Monday, May 5, 2008

Quilters at Elgin Opera House

The Elgin Opera House and Eastern Oregon Regional Theater (EORT) presents Quilters this weekend Friday night at 7:00 PM and Saturday evening at 7:00 PM at the Elgin Opera House just in time for Mother’s Day.

Nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical, the EORT version includes a diverse group of local talent bringing their expertise again to the stage in Elgin. Directed by Lynn Burrows, Quilters is “ostensibly the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters, Quilters blends a series of interrelated scenes into a rich mosaic which captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. Illuminating stories contained in various patches or "blocks" with music, dance and drama, the action depicts the lot of women on the frontier: girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness and death. But, with this, there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity. In the end, when the various patches are assembled into one glorious, brilliantly colorful quilt, the effect is both breathtaking and magical—and a theatrical masterstroke which will linger in the mind and memory long after the house lights have dimmed”, according to Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Once again the Elgin Opera House is delighted to welcome Becky Chelson back as the musical director for the event.

Chelson was on board for the highly acclaimed production of Beauty and the Beast at the Opera House in April. Elgin Opera House owner Terry Hale feels lucky to have Chelson back. “We kept losing directors due to illness and family emergencies”, say Hale. Hale and Burrows then asked Chelson to rejoin the team at the Opera House.

No stranger to Quilters, this will be Chelson’s third musical direction of the production. From Oregon City, Chelson has known Hale for a long time. “We have worked on four or five productions together”, says Chelson. “We always seem to work well together”.

Mostly working in professional and Community Theater in the Portland area, Chelson enjoys coming out to “this neck of the woods”. “I love it here”, says Chelson. “I enjoy working with the people here who really want it and love it. It’s very rewarding for me.” Chelson goes on to state that the Elgin Opera House gives many an opportunity here to act that wouldn’t otherwise have it.

Chelson is the recipient of the 2008 New Century Players Best Musical Director for her work on Little Shop of Horrors. Mostly working in independent theaters and high schools coast to coast, Chelson says this will not be her last trip to Eastern Oregon. “Terry and I will work together again this fall”, says Chelson. Hale is arranging another large production for the Elgin Opera House that is slated to run during the Cycle Oregon tour through Elgin. “I’ll be back at least a couple more times”, says Chelson. “I’ll keep coming back as long as they’ll have me”.

For more information on how you can purchase tickets please call 541-910-1117 or visit

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