Proceeds from play to help aspiring artists

JAMESTOWN – A guest star from New York City and several prominent local actors will perform in “Ancestral Voices,” A.R. Gurney’s brilliant Western New York-based play, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Proceeds from the event will help aspiring artists at the beginning of their professional careers. The evening includes wine and other refreshments, a light supper, the play, desserts and coffees and a conversation with the actors and director.

Presenting the event is the Chautauqua New York Chapter of the National Society of Arts & Letters (NSAL), the local affiliate of a national organization whose goal is to recognize and promote promising young talent. The festive evening is at the Carl Cappa Theater at the Robert H. Jackson Center located at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown.

The character of Eddie tells the story of a family from Buffalo and western New York with special attention to his grandmother and grandfather. Chris Corporandy, a popular New York actor plays Eddie. Corporandy says of the play, “it’s one of those rare plays which evokes hilarity at one moment, tears at another, and then a big ‘aha’ moment when it connects to our personal lives.”

The production will follow a light supper in the center’s beautiful display rooms, which will be gorgeously decorated for the holiday season. All proceeds will support awards for local artists given by the Chautauqua New York Chapter of NSAL.

Individual tickets are $30 and include admission to the Jackson Center mansion, a light supper, wine and other beverages, dessert and the performance. During the holiday season specially packaged tickets are available as “Stocking Stuffers.”

Gurney wrote the play as a reading because, as Eddie says at the opening, “This started to be a play but it went too many places for the stageSo it tried to be a book, but people kept wanting to talk So the only thing to do is take the best of both worlds and sit down and read it outloud!”

Other cast members are Ralph Walton as Grandfather, Kathleen Johnson as Grandmother, Robert Plyler as Eddie’s Dad, Nancy Karp as his Mother, Vince Joy as Roger, and Chautauqua NSAL president Juanita Jackson as Fanny. Bob McClure directs.

Tickets are available by credit card or check by calling 763-0578 or at the Jackson Center, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.