Marlow and Karon Semones Ferguson, owners of Star City Playhouse in Vinton, have been building their audience base and thanking the community for their support during their inaugural season in Vinton with a series of free one-act plays during December and January. The plays have been uniquely scheduled so that business owners, town employees, and citizens have the opportunity to attend during their lunch hours around noon.
First up on December 11 was “I’m Herbert,” followed on December 18 by the comedy “Wanda’s Visit,” written by Christopher Durang.
“Wanda’s Visit” featured Elizabeth Kelley, Leah St. Clair, Marlow Ferguson, and Lane Kinsley. Kelley and Kensley portray Marsha and Jim, a couple together for 13 years and seemingly bored to death with their lives and marriage.
Their home is virtually taken over by a figure from Jim’s past—his high school prom date, Wanda—the unwanted houseguest from Hades who never stops chattering. She can’t be still; she can’t stop flirting with Jim; she tells endless stories of her unsavory past after high school, sharing too much information.
Wanda imagines her relationship with Jim to have been much more than it actually was. In addition, she is undergoing facial surgery to avoid detection by a “kingpin” of crime (Ferguson, who also plays the waiter). She disappears (opportunely for Jim and Marsha) when he shows up with a gun at a restaurant where the three are dining.
She is much less appealing than the vivacious soul Jim remembers from high school. However, given the state of his marriage to Marsha, he is flattered at her renewed interest in him.
After enduring Wanda’s visit, Jim and Marsha decide to work on their relationship by signing up for aerobics and marriage counseling, concluding that “blessings come in unexpected ways.”
The full house at Star City for “Wanda’s Visit” laughed almost continuously throughout the performance.
On Monday, January 8, Star City will present “Bridal Party,” written by Karon Sue Semones. This 45-minute production begins at 12:15 at the Star City Playhouse on Pollard Street in downtown Vinton. All are welcome to attend.
Chef Drew Buzik has been catering the lunchtime productions, to rave reviews.
The Fergusons say that lunchtime theatre tends to build audiences for regular evening and weekend theatre performances.
The new 2018 season is shaping up and will include productions of the “Gin Game” from January 26 through February 11, “Private Lives” from April 6-22, “The Dresser” from June 8-24, “Cactus Flower” from August 10-26, “An Inspector Calls” from October 5-21, and “The Bargain,” (adapted by Karon Ferguson from Charles Dickens) from November 30-December 16.
Shows for these full-length productions are Fridays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2.
The price for a general admission ticket for the 2018 season will once again be $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. More information about the Star City Playhouse may be found on Facebook. Reservations may be made by calling 366-1446.