For those of you who read my columns, you know of my love for the theatre. I believe in the value of performance arts, and do all I can to support these community efforts.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
For those of you who read my columns, you know of my love for the theatre. I believe in the value of performance arts, and do all I can to support these community efforts.
“Love Letters” is a must-see for me. I maintain a master schedule of local theatre productions, and each and every one is entered on my calendar with intentions to sit in the audience and spend the next two hours in other lands, in other towns. Regretfully, there are times I have to miss out.
But, I tell you - I will not miss this one. Being a hopeless romantic, this play will be a special valentine just for me.   
Cumberland Theatre will present Betsey Hurwitz Schwab and Doug Schwab - performing A.R. Gurney's touching play “Love Letters” this February as a follow-up to Valentine's Day. The performances will be Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
The show will be performed as a fundraiser for the theatre's Capital Improvement Fund, which has been created to revamp, remodel and refurbish the theatre.The fund has a goal of $150,000 and they have already acquired $74,700 for the purchase of a new roof, new heating and air conditioning systems, and much needed upgrades to their sound and lighting systems. 
Other plans include remodeling patron bathrooms and actors' dressing rooms as well as many other projects.
Following in the footsteps of the late Leonard and Jane Schwab, who also performed this piece at Cumberland Theatre, Betsey and Doug will be embodying Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, both born to wealth and position. They are childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters through the boarding school and college years—where Andy goes on to excel at Yale and law school, while Melissa flunks out of a series of "good schools." While Andy is off at war Melissa marries, but her attachment to Andy remains strong, and she continues to keep in touch as he marries, becomes a successful attorney, gets involved in politics and, eventually, is elected to the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, her marriage in tatters, Melissa dabbles in art and gigolos, drinks more than she should, and becomes estranged from her children.
A unique and imaginative theatre piece which, in the words of the author, "needs no theatre, no lengthy rehearsal, no special set, no memorization of lines, and no commitment from its two actors beyond the night of performance,” the piece is composed of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences.
As the actors read the letters aloud, what is created is an evocative, touching, frequently funny but always telling pair of character studies in which what is implied is as revealing and meaningful as what is actually written down.
Tickets are available online and at the box office before each performance.  Adult tickets are $20 and Students are $10.  Their Starbox VIP Lounge with beverages, finger foods and VIP seating is also available to book. 
Don't miss this touching show and your chance to help preserve the performing arts in Western Maryland!
For more information, contact Cumberland Theatre at (301) 759-4990, or visit www.cumberlandtheatre.com. The theatre is located at 101 N. Johnson St. in Cumberland.