Herald Staff Report
Two new productions will hit the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre stage this week.
“Love Letters” and “Hate Mail” will begin its run Wednesday at the Showboat and will explore the dynamics of love and hate between friends.
“Life is about relationships — that’s why we’re here,” Kristin Katsu, director of “Love Letters” and “Hate Mail,” said. “Both of these plays remind us to examine our own relationships with the people we interact with daily.”
While working with Steph Garrett and Matthew Gorgone, both professional actors seen in “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Spelling Bee,” Katsu found the most important aspect of the process to be the conversations about the actors’ relationships with each other, with the characters, and with their own loved ones.
“Love Letters” takes place between 1937 and 1986, and chronicles the relationship between a man and a woman who begin as friends in their third grade classroom. “Hate Mail” takes place in the present, detailing the characters’ journey from hate to love and back again. Both productions use a set of desks and chairs, but they quickly fill the stage with an arrangement of letters, cards, sticky notes, pictures and stationery.
While the “Love Letters” cast and crew hail from Colorado, Rhode Island, Maryland and Kansas, Jeff De Leon and Steph Burrough are only a few miles away in the Quad Cities. This will be their third run of this play, after performing twice in the Quad Cities, but it will be the first time in conjunction with “Love Letters.” “Hate Mail” was written as an alternative to “Love Letters.”
The Showboat’s fourth annual silent auction will continue until intermission of the final evening show on Aug. 12. The Showboat lobby is filled with art, jewelry, gift certificates, Hawkeye items, baskets and many more items available for bids.
Bidding is open to show patrons and the public during box office hours and show times.