Theatre of Dare Kicks Off 'Vagabond' Season in a Trailer Park
Comedy musical opens Oct. 20 on Lost Colony Soundstage
(Manteo, NC) – The show had been cast, and rehearsals had started. Then came the bad news: The College of the Albemarle’s Manteo auditorium where Theatre of Dare has staged dozens of productions over the last two decades was overrun with mold from a rainy summer, and would not be available for The Great American Trailer Park Musical’s October opening. In fact, the facility is probably closed permanently.
“To say it was a shock to us is putting it mildly,” says longtime TOD President Don Bridge. “We’d just had one of our most successful seasons ever, and had ambitious plans for this season. Suddenly, we had no place to perform any of it.”
Board members immediately put out an SOS, searching for alternative places to perform Theatre of Dare’s 27th season. For The Great American Trailer Park Musical, the producers of The Lost Colony stepped forward to answer the call. So beginning October 20, the Colony’s Soundstage Theatre will be transformed into Armadillo Acres, Central Florida’s ‘most exclusive trailer park’.
The action of The Great American Trailer Park Musical centers around middle-aged toll booth attendant Norbert (Stuart Parks II) and his agoraphobic wife Jeannie (Lisa Pfuhl), who has not ventured outside their trailer in 20 years. When an exotic dancer (Abigael McGaha) on the run from her ne’er do well boyfriend (Rob Jenkins) moves into the neighborhood, the romantic sparks start to fly, all to the amusement of a Greek chorus of lawn chair ladies (Jimmie Lee Brooks III, Penelope Carroll and Savannah Mercer).
“It’s a gentle, hilarious take on all the stereotypes surrounding the unique culture of southern trailer parks,” says director Lara Parks, who gave the Middle Ages similar treatment in last season’s wildly successful Spamalot. “And performing on the Lost Colony’s Soundstage will really give the audience the feeling that they’re in the trailer park with us. It’s going to be a fun show for everyone!”
As far as the rest of the 2017-18 season goes, Theatre of Dare Board members are zeroing in on places to produce the rest of the season’s lineup, which includes Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!), Almost Maine, Cabaret, and Love, Sex, and the I.R.S. Bridge says to expect announcements on that front in the weeks and months ahead.
“We are determined to produce every show on our schedule, and we’ve been humbled by the support and encouragement we’ve received from the Dare County Arts Council, Dare County Commissioners and several performance venues,” said Bridge. “We hope our audiences will bear with us as we embark on this vagabond season of performing wherever we can find an available stage. The locations will change, but Theatre of Dare’s passion for entertaining our community is as strong as ever. And it all starts with this hilarious musical.”
The Great American Trailer Park Musical takes the stage Oct. 20, 21, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees Oct. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and all performances will be in the Soundstage Theatre at The Lost Colony, 1409 National Park Drive on Roanoke Island.
(The cast of Theatre of Dare’s production of ‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical’ (L-R): Rob Jenkins, Abigael McGaha, Stuart Parks II, Lisa Pfuhl. Seated: Jimmie Lee Brooks III, Penelope Carroll, Savannah Mercer.)