Help bring "The Ghost & Gussie Roy" to the stage!

For: Trinette Hunter
Henniker, NH
Organizer: Jessica Gorhan, Trinette Hunter, and Dana Biscotti Myskowski
$525
of $3,000 goal.
Raised by 9 donors
17% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Hello and welcome to our page!

We are the writing/producing team of the stage play “The Ghost & Gussie Roy.” We are fortunate to be working with Mrs. Beth Spaulding, the teacher who heads the Henniker Community School Drama Club, to bring our story to the stage this spring. But we need your help in funding the production.

What is “The Ghost & Gussie Roy” about?

The play is a recreation of the legend of Ocean Born Mary as she was portrayed by Louis Maurice Augustus “Gussie” Roy, originally of Wisconsin. Roy moved with his widowed mother to Henniker, NH, and lived in what is now known as the Ocean Born Mary house—even though Mary never resided there. He gave elaborately fabricated ghost tours, claiming that Mary haunted the home. He put Henniker and Mary on the map—and even in newspapers across the country and in the National Geographic magazine. The play takes a humorous look at this period in our town’s history and attempts to set the record straight.

Who is Ocean Born Mary?

Mary Wilson was born on a ship of Scotch-Irish immigrants bound for New England.  The ship was boarded by pirates sometime around Mary’s birth, July 28, 1720. Legend holds that the pirate captain spared the lives of the passengers in exchange for Mary’s parents naming their newborn after either his wife or his mother (the details are hazy at best). He also left a bolt of light green brocaded silk for them to use as Mary’s wedding dress. Today, pieces of that fabric are held in libraries and museums from Washington, D.C. to Henniker, NH.

Mary grew up in Londonderry, where the town celebrated an annual Thanksgiving for the lives saved at sea by “Ocean Born Mary.” She married James Wallace and raised their five children in the town. Seven years after her husband died, Mary, who was 78, moved to Henniker to live with her son William; however, it is Robert’s home, which was about a mile away, that today is recognized as the Ocean Born Mary house. She died February 13, 1814, and is buried in William’s lot in the cemetery behind the Henniker Town Hall.

The evolution of our play:

During a mentoring session, we stumbled upon the Ocean Born Mary legend. That began a web search for more information, which grew into a library trip, followed by a research day at the Henniker Historical Society.

When we uncovered the Gussie Roy embellishments to the Ocean Born Mary story, we couldn’t let it go. Eventually we realized we had to write a play. That led to a staged reading at the Congregational Church of Henniker last winter.

Who are we?

Trinette Hunter – An eighth grader at Henniker Community School, Trinette has been studying writing outside of school with her mentor, Dana Biscotti Myskowski for the past four years. Together they’ve worked on films, prose, essay writing, novels, and other projects.

Dana Biscotti Myskowski – A community resident and adjunct professor at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Dana has been helping Trinette and other student writers as a mentor whenever the opportunity arises.

Thank you for your time and contribution!


Research Sources:

  • D'Entremont, Jeremy.  Ocean-Born Mary, The Truth Behind a New Hampshire Legend. The History Press.  Charleston, SC.  2011.
  • Flanders, Alice V.  & Taylor, Martha C. Ocean Born Mary and Mr. Roy: Linked by Legend.  Booklet Number 7, Henniker Historical Society, Nov. 2000. www. hennikerhistory. org
  • Henniker Historical Society tour and interviews of docents.  Henniker, NH.  Spring 2013.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 3, 2015

Posted on April 3, 2015

Auditions are next week!

The students will be auditioning with one of Mary’s monologue scenes from the play. There’s already been interest from many students; one even auditioned early so they could be a part of it!

Here’s Mary’s monologue from Act I, Scene 3:

MARY

My goodness, Gussie Roy's advertising has brought a lot of you to the house.  You do realize he's made it all up.  All that nonsense about me.  None of it's true.  Especially that one about me living here.  His house was way too roomy for me.  And Robert, that party animal, he had visitors coming and going at all hours.  While William was my quiet one, which is why I chose to live with him.  Oh, and his wife, of course.  And their kids.  And the goat.  And the cows.  And the hen.  But that's all beside the point.  What was the point?  Oh dear, now I'm as bad as that Flora, you know, Gussie's mom.  But he is entertaining.  Gotta give him that.  Let's see what else he has to say about me.


Posted on February 26, 2015

Posted on February 26, 2015

Thank you to everyone who has donated! We are so appreciative of you contributing to Trinette's learning experience of the business side of play production and supporting a young artist.
Here is a link for updates and schedules for the play. Auditions to be held in April and a public performance to follow!
https://sites.google.com/a/sau24.org/spauldingsentinel1/home/henniker-community-school-theater

Posted on February 15, 2015

Posted on February 15, 2015

Thank you to our supporters! 

This is a quick update in response to a question about the performance: There are currently two performances planned for the general public, as well as for family and friends of the cast and crew--Thursday and Friday, May 28 & 29, at 7 p.m.

As the date gets closer, we will keep you updated if there are any changes to this plan.

Thank you! 

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