Photo Flash: First Look at ActorsNET's 'CHARITABLE SISTERHOOD'
Morrisville's intimate Heritage Center Theatre will rock with laughter September 12th to 28th as ActorsNET stages the regional premiere of Bo Wilson's hilarious new comic drama, The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church.
"It takes place in a church basement in Virginia on a dark and stormy night in 1977," explains ActorsNET Co-Founder Joe Doyle, who directs. "As a fierce storm rains outside, gales of laughter reign inside. Four church volunteers are sorting through a mountain of items donated -- ironically enough -- for flood relief elsewhere. They sort, they gossip, they bicker, especially when they discover they're stranded there. Even more harrowing, they find themselves facing a young fugitive from justice!"
"This five-woman ensemble show just completed a sold out world premiere run with the Virginia Repertory Company at Hanover Tavern, Virginia," Doyle said. "It won unanimous critical acclaim and drew larger audiences than the venerable Steel Magnolias. Bo's characters are so real and down-to-earth that you can't help but identify and fall in love with them."
Virginia Barrie of Ewing, NJ plays Bea Littleton, the strait-laced pastor's wife who runs the sisterhood by the strict rules she makes up as she goes along. Vicky Czarnik of Langhorne plays Lorraine Jensen -- an overworked mother with nine children, one husband and a hamster. She eagerly volunteers just to enjoy a break from tending to her brood.
Allison Deratzian of North Wales portrays Tina Yates, who has moved to town from Baltimore and is referred to by the Southern ladies as "The Yankee." Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski of Trenton, NJ plays Janet Murchison, a transplanted Southern belle from Atlanta, straight out of Gone with the Wind.
"Rounding out the cast is Alexa Gutter of Yardley as Riley Reynolds, the young fugitive," Doyle said. "She's being doggedly pursued by a private detective from Trenton, NJ - and one of the members of the charitable sisterhood is really the private eye! Is it the Yankee? Is it the Scarlett O'Hara wanna be? Soon the question becomes: Will justice be served? Will the ladies turn over young Riley to the law?"
Almost an equal co-star of this production is a towering mountain of donated clothes and other items, both useful and useless. As the storm rages, the ladies debate over what to do with Riley, while sorting the debris. The dialogue includes hilarious riffs about the useless junk that some people donate to charity drives in order to get rid of unwanted items.
"Bo Wilson's new play, I believe, is destined to become a staple of American theatre companies," Doyle predicted. "It's reminiscent of Steel Magnolias, with a twist of Agatha Christie. We're rating it PG because even church ladies can get a bit bawdy at times -- especially to tweak the pious pastor's wife. It's an unforgettable show -- funny, touching and life-affirming!"
Recently voted the best theatre company in Bucks County in an online poll (buckshappeningmag.com), ActorsNET launches its 19th season with The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church. It performs for three weekends--September 12th - 28th--with show times Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+) and $10 for children age 12 and younger. The Heritage Center Theatre is located at 635 N. Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville, PA -- just across from the Calhoun Street Bridge. For reservations and ticket information, phone 215-295-3694 or visit the ActorsNET web site at www.actorsnetbucks.org.