‘Pond’ writer parodies politicians and protesters

Jan 6, 2012, 9:52 PM

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – As candidates crisscross New Hampshire in their quest for votes, an Academy Award-winning writer thinks the time is ripe for “Political Suicide.”

That is the title of four one-act plays Ernest Thompson _ who wrote “On Golden Pond”_ will stage beginning Sunday at Pitman’s Freight Room in Laconia.

The plays are dark comedies that parody politicians and protesters alike.

One is about taking the best attribute from each of the candidates to make one candidate who might excite two jaded polling place workers. Another is about a small-town protester who longs to be part of a movement but attracts the attention of no one but the police chief.

Thompson told the Associated Press on Friday that the plays each take a different angle on where our culture is at, but called them “equal opportunity offending plays.”

“I like stirring things up a little,” Thompson said.

Thompson bills his plays as “funnier than the debates” and said the debates inspired one of the plays _ “Mr. Potato Head” _ about rolling all the candidates into one dynamic candidate.

“They were pretty funny to watch _ those debates _ but also pretty sad, because you kept thinking someone has to stand up and say something profound,” Thompson said.

Thompson says he purposely did not shape his characters to resemble any of the current candidates.

“What I’m hoping is that four years from now we can do these same plays and they’ll have the same resonance,” he said.

Thompson wrote one of the plays_ about a disillusioned senator _six years ago. He says he wrote the other three recently, as campaigning intensified.

The 1981 movie “On Golden Pond” _ filmed in New Hampshire _ netted Oscars for Thompson and stars Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Last summer Thompson directed the stage production of the play, which he wrote in 1978 for a summer stock theater in Holderness.

Thompson, 62, moved to New Hampshire from Los Angeles 21 years ago.

“The fun part of being in New Hampshire is that you really get to see those characters up close and personal,” he said of the candidates.

Thompson said he chose Pitman’s Freight Room in downtown Laconia in part because of the short commute from his home and production studio in New Hampton. He said the venue holds about 70 and features a stage they assembled for the 16 performances, including one the night of the primary Jan. 10. The play runs through Jan. 15, then reopens for six additional performances in early February.

Pitman’s owner Dick Mitchell said that there is a lot of buzz around town about Thompson’s production and that it’s exciting for the renovated train depot to host its first theater production.

“It’s very timely, and I think his message is on target _ everything is screwed up,” Mitchell said.

Thompson he had a run-in with the Mitt Romney camp Friday _ not over politics, but turf.

Romney campaign workers wanted to take over Pitman’s Freight Room for nine hours Friday to set up for and stage an evening rally, Mitchell said. But Thompson has dibs on the property.

“The show has to go on,” Thompson said, laughing.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Travelers check in at the Frontier Airlines counter at Miami International Airport, Friday, July 1,...
Associated Press

Holiday getaway pushes US airport traffic to pandemic high

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The Fourth of July holiday weekend is jamming U.S. airports with their biggest crowds since the pandemic began in 2020. About 2.49 million passengers went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports Friday, surpassing the previous pandemic-era record of 2.46 million reached earlier in the week, according to figures released Saturday by […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

3-year-old boy dies after fall from 29th floor NYC apartment

NEW YORK (AP) — A 3-year-old boy has died after falling from a 29th floor balcony of a New York City apartment building on Saturday morning, police said. Officers found the injured toddler lying on a 3rd floor scaffolding after receiving a 911 call at 11:09 a.m. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital […]
13 hours ago
Abortion-rights and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, ...
Associated Press

High court marshal seeks enforcement of anti-picketing laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court has asked Maryland officials to step up the enforcement of laws she says prohibit picketing outside the homes of the justices who live in the state. “For weeks on end, large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices’ homes,” […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference...
Associated Press

Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Chief Pete Arredondo told the […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Jerry Emmett, who was born before women won the right to vote in the U.S., leaves the Yavapa...
Associated Press

Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats

The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona's Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
13 hours ago
Associated Press

2 teenagers killed, 1 man wounded in Houston-area shooting

HOUSTON (AP) — Two teenagers were killed and one man was injured in a shooting at Houston-area apartment complex, authorities said Saturday. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter that deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of the complex in north Harris County, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
‘Pond’ writer parodies politicians and protesters