Tickets Now On Sale for Cultural Center’s latest theatrical production, A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters

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Avalon-&-ShangrawHoward Shangraw and Suzanne Avalon star in the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s latest theatrical production, Love Letters.
JOSHUA TREE, CA – Have you shared a love through space and time?  Words written and saved, thoughts shared and revisited, emotions captured and relived are all beautifully brought to life in A.R. Gurney’s masterpiece and Pulitzer Prize for Drama Finalist, Love Letters.  And now the award-winning Hi-Desert Cultural Center brings this magnificent dramatic work to the stage in three special performances March 13th and 14th.

Love Letters is a humorous and emotional portrait of love’s powerful connection, framed by a lifetime of correspondence between two friends, rebellious artist Melissa Gardner (Suzanne Avalon) and straight-arrow attorney Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (Howard Shangraw).  For over fifty years they have exchanged notes, cards, and letters, beginning when Andrew’s first note to Melissa declared that she “looked like a lost princess” – when they were seven years old.  Their letters reveal a lifetime of sharing their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, and victories and defeats – through marriages, careers, families, deaths, and war. But long after the last letter, the real question remains: Have they made the right choices or is the love of their life only one more letter away?  Directed by co-star Howard Shangraw, this production promises to bring you laughter, smiles, heart flutters, tears, and the need to buy a book of stamps!

Evening performances are March 13th and 14th at 7:00 pm and the matinee performance opens at 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 14th. Tickets are $15-$20 and are available by calling the box office at 760.366.3777 or online at at the Tickets tab. The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is located in Joshua Tree, California, at 61231 29 Palms Highway (Hwy 62). This production has a suggested rating of PG-13 for some mature language and material.


Howard Shangraw is a celebrated actor, director, educator, and playwright/composer with more than thirty years’ experience. He has directed numerous productions at Idyllwild Arts, American Academy, Pacific Resident Theatre, Matrix Theatre, and I Theatre; to select a few. For many years he was a resident actor with South Coast Repertory Theatre and has acted with the Mark Taper Forum, Pacific Resident Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Grove Shakespeare Theatre, Odyssey Theatre, Bank Street Playhouse, the Manhattan Theater Club in New York, and more. Shangraw garnered a Best Director award from the AACT Festival and is a multi-award recipient of the Dramalogue Critics Award for direction and acting.  He has been active in film and television appearing in films such as Raging Angels, The Fantastic Four, and What I Did For Love and in television series such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Cagney and Lacey, Frasier, Hill Street Blues, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wings and The Judge.  He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and currently is the Director of Theatre and Musical Theatre for ARTS-Ed Plus and also the Theater Instructor at the Cultural Center’s new Hi-Desert Arts Academy.

Suzanne Avalon is an actress, director, and producer with over 40 years’ experience. She has appeared in many theatrical productions off-Broadway in New York, as well as television and film. Some of her many credits include playing Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Bella in The Elixir (Directed by Ernest Thompson), Sylvia in Sylvia, (Inland Theatre League Award), Mariette in The Dinner Party, Lois in Wonder of the World, Chelsea in On Golden Pond, Lenny in Crimes of the Heart, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, (Inland Theatre League Award), Mrs. Webb in Our Town, as well as benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues and many staged readings for the First Fridays Reader’s Theatre for I Theatre. She studied acting and directing at UCLA and is the founder and president of I Theatre.


GREAT NEWS FOR SEASON PACKAGE TICKET HOLDERS! Should your schedule change and you find yourself needing to attend a performance on a different date — if you give the Box Office at least 48 hours notice prior to your ticketed performance, management will attempt to exchange your ticket for a different performance of the same show!