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Classic American Tales presents Tales at the Dormer House

From June 20 through October 10, Classic American Tales (CAT) once more presents “Classic Tales at the Dormer House.” Guests are treated to lemonade and tasty treats while listening to stories by American authors like O. Henry, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mark Twain, as well as contemporary scenes and stories that resonate through time.

The first “Tales” is on June 20, with Gayle Stahlhuth reading from her new solo show, “One Step at a Time,” about the caregiving experience with her husband, Lee O’Connor. A portion of this script was selected for a staged reading on April 28 at Premiere Stages in Union, NJ.

Next up on June 27 are Stephanie Garrett and Frank Smith who will focus on Black and white heroes of the Civil War, including Captain Henry Sawyer, who built The Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May after the war, and Harriet Tubman.

There is no performance on July 4, but on July 11, Stahlhuth is back, reading from her solo show, “Fabulous Ferber,” about Pulitzer Prize-winner Edna Ferber (1885 – 1968). Most of Ferber’s novels were adapted for other mediums, including “Show Boat” (musical) and “Giant” (movie). Plays she wrote with George S. Kaufman include “The Royal Family” and “Dinner at Eight.”  Stahlhuth received a commission from the Illinois and Missouri Humanities Council to create “Ferber” for the Chautauqua Circuit.  In 2000, after turning “Ferber” from a 45-minute play into a 90-minute one, she performed it for East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May.

On July 18, Michele LaRue reads stories from “Gettysburg: One Woman’s War” (1913) by Elsie Singmaster.  In Singmaster’s powerful exploration of a Civil War icon’s physical and emotional terrain, fictional townswoman Mary Bowman lives the war and its legacy—from the first shots at Willoughby Run to the consolation of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the country’s healing a half century on.

CAT celebrates “Christmas in July” on July 25, with Garrett, Smith, and/or Stahlhuth performing.  Other performers and topics will be joining those mentioned here in the weeks to come.

Reservations for “Classic Tales” are appreciated, and may be made through CAT by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing Details about this and other CAT events are found on After 23 years serving as the producing artistic director of East Lynne Theater Company, Gayle Stahlhuth founded CAT in 2023 to tell America’s stories “one tale at a time.”  Through CAT she has been teaching acting and playwriting workshops, with the goal of these participants performing classic and new works in front of an audience.



July 25, 2024


Thursdays from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm from June 20 - October 10; NO show on July 4
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


$12; Those staying at The Dormer House and ages 12 and under free

Event Website

Phone CAT: 609-884-5898


The Dormer House
800 Columbia Avenue


Classic American Tales
Phone CAT: 609-884-5898