Grasse River Players plan performance of 'American Muse' Sept. 27-28
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 8:49 am

Actress Imman Merdanovic, a St Lawrence University student, who is in Bosnia during August Skypes with other members of the cast. Pictured from left Jeannie Blake, David Crowell, Michael Terrell, Lorie Gruneisen, Julie Manders and Nancy Horan.

RUSSELL -- The Grasse River Players of the North Country are working on a performance of American Muse which is planned for Sept. 27-28.

The musical play is a fund raiser for the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. The Trask Memorial in Congress Park is being restored. They are also performing to help renovate The Russell Theatre.

The story is told from the memories of 100-year-old Audrey (Nancy Horan). She remembers her time as a young model. Young Audrey (Imman) and her mother (Jeannie Blake) escaped to New York City when Audrey's father ran off with a young woman.

The Christian Purity leader Elizabeth Grannis (Lorie Gruneisen) hounds Audrey because she poses nude. Dr. Wilkins ( Michael Terrell) kills his wife to marry the young model. The Sculptor (David Crowell) is inspired by Audrey's magical poses. Julie Manders, who plays a nurse and Mrs. Wilkins in the play, worked - in real life- at the St Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Ogdensburg, where Audrey resided for 65 years. "She is remembered as a very petite, pleasant, elegant lady," recalls Julie.

Elaine Kuracina, playwright and director, adds "Audrey Munson died in 1996 at the age of 105 at the Ogdensburg facility. Her story has never been told. After people see this musical play, they will look at Saratoga's Trask Memorial and know whose face inspired the Spirit of Life Statue."

The play takes place Saturday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 and will be sold at the door.