Remember Chambersburg!

Remember Chambersburg!

In the summer of 1863, Franklin County PA was the advance and the retreat of the Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and more than 65,000 men camped in and around Chambersburg. Until the Battle of Gettysburg, the tide of Civil War ebbed and flowed between the North and South. But, with the losses of the Battle of Gettysburg, the chances of Southern victory, it is often seen as the turning point of the American Civil War. But, the Civil War connection does not begin and end here. Chambersburg, PA saw far more destruction in the summer of 1864.

General “Tiger” John McCausland, under orders from General Jubal Early, ransomed Chambersburg for $500,000 in U.S. currency or a $100,000 in gold on July 30, 1864. Unable to raise the money, the town was fired. Confederates ordered the burning as retribution for Union destruction by Union General David Hunter in Virginia.

As the call “remember Chambersburg” echoed throughout the North, the Franklin Repository of August 24, 1864 reported that half of the town’s people were homeless and many more penniless and helpless.  Nearly 600 citizens filed claims asking the federal government to repay them for the damage.

Learn more about the Burning of Chambersburg here.

TOTEM POLE PLAYHOUSE TO PRESENT THE LARGEST PRODUCTION IN its SIXTY-NINE YEAR HISTORY, “THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS”

TOTEM POLE PLAYHOUSE TO PRESENT THE LARGEST PRODUCTION IN its SIXTY-NINE YEAR HISTORY, “THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS”

Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA will offer the largest production ever staged at the historic 69 yr. old Playhouse, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which is being produced by Theatre A Go-Go, Inc. as the fourth offering in the Playhouse’s new summer subscription series.

The show offers a happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping and recounts the demise of the Chicken Ranch, a brothel that has been operating outside of fictional Gilbert, Texas, for more than a century. It is under the proprietorship of Miss Mona Stangley, who is on good terms with the local sheriff, Ed Earl Dodd. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello, that is until crusading television reporter, Melvin P. Thorpe, decides to make the illegal activity an issue causing political ramifications which force the place to be closed down. The 1982 film version starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds was one of the highest-grossing live-action musical films of the 1980s.

Branson, Missouri veteran performer, Miranda Jane stars as ‘Miss Mona’, the proprietress of the legendary “Chicken Ranch.”  Kristofer Holtz plays the Sheriff, ‘Ed Earl Dodd’ who watches over Miss Mona and her girls. J.R. Stuart, who played the larger than life Producer in Totem Pole’s 2017 production of The Drowsy Chaperone returns as ‘Melvin P. Thorpe’, the crusading television reporter. Shuga Henry plays, ‘Jewel,’ the housekeeper at the Chicken Ranch and Lee Merriman plays ‘the Governor’ who eventually orders the place shut down. Playing other supporting roles are Taylor Whidden as ‘Doatsy Mae,’ ‘Ed Riggs as Senator Wingwoah,’ Michael Krikorian as ‘Mayor Rufus Poindexter,’ Chris Cook as ‘C.J. Scruggs,’ and Michael Amoroso in the dual roles of ‘Edsel Mackey,’ the town’s newspaper editor and the guitar-playing ‘Bandleader’ who serves as the show’s narrator.

Playing the Aggie football players and various other ensemble roles are: Hank Von Kolnitz, Jeremy Weinstein, Connor McGarry, Taylor Wright, Jake Pedersen, Matthew Dant, Noah Ruebeck, Jack Leboeuf; playing Miss Mona’s girls and various other roles are: Lainee Hunter as ‘Angel,’  Katie Emery as ‘Shy,’ Jennifer Flohr as ‘Linda Lou,’ Caitlin Cremins as ‘Dawn,’ Mara Ranson as ‘Ginger,’ Annie Gagen as ‘Beatrice,’ Maria Albani-Cook as ‘Teddy Jo,’ Jenna Najjar as ‘Ruby Rae,’ Emma VanDeVelde ‘Eloise,’ and Haley Nachlas as ‘Durla.’

The remaining ensemble members who will also be playing a variety of parts are: Logan Cook, Rachel Kern, Bryton Zook, Kristine Neiman, and Andrew Zabetakis.

The production is directed by veteran Totem Pole director, David Caldwell, with choreography by Christine O’Grady, the pair who staged the Playhouse’s box-office record-breaking production of Mamma Mia! last season. Totem Pole’s Musical Director, Darren Server, leads the band and provides the show’s musical direction. Scenery is by Jonathan Dahn Robertson,

Lighting by Jeremy Mayo, Sound by Joseph Parisi and Luke Reed serves as the production’s Stage Manager.

As with each of its productions Totem Pole is offering half-price preview performances the first weekend of the show; Friday, August 2 at 8pm and Saturday, August 3 at 2pm and 8pm with all seats general admission and priced at $25.00. The production opens Sunday, August 4 at 2pm and continues through August 18th.

In addition to the three half-price previews, this summer, Totem Pole instituted a new “Date Night Special” with patrons offered 50% off a second pair of tickets when they purchase one pair at full-price.

Tickets and gift certificates are on sale now by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (717) 352-2164.

Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA has announced the second installment of the Playhouse’s new Friday FUN Nights! series, a special “sing-along” screening of the Academy Award-nominated movie musical Annie starring Carol Burnett. Tickets for the screening are $10 for children (15 and under) and $15 for adults which will include a bag of popcorn, a soft drink and a box a candy with each admission. In addition, the Playhouse welcomes those attending to dress-up as a character from the classic musical and prizes will be awarded for the Best Child and Best Adult Costume.

The special screening is made possible by an arrangement with Swank Pictures in St. Louis, MO. The screening at Totem Pole will have the lyrics for all of the songs scrolling across the bottom of the screen for the audience to be able to sing-along if they chose to.

