Raymond Arts and Theatre News

New Hampshire's State Flower On Stage In "Granite Lilacs"
 By Penny Williams   3-03-14

Raymond Arts Associates is preparing another of its popular productions, this time in coordination with the Town of Raymond’s 250th Anniversary Celebration. “Granite Lilacs,” which takes the stage May 16 through May 18, is an updated, Yankee version of the “Steel Magnolias” play and movie of the 1980s.

The adaptation by Ann Caron of Raymond, who also directs the play, captures the pathos of the original production by showing the power of hopes and dreams and how a group of women, through their bond and relationships, deliver to each other wisdom, strength, courage, humor, and resilience as they deal with the complexities of life.

The delicacy of the lilac blossom – the state flower of New Hampshire is the purple lilac  - bolstered with the state’s underlying granite, hold up against whatever nature brings forth, and are indicative of the women portrayed, who despite their different ages and life views, work together with love as they move through the events in their lives.

While “Steel Magnolias” was set in the American South, “Granite Lilacs” takes place in a fictional New Hampshire town that Caron has drawn from a variety of locations. Nevertheless the connection to Raymond, as its 250th Anniversary Celebration approaches, is clear.

Caron, who has lived in Raymond for 28 years, is a sustainability analyst at Timberland in Stratham, and operates a retail nursery and garden center in Raymond with her husband. She said she enjoyed theater in college but was reintroduced to it by the Raymond Arts Associates’ production some years ago of  “Steel Magnolias.” She has since then been an active participant in many Raymond Arts productions.

 “Granite Lilacs” takes place in a small town beauty shop. The plot involves the goings-on of the townsfolk as the community celebrates its founding 250 years earlier, and centers on the lives of the women chatting in the beauty shop.

In that early “Steel Magnolias” production, Susan Hilchey of Raymond played a role that she is reprising in “Granite Lilacs.” In addition to Hilchey, the cast includes Debra Doda, Christine Comeau, Nicole Goyette, Kim Lindquist, Lauren Campbell and Adam Rourke.

According to Caron, the production is meant to be entertaining and fun, even while being a little bit serious. She said she had fun adapting and updating the “Steel Magnolias” script and is excited about her first directing opportunity. Coinciding with the 250th Anniversary Celebration adds another bit of interest to this production, she added.

The production is slated for the Raymond High School stage on May 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and May 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Caron at 765-6823.






































Develop an attitude of Gratitude !!
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie ~