Thrilling tale of race to south pole, Terra Nova, opens July 8

Terra Nova, the award-winning play written by Ted Tally and directed by Scott Ramp, opens July 8 at Pentacle Theatre.

In the winter of 1911-1912, five Englishmen and five Norwegians raced each other to the bottom of the Earth. Only the Norwegians returned.

Terra Nova is the story of the ill-fated English expedition to be the first to reach the south pole, led by Capt. Robert Falcon Scott.

Scott’s discovery that the Norwegian team had preceded him, the bravery, suffering and self-sacrifice of the English team, and the final tragedy, are told in a mixture of fantasy and realism that underlines both the human and epic qualities of this thrilling adventure.

For director Scott Ramp, it’s more than a play — Terra Nova is a passion project.

“It’s a play that I performed in as a younger actor in my late 20s,” said Ramp.

“It was only the third production ever done. It’s just a play that I have loved forever,” he said.

Ramp’s passion runs deep. This is his second time directing Terra Nova, and Pentacle’s show features all the handmade, historically accurate and functional props that Ramp created for a 2012 production he directed as a professional theatre teacher in Los Angeles.

“Everything you see in Terra Nova, from the wooden sledge to the minute details of all the gear and supplies used by the team, are historic recreations I built from scratch a decade ago and brought out of storage for this show,” Ramp said. The expedition’s historically accurate costumes were created by Karen McCarty.

“This is a true story, and it’s told in a very poetic and avant-garde way,” said Ramp. “You also see all the gritty realism of what the polar party went through.”

Ramp says that while the play focuses on Capt. Scott and the four members of his team, it also includes scenes of Scott with his wife and with Roald Amundsen, the leader of the successful Norwegian expedition. In part real and imagined, Terra Nova is a thrilling, moving and sometimes humorous tale of a heroic quest to be the first.

Meet the cast

  • Chris Benham as Capt. Robert Falcon Scott.
  • Tim Jaeger as Roald Amundsen.
  • Kaelynn Kappes as Kathleen Bruce Scott.
  • Travis Brown as Lawrence “Titus” Oates.
  • Robert Sim as Edward Wilson.
  • Zach DuFault as Henry “Birdie” Bowers.
  • Ken Hermens as Petty Officer Edgar “Taff” Evans.

Know before you go

What: Terra Nova by Ted Tally. Directed by Scott Ramp. Sponsored by Rich Ford, Windermere Real Estate.

When: Friday, July 8 – Saturday, July 30.

  • Evening performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m.

Where: Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW.

  • Off Highway 22 about 6 miles west of downtown Salem.

Tickets online:     Buy tickets at

  • All seats are $25.
  • Frontline healthcare workers and people who hold an Oregon Trail Card are eligible for a 50 percent discount.

Audience suitability: All ages.

Pentacle Theatre COVID policies:

Pentacle Theatre values the health and safety of everyone in the audience. We have adopted these guidelines for all audience members:

  • Masks are welcomed and recommended. Masks protect you and others. Many of our patrons tell us they feel comfortable knowing those around them in the theater are wearing masks.
  • Up-to-date vaccination status or a recent negative third-party test.
  • Option 1. Provide proof of vaccination at the door. This proof should show that your vaccination is up-to-date, including a booster if you are eligible.

— OR —

  • Option 2. Provide evidence of a negative COVID test result from a pharmacy or clinic. The test must be done within 48 hours of the performance time.

For everyone’s health and safety:

  • Wearing a mask is welcomed and recommended at Pentacle Theatre.
  • All cast, crew and volunteers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including boosters if eligible.
  • Cast members do not wear masks when performing onstage and are tested weekly for COVID-19 exposure.
  • Audience seating may be limited to meet current social distancing rules and guidelines.
  • Performances may be cancelled or rescheduled as needed to keep our audience, cast, crew, volunteers and staff safe.


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