By Luis Centeno

Love Letters, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by playwright A.R. Gurney, will debut at the Northport-East Northport Community Theater this weekend for a special one-night-only show to raise funds for the theater’s summer camp.

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The play, billed as an amusing, heartwarming and poignant two-person performance, stars local actors, Dr. Larry Palevsky of the Northport Wellness Center and Stephanie Sultana, as the star-crossed lovers. Proceeds from the performance will help pay for the theater’s camp in which local students in grades 2 to 12 produce and perform in their own musicals in July and August. This summer, they’ll put on Grease and The Lion King.

“All of our fundraisers are for the betterment of the community,” said Bette Silver, founder of the camp and the theater. “We try to keep kids busy and off the streets.”

In addition to the camp, the nonprofit theater produces shows in spring and fall, such as recent productions of Mary Poppins, Les Misérables and Annie. Proceeds routinely go to charitable causes. This year, the camp includes a special after-school program for theater enthusiasts for high school and college students.

Unlike most theaters, this one focuses on bringing in local talent, including those with acting experience as well as those willing to learn more about show business by working on a stage crew, in costuming or lighting. The theater welcome adults and children of all ages, talent levels and abilities, including individuals with special needs, said Michelle Centamore, whose family is also involved in the theater.

Silver, who is also the director of the live orchestra, admits that though it is a tough task at times, but she takes pleasure in giving back to the community while simultaneously putting on a memorable show.

Love Letters premieres at 8 p.m. June 18 at the St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Northport. Tickets are $25. After the event, there will be live music and a silent auction with prizes worth up to $300. For more information visit northportcommunitytheater.org

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