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Friday, March 6, 2015

H-G’s ‘Miracle’ heads to PACTFest; local performance is March 11

During the comedy “Miracle on South Division Street,” Clara Nowak (Linda Iseri of Wellsboro) prepares her miracle soup as her daughter Ruth (Johna Neal of Mansfield) tries to tell her the story of the shrine built in 1943 by Clara’s father to commemorate his vision of the Virgin Mary. Not pictured are cast members Noyes Lawton of Wellsboro and Kerry Miller of Westfield. The show is entered in the Pennsylvania Association of Community Theatres’ competition on March 13 and 14.
WELLSBORO, PA—Hamilton-Gibson Productions is presenting “Miracle on South Division Street” as its entry in PACTFest 2015. The community theatre contest is Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14, at the Gettysburg Community Theatre at 49 York Street.

Local audiences can see the H-G entry during a special performance on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Warehouse Theatre on Central Avenue in Wellsboro. In lieu of tickets, donations will be accepted at the door to help defray PACTFest expenses.

After the play’s successful run in Wellsboro in November 2014, Director Thomas Putnam decided to enter “Miracle” in the state competition. To enter, he had to shorten the show from 85 minutes to less than 60 as required. The cast has been rehearsing the 57-minute version since January.

A comedy with a twist, the play is about a Roman Catholic Polish-American family that has been maintaining a shrine for 70 years. Linda Iseri of Wellsboro is Clara, the daughter of the man who built the shrine. Playing her grown children are Noyes Lawton of Wellsboro as Jimmy, Johna Neal of Mansfield as Ruth and Kerry Miller of Westfield as Bev.

The March 13 and 14 PACTFest festival is the first step toward the 2015 community theater national title. Pennsylvania winners will compete with community theater groups from Delaware, Maryland and New York at the April 17-19 regional event. The 10 regional winners will then compete for the USA title in Michigan this June.

During PACTFest, on Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m., the Gettysburg Community Theatre will present “Rent” and the Community Theatre League of Williamsport, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” On Saturday, March 14, at 10:30 a.m., the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre will perform “The Crucible.” At 1:30 p.m., the Barley Sheaf Players will present “Postcards from a Dead Dog,” Hamilton-Gibson will perform “Miracle on South Division Street” and the Barnstormers, “Nine.”

At the conclusion of each play, the actors, director, and technical crew, along with audience members, will listen as the judges critique the performance. At 8 p.m. Saturday night, the judges will announce the winners who will represent Pennsylvania at the regional contest.

The Gettysburg performances are open to the public. For a superpass or tickets, visit http://www.pactheatres.com.

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