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Theatrical productions offered for all audiences

From staff reports

With the arrival of 2020, the Actors Guild of Parkersburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley Players in Marietta will be moving into the second half of their 2019-2020 seasons.

In Marietta, 2020 will bring four more productions to the theater at Third and Putnam streets in downtown Marietta

¯ “All My Sons,” by Arthur Miller, will be presented by the MOVP from Jan. 24-Feb. 1. It will be directed by Suzanne Walker.

During the war Joe Keller and Herbert Deever ran a machine shop which made airplane parts. Deever was sent to prison because the firm turned out defective parts, causing the deaths of many men. Keller went free and made a lot of money. The twin shadows of this catastrophe and the fact that the young Keller son was reported missing during the war dominate the action. The love affair of Chris Keller and Ann Deever, the bitterness of George Deever returned from the war to find his father in prison and his father’s partner free, are all set in a structure of almost unbearable power.

¯ “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie will be performed March 13-21. It will be directed by John Mack McHale.

Ten strangers are summoned to a remote island. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal and a secret that will seal their fate, for each has been marked for murder. As the weather turns and the group is cut off from the mainland, the bloodbath begins and one by one they are brutally murdered in accordance with the lines of a sinister nursery rhyme.

¯ “Ring of Fire” will be performed May 1-9 and will be directed by Chris Walker.

From the songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family. More than two dozen classic hits – including “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and the title tune, paint a musical portrait of The Man in Black. Though he is never impersonated, Johnny Cash’s remarkable life story is told through his music, climaxing in a concert that will both move and exhilarate.

¯ The final show of the MOVP season will be “The Dixie Swim Club” from June 19-27 with Rod Poling as director.

Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, children and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. The show focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of 33 years.

In Parkersburg, the Guild will be relocating its next production and its Guild Builders program due to renovation work at the Guild Playhouse at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

The performances of “Madagascar Jr.” from Jan. 24 to Feb.1 by the Guild Builders youth theater program will be moved to Blennerhassett School auditorium. The performances of “Sense and Sensibility” from Feb. 28 to March 14 will be in the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Theatre.

The Guild theater will be closed for three months to allow a sprinkler system, new lighting, carpeting and wall covering to be installed, said Guild President David Rexroad.

¯ “Sense and Sensibility” is adapted by Kate Hamill and offered through Dramatists Play Services Inc.

Set in the 1790s in England, this play concerns the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, and their journey into happiness and fulfillment. At a time in which a woman’s value and place in society is based upon her husband and his wealth, Elinor and Marianne face many challenges. Will they find a husband who can secure their position? Or, should society allow strong, intelligent, capable women their own position? The play is filled with subtly funny moments, tender scenes and broad comedy.

¯ The Guild will present “The Producers” on April 24-26 and May 1-3, and 8-9. By that time, the organization is expecting to be back at its Market Street home.

In the show, a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all “little old ladies”) out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit.

The antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as they maneuver their way fecklessly through finding a show (the “Springtime for Hitler”), hiring a director, raising the money and finally going to prison for their misdeeds is a lesson in broad comic construction. At the core of the insanely funny adventure is a poignant emotional journey of two different men who become friends.

¯ “The Hallelujah Girls” will be presented June 12-27.

Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden Falls, Ga., decide to shake up their lives. The action in this rollicking Southern comedy takes place in SPA-DEE-DAH!, the abandoned church-turned-day-spa where this group of friends gathers every Friday afternoon. After the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is precious, and if they’re going to change their lives and achieve their dreams, they have to get on it now. But Sugar Lee, their high-spirited, determined leader, has her hands full keeping the women motivated.

¯ The final show of the season will be “Rock of Ages” from Aug. 7-22.

It’s the tail end of the big, bad 1980s in Hollywood, and the party has been raging hard at the Sunset Strip’s last legendary venue, a place where sex machine Stacee Jaxx takes the stage and scantily clad groupies line up to turn their fantasies into reality. Amidst the madness, aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for small-town girl Sherri, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes). But the rock and roll fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall.

Tickets are on sale at actors-guild.com.

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