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Community Players butters up Beatrice with latest production, "Popcorn Falls"

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Popcorn Falls

Tyler J. Rinne, left, and Brandon Clark, right, pose for a scene in Community Players' upcoming production of “Popcorn Falls."

Community Players’ latest show will have audiences popping with excitement over “Popcorn Falls."

The fast-paced, two-person comedy follows Tyler Rinne and Brandon Clark as they play over 20 roles. The show features the bankrupt town of Popcorn Falls, which will be turned into a sewage treatment facility unless the townspeople open a theater and produce a play in a week.

Jamie Ulmer, Community Players’ managing artistic director, said he found the show last year while the theater was looking for small-scale shows to perform during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the show is so good that he held it until a regular season, scheduling it as a palate cleanser between two large musicals, “Mama Mia” and “Elf”.

“There’s all of these wonderful gems of one-person shows, two-person shows out there that we need to do in order to meet our mission of a variety of types of theater,” Ulmer said. “We definitely are going to hold onto dropping one or two of these smaller-scale productions into seasons, because they’re important to do. And honestly for us, they’re kind of refreshingly fun. They’re not nearly as complex from an overall perspective.”

Rinne said since he’s on stage for almost the entire show, it helps him stay invested in the story and characters.

“I think there’s a couple of things you can take out of this show,” Rinne said. “One is just a huge sense of fun, where you get to see the actors going through this show. Not only we the actors, Tyler and Brandon, but the actors of Mayor Trundle and Joe, that are putting on the show for the audience. So it really is a show within a show, and that’s less confusing than it sounds...And it is about a community coming together through the arts to build their relationships and also build up their community. I think that’s one of the really important things about this show.”

Community Players has been adapting their COVID procedures to ensure the comfort and safety of all volunteers and staff, and updating their plan weekly according to the latest Directed Health Measures, which can be found at beatricecommunityplayers.com/coronavirus-update

At this time, Ulmer said Community Players is once again requiring that audiences wear masks, but cast will not be performing in masks, and the theater will remain at 100% capacity unless otherwise required.

A returning addition to the first Saturday performances of Community Players’ regular reason shows is the Super Saturday promotions. During these shows, ticket prices are $10, and the theater will have a one-night liquor license for the evening.

“We don’t want a price barrier to be the reason somebody says they don’t take advantage of an entertainment opportunity like Community Players...It’s part of our efforts to make sure that the theater can be as inclusive to all parts of the community as possible,” Ulmer said.

“Popcorn Falls” runs Oct. 15,16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $12 for children and students, with the exception of the Super Saturday promotion. Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office, located at 412 Ella St. in Beatrice, which is open weekdays from noon to 5p.m., and two hours prior to performances. Reservations can also be made by calling 402-228-1801, or online at beatricecommunityplayers.com

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