Actors needed for ICT play

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January 4, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Richard Spencer deals with very serious issues during his day job at the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center. At other times he is right at home with the fantasy side of life.
Such was the case Monday evening as he moderated auditions for Iola Community Theatre’s upcoming play, “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” a farce that explores a man’s marriage and the intrigue that arises when he adds a mistress to the mix.
Three hopefuls for male parts came to the auditions — that’s how many are needed — but none for the three female parts.
Spencer gave no indication of distress, rather jotted down the names of several potential actresses and noted he “will have to make some calls.”
“But,” he added, “this isn’t unusual. There always are conflicts when we schedule auditions and sometimes it just takes a little prodding.”
One candidate he contacted earlier may have become reluctant when she read parts of the script and noted a scene required having her blouse ripped off in a comic on-stage wardrobe change, Spencer said. She’d be perfect, he observed, and may come around with a little coaxing.
Todd Francis and Richard Peters, who have acted in ICT productions, read lines from the play, meant to be set in Paris but which probably will be shifted for Iola’s presentation to the Catskills to avoid emphasis on French accents. Dustin McCullough was the third to try out.
Additional auditions may be held, or Spencer said he might have private readings to accommodate potential actors.
“We have plenty of  time,” he said, noting that the play’s staging is scheduled in eight weeks and four weeks of rehearsals should be sufficient.
A thriving drama program at Allen County Community College has reduced the number of actors available for ICT productions, Spencer said —  a good thing, he quickly noted — and more activities by Chanute Community Theatre also has cut into the pool of those available to participate with ICT.
Even so, “We have a lot of talented people in and around Iola and I’m sure when rehearsals start the roles will be filled,” he said.

“DON’T DRESS for Dinner” is a frenetic case of mistaken identity.
When Jacqueline decides to visit her mother for a few days, her husband Bernard sees an opportunity for a cozy weekend with his new mistress. His bachelor pal Robert calls to announce his return from Hong Kong, so Bernard invites him along as his alibi, also hiring a Cordon Bleu-level cook to cater a delicious dinner.
But when Jacqueline realizes Robert is coming for a visit everything changes, and the high speed farce begins. One impossible situation leads to another as the hapless friend Robert finds himself the target of both amorous attention and wrathful vengeance, while Bernard tries desperately to salvage a scrap of illicit bliss from the wreckage of a weekend.

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