The Tellico Community Players hope Villagers will laugh beginning Thursday at Mark Dunn’s largely female Southern comedy, “The Glitter Girls.”
The play revolves around the modern day ad hoc committee of a north Georgia woman’s social club.
“It’s a story of a woman who is pulling a con over her fellow members of the Glitter Girls, which is a social group of women,” Len Willis, play director, said. “She is tricking them into thinking she is dying and has a large amount of money that she’s going to give to the women, but she’s only going to give it to one woman and they have to decide among themselves who gets the money.
“... So it’s a comedy based on the women trying to decide and voting among themselves who gets the money, and so the banter and the life history and stories of the Glitter Girls and what happened during years and years and years all comes back when they’re now discussing among themselves who should they award the money to,” Willis added. “And all of a sudden being mad at each and stories that they had forgotten about. It’s brought up again about how one husband had slept with one of the other wives and so on and so forth. It’s a very entertaining story being told about how they eventually decide where the money goes.”
The play includes a cast of 10, with seven women and three men.
“There are men in the play, which are at this get-together because one’s wife has died and he’s like an honorary Glitter Girl, and then the other one is representing his mother who was a Glitter Girl who’s not in town. So the men get involved in the conversation as well,” Willis said.
Freddie Jacob assumes the role of Trudy Tromaine, the wealthy woman seeking to trick her fellow Glitter Girls.
“My character is at the time of the play, she is a very wealthy woman and she’s a successful business person who’s just sold her business for over $50 million,” Jacob said. “She’s been very generous with her friends. However, she comes from the hills and she is a country girl at heart, and so there’s a lot of insecurity there if you will and a little bossy and controlling.”
This will serve as Jacob’s first time acting with the Players, and the first time since high school.
“I come to all the plays, I love theater, and we retired a couple years ago, and it’s been in the back of my mind that this might be something I want to do,” Jacob said. “I thought why not? I auditioned, and there were some very talented people who auditioned, and I was frankly surprised to get a part.”
Ku Adams is no stranger to the Players. She has acted with the group for 10 years and is now in her 12th play after having begun as a novice.
Adams plays Mamie Ewing, who she described as impatient, abrasive and sarcastic.
“I love my character,” Adams said with a laugh. “I’m very strong and bossy. … It’s a huge cast, so (we have) challenges of blocking for this huge cast.”
Willis said directing eight to 10 people on stage at a time can be difficult.
“Making sure that they are on stage where they need to be, not blocking other members on the stage while saying the lines,” Willis said. “It’s a constant analysis of should he or she be behind that chair or should he or she walk behind the table? So to work with that many people on stage at any one time is really hard to make sure that the audience sees everyone all the time.”
The play will require one set, which Willis believes has made the production a little easier. He credited Ali Davis for helping bring the set to life.
“It takes place at the back porch of the rich lady’s house,” Willis said. “So the porch is off the back of the house and it is supposed to be, and you can see, well done. In other words, whatever a rich lady would have on her back porch — nice furniture, nice everything — and then off of the porch is a herb garden and there’s a lot of activity off the porch in the herb garden.”
This marks the fourth of five presentations for the Players this year at the Tellico Community Playhouse, with the final “Christmas Belles” in December. The Players next will perform a free presentation of “Charlotte’s Web” for elementary-aged children and their families.
As artistic director for the Players, Willis goes with what he believes will please attendees.
“We know that our audience likes musicals and comedies, and so we try to do of the five plays at least two or three comedies,” he said. “We also say we can’t continually only do comedies. That’s why we just did ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ which is considered one of the greatest tragedies ever written by an American author, and our audience liked that as well. Next year we’ve got a full-blown musical. We try to give our audience what they want and what we are capable of doing. We’ll always lean more toward comedies because of the way our fans support us. All of our shows we do quite well with attendance. We’re so happy with the support we get from the surrounding area.”
What stood out with “The Glitter Girls” is its characteristics to Tellico Village, he said.
“So they were all older ladies, which we have an abundance of talented people that could audition and play those parts,” Willis said. “Sometimes if we have a play that we really like a lot but it calls for a four teenagers and a 6-year-old child, a lot of times we won’t go there because we don’t know if we can get people to audition for those parts. So this play really appealed, first of all, for two reasons. It was a great play as far as how funny it was and we had the people to fill the roles.”
“The Glitter Girls” will run 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Aug. 15-17. An Aug. 18 matinee begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $21. For more information, visit www.tellicocommunityplayhouse.org.
“I want them to laugh,” Jacob said. “This is a comedy, and there’s enough little pieces of reality in here that people cane relate to, especially Tellico Village. I mean the cast were most all older, there are a couple of characters that are younger, but the majority of the play there is a lot of humor in it. So I’m hoping that (when) people will walk away they will laugh during the play and they will talk about it after and remember the characters because the characters are really remarkable.”