Parcel Players to Present ‘The Fantasticks’

Oglebay Institute’s Parcel Players will present the popular musical “The Fantasticks,” a classic coming-of-age story that takes a delightful look at the trials and tribulations of young love.

It will be staged at 7 p.m. July 11-14 at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre.

The longest-running musical in American theater history, “The Fantasticks” features the timeless song “Try to Remember.”

Written by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, this popular show has entertained audiences across the world — including a record-shattering 17,162 performances at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, where it made its off-Broadway debut in 1960. The show was revived off-Broadway from 2006-17.

“The Fantasticks” features two meddling, matchmaking fathers, who scheme to get their children — Luisa and Matt — together. Knowing that children always do what their parents forbid, the fathers stage a feud and erect a wall between their homes. They even stage a mock abduction of Luisa, so Matt can save her and become a hero. The schemes work and the children fall deeply in love, but once the couple is united, the real drama begins.

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Cast members of “The Fantasticks” include, front row, Abbey Delk and Adam Payne; back row, Josie Jarrett and Ryan Bartsch.

Oglebay Institute artistic director Dave Henderson directs the show. Cast members are: Ryan Bartsch, Adam Payne, Abbey Delk, Corey Rogers, Ty Schambach, Daniel Loh, Nate Foster and Josie Jarrett. Mikayla Schultz is the music director/accompanist, OI director of performing arts Tim Thompson is assistant director, technical director is P.D. Gregg and Chelsea McAvoy operates the light board.

Begun more than 50 years ago, the Parcel Players summer theater program offers young people interested in theater a chance to act, direct, design sets, work with costumes, lighting and more while providing fine entertainment to the public. By fostering young talent, Parcel Players ensures the future success of Towngate and community theater in the Ohio Valley.

Rebbeca L. Bench Law Office is the corporate sponsor for the 2018 Parcel Players season.

“Sir Not-So-Brave” is the second production in the season and will be staged Aug. 1-4 at Towngate.

Tickets for “The Fantasticks” are $10 each and are available at the door, at or by calling 304-242-7700.

Part of the nonprofit Oglebay Institute, Towngate Theatre is located in the historic Centre Market district of Wheeling at 2118 Market St.