“Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to experience a top-notch event in theater,” Bart McGullion, the director, told the cast on opening night as we gathered backstage for Anniston Community Theatre’s Blithe Spirit.
The date was November 15, 1985. Steven Whitton of Jacksonville State University was acting the lead part of Charles, a writer who dwells in a well-to-do country home in England. Such a lovely home takes lots of upkeep, and Charles has a maid— but a psychic one. He was supported by an enthusiastic group of players then, and by responsive audiences who sat in the small theater at 1020 Noble Street. The ghostly comedy, as it was billed then, had all of the elements of appeal for viewers and it this one was a success.
The same is true today as Susan McCain directs Blithe Spirit at JSU to be presented May 15 through 19 in the Stone Center. The farce by Noel Coward has all of the ingredients that will make it enchanting for this month’s viewers: a playwright known for his wit and word play, unique and improbable situations, a talented cast and a fascinating set. Magic, surprises and well -crafted scenery await those who see the comedy. The set, in fact, is the largest one built for this university theater season, according to Randy Blades, Chair of the drama department. The characters dress “fit to kill” in tuxedos, silk dinner jackets and evening gowns—or, they were on the ACT stage—and their clever dialogue is the entertainment.
Presented May 15-19, it will be Wednesday through –Saturday at 7p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 (Adult), $8 (Senior Citizen/JSU Personnel), and $5 (Student/Child/Military) for reservations, call 256 782 5648.
Places to be, people to support
The place to be on Saturday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. is The Jacksonville Farmers Market. It is located in the Pocket Park behind Roma’s. Here you will find vegetables and fruits, baked goods, canned goods, plants, fellowship with friendly vendors and demonstrations on planting. It makes for a happy morning.
On weekdays in Hammond Hall Gallery this month there is an enticing display of mini works by artists from coast to coast who entered this JSU Department of Art’s 34th competition. Here, it’s hard not to linger long and closely as you look at the dollar-size art works and study the details, and on leaving the gallery you feel you made some important discoveries. The show will be up through May 30. The Department of Art Purchase Award went to JSU student Katrina Collins of Riverside who created a layered pen and ink titled ”Crows”. Come to see the current and traditional trends by artists.