Community Theatre Since 1951
Season Opener to Honor Black History Month
Ernest J. Gaines’s Award-Winning Novel Brought to Life on Showtimers’ Stage
Showtimers Community Theatre will open its 2013 season this February 13th with Romulus Linney’s stage adaptation of Ernest J. Gaines’s award-winning novel, A Lesson Before Dying. Mr. Linney’s drama, set in rural Louisiana in 1948, is meticulously faithful to Ernest Gaines’s story about a poor plantation worker who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in his being convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair.
Mr. Gaines’s novel should be familiar to local audiences as the book was selected by “The Big Read Roanoke Valley” in 2009 and became the centerpiece for discussions and cultural presentations for over six months. The stage play, A Lesson Before Dying, developed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival while Linney was playwright in residence there, was the result of a longstanding friendship between playwright, Romulus Linney and author, Ernest J. Gaines
The drama is presented by a cast of seven; five African-American actors and two Caucasian actors. Much of the dialogue is taken directly from the novel and invites the audience into a tangible experience of black history at a time when “Jim Crow” laws enforced strict segregation.
A Lesson Before Dying will be performed at Showtimers’ McVitty Road theatre at 8:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday nights, February 13th through 16th and 20th through 23rd and at 2:00 PM on Sundays, February 17th and 24th.
Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $5.00 for those under 18. Groups, especially educational ones, are encouraged to contact Showtimers’ Box Office (540-774-2660) for information about group rates. Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.
For more information, contact the director, Patrick Kennerly, at 540-853-2544 (M-F, 8-5); 540-989-9346 (home); 540-525-0994 (cell) or via email@example.com
Deputy Paul Bonin — Tim Kennard
Emma Glenn — Barbara Sanders
Grant Wiggins — James Wise Jr.
Sheriff Sam Guidry — Barry Bedwell
Jefferson — Mike Johnson
Vivian Baptiste — Aisha Mitchell
Rev. Moses Ambrose — William Penn
Submitted by Patrick Kennerly