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The Fantasticks opens Friday!

Dear Lisa,

The Fantasticks, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt and directed by Cherie Ulmer, opens Nov. 25 at Pentacle Theatre.


The Fantasticks is a musical whose original off-Broadway production played for 42 years straight, making it the longest-running musical in history.


The show has a universal charm that relies on a small cast of players on a stage without scenery who tell a simple story: A boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. Love is discovered, love is lost and then regained — all enriched by the wisdom that comes from painful, inevitable life experience.


“There’s a line in the song, 'Try to Remember,' that says, “Without a hurt the heart is hollow,” said director Cherie Ulmer.


“If everything is always perfect and wonderful, we don’t grow,” she said. “We must have those difficult life challenges to change for the better.”


But no matter what life experiences people have had, Ulmer added, they will find things in the show that will touch their hearts.


The Fantasticks borrows theatrical devices from many cultures and times, notably Commedia dell’arte, early Greek drama and American musical comedy.


Everything needed for the story comes from an onstage prop box including a cardboard moon, rapiers and even some of the actors.


“We’re keeping it simple,” Ulmer said. “The show’s eight actors are supported by only two musicians, who play piano and harp. Our intimate Pentacle Theatre stage keeps the audience closely connected to the players and the story. This helps make The Fantasticks a musical in its purest form.”


Read more. Photo is Kimberly Houser Taylor on the harp and Christie Smith on the keyboard. Credit: Vicki Woods.

Get your tickets

2023 Season Tickets are now on sale

We think you'll enjoy the variety of productions we have in store for you, ranging from classics like An Inspector Calls and The Crucible to newer works like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Whether it's a familiar title or a fresh take, you can count on creative, quality productions all year long.


One special thing about our 2023 season is the rescheduling of two 2020 productions that were canceled due to the pandemic: Shrek the Musical and Rabbit Hole.


And, as a fund raiser, we're bringing back Terra Nova to finish its prematurely closed 2022 run.


If you’ve been a season ticket holder or have seen shows on our 2021 and 2022 season, this magazine should show up in your inbox later this month. In the meantime, you can download this document and complete the order page or call (503) 485-4300 or email us to get your renewal or new subscription started.

Shrek the Musical auditions set for Dec. 3

What: Open auditions for Shrek the Musical.

When: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3.

Where: Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW — off Highway 22, about 6 miles west of downtown Salem, Oregon.


Casting call:

  • Casting seven featured actors plus ensemble actors of all abilities, genders and ethnicities for roles in this Tony Award winning and family friendly Broadway musical based on the DreamWorks Animation film Shrek and its sequels.
  • For a full list of roles, genders, ages and vocal ranges, click here.
  • Complete the Shrek Audition form online, print it and bring it to your audition.


Shrek the Musical is generously sponsored by The Davis Family.


Read more.

Pentacle Theatre affirms, promotes and celebrates the participation of all, without regard to race, color, sex, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion or socioeconomic status.

If you are a member, be on the look out for information about the 2022 election of Governing Board members. We have an exciting slate of eight candidates for three vacancies. It's wonderful to see the excitement about our return to more normal operations. Ballots will go out in mid-December and winners announced shortly after our Dec. 26 board meeting.

Executive Director

P.S. Pentacle loves our Sustaining Circle members. You can sign up to make a monthly donation here. Your gifts make great theater possible.

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