By Margaux Fortier
The house lights go down, the audience goes quiet, and the lights come up on the stage of the Stratton Players of downtown Fitchburg.
Now located right on Main Street, the Stratton Players have provided the local community with shows of all varieties for as long as most can remember.
Despite a fire that destroyed their 87-year-old Wallace Avenue theater in July, the local theater group is up and running again in a new location with the show “Mr.Pim Passes By,” which was the first play the Stratton Players ever produced in 1925.
“We are one of the oldest continuing theaters in the country and are looking forward to celebrating this 87th anniversary with the community,” director Janet Cragin said.
Cragin joined the Stratton Players in October 1962 and has loved being involved in the group. “I find the most rewarding aspects of theater is the creativity, talent and camaraderie that brings people from all walks of life and backgrounds together,” Cragin said.
She hopes that “Mr. Pim Passes By,” written in 1919 by “Winnie the Pooh” author A.A. Milne, will really catch the attention of the local theatergoers.
“The cast is … bringing Milne’s farcical comedy to celebrate the 87th season of the Stratton Players,” said Cragin. “Little do people realize that he was a prolific English playwright.”
Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29, and on Nov. 4 and 5. Matinee showings will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.
Admission is $12 for all performances.
“As a result of the fire at the Stratton Playhouse in July, we are performing at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Fitchburg,” Cragin says.
First Parish Unitarian Church is located at 923 Main St.
Though it is in fact the 87th season, the Stratton Players hope to bring as much excitement, energy, and joy to the stage as the last time it was performed all those years ago.