Wetumpka Depot to Take Center Stage with THE FANTASTICKS
The stage is dark and the lobby is empty. However, the energy of an exciting weekend still exists within the walls of the Wetumpka Depot Players Theatre. After a whirlwind weekend of plays, musicals, workshops and a theatre for youth competition, ACTFEST14 (Alabama's state community theatre festival) is in the books. Adjudicators awarded the Wetumpka Depot Player's production of Jones and Schmidt's classic musical, The Fantasticks, numerous awards including Best in Show.
The production will now represent Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference ( SETC) in March 2014. In addition to being recognized as the winning show, the company was awarded Best Direction (Kristy Meanor), Best Technical Direction (Tom Salter), Best Musical Direction (Marilyn Swears), Best Supporting Actors (Patty Holley and Bill Nowell) and All Star Cast (Lee Bridges).
In addition to the performance garnering praise and accolades from the adjudicators, the Depot Player's board of directors and volunteers were recognized for hosting a first class theatre festival with the warm hospitality that the River Region organization is known for. The Fantasticks will return briefly to the Depot for a fundraising performance in February before the group travels the show to compete with 15 other theatres at SETC. The award winning Wetumpka Depot Players are the River Region's oldest community theatre with a rich 33 year theatre history.
"We are 'over the moon' excited about taking top honors this weekend," said Kristy Meanor, Depot executive director and director of The Fantasticks. "The cast and crew that we pulled together for this production truly exemplifies the best that community theatre has to offer. Everyone worked together to create a beautiful show that had the heart and soul that the Depot Player's are known for. To win on our home turf and as well as bring so many visitors to Wetumpka for the weekend was just an added bonus."
The WDP have a short five year history with the state, regional and national community theatre festivals, but have received top honors with winning productions in 2009 ( (All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten), 2010 ( Second Samuel, represented at the AACTFest11, a national festival) and 2013 (The Fantasticks.) In addition over 25 other awards have been received for acting, directing and technical design. "Participation in festivals makes us a stronger community theatre," said Meanor. "In turn we pass that on to our patrons who are entertained and enriched by our an award winning company."