By: Shelly Robinson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2008
Even the rehearsals are funny as Mike Neldon (Sam) and Iris Ballou (Ida) prepare for the production of “The Cemetery Club.”
Owasso Community Theatre Company (OCT) continues its tradition of excellence with the production of “The Cemetery Club” by Ivan Menchell. Evening performances will be held September 18 through 20 at 8 p.m., and matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m. on September 20 and 21 at Barnes Elementary School in Owasso.
“The Cemetery Club” is a comedy about three Jewish widows living in Brooklyn, New York. Ida, Doris and Lucille have been friends for many years and now meet each month at the cemetery to visit their husbands and share with each other the laughter, joys and sorrows of life. When a new romance arises between one of the ladies and Sam, the local butcher, the circle of friendship is put in jeopardy. This charming play will draw you in to the widows’ lives and leave you laughing as the women work to resolve their pasts and look toward their futures.
Guests familiar with OCT will see some memorable faces in this production. Leading lady Iris Ballou (Ida) has been involved with many OCT productions. She actually helped found the theatre in 2003 and currently serves on the OCT Board of Governors. Leading ladies Queen Bee Pruett (Doris) and Nancy Chambers (Lucille) have extensive resumès with Tulsa–area community theatre. Mike Neldon, who played the Toymaster in the OCT production of “Babes In Toyland,” shines in the role of Sam the butcher. Marjie Reynolds rounds out the cast as Mildred. Marjie was last seen as Bell, a leading role in the OCT production of “The Fantasticks.”
What OCT enthusiasts may not be familiar with is the beautiful new stage at Barnes Elementary School. While OCT events are normally held at Owasso High School’s Mary Glass Performing Arts Center, ongoing construction has necessitated a location change. Jessica Cook, an experienced actress and director, will direct the production at the new location. Stage manager Kay Neldon explained that due to the construction, the school system has very graciously allowed OCT to stage the production at the (new) Barnes Elementary, located west of town on 76th Street North. “We operate with the generosity of Owasso Public Schools. They allow us space to rehearse and use of the Mary Glass Performing Arts Center and in turn, we provide set pieces, technical equipment, and assistance and make scholarship opportunities available to Owasso High School students.”
Iris Ballou (Ida) and Nancy Chambers (Lucille) share a laugh as they practice their lines.
Volunteer positions are still available for both front-of-house and backstage help for this production. You may call the OCT phone number for more information. Barnes Elementary School is located at 7809 East 76th Street in Owasso. Tickets are available at the door for $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. Discount packages are available by calling OCT or emailing eat1@eau1eav1eaw1 .