Palm Coast, FL – It was a regional star-studded cast for The Green Room Farm to Table Dinner Theatre as director Terri Williams took audiences on a journey back to the 60’s and 70’s with ‘Peace, Love & Harmony’ to kick off the summer.
Transforming the Caldwell Dairy Barn at the Florida Agricultural Museum into an open air, intimate theater, those old enough to remember the official news casts of the day were taken back to where they were when those stories were told. Even younger audience members were moved as the show bookended with the loss of John Lennon, closing out a period in history that ended on that fateful day in December 1980.
‘Peace, Love & Harmony’ was the creation of Green Room founder Terri Williams, a familiar name to theater goers throughout northeast and central Florida. Writing and directing the second show for the farm to table dinner theater she founded in 2020, Williams was not surprised by the interest of both cast and audience after the successful Christmas show ‘Tree of Lights’ hosted by the dinner theater troupe in December 2020.
“I’ve done a lot of shows with Terri before and when she said she wanted to start her own theatre company I was like we’ll support you in any way we can, so we’re here to support local theater,” said actress April Whaley, who had just wrapped a run of “All In The Timing” with City Repertory Theatre the week before.
“Theater is important. Growing up doing theater makes you a better person. It’s very important to me to support all the local theaters and that there is as much arts and culture in this area as possible,” she said.
Joining Whaley, CRT cast mate Danno Waddell shared his appreciation for the musical.
“I’m a bit of a music nerd so I really enjoyed it. I was tempted to sing along but I didn’t want to steal the show, so I was chair dancing.”
Returning to work with Williams on the second show for The Green Room, cast members like Andrew Trotter find it a refreshing change to showcase material in a new way and the performer jumps at the chance to entertain.
“I’m a bit of a jack of all trades. I’m sort of macho but I love to sing and dance, and do Broadway,” quipped Trotter, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“Terri has a vision, she puts in the work and inspires you, and you just go with it. Guess what? It’s all right on the night. I felt like the crowd really brought out the best in us, grooving to the cool songs that they know and it really made us want to perform better for them.”
Cast mate Peter Gutierrez enjoyed performing songs from his earlier years.
“It’s the music I grew up with, so I didn’t even have to learn the lyrics because I knew them already,” he said. “I don’t know how Terri did this, she put in a lot of work.”
Helping with the box office, Williams’ mother Mary Ann Frassetto said her daughter has long had a love for the theater, starting with dance, where she honed her talent for choreography while taking the stage by storm through diligent preparation.
Researching for the show’s development, Williams said it was the deeper meaning behind the songs that made them so powerful for a generation of Americans.
“I tried to find the popular songs, the slower songs. They’re love story songs that were written between ’65 and ’75 and they just had a lot of meaning in the Vietnam era,” said Williams.
“There’s one intro where I talk about the soldiers in Vietnam having a closer connection to the people stateside through the music. It’s the first war where they were actually hearing the same music played in Vietnam as was playing in the United States, at the same time. Those story songs, the touching ones really took on a lot more meaning. The protest songs took on a lot more meaning for them and helped get them through what was just a horrible time.”
The 501c3 nonprofit has a mission to create the first of its kind dinner theatre featuring sustainable, locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine and high quality cultural entertainment as part of the area’s arts community.
For more information on The Green Room Farm to Table Dinner Theatre, visit www.thegreenroomfarm2table.org.