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The Players Theatre Group Presents: Butterflies Are Free

The Players Theatre Group Presents: Butterflies Are Free

Written by Shawn Havranek

The Players Theatre Group Presents: Butterflies Are Free

“Butterflies Are Free” is the beloved play written by Leonard Gershe premiering on Broadway in 1969 before being adapted into a successful film in 1972. The story revolves around Don Baker, a blind young man who moves into an apartment in Manhattan to pursue his dream of becoming a songwriter. Despite initial objections from his overprotective mother, Don befriends his eccentric neighbor Jill, and their relationship evolves as they navigate themes of love, independence, and acceptance.

The original production of “Butterflies Are Free” featured Keir Dullea as Don, Blythe Danner as Jill, and Eileen Heckart as Mrs. Baker, and was nominated for three Tony Awards – Best Play, Best Actress in a Play for Blythe Danner, and Best Featured Actress in a Play for Eileen Heckart. The success of the play led to a subsequent adaptation helmed by the Broadway productions original director Milton Katselas, starring Goldie Hawn as Jill, Edward Albert as Don, and Eileen Heckart reprising her role as Mrs. Baker, who this time won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. An off-Broadway revival in 1996 saw Judd Nelson take on the role of Don Baker, and Blythe Danner return to the show, this time taking Eileen Heckart’s role of Mrs. Baker.

The Player’s production brings in several experienced actors under the guidance of director, Shawn Havranek. Christina Wood makes her debut on the Owen stage as Jill Turner and frequent Conroe theatre patrons will recognize Carlos Soto as Don Baker. Peg Sampson returns to the Owen after her stunning performance in Calendar Girls as Mrs. Baker, and David Chapin is as entertaining as always as Ralph.

People are drawn back to “Butterflies Are Free” time and again for its timeless themes and engaging characters. The story’s exploration of independence, love, and acceptance resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Whether experiencing it on stage or on screen, viewers are captivated by the journey of Don Baker, a blind young man determined to pursue his dreams despite the challenges he faces. Alongside Don, the characters of Jill Tanner and Mrs. Baker offer rich layers of complexity and emotion.

“Butterflies Are Free” opens at the Owen Theatre in Conroe June 21 and runs through three weekends until July 7th – Friday (June 21 and 28, July 5) and Saturday (June 22 and 29, July 6) shows begin at 7:30 and Sunday matinees (June 30 and July 7) begin at 2:00

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