Jointly presented by Bang-A-Rang Productions and the First Baptist Drama Ministry, this play presents the story of a young Methodist minister and his new wife in the small mountain community of Redwine, Georgia.
Facing the same problems that all newlyweds encounter, this young couple also must deal with the scrutiny of a small church “busy-body,” the extreme simplicity and near poverty of their “parsonage” home, and the time and emotional demands of the “church body” upon their young parson. The ensuing situations provide many laughable moments, and an enduring lesson of hope for all of us.
This musical was written by Dr. Jim and Doris Burns. The story is based on the autobiographical book, “Circuit Rider’s Wife” by Cora Lee Harris, whose husband was the minister who rode a circuit serving a number of churches in northeast Georgia.
This work was first presented 10 years ago, and has been presented and refined and tweaked and added-to and trimmed down during these 10 years.
According to director Connie Gatlin, “Jim and Doris have collaborated for a decade on this wonderful work. They have had it critiqued by dramatic judges, and they have been successful in creating a work that we can all be proud to be a part of. The story is ours, from right here in this region we call home, and the music is memorable. Folks will definitely leave humming a tune or two!”
The talented cast presents an eclectic group of performers from across several spectrums of the community. There are faces that First Baptist members will recognize; there are Lee University Theatre and Music students, and a host of performers from other churches and from the community at large.
“The beauty of community theater,” Gatlin added, “is that folks who are not necessarily professional performers bring their individual gifts together to create a new and fresh and exciting moment to share with their community. It is always special ... it is always worth the necessary effort and work ... and it is always an evening to remember!
Lead cast members include Chris Oglesby, Kelsey Frost, Fred Carder, Sabrina Calfee, Tony Pharr, Aaron Murphy, Chelsea Davidson and Kathy Langley Wilson. Ensemble members include Erica Tipton, Phyllis Altopp, Connie Wright, Mallory Anglin, Claire Gifford, Eli Blake, Bob Anderson, Joe Hodo, Brian Johnson, Doris Burns, Tony Mattace, Elizabeth Griffith, J.D. Frost and Ashley Heald.
Musicians for the show are Dr. Jim Burns playing lead guitar, David Wright playing banjo and dulcimer and J. Michael Leonard playing harmonica. Trevor Dennison will be playing bass and Rachel Skidmore will be playing violin.
Showtimes are June 23 and 24 at First Baptist Church on Stuart Road. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with the show to follow. Tickets can be purchased in the Commons just inside the front doors of First Baptist during daytime office hours.
For further information call the Cleveland City Ballet Bang-A-Rang Studios at 472-0167.