Theater lovers will get a special treat this weekend with a free performance of a one-act play written by a local playwright. Leighanne Martin Wright, director of the Foothills Arts Council, has written her second play, “Olivia de Havilland’s Birthday,” which will star a number of local actors.
Wright’s first play, “Road Trip,” was performed last summer in the garden at Foothills Arts Council. The comedy “Olivia de Havilland’s Birthday” was slated to be performed in the garden as well, but will now take place at The Liberty.
“We are fortunate to be able to use The Liberty to stage the play because the weather is just too unpredictable this time of year,” Wright said.
Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tables will be set up for the audience in Coley Hall at The Liberty and guests are encouraged to stop by 222 Public House and grab a snack and a beverage to bring to their seat. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
“There is no admission fee, but donations are gladly accepted and help the Foothills Arts Council continue its varied programming,” Wright said.
The show takes place in the fictional town of Farview, Arizona.
“The idea for the script came to me because of Stacey Libbert and her unusual claim of being able to recite ‘Gone with the Wind,’” Wright explained. “Stacey stars as Priscilla, the eccentric feline activist who pushes her way into the Arts Association’s planned celebration for Olivia de Havilland’s Birthday, which is July 1. Susan Lawrence stars as Debbie, head of the AA and coordinator of the celebration; and Scott Carpenter as Roger, a volunteer. David Nielsen plays Craig, another volunteer, and Zach, a man who claims to have known Miss de Havilland decades ago. Newell Hauser plays Peter, a volunteer, and Peter’s Uncle Chip, who is called into help last minute. Two other volunteers, Charlotte and Emily, are played by Nicole Freeman and Claire Grider.
“It’s a pretty silly play but one that I hope will be fun to watch,” Wright added. “We’ve had a lot of laughs these past weeks rehearsing.”
Lawrence, a veteran actor in Mount Airy and new performer with Foothills Theatre, agreed. Lawrence made her Foothills Theatre debut last summer in ‘Chicago.’
“The show is really fun,” Lawrence said. “It’s my first time acting in a show written by a local playwright. My theater family has grown, meeting new cast members. The script is very entertaining, we haven’t gotten through a rehearsal without laughing yet. I think the audiences will enjoy the unique characters, and the clever tribute to peoples’ favorite characters from ‘Gone with the Wind.’”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.