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October 24, 2011

‘Amateurs’ to open Thursday at Union College

CORBIN — By Carl Keith Greene / Staff Writer

Thursday Union College students and staff members will tread the boards at the Rector Little Theatre to present “Amateurs,” a play about a couple hosting a party to celebrate opening night of their community theater’s musical about undertakers.

The play is directed by Jennifer Mullins, a senior theatre major.

She returned to Union after a 15-year break to finish her theatre degree.

Mullins, in her first semester as a student, played the female lead in “The Diviners,” for which she won Best Actress of the Year.

The performances continue Oct. 28, 29 and Nov. 4 and 5. Admission is $5, curtain is at 8 p.m and the play is not suitable for children.

“This play has a light-hearted humor. It makes it a blast to act in,” said cast member Cortni Thrasher, a Union senior.

“‘Amateurs’ is a wonderful combination of laughter and tears,” said Debbie D’Anna, Union dean of students, also a cast member.

Characters Dorothy and Charlie, the pair hosting the party, are setting up as the play opens.

When Dorothy leaves the living room for more food, Charlie turns out the lights and heads for bed.

The death of their son in a freak playground accident had changed Charlie’s world.

Dorothy keeps Charlie busy by having him bring in more chairs for the party, a job he continues for the rest of the evening.

A group of interesting characters fills Dorothy’s living room.

Dreams, loves, failures and successes became the discussion explored by the group with bittersweet humor.

Union College professor of theatre, Dr. Rebecca Pettys, commented on Mullins’ judgment choosing the play to direct. “I am very pleased with Jennifer’s selection of ‘Amateurs.’ The play is moving as well as funny.”

The cast is mixed with students and Union faculty as well as Union theatre alumni.

Debbie D’Anna works through the day as dean of students. She plays Dorothy, who has deep patience and kindness. Wade Smith plays Charlie. He was active in theatre as a Union student.

Thrasher and Sampson Anderson trade insults and barbs, hiding their attraction to each other.

Chris Adams plays Nathan, who must speak through his ventriloquist’s dummy, Horace, to get around his natural shyness.

Ernie, played by Jerry Jackson, dean of admissions, thinks he’s a great actor, but is in the career of running a dry cleaning business. His patient wife, Irene, is played by Brittany Burchfield.

In her first onstage appearance, Jessica Aldrich plays Mona, a happy, if somewhat naïve, hippy.

Filling out the cast is Joshua Holmes as Paul Courtland, whose review creates a crisis.

Stage manager is Krystal Webb, who has participated onstage and off stage since she arrived in the fall of 2009.

Other veterans in the technical staff are JoAnna Ezell, Emily Baker, Rebekah Seifu, Keith Parker, Steven Rodriguez and new staff, Alexandra Estes, Cory Sizemore and Erin Cooper.

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