BOONE — Conveniently timed for Valentine’s Day, the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country will host a local production of the award-winning play “Love Letters” for a single performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, at the theater in Boone. Tickets are priced at $15 each, and reserved seating is available for the general public.

The production was runner-up for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and chronicles a 50-year relationship that took place from 1937 until 1987. The play stars local actors Gina L. Grandi and Derek Davidson, both of whom are faculty members in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University. The play is directed by Keith Martin, distinguished professor of theater at the university, who also serves as vice chair of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees.

In this wry and poignant tale told entirely through 50 letters, playwright A.R. Gurney has created “an exquisite jewel of a play,” hailed as “one of the four or five best American plays of the decade,” by Time Magazine.

From their first scrawled valentines of childhood to the last guilty goodbye, the letters exchanged between characters Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III envelop us in a unique nostalgia. While the images they create bring back youth’s universal innocence, fears and fancies, they further reveal themselves, their goals and their dreams of a “love affair” that takes them from grade school through middle age.

As they ponder opportunity lost and love squandered, we see the very essence of their lifelong relationship, all in the letters that were at its very root.

“This staged reading featuring well-known local talent is the perfect Valentine’s Day date night and a great way to support the theater,” said Executive Director Laura Kratt, noting that proceeds from the event will benefit local programming by High Country performing arts organizations who use the Appalachian Theatre.

“It is a perfect choice of material for the intimate venue,” said Martin, the show’s director.

Tickets are available online at and during box office hours at the theatre for in-person and phone sales at (828) 865-3000. The theater’s box office hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and one hour prior to each show upon ticket availability. The Appalachian Theatre is located at 559 West King St. in Boone.

To learn more about the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country and its upcoming events, or to sign up for its mailing list, visit

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