Tales of the Swiss Cottage at NAT

Scandal! Disgrace! Outrage! Former Rockford Mayor Robert Tinker arrested! So what did this distinguished Rockford businessman do to find himself on the wrong side of the law? Find out Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at New American Theater when Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum presents Tales of the Swiss Cottage. Written by museum staffer Gail Ravitts, this original play is part of the museum’s 60th anniversary celebration.

Tales of the Swiss Cottage is a lively look at Rockford a century ago and the Tinker family’s role in it. Tales follows this captivating clan from Robert Tinker’s early days in Rockford in the 1860s when he built his unique home, through the decades to the summer of 1942 when community members gathered to talk of saving the Swiss Cottage and opening it to the public as a museum. In this last scene, Mayor Doug Scott and Rockford Park District Director Webbs Norman will join the cast to portray two of the community activists who rallied to preserve the historic cottage.

Audience members will be amused by Robert Tinker’s flirtatious courtship with his future wife, Mary Manny, captivated by stories of life’s successes and losses, and intrigued by the far-reaching impact of this Rockford family. Even Ted Tinker, Robert Tinker’s young adopted son, makes an appearance full of boyish charm. This delightful production is directed by Thom Davis and will include multimedia efforts by Bill Howard. Tinker family members are portrayed by actors familiar to the Rockford theatergoers. Keith Emroll takes on the role of a young Robert Tinker while Jack Rabito will portray Tinker in later years. Michele Maves and Pat Kohl will bring life to Jessie Tinker, young and old, and Katie Smull is Mary Tinker. Marcia Dorr is played by Nicole Soltis.

The play is made possible in part through the support and generosity of the Gannett Foundation, the Bove family in memory of their mother Jennie, two anonymous donors, and the kindness of New American Theater.

General admission tickets are on sale for $10 each. Premium seating is available for sponsors at a variety of levels. New American Theater is at 118 N. Main St. Call the museum at 964-2424 to reserve your tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime performance.

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