Annie released in 1982 is the film version of the Broadway Tony Award-winning Best Musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip created by Harold Gray. The movie stars Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, and Aileen Quinn as the title character.

Set during the Great Depression in 1933, the film tells the story of Annie, an orphan from New York City who is taken in by America’s richest billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

The next “Friday FUN Nights” will be on July 19th, a solo concert, Always Find a Song, by acclaimed cabaret artist Barbi McCulloch, who has appeared at concert venues around the world including the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. Reserved seats for the special one-night only concert will be $20 in advance and $25 at the Door the night of the show. There will also be several local food trucks and vendors serving meals and dessert ahead of the 8pm show.

Closing out the series will be a special sing-along screening of the box office record-breaking musical Grease starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta on Friday, July 26th.

The Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat & Sun. 11am to 5pm; opened until 9pm on performance nights.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Releases 2019 Visitors Guide

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Releases 2019 Visitors Guide

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau completed the 2019 Visitors Guide, the largest and most inclusive publication to help visitors explore Franklin County! This full-color 68-page publication highlights the area and is a handy way for visitors to find what to do, where to go, where to dine and where to stay in Franklin County.

The cover of this year’s guide, taken by Toe Thane, is a  panoramic view of the 11/30 Visitors Center and the Chambersburg’s Memorial Square. With over 100 beautiful full-color photographs, the 2018 Visitors Guide is distributed throughout the United States and Canada to invite visitors to do, dine and stay in Franklin County PA. More than 75,000 are distributed along rest-stops of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, AAA centers, Pennsylvania Welcome Centers and Franklin County businesses, shops, and restaurants.

This flagship publication invites visitors to explore the historic and growing county as well as the new home of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau–11/30 Visitors Center, located at 15 North Main Street. The 11/30 Visitors Center was formerly a bank, operating from 1865 until 2015. Now, as a visitors center, it houses changing exhibits of Franklin County’s art, recreation, beauty, and fresh food. The original footprint of the bank and subsequent additions, make it architecturally interesting, as does the two vaults and a beautiful view overlooking the town square.

The guide includes sections about history, recreation, arts & entertainment, dining, shopping, festivals, family fun and fresh food & markets. This free guide also contains an extensive and comprehensive directory of local businesses and area services to help new and returning visitor as well as families or individuals moving to Franklin County.

For a copy of the 2019 Visitors Guide, contact the Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 866.646.8060 or stop by the 11/30 Visitors Center.

 

Long Running Kennedy Center Comedt Whodunit “Shear Madness” set to play Totem Pole Playhouse, May 31 to June 16

Long Running Kennedy Center Comedt Whodunit “Shear Madness” set to play Totem Pole Playhouse, May 31 to June 16

The long-running hit comedy whodunit, “Shear Madness” is set to begin performances this Friday, May 31st through June 16th at Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA. Totem Pole is one of the first theatres in the country to be granted a limited performance rights license to present the show, which has been running continuously at the Charles Playhouse in Boston since 1980 and at the Kennedy Center in D.C. for over 30 years. The play has the distinction of being one of the longest-running stage comedies in the world.

Totem Pole audience favorite, Shane Partlow, who had a supporting role in this year’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Green Book, plays the operator of a local (Chambersburg, PA) beauty salon where the murder takes place. Zack Powell, who has appeared regularly in the Kennedy Center production, will reprise his role of ‘Mikey’, the young detective and Craig Benton, a veteran of the Kansas City production will play the lead detective, Nick Rossetti, who leads the audience in solving the murder mystery. Rounding out the suspects are Lisa McMillian from the show’s national tour, reprising her role as socialite ‘Mrs. Shubert’, and New York actors, MaryAnne Piccolo and Christian Cardoza as the other stylist in the salon and a handsome antiques dealer. The production will feature many humorous references to Franklin and Adams County area attractions. The audience joins in the fun by voting at every performance on who the

The long-running hit comedy whodunit, “Shear Madness” is set to begin performances this Friday, May 31st through June 16th at Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA. Totem Pole is one of the first theatres in the country to be granted a limited performance rights license to present the show, which has been running continuously at the Charles Playhouse in Boston since 1980 and at the Kennedy Center in D.C. for over 30 years. The play has the distinction of being one of the longest-running stage comedies in the world.

Totem Pole audience favorite, Shane Partlow, who had a supporting role in this year’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Green Book, plays the operator of a local (Chambersburg, PA) beauty salon where the murder takes place. Zack Powell, who has appeared regularly in the Kennedy Center production, will reprise his role of ‘Mikey’, the young detective and Craig Benton, a veteran of the Kansas City production will play the lead detective, Nick Rossetti, who leads the audience in solving the murder mystery. Rounding out the suspects are Lisa McMillian from the show’s national tour, reprising her role as socialite ‘Mrs. Shubert’, and New York actors, MaryAnne Piccolo and Christian Cardoza as the other stylist in the salon and a handsome antiques dealer. The production will feature many humorous references to Franklin and Adams County area attractions. The audience joins in the fun by voting at every performance on who the murderer is with the cast then performing that particular ending, which can change from one performance to the next. Totem Pole’s Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph directs. The set is designed by D.C. scenic designer Jonathan Dahm Robertson with lighting design by Jeremy Mayo. Gettysburg College’s Juls Buehrer is the costume designer for the production.

As with all Totem Pole’s productions the first three performances are half-price previews with tickets $25.00 and seating general admission. Additionally; this summer, Totem Pole instituted a new “Date Night Special” with patrons offered 50% off a second pair of tickets when they purchase one pair at full-price.

The production opens this Sunday at 2 pm with the audience invited to greet the cast and enjoy some summer refreshments after the show as part of admission.

Tickets, gift certificates and a variety of subscriptions packages are on sale now by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (717) 352-2164. Or purchase tickets online here.