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Cassic American Tales Presents Tales at The Dormer House

Classic American Tales (CAT) presents ales at The Dormer House. This new company has taken on what had been presented by East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC) for 33 years under the name “Tales of the Victorians.” As usual, with “Tales,” attendees are treated to tea and tantalizing treats, while listening to stories by American authors like O. Henry, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mark Twain read, now by CAT performers.

Topics for “Tales” have included war, frontier expansion, immigration, intolerance, and the joy and hardships of everyday life that make up this country’s complex history. CAT intends to tell American stories one tale at a time.

The summer schedule is 4:00 p.m. every Thursday from June 8 – August 10, all on the front porch of The Dormer House, 800 Columbia Avenue in historic Cape May, NJ.

First up on June 8, the performers are Stephanie Garrett and Frank Smith. Garrett was in ELTC’s Lost On The Natchez Trace and Rain and is known for presenting the writings of Black Americans including Langston Hughes and Alice Childress. Smith has been performing “Tales” since 1998 and was ELTC’s storyteller on “The Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides,” co-sponsored with Cape May MAC, for 10 years.

Next up, on June 15 is Gayle Stahlhuth reading the exciting section about the Oklahoma Land Rush on April 22, 1889 as written by Edna Ferber in Cimarron published in 1929. Stahlhuth was ELTC’s producing artistic director for 23 years and is the founder of CAT. She’ll perform something different on August 10.

On June 29, Michele LaRue presents How The Other Half, two vibrant tales that gleefully remind us that people haven’t changed in 100 years. “Transients in Arcadia” (1907) was written by O. Henry and “The Apple Tree” (1903) by Mary E. Wilkins. Along with performing at ELTC, NJ Rep, and other theaters, for over 25 years, LaRue has performed throughout the country in her own one-person shows. Her late husband, Warren Kliewer, founded ELTC in 1980. She will be performing something different on August 3.

Suzanne Dawson is performing works from the 1920’s and 30’s on July 13. She’s performed in NYC, for regional theaters and in national tours, and appeared many times for ELTC including starring in Dorothy Parker: A Certain Woman last summer.

Author, artist, and historian John Bailey will read his own story about Cape May’s first lifeguard on July 20. He’s written several books, including a history of the City of Cape May, Cape May Island, The Jewel Of The Jersey Shore, now in its 3rd edition.

Reservations for TalesĀ At The Dormer House are appreciated and are made through CAT by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing Details about this and other CAT events are found on





June 22, 2023


Every Thursday from 4:00 - 5:00 from June 8 - August 10
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


$12; Ages 12 and under are free

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The Dormer House
800 Columbia Avenue


Classic American Tales
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