This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory – but sill as tart-tonged, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have encircled and continue to enrich long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness – and slang – in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond awaits.
CHARACTERS: 3 men, 2 women, 1 boy
NORMAN THAYER, JR – portrays 79. A boyish-but-peppery senior and former professor who has held onto his vigor and humor. His spontaneous wit and timing lead to some terrific comedy while still being his charming self. He and Ethel share a love and chemistry that is palpable throughout.
ETHEL THAYER – portrays 69. An energetic and dynamic lady who, although she is an opposite to Norman in many ways, remains a compliment to his character. Unafraid to enjoy life and all its offers, she fills a room with brassy character and homespun charm.
CHARLIE MARTIN – portrays 35-55. Hometown, likeable man and summer friend to the Thayers. Weather-beaten, with smiling eyes and strong Maine accent. A definite laugher, charming, rustic, simple and thoughtful in nature.
CHELSEA THAYER WAYNE – portrays 30-40. Daughter to Ethel and Norman, pretty, athletic and tan. A bit of a nervous edginess to her around Norman, but has plenty of his humor. Divorced, but seeing a dentist who has a young son.
BILLY RAY – young boy, early to mid-teens. At first rebellious to the situation, but soon warms up to the older couple as the “grandparent” figures his life has not held and creates a chemistry bond with Norman.
BILL RAY – portrays 30-40. Father to Billy, attractive, well-dressed dentist, who, although being a tad self-serious, does have a good sense of humor when he remembers to use it.