Vale man a dastardly dude on stage

Tom Hathaway, alias I. W. Swindle, is surrounded by a bevy of beauties in Glitter Gulch Saloon. Hathaway and his counterparts take to the stage Friday night in Weiser. (Submitted photo)

By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

During work hours, Tom Hathaway can be found at Pioneer Place in Vale working on scheduling, budgeting or many of the various duties associated with his position as director of operations.

Since January, Hathaway’s nights have been filled with practices, learning lines and costume design as he readies for The Illustrious Onion Skins production of “The Villain of Glitter Gulch.”

Hathaway plays scoundrel I.W. Swindle in the story of Glitter Gulch Saloon, a once roaring mining center that has seen better days. When an undiscovered vein of gold is found, Swindle battles with Dusty Trails, the handsome hero who may have turned to the dark side.

Hathaway joined the cast after meeting a group of people in a local restaurant.

“I was eating at a table and there was a table of people near me laughing and joking around,” he said. “I joined in on the conversation and we became friends during the dinner. They told me I would be good in theater and said I should audition for the Onion Skin Players.”

Hathaway said he thought little of the offer until he received a phone call the night of the auditions.

“I said I was busy and they said they would pick me up in a few minutes,” said Hathaway. “I went with them and auditioned.”

Hathaway’s entrance into theater has been a dream for some time.

“This has always been on my bucket list since high school,” he said. “I never did theater in high school and I looked at community theater later in life, but schedules always interfered.”

Since January, Hathaway has traveled to Weiser three times a week, taking the stage for practice from 7-10 p.m.

“I am looking forward to the next three weeks as we perform only on the weekends,” he said.

Hathaway and the rest of the cast will be on stage Fridays and Saturdays starting March 10 and running until March 18. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the curtain rising at 7:30 p.m. A special Sunday matinee will hit the stage on March 12 with the curtain going up at 2:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10 with box office tickets $12, subject to availability. The matinee price is $8. Tickets can be purchased online at illustriousonionskinplayers.org.

The Star Theater is located on State Street in Weiser.