24 September 2017 01:04PM
It’s more of an experience than a play. It begins at Cozy Cottage, Frederic and Isabel Church’s first home, well down the slope from the site of the grand house yet to be built, and takes you on an unusually guided tour through an enlivened landscape.
The year is 1865. Frederic (Sam Rebelein) and Isabel’s (Anne Undeland) two sons have just died of diphtheria, and Isabel is beyond consolation. Frederic paints instead of grieving, or tries to; his hand has started to shake.
But the year is also 2017, and a 13-year-old boy is loudly protesting his mothers’ (Alexandra Angeloch and Lia Russell-Self) attempts to infect him with the wonder of Church’s living work of art—Olana.
Eliot (Eliot Boyd Bailey) just wants to have fun, defined for him as unlimited time on his iPad. But the limitations of time bend enough for Eliot and his mothers to find themselves face to face with the Churches, and Church’s teacher and mentor, Thomas Cole (James Occhino). Isabel gloms onto Eliot, who she mistakes for one of her sons, and well, that’s the experience, for them, and for you, if you get to Olana today at 2, 4 or 6 and follow these characters on a walk through time.
“Performing Olana” was written by Pine Plains resident Darrah Cloud, and directed and produced respectively by Ancram Opera House artistic directors Jeffrey Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi, and Amy Hufnagel, Olana’s Director of Education, who co-produced with Ricciardi) with the inestimable help of Church’s paintings, letters, journals and the landscape itself.
Three more chances to time travel today, Sunday, September 24, at 2, 4 and 6 at Olana. Route 9G, slightly north of County Route 14, and slightly south of State Route 23 on its way to the Rip Van Winkle bridge.
Online reservations have ended. Call 518 828 1872 x 105, or just go.