As with bees in a hive, or ants in a hill, workers have been busy during the past weeks, hammering and drilling, climbing up and down tall ladders, and setting up lighting and audio equipment and wiring, cleaning and painting, all in preparation for the inaugural opening of the Chapman Auditorium for the Panhandle Players' first production in their new home.
All will be checked, double checked and ready for "An Evening of One Act Plays," set for Friday and Saturday evenings, Nov. 18 and 19, and Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20, at the historic 1930’s auditorium, at U.S. and 12th Street, that once served the served of the Chapman Schools.
In “Bad Auditions by Bad Actors,” by Ian McWethy, and directed by Steven Allen, a casting director has one day to find the leads for a community theater production of Romeo and Juliet. But what seems like a simple task proves impossible when the pool of actors includes extreme method actors, performers who just don't know what to do with their hands, and one particular woman who may or may not think she's a cat. This hilarious comedy will bring you to the last place you'd ever want to be...behind the doors of a casting session.
This play has a large cast of 16 characters, some played by veteran actors and some by first timers. Audience members are bound to see someone they know up on the stage. Playing the characters are: Casting director (Sally Crown); Roger (Liam DeVaughn); Melissa (Selina Winchester); Acting Coach (Heather Mapp); Joe (Scott Wilson); Josie (Ivy Crane); Martin (Frederic Kahler); Maria (Misty Langley); Catherine (Megan Shiver-Ambrosia); Meg (Katie Maxwell); Charlize (Jeana Crozier); Actor's Agent (Bonnie Casey); Josh (Royce Rolstad III); Modern Dancers (Laura Ward and Maria Nichols); and Amy (Nicole Maloney). Stage manager is Judy Loftus, who also serves as president of the Panhandle Players.
Just two characters carry the action in the comedy/thriller “Pandora's Revenge” by Pat Cox, directed by Sue Bernagozzi, who also serves as treasurer on the Panhandle Players board of directors. secretary. The story goes, according to legend, that when Pandora's box was opened all sorts of pleasures and evils escaped. Just what sort of package has Marvin Hanover (Royce Rolstad III) opened, he wonders, as he tries to sell insurance to Miss Thorndyke played by Renee Valentine, who serves as secretary of the Players’ board. . First, she really isn't Miss Thorndyke—she's Ida Simpkins and she doesn't actually live at the address she gave him over the phone. She seems to have more questions for Marvin than he ever saw on any application. Panicked by the evening news and her rundown neighborhood, she grills Marvin like a hamburger patty. Lines fly fast and ferociously in this cat-and-mouse adventure with Marvin wondering just who's the cat and who's the mouse. Before he can get out the door, Ida has him on the witness stand and whimpering for another glass of tea. And that is his big mistake. That is when he finds out just who the cat really is.
The third of the one-act comedies to be presented is The Chiropodist, written by John Patrick, and directed by David Adlerstein. What is a chiropodist you may ask? The British call foot doctors chiropodist. Americans call them podiatrist. In this case the doctor (Frederic Kahler) and nurse (Michelle Boston) are embroiled in yet another chase scene around the office. The nurse says this chiropodist is "over-drawn, over-wrought and over sexed." Tired of this perennial scene, the nurse rejects his advances. The next two patients, a would-be murderer, Goldie Papadopolous (Gina Vicari), and Masters,a former Florida State football star (Bill Roberts) surprise the doctor
This inaugural event of The Panhandle Players of the Forgotten Coast, at their new home in the Chapman Auditorium, is funded in part by The Tourist Development Council and sponsored in part by Duke Energy.