Shea Presents: Dear Mister Ward, A Staged Reading

Shea Presents: Dear Mister Ward, A Staged Reading

Saturday, July 23, 2022, 8:00 pm until 10:00 pm
World premiere staged reading from the book Dear Mister Ward by local author Evan H Gregg

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The Shea Theater Presents the world premiere staged reading from the book Dear Mister Ward by local author Evan H Gregg.

Dear Mister Ward is a collection of letters sent to the complaints department of the Montgomery Ward catalog by customers living in the Midwestern states between 1932 and 1942.

The letters were saved by the author’s grandma Verna Gregg when she worked as a correspondent in the St Paul, Minnesota catalog office and were rediscovered by the author during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

Local performers will bring these hilarious, weird, and occasionally heartbreaking letters to life on stage. Touching on topics such as fashion, relationships, loneliness, technology, debt, and toilet paper the letters provide a unique and relatable glimpse into the lives of rural Midwesterners during the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

The reading will be preceded by a video introduction featuring clips of an audio interview with Verna Gregg from 1981, a brief history of Montgomery Ward and info about some of the letter writers. After the performance audience members will be invited to pick a letter from a hat to read aloud.

Tickets are $10 or $25 with a copy of the book and are available at

The author will be available to sign books after the show or you can order a pre-signed copy on the website.

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Special thanks to the Mass Cultural Council for their vital support this year in the form of a Cultural Sector Recovery Grant for Organizations, as well as a Festivals & Projects Grant. We'd also like to thank the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for their support in the form of a Flexible Funding grant. We couldn't do this work without you!