'Catfish Goes the Distance' returns to Milford

In 1978, two disappear in a Catskills storm: Find out what happens 40 years later


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  • Patrick Turner and Gillian Turner (Photo provided)



— The John Klemeyer play "Catfish Goes the Distance" returns to Milford, at the Waterwheel Café, on November 24, 25, and December 1, 2, and 3 at 8.

The production is directed by Beth Kelley and features Gillian Turner and Patrick Turner.

"Catfish" was written several years ago and presented in a staged reading at the Milford Theatre at that time. The following year it was staged in Narrowsburg, N.Y., in a production featuring Will Loeb and Rebecca Robbins.

Recently Klemeyer asked Kelley to direct one of his later plays, and she asked to read everything he had written previously. The first play she read was "Catfish."

“I immediately wanted to take it on and stage it," Kelley said. “It is so rich and full of colors and dimensions. The dialogue is pithy and the characters just jump off the page."

Her first concern was to cast it and she thought of the Turners. After a first read-through they were on board ,and the process began to flesh out these four complex, troubled people and bring them to life.

“I saw a play called 'Three Days of Rain' where there were two acts and the same three actors plays two different people, one in each act and I thought that was a great premise," said Klemeyer. “I then decided to have four characters and separate them by 35 years or so and make them interrelated. In 1978 two people disappear on a trip to the Catskills in a winter storm. They are never heard from again. They are married but not to each other and no one thought that they even knew each other. The connection was never made. After almost 40 years the car is found with their remains in it. The woman’s son and the man’s daughter meet to talk about it all.”

The play is four scenes: two in 1979, and two now. The two actors play the four characters in alternating scenes in which what happened and how it changed the lives of the children forever is revealed.

The play is performed without intermission. Tickets are $20 and reservations for the play, and dinner, if that is your choice, may be made by called the Waterwheel by calling 570-296-2383.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the phone number.

“I immediately wanted to take it on and stage it. It is so rich and full of colors and dimensions. The dialogue is pithy and the characters just jump off the page."
Beth Kelley, director


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