DARIEN, Conn. -- Veteran actor Will Jeffries plays one of the lead roles of Norman Thayer in the Darien Arts Center's production of "On Golden Pond" beginning this weekend.
The production of the 1979 classic by Ernest Thompson is the first of many events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Darien Arts Center. The play tells the story of aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend their summers at their home on the pond. The story unfolds as their daughter, Chelsea, visits them with her fiancé, Billy Ray Sr., and his son, Billy Ray Jr. They ask the Thayers to watch Billy Ray Jr. while they visit Europe, which leads to unexpected bonding between Norman and the boy.
Director Patrick Kiley of Fairfield said he was elated to work with Jeffries in his directorial debut at the DAC.
“I feel so privileged to work with such an experienced actor. Will’s intuition and innate talent are priceless and add immeasurably to the chemistry on stage," Kiley said.
Jeffries has worked for 25 years on stage and in films and television. His film work includes "Iron Eagle," "Remo Williams," and "Refuge." He has appeared on series such as "ER," "Newhart," "Valerie," and "Matlock," and in soap operas, most notably playing the evil Damon Grenville on "General Hospital." He has starred off-Broadway as JFK in "Kennedy at Colonus," originated the role of Arnold's lover Ed in "Torch Song Trilogy" with Harvey Fierstein and played IRA commander Keeney in the American premier of Brian Friel's "Volunteers." He also starred in "Don Juan In Hell" with Ricardo Montalban, Lynn Redgrave and Stewart Granger under the direction of Marshall W. Mason.
In community theater, he has worked with the Ridgefield Theatre Barn, the Bridgeport Theatre Company, the Town Players of New Canaan, Wilton Playshop, Westport Community Theatre, Curtain Call and Carriage House Arts Center.
Nancy Sinacore plays Norman's wife Ethel in "On Golden Pond" and it will be the third time she and Jeffries have played husband and wife on stage. They previously starred together in "Death of a Salesman" at Curtain Call and again in "All My Sons" at the Ridgefield Theatre Barn.
"I am so glad to be Norman to her Ethel," Jeffries said.
The cast of "On Golden Pond" also includes David Jackins as Charlie Martin, the local postman, Sinacori as Ethel Thayer, DAC Kids’ Theatre teacher and veteran actress Kitty Robertson as Chelsea Thayer Wayne, Jeffries as Norman Thayer, MacKay Mumford as Billy Ray, and Eric Dino as Bill Ray, Sr.
Performances are March 13-15 and 20-22 in the DAC Weatherstone Studio. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at darienarts.org or by calling the DAC box office at (203) 655-5414. The DAC is at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.
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