Play about the wives of Beaver Island 's
“King” Strang debuts July 12

BEAVER ISLAND , MI – To some, Jesse James Strang was a tyrant, to others a saint. Whatever history might say about the self-proclaimed “King” Strang, who ruled during the Mormon era on Beaver Island , the man himself is a fascinating character – as were his five Mormon wives. July 12 is the debut of an original play about Strang and his wives, written by Anne-Marie Oomen, Interlochen's Creative Writing Chair, and produced by Beaver Island 's professional acting company, Emerald Isle Repertory Theatre (EIR), in association with the Island 's Historical Society.

Director Brian Porter describes Wives of an American King as, “less a historical drama and more a dynamic journey into the manipulation, blind faith, and sexual proclivities these women endured as they one by one succumbed to the many charms and betrayals of their beloved husband.”

Tickets to the show are $15 for adults and $9 with a student ID from July 12-July 20. After that prices are $20 for adults and $12 for students. “Wives” is being performed at Holy Cross Hall, with an 8:00 p.m. curtain. The July 12 premiere also has “First Night Dinner Package” tickets available for $40 per person, which includes dinner at Nina's Restaurant and tickets for the opening night performance. The show will run through Sept. 2. Call 231-448-3188 for reservations.

Two other shows are also being performed by EIR during their inaugural season. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is currently the longest running off-Broadway show. Song and dance routines explore the sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious world of romance and relationships between the sexes. The show is now and all summer running through Sept. 28. This show contains some adult language and situations.

On August 19, Steel Magnolias will debut, with yet another professional actress, Mandy Lane , joining the EIR Resident Acting Company. The play involves the bonds of friendship between six southern women. Steel Magnolias will run through September 18.

For specific show dates and times, please visit the EIR website:

Father Leonard Jocys 1926-2005

The Rev. Leonard Jocys, 79, of Grand Rapids, Mich., formerly of Cheboygan, passed away on Tuesday, July 5, 2005, in Brighton, Mich.

He was born to Stephen and Cesiulyte Jocys on June 16, 1926 in Lithuania. After beginning seminary studies in Lithuania and West Germany, he emigrated to the United States and was ordained at mount Alvernia Seminary in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. on June 17, 1951. He served in a number of Lithuanian parishes throughout the United States and Canada. He married and had three daughters, Virginia, Donna (Senecal) and Christine (Hencler). During the time of his marriage, he taught science at a number of schools.

He approached Bishop Robert Rose, the second bishop of Gaylord, in 1984 with a request to be reinstated to active priesthood. Following a period of time in the Diocese staying at St. Catherine Parish in Ossineke with his good friend, the Rev. John Adomaitis, and additional seminary training at Mt. St. Mary's of the West Athenaeum of Ohio, reinstatement was granted in December of 1987 for service in the Diocese of Gaylord.

Father Jocys then served as associate pastor at St. Anne and St. Mary in Alpena and at St. Rose of Lima, Herron. He was pastor at parishes in Beaver Island, Mackinaw City and Riggsville. He moved to senior priest status in July 2000, while continuing to serve as sacramental minister at Sacred Heart in Riggsville. In August of 2004, Jocys moved to St. Ann Home in Grand Rapids.

The body will be received at Sacred Heart Church, 4989 Polish Line Road in Riggsville, with visitation scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2005. A vigil service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

The funeral mass will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, July 8, 2005, at Sacred Heart Church in Riggsville, with Bishop Patrick R. Cooney celebrating Mass. Interment will take place in the Sacred Heart Cemetery.

The Christian Funeral Home in Cheboygan is in charge of the arrangements.

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