Agape Actors Co-Op's Texas Premiere of SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT Opens Tonight

The show must go on. That's certainly the mantra of The Merrillvelle Merry Art Players, who are launching their 22nd season with a classic Christmas play, SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT, a 1950s melodrama that finds the suburban Burling family held hostage by two escaped criminals.

But it's not the Burling family who suffers a long night. It's the actors playing them. 19 of the 23 cast members are out due to flu, but the remaining cast members are determined to persevere, along with the help of several last minute replacements. What could go wrong? Everything! What follows is a hilarious farce filled with out-of-sync sound cues, missing props, and plenty of mishaps. Think NOISES OFF! with a Christmas tree.

With a script by the co-creators of the hit film Meet the Parents, SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT is a hysterical Holiday comedy that will have audiences roaring with laughter. The comedy had its World Premiere in Los Angeles in 2008. Agape Actors Co-Op's production of it will be the show's Texas Premiere.

SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT will be directed by Jeff Davis, Agape Actors Co-Op's Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Agape's recent production of SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS. "I was fortunate enough to catch the World Premiere production of SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT in Los Angeles back in 2008," says Davis, "and I distinctly remember laughing so hard I cried. The only thing better than good theater is making fun of bad theater. SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT does just that for two hours. There's no big, profound statement on life or the human condition. It's just pure entertainment, and I think during the stressful time of the Holiday season, that's what audiences want to see. I can't wait to share this extraordinarily funny show with Central Texas audiences, and I think people are going to love it just as much as I do."

The cast of SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT features Dave Lovelace, Georgia Medler, and Reese Shald, all of whom return from Agape's production of AN IDEAL HUSBAND, and Mindy Rast-Keenan from Agape's THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL. Rounding out the cast are Thomas Ainsworth, Keshaan Castle, Antonio Hornsby, Jr., Joseph Johnson, Larry Maddox, Tiffany Schulze and Kristi Treitler, all of whom make their Agape Actors Co-Op debuts with this production. Castle, Hornsby, Johnson, and Shald are also members of the Agape Actors Co-Op Professional Apprentice Program which allows East View High School students special opportunities to work with experienced theater professionals in a production setting.

SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT features Direction and Sound Design by Jeff Davis, Lighting Design by Ashley Sandel, Stage Management by Amanda Jones, Makeup Design and Assistant Stage Management by Sarah Carlile, and Costume Design by Brianna Harner. Jones, Carlile, and Harner are fellow members of the Agape Actors Co-Op Professional Apprentice Program.

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