It's been just over a month since the curtain closed its 2017 season, but The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) has already announced its 2018 season lineup that'll be filled with comedy, drama, farce, and a new original play.
After offering a four-production season during its first few years, TRP plans to produce five shows in 2018, including one during the city's annual 1890's Day Jamboree event.
"We're adding an extra show this year during 1890's Day because we think it'll be something cool to offer all the folks who are in town for that event during Memorial Day weekend," said TRP Executive Director Adam Cook. "A couple of the city officials pitched the idea to us, and we think it'll be great. There are so many people at 1890's Day, and this will give them the chance to take a little break from the festivities and see a play at the Depot."
Cook says that in addition to the lineup expanding, so too has the company's talent pool over the last couple of years.
"We've seen a ton of growth the past couple of years," Cook said. "When we first started, I was a little worried people might not have the same passion for theatre that I did, but I couldn't have been more wrong. During our four productions last year, we had three new directors working with us for the first time and 11 actors who appeared in a show with us for the first time. We had two new directors in 2016, as well as 21 new actors who debut with us that year, so it's always growing. When you have actors from neighboring cities wanting to come to Ringgold to work on their craft, it's a great feeling."
As for the 2018 Season, the lineup will be as follows:
ALMOST, MAINE by John Cariani
Production dates: February 15-17 & 22-24.
Audition dates: Dec. 11-12.
Synopsis: On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night's dream. Through a series of nine amiably absurdly charming vignettes about love, wit, romance, and sentiment, audiences will endure a beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings.
TRUE WEST by Sam Shepard
Production dates: April 19-21 & 26-28.
Audition dates: February 19-20.
Synopsis: Perhaps the signature work of the late great Sam Shepard, True West offers a twisted tale of sibling rivalry as two brothers square off in their mother’s lonely house near the California desert. This American classic explores the clash over a film script between Austin, the achiever screenwriter, and his demented, petty thief brother, Lee. All is well in life for Austin, who is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer, until his older broth arrives turning his world upside down. Lee swoops in and pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.
THE GOOBER COUNTY FAIR TALENT SHOW by Adam Cook
Production dates: May 24-26 (One weekend only)
Audition dates: March 12-13
Synopsis: The author of TRP’s 2015 hit, "The Storm," has put pen to paper once again for a zany new comedy of small town proportions. It’s Fourth of July weekend, but more importantly for the residents of Goober, Idaho, it means the county fair and celebration of the town’s 150th year. In addition to the rides, carnival games, and never-ending food, the residents have their eyes on the $5,000 first place prize owed to the winner of the biggest talent show in the town’s history. The Puckett quadruplets, however, each have their own reason for entering the fray; Junior needs to pay off some outstanding child support, Teddy owes that exact amount and then some to a loan shark, Beauregard wants to win the affection of his high school crush, and Novalee is trying to impress the talent scout judge in the hopes of stardom. There’s only one problem…NONE of them have any talent. Luckily, no one else in town does either. A who’s who of mediocrity will battle it out to see who’ll take home the dough and put Goober, Idaho on the map.
RUMORS by Neil Simon
Production dates: July 19-21 & 26-28.
Audition dates: April 23-24.
Synopsis: "Rumors" is a madcap, door-slamming farce set in a large home located just outside of New York in 1988. Charley and Myra Brock are celebrating their 10th anniversary and have invited all their good friends. Chris and Ken Gorman, a legal couple, are the first ones to arrive. They show up only to find that Myra is missing and Charley has "accidentally" shot himself in the ear during an alleged botched suicide attempt. Charley is the deputy Mayor of New York City and, hoping to avoid a scandal, Ken and Chris go about covering up what they assume to be the truth of the situation. As the rest of the guests arrive — Claire and Len Ganz, Ernie and Cookie Cusack, and Cassie and Glenn Cooper — the story of Charley and Myra’s anniversary evening gone awry grows and develops. In the end all the guests are complicit in a cover-up that no one even really understands, but the fantastical events of the evening are hilarious and give a rich basis for making the antics of seemingly mundane characters insanely hilarious.
THE HALLELUJAH GIRLS! by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten
Production dates: September 13-15 & 20-22.
Audition dates: July 23-24.
Play synopsis: Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden Falls, Georgia decide to shake up their lives. The action in this rollicking Southern comedy takes place in "SPA-DEE-DAH!," the abandoned church-turned-day-spa where this group of friends gathers every Friday afternoon. After the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is precious, and if they're going to change their lives and achieve their dreams, they have to get on it…now! Sugar Lee, the group’s high-spirited, determined leader, has her hands full keeping the women motivated. Carlene's given up on romance, having buried three husbands. Nita's a nervous wreck from running interference between her problematic son and his probation officer. Mavis' marriage is so stagnant she's wondering how she can fake her own death to get out of it. And sweet, simple Crystal entertains them all, singing Christmas carols with her own hilarious lyrics. The comic tension mounts when a sexy ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, a marriage proposal comes from an unlikely suitor and Sugar Lee's archrival vows she'll stop at nothing to steal the spa away from her. By the time the women rally together to overcome these obstacles and launch their new, improved lives, you've got a side-splitting, joyful comedy that will make you laugh out loud and shout "Hallelujah!"
As is the case each year, TRP will be offering season ticket packages beginning in Nov.
"The season tickets are always a big hit," Cook said. "It's a way for people to get tickets to all the shows at a discounted rate. Our shows aren't terribly expensive to begin with, but we like cutting the cost even more for the great people to come and see every show we produce. The season passes will go on sale before the Thanksgiving holiday because we have a lot of folks who buy them as Christmas gifts for friends and family each year."