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foxyform  last updated:

July 7, 2024

Join us for a fun performance experience

Country Gate Players will present an original youth musical, Pollyanna,

at the Country Gate Playhouse, 114 Greenwich Street, Belvidere, New

Jersey. Performances of the show will be: July 19, at 7pm, as well as

July 20 and 21 at 1pm. The production represents a return to the

Playhouse mission of providing meaningful performance opportunities

for youth, which had been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very pleased and excited to resume this important component of

our theatre’s activities” said Bill Scurato, Country Gate co-founder.

“ We’ve been extremely fortunate in gathering an enthusiastic and

talented group of young people to relaunch this endeavor”

Pollyanna, co-directed by Scurato, of Harmony Township and Cailla

Minerowitz, of Califon. is based on the 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter.

It concerns the plight of an orphan girl, Pollyanna Whittier (Morgan

Kerr, of Glen Gardner) sent to live with her “dutiful” but icy, Aunt

Polly (Leah Stockwell, of Flemington). Pollyanna’s positive, upbeat

personality becomes contagious and impacts the entire community.

The audience is guided through the story by Aunt Polly’s maid, Nancy

(Lily Naili, of Washington) who serves as narrator. Additional members

of Aunt Polly’s staff are Christina the gardener (Sierra Griglak, of Great

Meadows) and Martha, the cook (Stella Grzywacz, of Hackettstown).

Other members of the community impacted by the glad-girl Pollyanna

include: Reverend Francine Ford (Lillian Duckworth, of Belvidere,) the

spiritual leader of the community; the sickly Mrs. Snow (Madeline

Bigelli, of Phillipsburg,) who along with her daughter Millie (Kyla

Mulrine, of Glen Gardner), provide light comic relief to the dramatic

story; Dr. Chilton (Caleb Loenser, of Asbury,) Aunt Polly’s long ago

love: John Pendleton (Matthew Teets, of Glen Gardner,) the richest manin

town; and Jimmy Bean (Kellan Parish, of Columbia,) Pollyanna’s

friend and ally.

The uppity members of the Ladies Aid Society are featured characters

comprised of Mrs. McGillicutty (Molly Bigelli, of Phillipsburg,) Mrs.

Bouregard (Grace Duckworth, of Belvidere) and Mrs. Hoffinfeffer

(Jordan McHugh, of Portland.)

Mr. Pendleton’s cranky housekeeper, Gertrude (Jayla Abdullah, of Glen

Gardner) attempts, unsuccessfully to prevent Pollyanna from visiting the

injured Pendleton.

Other principal roles in the show comprise some of Pollyanna’s friends:

Gianna (Ellie Pirrello, of Hampton); Hortense (Evie Shleifer of

Belvidere) and Cora (Avery Slovak, of Washington.)

Pollyanna, features a strong ensemble cast comprised of orphanage and

town residents: Dorothy (Raelan Minerowicz, of Califon); Patricia

(Kelsey Cornel, of Hackettstown ); Charlotte (Olivia Gellene, of

Belvidere); Audry (Norah Monaghan, of Glen Gardner ); Eloise (Hannah

Ryerson, of Glen Gardner ) and Marigold (Cassidy Dalessandro, of


Special guest artists, Vinny Foti and Melissa Bigelli, will share their

experience and talents with the youthful cast. Mr. Foti will reprise his

role as the quacky Dr. Warren and Mrs. Bigelli will portray his

somewhat wacky caregiver, Mrs. Mops.

Tickets for Pollyanna are now available at

Youth Production: Pollyanna

July 19-21