By Madeline DeLorie
Fleming Island’s The Island Theater opened Bus Stop by William Inge on August 10, 2018. The production will run from August 10 through August 19 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.
Bus Stop by William Inge is a classic play known best by area audiences for the movie adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe. The play itself was written and set in 1955. The setting is not ignored by set designers Tricia Williams, Dave Baker and Whit Williams as they have created a working 1950’s diner mixed with rural touches of the Kansas Plains country. The added realism working appliances on stage made the audience more than ready to have a diner burger by the conclusion of the show.
The story picks up during a snow storm which forces a traveling bus to hunker down at a local Bus Stop for the night. The story starts when Cherie (played by Chandler Spivey) barrels in to the diner requesting asylum from her supposed kidnapper. The story picks up when said kidnapper, Bo Decker (played by Zachary Soldo) appears on the scene and we find out everything isn’t quite as it seems.
The play’s theme about love in it’s different forms and what you have to give up to acheive it is highlighted by Dr. Lyman – the character least likely to succeed at it.
The highlights of the show were veteran actor, Leonard Alterman as Dr. Lyman and newcomer Warren Ivy as Virgil Blessing. Alterman is no stranger to the role of Dr. Lyman. Having graced two other stages as Dr. Lyman, he still brought an entertaining liveliness to the role and concern from the audience for his young mark. In contrast, Ivy’s Virgil was presented with just enough of a soft touch that you wanted him to end up the romantic hero of the piece.
The show also features married couple Steve and Jill Amburgey as the very unmarried Carl and Grace, Matthew Caudio as Sheriff Will and the adorable Cailyn Cook as Elma, local waitress and subject of Dr. Lyman’s attentions. Each of these fine actors did a proper turn in their roles.
Saturday night’s performance of Bus Stop was called Choose Your Charity night at The Island Theater. Every patron in the sold out house were given the chance to donate half their ticket price to the charity of their choice. This win-win situation, according to the theater, gives the audience a chance to see great theater and give back to the community at the same time. This most recent Choose Your Charity night benefited 5 local charities including Clay Literacy Coalition and Safe Shelter Animal in Middleburg, Fl.
The Island Theater is one of the newest community theaters in town. Under the artistic direction of Tricia Williams, the Island Theater offers the residents of Clay County and affordable theatrical experience for all ages. The Island Theater offers a wide variety of theater education programs from one on one acting lessons, workshops, camps as well as full fledged main stage productions. They are a non-profit organization serving the community and beyond.
The Island’s Theater’s next production is Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) under the director of Nicole Labadie and opens September 7th. It’s sure to be a hilarious follow up to this fine production of Bus Stop.