The Playhouse at McConnellstown
The Playhouse at McConnellstown Presents Its 2019 Season
Comedy, tragedy, murder, and mice: There is truly something for everyone this season at The Playhouse at McConnellstown. The 2019 line-up consists of four top-notch productions sure to please audiences of all ages.
The season opens Memorial Day weekend with “Love, Lies, & the Doctor’s Dilemma. Written by Michael and Susan Parker, this farce is sure to leave you in stitches. Joan Scheller lives with the love of her life, Sandy. To hide their relationship from her overbearing sister-in-law, the former movie star Olivia St. Claire, Joan introduces Sandy as her psychiatrist.
One little white lie leads to another. Before long, Vinny the Enforcer, a quintessential Italian mobster, masquerades as her security guard while her son Chris is forced to wear a dress and become her daughter Christina. Further complications occur as Joan’s neighbor Rachael, whose life appears to be a series of catastrophes, creates chaos and confusion wherever she goes.
“The Doctor” is in, and everyone wants a session. Olivia wants to discuss her love life, Rachael wants to know why she’s such a disaster, and Vinny wants to discuss his work as an “Enforcer.” Sandy is forced to listen and give misguided advice, which, to everyone’s surprise, seems to work.
But what about love? Of course, there’s Joan and Sandy if they can survive Joan’s white lies; then there’s Rachael, who is strongly attracted to Chris if he can survive her mayhem. Finally, there’s Olivia, who hires Vinny away from the mob to be her personal security guard (perhaps with benefits?).
The cast breakdown is as follows:
JOAN SCHELLER (Age 45+): A middle-aged widow, unconventional and free spirited. She doesn’t seem to care what others think of her except her sister-in-law Olivia who seems to dominate her in some strange way.
SANDY (Age 45+): An easy going, mild mannered guy who appears to be in love with Joan. He was her gardener, who began working for her after her husband died.
VINNY “THE ENFORCER” (40+): The quintessential Italian mobster. He dresses like one, he talks like one, and he carries a Magnum 45 in a concealed shoulder holster, which he does not hesitate to show to everyone. He has a rough, “New Jersey” accent.
OLIVIA ST. CLAIRE (Age 40+): Joan’s sister-in-law. A wealthy, aging movie star who never enters a room, but always “makes an entrance.” A well-meaning, but overbearing woman, she asserts her authority upon everyone.
RACHAEL (Age 20+): Joan’s new neighbor. She seems to live in her own world, constantly being nosey and taking liberties. She may be flighty, but she’s also a sweet, thoughtful, and kind woman.
CHRIS (Age 20+): Joan’s son who is on the run from the mob but seemingly living a care free life. He does not seem to take his situation very seriously.
“Love, Lies & the Doctor’s Dilemma” opens May 24th and runs May 25th, 30th, 31st, and June 1st at 7:30 PM with Sunday matinees on May 26th and June 2nd at 2:00 PM.
Escape the sweltering July heat and solve a mystery with “Murder Inn,” by Howard Voland and Keith McGregor. This delightful comedy features a cast of zany characters including a near-sighted knife-throwing poltergeist, a Ouija board of doubtful veracity, thunder and lightning, screams in the dark, and a satisfying body count.
The dilapidated eighteenth century Barnsley Inn, located in New England, is supposedly haunted by a knife-throwing poltergeist named Marco. A group of tourists from the Ghosts and Ghouls of New England are forced to make an unscheduled stop at the Barnsley in order to escape the impending storm.
What looks to be an unpleasant and uncomfortable detour soon turns into a night of mayhem and madness as knives begin to pop up…in the most unexpected places. As the storm builds and the body count rises, the survivors try to figure out who done it. And even more important- who’s likely to have it done to them next?
The casting requirements are as follows:
JAKE TALBOT (Mid to late 20s): Son of the owner of the Barnsley Inn. A sturdy, no-nonsense young man who takes care of the place for his mother. In good physical shape.
MARTHA TALBOT (50s+) Owner of the Barnsley; cantankerous, short, and plump with gray hair.
AGNES TATE (40s+) Meddlesome, antagonistic, sarcastic, inconsiderate. Everyone’s murder victim of choice. Dressed expensively, but not in the best of taste.
CAROLYN PICKETT (20s) Niece and traveling companion for Agnes; attractive, unassuming, and smartly dressed.
ELLEN HALSEY (20s-30s) The tour guide, attractive and professional.
MURIEL LAMPMANN (40s+) Petite and…ethereal. A true believer in the occult. An airhead of sorts, but very sweet.
PATRICIA SIMPSON (40s+) Reserved, nervous, always tense.
TODD CURRIER – (20s+) Congenial, intelligent and well dressed in a casual way.
LAWRENCE CURRIER (50s+) A college professor on sabbatical who is doing research for a book. Widowed in the last couple of years. Distinguished and intellectual.
GRACE SHARP (50s+) A retired school teacher; petite and “fluffy.” She looks helpless, which is by no means the case.
DORIS BROOKS (50s+) Retired nurse practitioner. Matter of fact and sarcastic.
DONALD SCHULTZ (30s+) The van driver. Morose.
“Murder Inn” takes the stage July 19th and continues July 20th, 25th, 26th, and 27th at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinees are July 21st and 28th at 2:00 PM.
Venture down south this September with Nathan Sanders’ oddball comedy “The Sugar Bean Sisters.” In this Southern Gothic comedy of romance, murder, and alien abduction, the Nettle sisters are determined to escape spinsterhood—Willie Mae by going to Salt Lake and finding a good Mormon husband and Faye by hopping on the spaceship when the “space people” return for another visit.
