Monday, October 24, 2011

"A Nice Family Gathering" to Close EPT's 42nd Season

Pictured l-r:  Sarah Soileau, John D. Kittles, Deborah D. Ardoin,
Brett Faulkner, Vincent Barras, Michael Sanchez, Angelle Driggs

As the Eunice Players’ Theatre closes its 42nd season, Jody L. Powell brings to the stage “A Nice Family Gathering” by Phil Olson, a two-act heart-warming comedy fit for the Thanksgiving season.

As the players take the stage, the audience finds the Lundeen family gathered for the first Thanksgiving since Dad died. His presence, however, is felt by middle son, Carl, as Dad beseeches him to tell his wife of 35 years that he loved her. The situation gets complicated by Carl’s own feelings of neglect, and when Jerry, Dad’s old golfing buddy, shows up to dinner as Mom’s “date”.

Rehearsals are underway and the cast of stage veterans and those stepping on the Eunice stage for the first time are already creating characters that will have audiences laughing one minute and tearing up the next.

Current EPT board member Brett Faulkner fills Dad’s ghostly shoes. A regular set builder for EPT, Brett started onstage in “To Kill a Mockingbird” at EPT and later won the Best Actor Irving Award for the title role in “Jake’s Women”. He was most recently seen in “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Moonlight and Magnolias”.

Deborah D. Ardoin of Eunice has the role of Dad’s widow, Helen. Debbi is an audience favorite in comedic and dramatic roles as indicated by her many Irving Awards including most recently Best Actress Awards for playing Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Annie in “Misery”. Her favorite comedic roles include Sister Amnesia in “Nunsense”, and Chick in “Crimes of the Heart”, all at EPT. She is a member of Acadiana Repertory Theatre and Cite des Arts’ improv group, both based in Lafayette.

Vincent P. Barras of Lafayette, playing Carl, is a veteran of over 50 plays throughout Acadiana but this is his first time on the EPT stage. Vincent has held prominent roles in many plays including Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady”, Stage Manager in “Our Town”, and Fagin in and “Oliver!”. He has also directed numerous plays.

Carl’s older brother, Michael, is played by Michael Sanchez of Eunice. This marks his second show with EPT having previously been seen in “Moonlight and Magnolias”.

Angelle Driggs of Eunice has the role of Jill, Michael’s wife. Angelle won a Best Supporting Actress Irving Award for her performance in “Over the River and Through the Woods”. A graduate of Oliva Dodd’s Studio of Dance, Angelle’s dance skills were prominently featured in EPT’s “Grease” and “Godspell”.

Also a graduate of Oliva Dodd’s Studio of Dance is Sarah Soileau of Eunice, making her stage debut as Stacy, the youngest member of the Lundeen clan. Sarah has previously assisted with backstage duties on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”.

John D. Kittles of Eunice steps in as Jerry. John made his debut on the EPT stage in the lead role in last season’s “What the Bellhop Saw” and has since been seen in Crowley’s Pandemonium Theatre’s production of “A Flea in Her Ear”.

Humor drives the play through family situations that everyone will find familiar - including sibling rivalry and odd dinner fare - but at the story’s heart lies the touching realization that letting loved ones know they are truly loved is a necessity for eternal peace.

Production dates are as follows:
Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. - Dinner Theatre*
Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 11 at 7:00 p.m.
All seats are $10; dinner theatre is an additional $15. 

*Dinner theatre (with steak and trimmings) is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8 at 6 p.m. at Nick’s on Second St., with the performance immediately following.

Individual tickets for the show are now on sale at David's Ltd. Hair Salon and Turning Point in Eunice.  You can also call 337-457-2156 or 337-546-0163 to purchase over the phone with Visa or Master Card.  More information can be found on EPT’s Facebook page.

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