Friday, June 8, 2018

Windy Hollow Players production of 'Farce of Habit' well received

Toni Lucas - The Windy Hollow Players (WHP) performed the play 'Farce of Habit' at the Cowley Community Hall on Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2.  A sneak peek performance was also presented to area seniors on May 28.  Director Susan Ames Vogelaar was delighted with the numbers, including returning thespians and new additions to the cast. Each year the WHP put on at least one public performance. This play held elements of murder, romance, and intrigue as the couple who owns the "Reel 'Em Inn" hotel find they are dealing with guests from all walks of life: Nuns and a priest, a radio celebrity, a crazed stalker fan of the celebrity, and a gentleman who wants to find what he has been missing in his steady but humdrum work-a-day life.

The hotelier couple had to tackle kicking their personal addictions of over-consumption of coffee and excessive scratching, as well as a lifelong fear of nuns. Their personal resolve was tested over and over as the weather turned ugly, the staff faced marital issues, and a murderer was somewhere nearby, lurking.

The play was concocted by southern U.S. playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and James Wooten of New York City based Dramatists Play Service Inc.  It's relatively new, debuting on February 3, 2017 in Gilroy, California.  Vogelaar said she received a very encouraging and much appreciated phone call from one of the playwrights in the week leading up to the performances.

Once again the WHP put on a good show which was fun and spirited. Laughs were plentiful.  The cast earned their standing ovations.The acting troupe has been operating in the area with a revolving door of interested volunteers taking the positions of actors, stagehands, greeters, promoters, since the 1970s or 80s. The group welcomes newcomers and seasoned hands alike with the director finding plays to suit the number of people who are volunteering for the season.

A delicious dinner was provided by the Cowley Lions prior to the Friday and Saturday shows.

This year cast consisted of Gordon Pitt, Melonie Chapin, Lorne Jackson, Tracy Glen, Gerry Alex, Shannon Donovan, Pat Neumann, Allison Reynolds, and Darcy Dietrich,* with longtime troupe member Ed Lindsell acting as the Master of Ceremonies each night. The audience had honest laughs throughout the show and many of the actors said they found it a worthwhile event and are considering performing again next year.

*corrected for accuracy

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