Esperance puts out a call for bicentennial actors


By Jim Poole

If you’re from Esperance and want to be on stage, Willard Martin has a role for you.
And even if you’re not from Esperance, he has a place on stage just for you.
A Cobleskill resident with Esperance roots, Mr. Martin is casting “Getting Chet Married” that will be performed in June as a fundraiser for Esperance’s bicentennial celebration in July.
The play itself has an Esperance history. It was first performed by the Presbyterian Young People at the Esperance Presbyterian Church in 1937.
“My father’s peers were in it. But he wasn’t. My father was a Methodist; this was a Presbyterian event,” Mr. Martin said, laughing.
The script was discovered by a daughter of one of the original actors. Mr. Martin, who’s with the Theater Project of Schoharie County, shortened the play, which was about two and a half hours.
He also “Esperanized” the play, changing names of characters to reflect Esperance names. The play’s name was originally “Getting Ira Married,” but Mr. Martin substituted Chet, a local electrician.
Mr. Martin is looking for actors, especially men and women in their early 20s.
“We’re looking for people in Esperance or people who have ties to Esperance,” he said. “But we’ll probably have to go beyond that.”
Now at 90 minutes instead of its original length, the play is about an accident-prone member of the fire department. Other firefighters want to get him married so he quits the department.
“It’s a farce,” Mr. Martin laughed. “Very corny.”
Anyone interested can call Mr. Martin at 518-234-4892, and he’ll provide a script.