On Thursday, June 21, at 8 pm, Island Theatre Workshop (ITW) presents the opening of the romantic musical “I Sent a Letter to My Love” at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
The musical, based on Bernice Rubens’s 1975 romance novel of the same title, takes place in the summer at a resort in the 1950s, with the occasional flashback to the 20s and 30s, accompanied by period music.
It tells the story of a middle-aged disabled man who unknowingly begins a letter correspondence with his sister. As he continues to write, he falls in love with the recipient on the other end, who knows that the sender is her brother. She realizes a side of him that she had never seen before but is faced with a dilemma when he proposes that they meet in person.
“It’s a coming-of-age story for middle-aged people,” said Kevin Ryan, who is directing the ITW version.
The novel was adapted into a musical in the 1990s, with music and story by dramatist Jeffrey Sweet and Grammy award-winner Melissa Manchester.
The cast of the ITW version features Island actors Melanie Chaunce, Aaron Duclos, Treather Gassman, Martha Hudson, and Crawford Scott. Music is directed by Lisa Weiss. Anyone familiar with the book should note that the musical’s adaptation is much lighter than the book. “It is a story about the sacrifices people make for the people they love,” Mr. Ryan said.
Rehearsals have been ongoing for the last five weeks, and Mr. Ryan anticipates that the cast will be well prepared for its opening. “We’ll be bringing the Island a very light and pleasant show,” he said.
The show will run from June 21 to 24, June 29 to July 1, and July 5 to 7. Tickets are available at the door or online at ticketsmv.com. ITW warns that the show’s contents may not be suitable for children under 10. Visit itwmv.org for more information.