Stony Point Players move the show downtown
Press Staff Report
The Stony Point Players will be putting on something a little bit different this year for their summer production.
While the local community theater group has leaned toward big musical productions in recent years, such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Spamalot” and “The Wedding Singer,” this year, the team will be presenting a collection of short plays written by a local playwright.
The Players are no longer able to use the theater in the North Grand Building due to the construction at the facility, so they have instead moved their annual production downtown, in partnership with The Charles Theatre.
The Players will be presenting “Live and Local at the Charles: An Evening of Community Theatre” at the smaller, more intimate venue. Shows will be Thursday and Saturday this week. Thursday’s show will be at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s matinee will be at 2 p.m.
Advanced tickets are still available online at www.showtix4U.com and at the Rustic Corner, right next to the Charles Theatre. It is expected that there will still be some tickets available at the door on the days of the shows, but patrons can save a lot of time if they purchase tickets in advance. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students.
The production will feature a collection of short plays all written by local playwright James Grob. The plays are being directed by Janiece Bergland and Tim Mitchell.
Bergland said it was exciting to be back on the stage at the Charles, and she was pleased to be downtown during Charles City’s Fourth of July weekend celebration. She called the theater’s staff “accommodating and supportive.”
“Over the years many plays and live performances have been held there,” said Bergland. “The venue is ideal for smaller productions, with comfortable seating and air conditioning.”
Mitchell said he was enjoying the unique opportunity to direct plays written by a local author.
Grob is a multiple award winner in newspaper, radio and other media while working in theater as a writer, actor and director in his spare time. The individual plays run from about five minutes long to a little over 25 minutes.
Bergland said the plays range from pure comedy to “heart-touching scenes of loss and love.” She said that the local volunteer actors encompass a wide range of experience.
“Some are on stage for the first time,” she said. “Others will be familiar to local theater goers.”
The opening play, entitled “Ladylike” will feature Ginger Meyer and James Severin as two elderly people who meet in the park.
“Mr. Jammers,” which centers on funeral arrangements for a family pet, will feature Lance Schreier and Kaity Heckers. Severin will appear a second time in the offbeat comedy sketch “Jim’s First Speed Date,” along with Holly Duffield.
The drama “Last Sunset” will feature Jacob Diers, Griffin Franksain, DeShawn Griffin and Jodi Holschlag, and is about a mother and her three sons.
The next play, entitled “Hawkeye Ladies,” will star Erika Joiner, Nancy Western and Elissa Ellis and reflects how fans cheering for the favorite sports team can quickly cause them to fade apart as friends, and quickly come back together again.
After a brief intermission, the next play will be the comedy “Dream a Little Dream,” which has won several regional and national awards for Grob. Roles will be filled by Lynn Bauer, Tina Schmidt, Michelle Grob and Chris Cleveland. After that, Schreier will appear again in the quiet drama “Finding Grace,” along with Yvonne Copper.
Closing the show is the comedy “What’s in a Name?” That story — which starts as an argument between a husband and wife over what to name the child they are expecting and escalates quickly — will star Franksain and Dani Cavanaugh.
Lights and sound will be run by Hannah DeVore, while Addison Tracey is the backstage manager and Bergland has designed and painted the sets and backdrops.
Mitchell said that theater-goers will be treated to “top-notch, quality entertainment.”
“There is such a wide variety of emotions and subjects in this evening of short plays,” Mitchell said. “We get to explore a large variety of the human experience and emotion.”