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Community theaters raise curtains this weekend

Apollo's 'Play On' pokes fun at itself

Apollo's 'Play On' pokes fun at itself

March 06, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

MARTINSBURG W.Va. - The Apollo Civic Theatre's production of "Play On!" might be a live-theater version of a blooper reel.

"It's community theater making fun of itself," says Judy Malone, the play's producer.

"Play On!" opens Friday at the Apollo Civic Theatre. The comedic farce is about a theater group's efforts to put on a show in spite of multiple script revisions and other mishaps.

Cast members say the play offers a glimpse, albeit an exaggerated glimpse, of the funny things that really happen during community theater productions. It's the blooper reel that most times audiences never get to see, said actress Lauren R. Hugg, who is cast as the play's director, Geraldine "Gerry" Dunbar.

When talking about past, real-life, community theater bloopers, Hugg and others spoke of small electrical fires, blackouts, a sandbag that fell onto the stage during a performance - all things they say make community theater great.


"That's why we do it," says Hugg, who will be directing the Apollo's May production of "The Fantasticks."

Kathy Bost, cast as the playwright in "Play On!", said she chuckled when she read the script.

"In the play, the cast is secretly hoping a sandbag falls on my head," Bost said.

Ironically, this really did happen to Bost. In a past community theater production, a sandbag really did fall from above the stage and swipe the side of her head.

Luckily, a fellow actor shoved Bost out of the way, preventing a direct hit.

"He saved my life," Bost said, laughing.

"Play On!" was written by Rick Abbot and should not to be confused with the 1997 Broadway production "Play On!" that was an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" set in 1940s Harlem.

Abbot's "Play On!" calls for a cast of 10 and is divided into three acts, with the third act set at "steam roller" pace as tensions between the play's cast and playwright come to a head, Hugg said.

Performances will continue on weekends through Sunday, March 16.

If you go ...

WHAT: Apollo Civic Theatre presents, "Play On!" a farce by Rick Abbot.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, through Sunday, March 9, and Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 16. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. on Sundays

WHERE: Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

COST: Tickets cost $15 on Fridays and Saturdays; $12 on Sundays. Students with IDs pay $7 for any show.

MORE: Go to or call 304-263-6766.

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