This is the final weekend for the Playhouse ‘s family comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace.” The show runs Thursday 27th through Saturday 29th.
Beginning this year, Playhouse has changed the schedules and pricing of its main-stage shows. The 27th will be the only Thursday performance. It will also be the one night with special reduced prices to help ensure that everyone in the community has access to these shows. All adult seats purchased at the box office are $5 off their regular prices.
The staff, students, and volunteers at Playhouse, as well as the theater community as a whole learned that “Arsenic and Old Lace,” will come to a bittersweet conclusion this Saturday as it was announced that it will be the last show Ms. Sally Ritch plans to perform in the area.
Ms. Ritch has been referred to as a “Grand Dame of the Hill Country Theatre.” Not only has she performed and directed countless shows at the Point and Playhouse, but she is also the matriarch of a family of performers well known to Hill Country audiences.
Andy Ritch, Sally’s husband have been active in the theatre here since his childhood, primarily at the HCAF on the stage that bears his family’s name. Most recently, Mr. Ritch directed the critically acclaimed “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” for the Guadalupe Stage Quartet at the Warrior Theatre.
Many of Ms. Ritch’s children and grandchildren have made their mark on local stages. Tom Hale has conducted and played in the pit orchestra for many musical comedies over the years. Suzanne Edwards is known as a high-energy comic actress. Kathleen Ritch, like her mother before her, has portrayed a great many of the most beloved musical heroines on Hill Country stages. Even Jonathan and Adam Edwards, Ms. Ritch’s grandsons (both of whom went on to serve their country in the Military,) have performed in local shows.
In addition to their own family, the Ritchs have been involved the theatrical education of countless Hill Country performers as teachers. Ms. Ritch taught for many years as Tivy High School’s Drama Teacher, contributing to the development of many students who would eventually become theater professionals. Among them are her current director, Heather Cunningham of Playhouse 2000 and Chris Huber, who is currently directing the Point Theatre’s AACT Festival play “Almost, Maine.”
Mr. Ritch has taken every opportunity to teach. His dedication to strong vocal skills and powerful stage presence have helped define our amateur theatre community by holding it to the highest standard possible. “I still remember my first voice and diction workshop with Andy,” says Playhouse staffer Jeff Cunningham “I was sore and out of breathe after working for hours on a monologue from ‘Taming of the Shrew’ but in was a fundamental part of the training and the professional attitude that we are trying to instill in our Academy students, decades later.”
Playhouse staffers say they will miss the presence of Andy and Sally in the Kerr Area as they plan to move out of state, but are hopeful that the couple will visit frequently and continue to make their presence felt in the community that they helped define for so long.
Fans of Sally Ritch are encouraged to see her perform this weekend along with Ann Reynolds, Kirk Logan, Zach Salcich, Darcey Hill, and a cast full of “talented local performers.”
Tickets to this show, as well as Season Tickets and other Cailloux events are available at the Box Office (830)896-9393 ext. 223 or online at www.caillouxtheater.com. Patrons are advised to note the new Playhouse performance schedule.