Shelby Clindaniel

Shelby Clindaniel

Directed by Duane Thompson, Canterbury Summer Theatre's latest production, "Bette Davis On The Edge," is a hit. Written and performed by Christine St. John, "Bette Davis On The Edge" takes audiences through the life of motion picture legend Bette Davis (pronounced "Betty," not "bet").

Born and raised in Illinois, Christine St. John has spent the last 24 years of her life in England, studying and performing theater. St. John has also spent much of her time traveling throughout the world in places such as Ethiopia and India, developing and being involved in several different works in the theater department.

In this one-person production, Bette Davis (Christine St. John) reflects on her life as a motion picture performer. She describes her experiences with Warner Brothers Studios, Universal Studios, as well as with other producers and directors, and her time in Hollywood and New York. She takes audiences through her personal life with her mother and also multiple failed marriages—four to be exact.

Bette Davis struggled since day one in the film industry simply because of the way she looked. She had a hard time fitting in because she was "ugly" and no producer wanted to cast her. After a sudden attempt at a name change, Better Davis very quickly stood her ground, and demanded she keep her name. She was sassy and I feel like she and I would have gotten along great.

Nominated for 10 Oscars, Bette Davis went on to win the Best Actress Oscar twice, once in 1935 and once in 1938, and was actually the reason the Academy Awards nicknamed the Oscar the "Oscar." (You will have to see the production to find out why.)

She was also an active participant in the war efforts right after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Going into this production, I did not know much about Bette Davis, and now that I have seen the show, I feel as if St. John has showed me quite a bit about the Hollywood legend. "Bette Davis On The Edge" is a great performance to see, and runs at the Canterbury Summer Theatre through Aug. 1.

For more information, visit www.festivalplayersguild.org or call the Mainstreet Theatre box office at 219-874-4269.

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