The Cider House Rules in rehearsal

On March 31, 2011 the Hilberry Theatre Company will once again present a theatrical work of epic proportions, John Irving’s The Cider House Rules, Part I: Here in St. Cloud’s and The Cider House Rules, Part II: In other parts of the world, adapted by Peter Parnell. Due to the production length evening performances will begin at 7 p.m. and matinee performances at 1 p.m. Here’s a first look at the show in rehearsal.

The Cider House Rules, Part I: Here in St. Cloud’s, begins the story of Homer Wells (Andrew Papa), a boy raised in an orphanage as the protégé of Dr. Larch (Christopher Ellis), the gruff obstetrician who delivered him. Having previously experienced first-hand the pain of being placed with the wrong foster families and having to repeatedly return to the orphanage, Homer is careful to maintain a distance from the other orphans so they can easily transition into adoptive families. As a mentor and father-figure, Dr. Larch makes Homer his medical apprentice, teaching him to not only save babies – but mothers, too. As Homer becomes a young man he struggles to decide for himself what is right and what is wrong.

The Cider House Rules, Part II: In Other Parts of the World, further develops the story of Homer Wells as he makes a place for himself in the world.  Hungry for life’s experiences, Homer ventures into the world and discovers that friendship and love have unexpected complications as his best friend is sent off to war and Homer falls passionately for his friend’s girl. Passion leads to pregnancy and a return to the orphanage at St. Cloud’s, where Homer resumes his mentor’s work and realizes that life isn’t always a matter of right and wrong, but frequently, some place in-between.

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