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Actress Kathy Garver Bringing ‘Love Letters’ to Roanoke

Kathy Garver

Kathy Garver, who is best-known for playing Cissy on the classic CBS sitcom “Family Affair,” will co-star in a special, one-time-only performance of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play “Love Letters” in Salem on Friday, September 9, at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT). Proceeds from the show will benefit BCAT’s Center for Performing Arts, a four-year, advanced performing arts-focused educational program of the Roanoke County Public Schools.

 “Love Letters” centers on two lifelong friends reflecting on their hopes, ambitions, dreams and disappointments, while reading letters, notes and cards they wrote over the course of 50 years. Garver will play the character Melissa Gardner, opposite Roanoke-based actor Chuck Lionberger as Andrew Makepeace Ladd III.

 “This is a wonderful play that gives the audience an insight into the relationship of two people, communicated in a way not often experienced,” Garver said. “Love letters are very personal, and sometimes depict the best representation of feelings that cannot be expressed face-to-face. In many ways, it is more honest and telling.”

“We have had celebrities help us with fundraisers before, but I’m really excited to be working with Kathy,” Lionberger said. “I remember watching her on ‘Family Affair,’ so it’s a thrill and an honor to perform on stage with her.”

During her lifelong career in Hollywood, Garver has provided character voices for many children’s animated TV series and narrated many audio books. She has also appeared in a long list of TV shows and movies, including “The Ten Commandments,” “Matlock,” “New Love, American Style,” “Adam 12,” “The Patty Duke Show” and many more. Recently, she finished shooting the soon-to-be released family Christmas film “Santa’s Dog,” with Shorty Rossi of the popular Animal Planet series “Pit Boss.” In the film, Garver co-stars as Sister Augustus, a nun at an orphanage where a priest, played by Rossi, also works.

  While in the Roanoke Valley, Garver will sign copies of her book, “The Family Affair Cookbook,” on September 10 at Olde Salem Days, now one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in Virginia. She will also teach acting and voiceover workshops at the BCAT Center for Performing Arts and at William Byrd High School in Vinton, Virginia. On Monday, September 12, she will be interviewed on the premier of the new talk show “Daytime Blue Ridge” on WSLS-TV, with hosts Mike Wilson and Natalie Faunce, from 12:00-12:30 p.m. The station, an affiliate of the Me TV network, airs “Family Affair” reruns.

“Love Letters” will be performed at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology, 1760 Boulevard, Salem on Friday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m. (with dinner at 6:00). Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at the door. For reservations, call (540) 890-3090 or email [email protected].

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