BY LISA MARIE DAHM
NORTH HAWAII NEWS
It’s a chance for theater lovers to get their fix of upbeat, fun comedy while allowing local actors a slight break in mastering dialogue.
Actors will carry their scripts as a reference for Waimea Community Theatre’s presentation of Neil Simon’s “The Good Doctor” on Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m., and on Aug 18 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Readers Theatre.
”The vignettes spoof the writing of Anton Chekhov,“ said Felicity Johnson, the play’s director, of “The Good Doctor.”
“They are short, hilarious comedies connected by a narrator,” she said. “Like ‘Our Town,’ you don’t need scenery. It’s perfect for being in the church (hall).”
Johnson said the actors range in skill level from no experience to those with professional training.
“They get a chance to be a part of the community,” Johnson said of variety.
The opportunity for actors to use their scripts allows them to relax, have fun and enjoy their time on stage with the witty, fast-paced short stories.
Jack Watson, a theater professor for 24 years at the University of Oregon, will be performing with the group for the first time in “The Good Doctor.”
He said despite the chance to have the script in hand, he will probably know the lines before the performance.
“I am a little more comfortable when I have the lines memorized,” Watson said. “The nice thing is, it allows the group to get together and do the show quickly, and people who can’t devote to a five-week rehearsal period can participate. And I think that is very positive.”
Watson said he likes the play choice and the camaraderie.
“I love Chekhov,” Watson said. “When you add that with Neil Simon’s one-liner, gags, it is funny but also has heart. It is very interesting way to put it together.”
Mari-jo (Flanders) Allen, will be the lead in one of the short stories called, “A Defenseless Creature.” Allen describes the character as “anything but defenseless,” which she said is fun to play.
“I read this part and I felt like I would love to be in the comedy,” Allen said. “I was very pleased. It is a scream.”
Though there is no ticket cost, admission is by donation.
“We ask for donations and that helps us to pay for the royalties and scripts,” Johnson said. “It keeps us alive and well.”
The next Waimea Community Theatre performance is “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” directed by Jack Watson, on Nov 16 through 25. Auditions are at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8 at the Waimea Community Theatre office at the Tropical Dreams Ice Cream warehouse building. For more information, contact Johnson at 938-4603.