Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

Community Theatre Presents 2nd Melodrama

The new VMI Community Theatre will continue its summer melodramatic offerings with Our American Cousin July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gillis Theater in VMI’s Marshall Hall.

Written in 1858 by British playwright Tom Taylor, Our American Cousin was playing at Ford’s Theatre in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.

The story of a young American rustic traveling to England to collect an inheritance from his British relatives was conceived by playwright Taylor when he observed American visitors to London for the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. Amused by their language and mannerisms, Taylor decided to exaggerate and burlesque them in a humorous melodramatic play. Joellen Bland, VMI Theatre director, has freely adapted and shortened the lengthy original script and has added music to enhance the humor of Taylor’s story.

Heading the cast of the VMI Community Theatre production is Cadet Manu Trikha as Asa Trenchard, with Emma Patrick as his British cousin Forence Trenchard, and Aiyana Cronk as Mary Meredith. Others in the cast are Chris Russell as the villainous Mr. Coyle, Regis Bowman as Sir Edward Trenchard, and cadets Russell Timmons as Abel Murcott, Robert Danielson as Mr. Binny, and Kyle Richardson as Lt. Harry Vernon.

Completing the cast are Joan Bowman as Mrs. Mountchessington, Laura Holt as Lady Dundreary, Sherri Holland as Augusta, and Donna Pagnam as the maid, Skillet.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free for VMI summer students. Reservations are not necessary. For additional information, contact Bland at (540) 464-7389 or