Saturday, November 23, 2013

Staging "Ring Round the Moon"

The second in a series of articles about Bellairs performing with the College of Saint Teresa Drama Department.

John Bellairs began teaching at the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, in September 1963 and soon began participating in plays produced by the college's drama department.

"Ring Round the Moon" is a 1950 adaptation by the English dramatist Christopher Fry of French playwright Jean Anouilh's satirical play, "Invitation to the Castle" (1947) [1].  Members of the College of Saint Teresa Speech and Drama Department performed the play in the fall of 1963 [2][3].


The play was performed on four subsequent nights, starting at 8 p.m.

  • Friday, November 22
  • Saturday, November 23
  • Sunday, November 24
  • Monday, November 25



  • Gretchen Gromstal as "Isabelle"
  • Catherine Kasper as "Diana Messerschmann"
  • Kathleen MacKrill as "Isabelle's mother, Josephine"
  • Marcia Mullins as "Geraldine Capulet"
  • Gayle Viehman as "Madame Desmortes"


  • John Bellairs as "Joshua", described as "a crumbling butler [4]."
  • Robert E. Oram as the twins, the scheming "Hugo" and his younger brother, "Frédéric". This was at least the second time for Oram to perform in this play.  He appeared with actress Dinah Merril in a 1955 performance at the Onley Theatre in Onley, Maryland [3].


  • Eileen Whalen - director
  • John E. Marzocco - technical director
  • Richard J. Weiland - assistant technical director
  • Elizabeth Krajeck (Fargo, ND) - house manager
  • Sister Mary Lorraine - publicity
  • Anita Matzkanin (Chicago, IL) - costumes
  • Sister M. Calean - poster design
  • Mary Ellen O'Malley (Chicago, IL) - stage manager
  • Lucy Ramey (Rochester, MN) - assistant stage manager


[1] Wikipedia: Ring Round the Moon
[2] Correspondence with Norbert Geier (2001).
[3] "College of Saint Teresa's Play Opens Friday Night".  Winona Daily News, Nov. 21, 1963.
[4] "Robert E. Oram to Play Lead In 'Ring Around the Moon'".  Winona Daily News, Nov. 12, 1963.

"Everybody's out of their minds tonight!" thinks Joshua (Mr. John Bellairs) as the excitement mounts in the play. Concerned here with the present unraveling of events are (from left to right): Mr. Robert Oram, Mr. John Bellairs, Ms. Marcia Mullins, Ms. Gayle Viehman, and Ms. Kathleen MacKrill (p. 158, College of Saint Teresa Aldine, 1964)

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