Diane Fetterly returns to Nevada Theatre
Special to The Union
Diane Fetterly, founding artistic and executive director of The Foothill Theatre Company (FTC) from 1977 to 1990, returns to the Nevada Theatre stage as an actor in the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) production of “Snow Falling on Cedars.”
In addition to her illustrious acting career that spans 37 years, Diane directed over 50 productions for FTC, three for CATS (Joy Luck Club, 2001; Woman Warrior, 2002; and Tibet Through the Red Box, 2005) and The Grapes of Wrath for The Center for the Arts in 2007. Over the years, she has been honored for her work, receiving the Nevada County Volunteer of the Year Award, The Dr. Leland & Sally Lewis Performing Arts Award, Nevada County Chapter AAUW Woman of the Year, and The May Martin Goyne Outstanding Entrepreneur Award. She is a performing arts icon in our community.
“I first appeared on the stage of The Nevada Theatre in 1973 as Mama Rose in Community Players’ production of Gypsy,” said Fetterly. “I was thrilled to be performing in the oldest continuously operating theatre in California. It is also exciting for me to work again with actors I know and respect.” Vann Dart, Lisa Moon, Virgil Wong, and John Bush have appeared in plays I have directed, and the cast is rounded out with many other wonderful local actors, she said.
“Snow Falling on Cedars” is an imaginative production. Kevin McKeon, in adapting the book to the stage, retains much of the rich narrative of the original work. Actors are asked to recite portions of David Guterson’s narrative as if they are dialogue. “I love the fluidity of the script,” Fetterly said. It “retains the beauty of the book, and challenges the actor to switch quickly from mood to mood and place to place.”
The play moves effortlessly from the courtroom into flashbacks of what really happened. One of Fetterly’s characters, Etta Heine, begins her testimony at the 1954 trial. She rises, dons an apron and steps into a scene set in 1934. Then steps into a scene set in 1945, finally returning to the courtroom to complete her testimony.
“It is a privilege to work with Kevin. He is a dynamic director,” said Fetterly. “The simple set by Pam Hodges, allows us to effortlessly move from one locale to another, and Sovahn LeBlanc’s costumes evoke the various periods involved.”
“Snow Falling on Cedars” runs March 18 to April 10 at the Nevada Theatre. For more information, visit http://www.catsweb.org.
Jeannie Wood is executive director of Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra.
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