On Golden Pond - January 2020

Saybrook Stage Company was honored to highlight The Kate’s 10 Year Celebration with the stage rendition of On Golden Pond.

This poignant and comedic piece by Ernest Thompson inspired the Hollywood blockbuster movie that not only was one of Katharine Hepburn’s most cherished performances but it also earned her a fourth Academy Award for Best Actress. 

On Golden Pond is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory—but still as tart-tongued and witty as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, delights in all the small things that have enriched their long married life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her new fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son, Billy, behind for the summer. Billy quickly becomes the "grandchild" the couple have longed for and Norman revels in taking him fishing and inspiring him with the classics. Norman, in turn, learns some new language and perspectives from Billy and the comedy ensues. In the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together as they find themselves alone again On Golden Pond, The play originally opened on Broadway in 1979 and then was made into a movie in 1981 starring Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda – both actors won an Academy Award for their respective performances.