Jonesborough Repertory Theatre to offer play,
services with twist

From staff reports
Story published: 09-14-2004 - Johnson City Press

The Jonesborough Repertory Theater continues its 2004 season with a twist — of both comedy and service to patrons — when “Dearly Departed” opens Friday.

“ ‘Dearly Departed’ is set in the Bible Belt, somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and is filled with familiar characters. We all know someone in this play. It is really funny,” Director Kathleen Brannon Buttolph said.

The antics of life — and death — play out as the “slightly” dysfunctional Turpin family reunites to make the arrangements for Daddy Bud’s funeral, and their adventure continues amid the chaos of financial ruin, drunkenness, spinsterhood and no-neck monster kids. Add some nosey neighbors, high-strung family members and a touch of gluttony and infidelity, and you have a real comical ride, Buttolph said.

“Dearly Departed” runs Sept. 17-18 and 24-25, at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees Sept. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. The opening night gala on Sept. 17 will be hosted by Bistro 105. Dinner/theater packages are available at Bistro 105 and The SpeakEasy (formerly The Parson’s Table). Dogwood Lane and Cranberry Thistle are also offering discounts to theater patrons.

In support of other local artists, the JRT will feature guest musicians in special mini-concerts during each evening’s intermission, along with refreshments provided by Hill of Beans Coffee House and Taste Buds Doughnuts.

Parkway Preschool will be providing baby-sitting service for those moms and dads who would like to enjoy an evening out together without the kids. Space is limited and must be reserved in advance by calling 913-3032.

Written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, “Dearly Departed” was first presented at the Second Stage Theatre in New York on Dec. 3, 1991.

Both new and veteran actors round out the 15-character JRT cast, including Mike Lilly, Kathy Smith, Debbie Shoun, Matthew Clark, Bill Brinkley, Jeanette Gaines, Nancy Lisic, Jenny Savery, Josh Baldwin and Linda Barber.

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