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Golden Pond

J.R. Robinson (Norman) and Suzy Hunt (Ethel) in a scene from Ernest Thompson's "On Golden Pond."

Montana Repertory Theatre performs the American classic, “On Golden Pond” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the Myrna Loy Center.

“It’s a masterpiece,” said MRT artistic director Greg Johnson. “It’s one of those plays that has a lot to say about what is the core and essence of American character.”

It’s the story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. Their daughter and her fiancé visit and then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the "grandchild" the elderly couple have longed for.

“This is a family play about a family trying to find each other after many years ...of separation and misunderstanding,” said Johnson. “It’s a healing play.”

The play by Ernest Thompson also has a lot to say about facing aging with dignity, said Johnson. And it has something timely to offer us about how to speak to each other. Nationally, there’s been a “coarsening of our language” and this play has things to offer as a way to interact and speak to each other with dignity, even during a disagreement.

“On Golden Pond,” won a 1981 Oscar as a film, starring Henry and Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.

Tickets are $22 general admission and $16 for students. They can be purchased by calling 443-0287, online at or at the box office, 15 N. Ewing.

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