LowellArts Theater Production

Love Letters by A.R. Gurney


Gary E. Mitchell

Mary Beth Quillin


Gurney’s performance piece is considered a rite of passage for most acting couples and was nominated in 1990 for a Pulitzer Prize in Drama. It opened on Broadway in October of 1989 with an opening night cast of Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards. In the play’s long history, many notables have performed the roles of Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday thank you notes in second grade. The New York Times’ Mel Gussow calls the play “an evocative epistolary account” and Coral Andrews of Playwrights and Stage Actors goes on to say, “The most poignant element of Gurney’s piece is the story between the lines, the words Andy and Melissa cannot bring themselves to write.”

Gary E. Mitchell is an award winning actor who has appeared on many Grand Rapids, MI stages, including Actors’ Theatre, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, and Heritage Theatre Group. Mary Beth Quillin has also appeared on many Grand Rapids area stages. Together the two have appeared in Sight Unseen, Macbeth, Communicating Doors and Love Letters, where they met over ten years ago. Penelope Notter, Associate Director at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, directed that production and says, “This dynamic acting couple’s interpretation of Love Letters will touch your heart, amuse you and may bring a tear to your eye.”

Love Letters is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.


Love Letters

by A.R. Gurney
in association with GEM Theatrics

The LowellArts Theater presents Love Letters by A.R. Gurney and in association with GEM Theatrics. Through the time-honored tradition of letter writing, audiences meet Andy and Melissa and follow their love affair from second grade through college; as they grow apart and marry others, still maintaining a relationship across the miles. Spanning the years 1937 - 1984, this story will resonate with those who remember the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold War Years and the crazy '60's and '70's.

Directed by Mary Beth Quillin.

Production Dates:
July 2021

LowellArts Theater, 223 W Main St

Cast Bios

Gary E. Mitchell
(Andrew Makepeace Ladd, III)

Gary E. Mitchell has appeared on many Grand Rapids stages, including Actors’ Theatre, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, and Heritage Theatre Group. Grand Rapids Civic Theatre credits include Lost In Yonkers, Born Yesterday, The Rainmaker, The Sisters Rosensweig, Love Letters, Pinocchio, Singin’ In the Rain, Much Ado About Nothing, Communicating Doors, Art and 1776. At Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, he earned a Grand Award for Lead Actor as Eddie in Conversations With My Father, and he received a Grand Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Les in Actors’ Theatre’s production of Boy Gets Girl.

Heritage Theatre Group productions include The Tempest, Devour the Snow, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice. Gary has also appeared in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, California Suite, God’s Favorite, Sight Unseen, Harvey, Bell, Book and Candle, and The Lion In Winter. He has appeared as a guest artist in Grand Valley State University’s Shakespeare Festival productions of Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Measure For Measure.

Mary Beth Quillin
(Melissa Gardner)

Mary Beth Quillin has also appeared on many Grand Rapids stages. Performances at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre include: Enchanted April, Communicating Doors, Stuart Little, Love Letters, A Christmas Carol, On Borrowed Time, The Velveteen Rabbit, and I’m Not Rappaport. Heritage Theatre Group credits include: Talking With, Macbeth, A Mid-winter Night’s Shakespeare and In the Shadow of the Glen. At Actors’ Theatre she appeared in Top Girls, which took third place in the National AACTFEST competition and appeared in Sight Unseen for Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids and The Crucible, The Man Who Came To Dinner, and Alice in Wonderland (and Back Again) at Circle Theatre.

She has directed original scripts in Actors’ Theatre’s Living on the Edge series and for The Stark Turn Players and served on the Board of Directors at Circle Theatre, Heritage Theatre Group, and The Stark Turn Players. In 2015, she made her directing debut with Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids with their production of Becoming Dr. Ruth, for which she received a Grand Award nomination for Best Director of a Play. She can be seen in the web series Lucky Jay.

​GEM Theatrics

GEM Theatrics is the husband and wife acting team of Gary E. Mitchell and Mary Beth Quillin. More info at gemtheatrics.com.

Together Gary and Mary Beth have appeared in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Stephen Vincent Benet's Stories of America, Sight Unseen, Macbeth, Communicating Doors, My Dearest Friend, Old Love, Chapatti, and 2 Across.

223 W Main Street

Lowell, MI 49331



Gallery Hours:

TUES thru FRI  10am-6pm

SAT 12pm-5pm


LowellArts is accessible to all visitors – whatever their ability. Ramped entrance directly accessible from the handicapped parking area. Automatic door accessibility. Wheelchair accessible restrooms and pathways. Certified Service Animals welcome. Feel free to call in advance of your visit so we can accommodate any special needs.

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LowellArts is supported in part by:

LowellArts is supported by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.