The Keystone Players’ upcoming production of “Dearly Departed,” by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones is a family affair in more than one way.
The play, which will be presented April 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 2 p.m. in Keystone College’s Brooks Theatre, revolves around a wildly dysfunctional family’s frenzied attempt get mean old Bud Turpin buried while coping with the various skeletons in their own closets. It is also a real-life family affair, since the cast includes Mr. Harry Powell and his daughter, Brink Powell.
Dearly Departed About the Play
Set somewhere deep in the Bible Belt, “Dearly Departed” features a passel of characters whose stories manage to be both hilarious and touching. When Bud Turpin, (Danielle Karwaski), keels over at the breakfast table, everyone mourns his passing, with the possible exception of Raynelle, his wife, played by Brink Powell. Ray-Bud, (David Swanson), has a deep distaste for funerals, but his long-suffering wife, Lucille, (Courtney McCreary) tries to keep him under control. Junior, another son, (John Vicich) must cope with his failure in business, his emotional wife, Suzanne, (Kelly Gordon) and his brood of no-neck monsters, while Delightful, their younger sister, (Isabel Anderson) tries to drown her sorrows by eating everything in sight. Meanwhile, Bud’s holier-than-thou sister, Marguerite, (Mariel Consagra) has her problems with her lay-about son, Royce (Kevin Burke), and the pastor (Harry Krenitsky) must cope with an embarrassing problem.
A gaggle of equally comical friends, including Juanita (Olivia Strunk) and Clyde, Ray-Bud’s boss, (Harry Powell) all pitch in as best they can to help get Bud laid to rest. Rounding out the cast are five members of Keystone College’s singing group, “Voices,” who play the Joy of Life Singers. Led by Kaila Ketchum, the group includes Kevin Burke, Mariana Correa Costa, Daienaria Jankowski, and Nick Magarelli.
Jane Honchell, director, said that the play required an unusual staging concept. “Because “Dearly Departed” has multiple scenes and settings, I am using a very minimalist set design that allows the scene to shift quickly from kitchens to cars, a radio station, and the funeral home,” she explained. “The stark set also allows the audience to focus on the acting, and I am lucky to have a superb cast that more than does the characters justice,” she added.
Tickets for “Dearly Departed” are $10, general admission; and $5 for senior citizens and students. Tickets are available at the door prior to each performance, or may be reserved in advance by calling 570-945-8454 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: The Turpin family “discusses” funeral arrangements in their own unusual style. Center: John Vicich (Junior) Middle: From left: Mariel Consagra (Marguerite); Kevin Burke (Royce); Courtney McCreary (Lucille); David Swanson (Ray-Bob); and Isabel Anderson (Delightful). Top: Brink Powell (Raynelle).
Poster design by Raven Lydon.