Owens staging ‘Trailer Park Musical’Written by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Owens Community College’s latest theater production handles many of the clichés of trailer park life by balancing the drama of the human spirit with a plenty of laughs. David Nehls’ and Betsy Kelso’s acclaimed comedy “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” is returning to our area for a two-week run at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts starting April 4.
The production features Amber Breault-Albain, Jeremy Wilkes, Morgan Brunsman, Paula Larsen, Emily Pheils, Alyson Phillips, Christopher Smith, Drew Young, Darian Hacker, Dalton Elza, Kasia Varsak and Devon Held. Jeremy Meier is directing.
“When we consider any piece for production we’re looking for something that addresses the interests of our student body, our designers, and the community. We also look at things like cast size, and any challenges the material might bring in terms of our space. We handled what could have been very sensitive subject matter in terms of its use of cultural stereotypes by celebrating the characters eccentricities. You’re dealing with agoraphobia, the potential end of a marriage, the piece has a real human element to it, and at the same time it’s totally outrageous and silly,” said Meier.
Nehls’ musical, based on Kelso’s book, appeared at the First Annual New Music Theater Festival in 2004 and was produced Off-Broadway at Bows at Dodger Stages the following year. It was previously produced in our area as part of a benefit for Toledo School for the Arts.
“This piece is fairly contemporary and has a number of connections to pop culture and anytime you deal with something like that things can change, their cultural meaning can change, with that in mind we’ve expanded it creating a special pre-show to be staged 15 minutes before the opening of the original piece featuring the Starke, Florida Welcoming Committee. If you look at the history of Starke, where the musical takes place, it’s very strange, it’s where Ted Bundy was executed and the local economy there is largely dependent on the corrections system, the area almost becomes a character in the play in and of itself,” Meier said.
Show dates are April 4, 5, 11, 12 at 7:30pm and April 6 and 13 at 3pm. General admission tickets are $12. Faculty, students and alumni can attend for $8. The production features adult language and themes and is recommended for a mature audience.
For more information, call (567) 661-2787 or visit www.owens.edu/arts
Tags: Betsy Kelso, First Annual New Music Theater Festival in 2004, Off-Broadway at Bows at Dodger Stages, Owens Community College, theater production, Toledo School for the Arts, trailer park life, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”