Theatre Of Dare Opens Bold New Season With 'Psycho Beach Party'
Opening Night is October 17 at COA
(Manteo, NC) – The first show of the new season comes with a warning.
“No kids!” Theatre of Dare President Don Bridge says with a laugh. “This is definitely NOT a show for children.”
Indeed, with its bursts of adult language and hormone-laden characters, Psycho Beach Party is not the type of show kids should be attending. But it is the type of show that the 24-year-old Outer Banks community theatre organization is hoping to throw into its lineup on occasion; a little edgier, a little less standard than regular community theatre fare.
“It’s a tongue-in-cheek spoof of all those Frankie and Annette beach movies of the 1960s,” says director Jimmie Lee Brooks III, “with a little Hitchcock-type psychosis thrown in for good measure. It’s campy, it’s goofy, it’s fun. We think the audience is going to have a great time at this show.”
Psycho Beach Party tells the story of Chicklet Forrest (Lauren Taylor), a teenage tomboy in 1960s Malibu whose biggest dream is to become a surfer. Unfortunately, she runs up against an overprotective mother, a male-dominated surf scene, and her own multiple personality disorder. One of Chicklet’s personas is an aggressive dominatrix named Ann Bowman, who’s out to rule the world, and render anyone standing in her way hairless.
Buoyed by what many considered to be its strongest artistic season in years in 2013-14, Theatre of Dare is hoping to connect with a new generation of theatregoers and actors while leaving one foot firmly planted in the more familiar productions that have proven to be audience favorites. In January, TOD will stage You Can’t Take It With You, a classic of the theatre that is currently undergoing a revival on Broadway. In March, the reverent musical Godspell will bring the parables of St. Matthew to life. Finally, in May, Theatre of Dare is shining a comic spotlight on 21st-century relationships with Manly Men, a show that puts three actors through a variety of wacky roles.
There are changes behind the scenes as well. A brand-new, modern-looking website at www.theatreofdareobx.com. More emphasis on social media. More community involvement. Discussions are underway to perform kid-oriented shows at local schools, and perhaps even putting on small, eclectic shows in more intimate venues.
Theatre of Dare board members are reluctant to call it a renaissance, more like a renewal. “The Outer Banks has changed since TOD started in 1991,” says Bridge. “Entertainment has changed since 1991. The audience has changed since 1991. We’d be foolish not to change along with it.”
It all starts with Psycho Beach Party, which involves a cast largely made up of actors who were barely out of diapers in when Theatre of Dare was established. “It’s a funny show that should appeal to theatergoing adults of all ages”, says Daniel Ziegler, a 24-year-old Lost Colony alumnus playing the role of Kanaka in the production, “but hopefully, it will especially resonate with 20- and 30-somethings who have never been to a TOD show. Those who might assume, in Psycho Beach Party vernacular, that community theatre is for ‘squares’. This play is going to change their minds.”
Psycho Beach Party will be performed October 17, 18, 24, & 25 at 7:30 p.m. as well as October 19 & 26 at 2 p.m. All performances will be at the College of the Albemarle Auditorium in Manteo. Tickets are available online and at the door, and are $11 for adults and $6 for students. Again, due to adult content and language, TOD strongly recommends you leave the children at home.
The cast of Theatre of Dare’s Psycho Beach Party: (L-R) Beth Egbert, Ana Figiel, Timothy Roy, Lauren Taylor, Daniel Ziegler, Addie Moore, Betsy Head, Lara Parks. Not Pictured: Julia Ashcheulova, Mike Mazza)