Willapa Players
"Tunnel of Love"
by Joseph Fields & Peter be Vries
Spring Production (May 1960)
Directed by Jack Mathis


Members of the Cast in "The Tunnel of Love," which is being presented for the last times Friday and Saturday night at the Harbor Playhouse on First St., are, back row from left: Frances Bussabarger, Dr. Donald McDonald and Eleanor Mathis.  Front row: Ruthie Peterson, Jim Watts and Carrie Wiseman.  The play, a popular broadway production, is being directed by Jack Mathis.  Because of its popularity, an additional evening performance has been scheduled.  It was originally set to close after Friday.


'Tunnel of Love' Production Near Professional in Quality  By DR. W. G. SARGENT

(Article in Harbor Herald Newspaper May 12, 1960)
Well, the Willapa Harbor Players have done it again!  An enthusiastic audience welcomed their spring production, "The Tunnel of Love" at its opening performance at the playhouse in Raymond, Wednesday evening, the 11th of May.  This dedicated group of amateurs proceed from one success to another, each seemingly better than the last, and compare most favorable with professional actors.  Little need be said of the play itself save that it is a sophisticated comedy that has found much favor on the nations most professional boards.  Now that we are becoming more censor-minded, the play might possible be considered 'adult fare' though it contains absolutely nothing of an obnoxious nature.  The lines are more piquant than shocking and the situations are for more intriguing than objectionable.  The cast of this clever little comedy is small, and so there is an opportunity for individual criticism,  Carrie Wiseman, Eleanor Mathis, James Watts and Donald McDonald form the two couples who carry the main actions of the play, and in a wholly adequate and satisfactory fashion.  Miss Mathis and Mr. Watts are now 'Old Troupers' in this company and the improvement in their technique is startingly apparent.  They have achieved near professional status - in everything except salary!  Carrie Wiseman and Donald McDonald are new-comers to these boards.  Both give great promise of becoming valuable additions to the group.
Frances Bussabarger appears only in two all-too-brief scenes, but she more than makes up for this brevity by the consummate and perceptive reading of her important comedy role.  Indeed, she received the only spontaneous burst of applause.  And finally, but by no means least, blonde Ruth Peterson, playing the part of the attractive minx who is more or less (mostly more) responsible for the spicy situation that is developed, displayed a most promising aptitude for dramatic characterization in general and comedy roles in particular.  All in all it is a splendid cast and they did complete justice to the comedy.  Doubtless a great deal of the responsibility for the success of this production is due to the scrupulous direction of Jack Mathis, no newcomer to this particular role.  The scenery and properties were up to their usual standard and the sound effects were particularly good.  The presence of a squalling baby in the bassinette was almost completely realized.  Word of the great success of this comedy is already spreading about so well that we hear a fifth performance is being contemplated.  This may, however, be due to the intimate size of the theatre.  The hall may be small and the back stage appurtenances limited, but the total effect from the spectator's standpoint is one of complete satisfaction and almost 'togetherness' with the actors.   


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