WTC to Present Dinner/Theater Melodrama

Will the hero be able to save the lovely heroine (Lori Vaughn) after the villain (Richard Kleeberg) has tied her to the tracks?

byline Germaine S. Hupe

A dinner-theater format will provide an evening of entertainment as the Winters Theatre Company presents “Green Gold of the Valley,” a traditional melodrama, on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, in the Winters Community Center.  The Buckhorn Restaurant will cater the meal, and a cast of ten performers will tell the story of Winters in the 1890s — a story which includes a scheming villain who seeks to rob the city of its land grant, a feisty heroine who fights to save her family’s reputation, a handsome hero with an unusual background, and a shady lady with an agenda all her own.

The author took a few liberties with history, but some plot details are based on the actual history of Winters, including the area’s well known agricultural achievements such as the cultivation of apricots and almonds and the role of the early city leaders, Theodore Winters and John Wolfskill.

A musical background will accompany the players with traditional villain and hero music, and, as in all melodramas, the audience is encouraged to “get into the act” by booing the villain, cheering the hero, and sighing with the heroine.

The evening’s entertainment will also include an olio, a series of vaudeville acts performed between the play’s first and second acts.  An olio was often performed as part of a melodrama in the golden days of the genre, several decades before the turn of the twentieth century.

The play and the dinner are a fund raiser for the Winters Theatre Company which hopes to have its own theater building sometime in the future.  With the slogan of “help us build our dream,” the members of WTC invite their friends and patrons to join them as they travel back to the 1890s.  Audience members are also invited to join in the fun by dressing in the style of the era, but costumes are not mandatory and all are welcome.

Doors open at 6:30 pm with dinner at 7:00 pm; the performance starts at 8:00 pm.  Berryessa Gap wines will be available at a no-host bar.

Advance reservations are required by May 9.  Tickets are $35.00 for adults and $20.00 for children twelve and under.  For reservations call 530-795-4014 or email at  Tickets will also be available at Pacific Ace Hardware and the Winters Visitor Center.


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