We meet Faye and Willie Mae as they return home to their ramshackle swamp dwelling in Sugar Bean, Florida. They had a disastrous daytrip to Disney World where Willie lost her prized Eva Gabor wig on Space Mountain. That isn’t even the worst of it. Having witnessed the landing of an alien space craft some 25 years ago in her daddy’s sugarcane field, Faye prepares for the return of her celestial visitors on this night, the very anniversary of that fateful day.
A disturbance in the sugarcane field lures the sisters outside to investigate, and Faye recalls how their infamous daddy claimed to have witnessed dead folk walking through Sugar Bean on a similar night many years before. A strange bird-like woman suddenly appears out of the darkness of Buster Swamp, setting in motion a chain of extraordinary events. Lies begin to unravel, and the truth is revealed as the Sugar Bean Sisters hatch a diabolical plot to ensure the space people’s return.
The casting requirements are as follows:
FAYE CLEMENTINE NETTLES (40s-60s): Earthy, inappropriate, and unconventional. Faye is the “enfant terrible” of Sugar Bean.
WILLIE MAE NETTLES (40s-60s): Faye’s exacting older sister. A deeply devout, bald-headed Mormon woman, she’s severe, humorless and dictatorial.
MISS VIDELLIA SPARKS (40s-50s): Freakish, eccentric and bizarre; the mysterious stranger who comes to town.
THE BISHOP CRUMLEY (30s-40s): A Mormon Bishop from Salt Lake City, Utah; a gentle, strikingly handsome man.
THE REPTILE WOMAN (40s-70s): the eccentric swamp mystic.
“The Sugar Bean Sisters” runs September 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7:30 PM, and Sunday matinees are September 15th and 22nd at 2:00 PM.
The Playhouse kicks off the holiday season with two comical one-acts by Ken Ludwig. “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol” (written by Ken and Jack Ludwig) and “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” are sure to make everyone laugh—including old man Scrooge.
In “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Bob Cratchitt’s son hatches a plan to get his father home for Christmas day. With the help of some kindly sellers at the market and his friend Charlotte, Tiny Tim stages a spectacle filled with ghosts and Christmas cheer to convince Scrooge to give his father the day off. It all seems to be going according to plan until a little bit of real Christmas magic catches everyone by surprise.
“’Twas The Night Before Christmas” is all about the mice—who are actually stirring despite the poem’s lines. A mouse is stirring because Santa missed his house last year. Before you can throw open the shutters, we’re off on the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl who just won’t take no for an answer.
The play begins with Uncle Brierly and Emily attempting to read the traditional version only to be interrupted by Amos the mouse. It soon becomes clear that Santa left both Emily and Amos off the ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ lists, and he skipped their house all together. An elf named Calliope comes to investigate and whisks Emily and a reluctant Amos Mouse off to the North Pole to save Christmas.
The ensuing adventure is a hilarious and chaotic mix that includes rogue elves, airplane rides, a case of mistaken identity, a confused Santa, an elf cheer, sword fighting, and characters rapping out songs. There is no shortage of enthusiasm, exhilaration, and elation during this holiday adventure.
“Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol” will consist of adult actors and actresses (18+ unless otherwise specified). The casting requirements are as follows:
TINY TIM (15-25): a thoughtful, fresh-faced, optimistic young man.
CHARLOTTE (15-25): resilient, tom-boyish, full of mischief female.
PUPPET SELLER (20s+): female townsperson
PIE SELLER (20s+): male townsperson
BOOK SELLER (20s+) male townsperson
SCROOGE (50s+): A greedy miser
BOB CRATCHIT (40s): Tiny Tim’s overworked father
MRS. CRATCHIT (40s+): Tiny Tim’s mother
STEVENS (40s+): male townsperson
HOLLYFOOT (40s+): male townsperson
FRED (30s-40s): Scrooge’s carefree nephew
“’Twas The Night Before Christmas” will consist of children (8-17). The casting requirements are as follows:
UNCLE BRIERLY: A loving and festive man.
EMILY: Uncle Brierly’s niece who has a zest for life.
AMOS THE MOUSE: He is cool and calm on the surface but the embodiment of a nervous mouse underneath.
CALLIOPE: An elf who is loving, sweet, and nurturing. The embodiment of Christmas magic.
SIR GUY OF GISBOURNE: An ex-elf who wants to ruin Christmas for everyone.
MULCH: Sir Guy of Gisbourne’s sidekick; clueless and dorky which leads to some madcapped adventures.
WENDALL SNEAD: Uncle Brierly’s friend. Married to Britannia. Will need to use different regional dialects.
BRITANNIA SNEAD: Uncle Brierly’s friend. Married to Wendall. Will need to use different regional dialects.
SANTA CLAUS: The jolly man in red.
AMOS OF KANSAS: The western twin of Amos the Mouse. Philosophical and relaxed. A good guy to have in a tight spot.
The Ludwig Holiday Special opens November 22nd and continues November 23rd, 29th, 30th and December 6th and 7th at 7:30 PM with Sunday matinees on November 24th and December 1st and 8th at 2:00 PM.
All casting decisions are at the discretion of the show’s director. In addition to actors and actresses for the production, we are also looking for production assistants, stage managers, and stage crew. We also encourage anyone who would like to work with lights, sound, costumes, properties, and set design to contact Artistic Director Daniel Weston at email@example.com.
Evening shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinees are at 2:00 PM. Ticket prices are $15 for regular admission, $13 for seniors (age 60 and older) and students (age 6 and older). For reservations call 814-627-0311. The Playhouse is located at 11680 Raystown Rd, Huntingdon, PA, six miles South of Huntingdon Borough right on Rt. 26 in the Village of McConnellstown. For more information, please check the website at www.littletheater.com, like us on Facebook (The Playhouse at McConnellstown), or follow us on Twitter @LittleTheater.