The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) is mixing up its fourth full season by adding a few special improvisation and standup comedy shows to its card alongside the four mainstage productions that will make up its 2017 Season.
The 2017 lineup will feature a nice mix of comedy and drama with the hilarious Bible belt comedy, “Southern Fried Funeral,” the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Rabbit Hole,” the side-splitting farce “Lend Me a Tenor,” and Sam Shepard’s groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Buried Child.”
“We’re very excited about the upcoming season,” said TRP executive director Adam Cook. “We’ve had actors, directors, and audience members checking in with us for weeks about our 2017 lineup, so we’re happy to finally announce the diverse schedule we have planned.”
In addition to its regular lineup, TRP will also offer three single-evening comedy shows so to create a different artistic opportunity for local performers.
“We’re going to have what we call our ‘TRP Comedy Club’ throughout the season between shows so that we can create performance showcases for improvisation, stand up, and sketch comedies,” Cook said. “With our regular productions, a lot of time and planning goes into each show, but with improv and standup, we’ll be able to offer a performance platform for actors and writers in those genres of the performing arts. We hope it will get comics and new actors involved in our company, while at the same time offering our existing audience members something else see and enjoy between productions.”
The comedy club shows will be held in March, June, and August.
TRP’s 2017 season
“Southern Fried Funeral” by Osborne and Eppier
Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces….that is if they don't kill each other first. Not only does matriarch Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she’s also faced with church committee harpy Ozella Meeks sticking her nose in the family business, Dewey’s snake-in-the-grass brother making a grab for her house, and two grown daughters reliving their childhood rivalry. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people….and the Fryes are no exception. Penned by the duo of Osborne and Eppier, “Southern Fried Funeral” is a big-hearted comedy about family-Southern-style.
Performance dates are Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4.
“Rabbit Hole” by David Lindsay-Abaire
David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a couple’s struggle to deal with the loss of their young son. Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. “Rabbit Hole” charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.
Performance dates are April 20-22 and 27-29
“Lend Me a Tenor” by Ken Ludwig
This Ludwig farce is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli, II Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as “Otello.” The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant, Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s “Otello” costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s II Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to, and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with II Stupendo. A sensation on Broadway and in London's West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.
Performance dates are July 20-22 and 27-29
“Buried Child” by Sam Shepard
Shepard’s 1979 Pulitzer Prize winning story is set in a squalid farm home occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness. The characters are a ranting alcoholic grandfather; a sanctimonious grandmother who goes on drinking bouts with the local minister; and their sons, Tilden, an All-American footballer now a hulking semi-idiot; and Bradley, who has lost one of his legs to a chainsaw. Into their midst comes Vince, a grandson none of them recognizes or remembers, and his girlfriend, Shelly, who cannot comprehend the madness to which she is suddenly introduced. The family harbors a dark secret—years earlier the grandfather, Dodge, buried an unwanted newborn baby in an undisclosed spot. Will the family continue to suppress their past, or will the truth finally be unearthed?
Performance dates are Sept. 14-16 and 21-23.
Cook says 2017 season tickets will go on sale soon, and that audition dates for each production will also be finalized in the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for TRP,” Cook said. “We’re intrigued by our lineup. We feel like we have a nice collection of shows on deck, and we’re really excited to be able to offer improv and stand up opportunities to the talented people we have in our community.”