An old mansion on one of the Great Lakes, its grounds blanketed in snow, former home to a prominent family that has faded from memory. This is what thespians from the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild (GLTG) were searching for and recently found in Euclid’s Henn Mansion. The local historical treasure has been incorporated into the GLTG’s March production of The Westing Game.
A popular novel by Ellen Raskin, adapted for stage, The Westing Game is a quirky murder mystery revolving around a sprawling estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. Alfred W. Henn’s 1923 English Tudor manor was just what the GLTG needed for this stage production which incorporates video and photographic images with live performance.
Through special arrangement with “Friends of the Henn Mansion”, regional actors recently descended upon the restored home in Sims Park to film short sequences which will be projected during the live production later this month.
The project is also the perfect opportunity for inter-county collaboration and marketing. “It is always exciting when organizations can come together to share resources and ideas. Everyone stands to gain,” said GLTG executive director Chris Cipriani. “The beautiful Henn Mansion has our imaginations running wild as to a potential partnership in the future.”
Henn Mansion’s house manager Pat Brady is also looking forward to future collaborations. “I had an opportunity to do some networking with several members of the group,” said Ms. Brady. “What a pleasure it was to meet and work with the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild. Everyone conducted themselves in a most professional manner.”
Director Angela Miloro-Hansen of Chardon and videographer Jonathan Klein of Burton assembled cast and crew at the mansion in February to film scenes that included a flashback of a formal dance, and a creepy Halloween night exploration of the house by a precocious 13 year old girl. All three floors of the mansion were utilized in the filming.
Ms. Miloro-Hansen first discovered Henn Mansion a few years ago when her aunt was married there. “It perfectly fit the description of the Westing Mansion, with Lake Erie playing the role of Lake Michigan,” she said. “Being on location in this setting helped our cast to further develop their characters in a way that will only enhance their live performances.”
Geauga Lyric Theater Guild’s The Westing Game will run from March 14 through March 30. Content appropriate for all ages. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m.; Sunday performances at 2 p.m.
Middlefield Bank is the marquee sponsor. Tickets are $15.00 for adult, $13.00 student/senior, and a special child price for ages 10 and under of $8.00. For information on a special student rate performance sponsored by Middlefield Bank please call 440-285-7701. The historic Geauga Theater is located on beautiful Chardon Square at 101 Water Street, in Chardon, Ohio.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the website or call the box office at 440-286-2255.
Pictured above: (L to R) Jonathan Klein (Get the Pix) photographs actors Evan Graham and Emily Sadowski