The Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre is set to open Friday for its coolest season yet.
That's because for the start of its 53rd season, the theater will have air conditioning for the first time.
"The final part is supposed to be coming this afternoon," said Ray Ryan, the theater's facilities director, on Monday.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Ray Ryan, facilities director for the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre, checks the new air conditioning unit outside the theater Monday. Friday’s season opening play, “End Days,” will be Ryan’s directorial debut at the theater.
The players say they are hoping the addition of an air conditioning unit will help draw crowds for those plays occurring in the summer.
"There's a noticeable difference in attendance in the hotter months, and this will affect that," said Ryan.
An $80,000 grant from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission also replaced the old gas heating system with a much more effective boiler system, said Ryan.
If you go
What: Mid-Ohio Valley Players production of "End Days."
When: Opens this Friday, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Sept. 29 and at 3 p.m. Sept. 23.
Will be the first play where audiences can enjoy the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre's new air conditioning.
Cost: Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for youth age 16 and under and $6 for students and seniors. The Mid-Ohio Valley Players offer season tickets at a cost of $50 for five tickets. They can be used for five separate plays or for to admit five individuals to a single performance.
Perhaps most excited for the new air conditioning to go operational are the actors who have been rehearsing for "End Days," the first show of the season.
Before the weather broke over the weekend, rehearsals were very hot, said Olivia Polan, 17, who plays gothic teenager Rachel Stein in the upcoming play.
"It is going to be a big relief for the actors because of the costumes and lights," said Polan, who attends both Warren High School and Marietta College as a Post Secondary Enrollment Option student.
The season opener is Ryan's directorial debut at the theater, and to go along with the modern convenience of air conditioning, he chose a modern play.
"This is the most modern play our theater has ever done," said Ryan.
"End Days" is a comedic play that first debuted in 2008 and won that year's American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg citation, said Ryan.
The play revolves around a father, Arthur Stein, who survived the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers but neither he nor his family have been coping well with the aftermath.
Arthur's wife, Sylvia, a recent convert to evangelical Christianity, begins to see and speak to Jesus in her home.
The Stein's daughter, Rachel, has become gothic and dark. After the nerdy teenage Elvis impersonator across the hall gives her a book by Stephen Hawking, Rachel starts seeing and conversing with the physicist.
But it's when Sylvia's conversations with Jesus convince her that the rapture is imminent that the whole family spends the day rediscovering each other as a family, said Ryan.
For Ryan, the play is all the more timely because it plays on the doomsday prophecies that have become all too common.
Because of this, Ryan has chosen the play as an opportunity to team up with Washington County chapter of the American Red Cross.
"The Red Cross will be at every show to do an informational session on disaster preparedness during intermission," said Ryan.
The MOVP will also be doing a 50/50 raffle at every show with all proceeds donated to the Red Cross, he said.
The show runs Friday, Saturday and again Sept. 21, 22, 28, and 29 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for youth age 16 and under, and $6 for students and seniors.