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From the University of Memphis Magazine

Playwright Catherine Ladnier
Visits University of Memphis
The College of Communication and Fine Arts

View the article in PDF format here.

Worthington Players & Love in a Time of War receive Awards

The NEPTA Award Winners have been announced! The Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance presents this annual event, held every spring, which highlights and honors the best of the best in Community Theater. The categories mirror those of the Tony Awards, including Best Actor and Actress in a comedy, drama and musical. There are awards for supporting actors, directors, and technical work as well. And of course there are awards for Best Comedy, Best Drama, Best Musical and Best Overall show of the year.

The Worthington Players, the artistic arm of The Shawnee Institute and whose “home stage” is The Shawnee Playhouse, received a total of 50 nominations this year!! The awards ceremony was held this year on April 9th at the beautiful Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Banquet Center in Hawley Pa.

All six of The Worthington Players Productions from 2010 were nominated. Congratulations to all of the directors, casts, crews and creative teams!! The winners are listed below by show and include some of the best local talent ever seen in Theatre.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Kevin Hillma as Soldier – Love in Time of War

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Lydia Samson as Helen/Mae/Leach/Ann -Love In Time of War
Sara Ferguson as USO Singer/Girlfriend – Love In Time of War

Best Lead Actor in a Drama
Travis Southard as Carl/Art/Harry/Soldiers -Love in a Time of War

Best Lead Actress in a Drama
Amy Cramer as Eva – Love In Time of War

Best Sound Design
Emily Cioc -Love in Time of War

Best Lighting Design
Kyle Mahaney -Love in Time of War

Best Costume Design
Missy Benefield -Love in Time of War

Best Original Production – Love in Time of War

See more at:

Greenwich Historical Society Sept. 17, 2007

Reading of play derived from World War II letters

Hamden, Conn. – The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich will perform a reading of Act II of the play “Dear Eva” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the Vanderbilt Education Center at the society’s Bush-Holley Historic Site at 39 Strickland Road. Quinnipiac University associate professor of journalism Paul Janensch and Catherine Ladnier of Greenwich wrote the play.

A conversation with Janensch and Ladnier follows the one-hour performance. Admission is $15. For more information, call 203 869 6899, ext 10.

“Dear Eva” is a nonfiction play based on real World War II era letters saved by Ladnier’s mother, Eva Lee Brown of Easley, S.C. Ladnier discovered the letters a few years ago and asked Janensch to write the play with her.

After Ladnier discovered the letters, she and Janensch turned the best of the letters into a play about average folks who lived, loved and fought during World War II. Janensch and Ladnier selected, arranged and edited the letters and wrote a connecting narrative but made nothing up.

“The time seems right for such a work,” Janensch said. “Audiences will draw meaningful comparisons between World War II and the war in Iraq. Back then, all Americans, including these letter writers, made sacrifices for the war effort. Today, sacrifice is limited to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their loved ones at home. The rest of us go shopping.”

Organized by year from 1939 to 1946, the letters tell compelling intertwined stories:

  • Brother Bill is working in the Washington, D.C., area and sending money home. He marries Mae, a Philadelphia beauty. A German glider bomb sinks his troop ship, which is kept secret by the Allies until after the war. He is rescued and goes to India. Mae is ill while Bill is away but insists she is fine.
  • Cousin Clifton wants to fly against his mother’s wishes. He marries Avis, the daughter of a colonel. Clifton’s plane is shot down over France but he survives. Eva is sought after by many “soldier boys” who write her ardent letters. Harry Ladnier from California wins her heart. Harry receives love letters from many women. Interestingly, they are part of Eva’s collection.
  • Other letter writers also make only brief but memorable appearances: James writes from “Somewhere on the Angio (he meant Anzio) Beachhead, Italy.” He is later wounded. Annabel writes, “I could weep if it would do any good when I see so many armless, legless and blind.”