Library Talk This Sunday/Plays in 2 Weeks

I will be giving a preview talk about my mother’s plays; the talk is this Sunday Sept 24 at Guilford Free Library, at 2 pm, & is, of course, free!  I’ll be joined by several people involved with the production, the story about which is below.  Thanks, Don


Guilford Center Stage will give the first-ever performances of four short plays written 70 years ago, in To Their Appointed End, by Jean Stewart McLean (1917-1963.) The one-acts will be given three performances, with shows on Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, October 8, at 2:00 pm, upstairs at Broad Brook Grange.

General Admission tickets are $10, available in advance at:  or  1-800-838-3006, or at the door.

The playwright, whose son, Don McLean, is a founder of Guilford Center Stage, wrote poetry, short stories, and these four, short plays.  The production, which concludes Guilford Center Stage’s third season, is being given in commemoration of the centenary of the playwright, who grew up living in the parish family of an Episcopal Church in New Jersey, where her father was rector.

Two of the plays, the drama, To Their Appointed End, and a comedy, Where the Saints Have Trod, are set in church situations informed by the playwright’s childhood.  The show opens with The Vine, a short drama, and concludes with a witty comedy, Happy Hollidays.

Directed by William Stearns, the cast, from seven area towns, includes Nancy Detra, Ian Hefele, Jenny Holan, Julie Holland,  Joel Kaemmerlen, Glenn Letourneau, Todd W. Mandell,  Nan Mann, Evelyn McLean, Cris Parker-Jennings, Maryann Parrott, Arthur Pettee,  Jen Rainville, Genevieve Redmond, Marvin Shedd, Susan Shedd,  William Stearns,  and Bob Tucker.

Guilford Center Stage is a project of Broad Brook Grange, and was begun in 2015 to make greater use of the building’s 19th century stage.  Its particular goal is to present plays which have regional, local, or, as in this case,  personal connections to the theater company.  Three of the five productions to date have been premieres.  The theater is up a flight of stairs.  Broad Brook Grange is at 3940 Guilford Center Rd., just under 4 miles west of the Guilford Country Store.


Guilford Stage Tickets on Sale

Tickets are now on sale online for the October 6-8 Guilford Center Stage production of To Their Appointed End, four short plays by Jean Stewart McLean.  These plays were written about 70 years ago, and have never before been performed.  The production commemorates the centenary of the playwright, the mother of Center Stage co-founder Don McLean.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, October 6 & 7, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday the 8th at 2 pm, upstairs at Broad Brook Grange, 3940 Guilford Center Rd.

A cast of 17 community actors will perform the plays, which average about 20 minutes in length.  William Stearns directs.

The future playwright was born in Rahway, New Jersey in 1917.  The family lived in the rectory of the Episcopal church where her father was the minister, thus she grew up in a setting which particularly informs two of these plays.

The show opens with The Vine, a drama about a young man who has a deep-seated dependence on a large vine growing outside his family home.

Two of the plays are based on the author’s upbringing in a church family.  In To Their Appointed End, an aged minister faces the possibility he will have to retire.  In a sort of sequel,  the comedy, Where the Saints Have Trod finds a young minister challenged by his new congregation’s fond memories of his much-beloved predecessor.

The finale, Happy Hollidays, is a fast-paced comedy about the Hollidays, a theatrical couple who host a radio show from their New York apartment.  To their listeners, they are a happy couple.  Off the air is a different matter.

General admission is $10.  Cash or check will be accepted at the box office.  For those wishing to use a credit or debit card, you may go to Brown Paper Tickets at or   1-800-838-3006.