Love Letters at Hide-A-Way

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2018

“Andrew Makepeace Ladd III accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Channing Gardner for a birthday party in honor of their daughter Melissa on April 19, 1937 at half-past 3 o’clock,” Joe Senseney said as he recited the first line of A.R. gurney’s play “Love Letters” during rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon.

Picayune On Stage and Mississippi Cameo Club are performing a benefit luncheon for Ms. Mississippi Senior America on Wednesday, June 27 at Hide-A-Way Lake’s Waters Edge. Director Gladys Hughes said “Love Letters” is the perfect play for a lunch event. She said she directed the play once before years ago and absolutely loved it, so she thought it would be a good choice for the luncheon.

“This is a luncheon show. A lot of people come to have lunch and be entertained a little bit, so this is our entertainment,” Gladys Hughes said.

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A stage will be brought in and the two performers, Senseney and Bonnie Hughes, will sit at desks as they perform the lines. The play follows a man and woman who start their life long friendship/relationship by sending each other letters as children. As the play progresses, the two are shown at various stages in life. They talk about friendship, family, love and the struggles of finding their way as adults during wartime, their professional life and marriage.

Gladys Hughes said she has been involved in acting and theatre since she was 3-years-old. As she grew older, she decided to pursue theatre as a profession, so she taught theater for 30 years. Once she retired, she turned her attention to directing. Gladys Hughes said this will be her 84th show to direct.

Bonnie Hughes said she was a school principal, but before teaching she used to perform in theater in New Orleans. After going to graduate school, she didn’t act in theater again until she retired. Now, this is her 18th show since returning to the stage.

Senseney said this will be his first show.

Gladys Hughes said she found Senseney because of his voice.

“We’re just getting Joe’s feet wet right now. I heard Joe speaking and he had this marvelous voice and I thought, ‘this is who I need,’ so that’s how Joe came into it even though he’s had never had that theater experience before,” Gladys Huges said.

“I read somewhere, and I can’t remember who coined the phrase, but someone once said, ‘a man should do something every day that scares him a little.’ This is about two months worth of scaring,” Senseney said.

Gladys Hughes said “Love Letters” is the perfect play for an amateur to start with because there’s no pressure to memorize lines because the play involves the actors reading from actual letters.

The play will begin at 11:30 a.m. and tickets will be $26 per person to cover the cost of the lunch and show. For reservations, Gladys Hughes can be reached at 601-799-1714. She said if anyone outside of Hide-A-Way Lake would like to attend, they should call the head office at 601-798-1484 to make a reservation.