani.
When you have a theater, you have a society, said Miller. Discouraged by the state of American theater in the 1990s, he chose to open “The Ride Down Mount Morgan” in London, partly because of the determining power of money, whether related to production costs or the unwillingness of actors to desert Hollywood for New York.
Gavin Owen, director of the upcoming production in Phoenicia, recalls, “I was watching television one evening when Miller was being interviewed about his new play. I had been a director with the Welsh National Theatre & Opera Company, before moving to New York in 1979, and two friends of mine were in the London production of Miller’s play. The next day, I ordered a copy of the script and immediately fell in love with it.”
Fast forward to 2007 and STS. Owen had directed several short plays for the STS Play Fair, so he decided to propose doing the Miller play at the STS Playhouse.
Performances are July 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students, seniors, and STS members. The play contains adult language and is not appropriate for children.
For reservations, call 688-2279 or visit www.stsplayhouse.com. The STS Playhouse is at 10 Church Street, Phoenicia.