Awkward family interactions may be par for the course as the holidays approach, and Community Players looks to give those conversations a comedic twist in its latest show, ‘Greetings!’
When Andy brings his Jewish atheist fiancée to meet his sweet mother and crotchety father, both devout Catholics, to Christmas Eve, drama ensues from there.
Jamie Ulmer, Community Players’ managing artistic director, likened the characters to those in "A Christmas Story."
“The first scene of the show is like the adult version of Ralphie coming home, and nothing’s changed at the house,” Ulmer said. “Dad’s down in the basement doing whatever, Mom is sweet and innocent, there’s a younger brother who’s not quite right. It just has that great sense of fun to it.”
Ulmer said long-time audience members may recognize the themes and characters in this show, as they are similar to the ‘Over the Tavern’ trilogy Community Players produced several years ago, all of which were written by playwright Tom Dudzick.
Playing Andy and his fiancée, Randi, are Matthew Bejjani and Ashley Hothan. Julie Bratt and Bruce Hahn bring to life Andy’s parents, and Ty Young plays Andy’s younger brother, Mickey.
Coming in to direct the show is Charisa Ramsey, who has also directed for the First Flight Festival at the Angels Theatre Company in Lincoln, as well as assistant directed ‘Annie’ at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
Ramsey is originally from Beatrice, and said she grew up doing shows at Community Players.
“It’s kind of like coming home,” Ramsey said. “I haven’t been involved in a show here for I think a decade…so I was really excited to have the opportunity to come in and direct.”
Ramsey noted that the show focuses on accepting others’ beliefs and the importance of family.
“The show is written in 1990, and these conversations that these characters are having and the questions they’re asking could absolutely happen today…Family differences are eternal,” Ulmer said.
Ramsey said all of the actors have done a great job working around hectic holiday schedules and a short rehearsal time on stage, as Community Players' last show ended on Nov. 17.
“They’ve done a great job adapting and just taking things as they come,” Ramsey said.
Ulmer said he’s excited to have Ramsey direct, because it shows the organization and community a different style of show while still having the same level of quality for a Community Players performance.
“I think Charisa works a lot more organically than I do,” Ulmer said. “I’m a very structured, everything is planned and plotted out, and Charisa is a more spontaneous director. It’s whatever style works for the individual and the production.”
“In undergrad I studied theater performance, so for me I focus more on character building and kind of letting them explore that before we get into the meat and potato of what the exact blocking needs to be,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey said she’s enjoyed the experience, and is open to working with another Community Players show in the future.
The show runs Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students, except for the Saturday, Dec. 7 performance when tickets are only $10 and $8, respectively. Community Players will have a liquor license for the night of that performance, as well.
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, with the exception of the Dec. 7 performance, where no group discounts or additional coupons are valid.
Tickets can be reserved at the box office, located at 412 Ella St., online at www.beatricecommunityplayers.com or by calling 402-228-1801.
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