“Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies, and everyone goes, ’cause everyone knows”… it’s melodrama time.
Neil Diamond didn’t write the invitation to The Secret of Charity Teach, but the sentiment is appropriate.
“I think people of all ages — children to seniors — will find our summer production makes them laugh,” said director Jennifer Adams.
Adams, a popular performer in recent Footlighters Theatre Society’s productions, including The Stepsisters’ Revenge, didn’t need much persuading to take on the director’s role.
“I have learned so much from performing in the last five plays,” she said last week. “And I’ve always wanted to direct — as a teacher, I have always had it mind that I would direct a play.”
Adams teaches in the Homelinks program and will be introducing a drama program to Homelinks students next fall.
With a strong history of presenting a melodrama each year, Footlighters turned to Adams to select an appropriate script, and one that could be adapted for local audiences.
“Suzanne Chubb and Jason Smith wrote local lines for the play, and they added pirates to the cast list because really, who doesn’t love pirates!” she laughed. “Pirates were mentioned in the original script but Suzanne and Jason just ran with the idea when I suggested pirates should have roles.”
Chubb also wrote song lyrics that will appeal to a local audience.
“That’s the nice part of melodramas — you can change them up so that audiences are drawn into the story.”
The Secret of Charity Teach features a cast of 10 that includes Creston town Coun. Kevin Boehmer and his wife, Brittney, in hero and heroine roles.
“They fall in love on stage, and they have no objection to kissing!” Adams said, blushing at the memory of her own character’s kiss with Boehmer in last year’s production. “There was a lot of cheek involved in that kiss!”
Veteran villains Chubb and Smith, hams of the first order, are sure to draw boos and catcalls when they are on stage.
“I hope the audience really gives it to them,” Adams said. “They are tremendous fun in their roles as they scheme and connive.”
The director also enjoyed welcoming a new face — Prince Charles Secondary School student Jack Wright — and giving a larger role to Meredith Walker (most recently in the Carousel and Cinderella ensembles).
“I was really happy to give them this opportunity,” she said. “The entire cast and crew has been great to work with.”
Who will enjoy The Secret of Charity Teach?
“Audiences of all ages. Anyone with a sense of humour and who is willing to laugh,” Adams said. “This has been a lot of fun to do — I definitely want to direct again.”
The Secret of Charity Teach runs July 7, 8 and 9 at Prince Charles Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors and $5 for children under 12, available at Black Bear Books, Kingfisher Used Books and Creative Fix.