LAURINBURG — The St. Andrews Theatre Arts Department will debut the comedy “Dearly Departed” on Friday with a cast of students and faculty.
The play is directed by Cinny Beggs, with the help of Levern Hamer and will play at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday in the Morris Morgan Theater on the St. Andrews University campus.
Referred to as a “drop dead comedy,” Dearly Departed brings together the family and friends of Bud Turpin, who drops dead one morning at the breakfast table.
The audience will meet Ray-Bud and Junior, played by Luke Armbruster and Nate Rivas-Blackwell, Bud’s sons and their wives – Lucille and Suzanne, played by Amber Hayden and Shaqueena Kemp.
The dysfunctional relationship between the four of them leads to some hilarious scenes of accusations and insights into sibling rivalry. Then there are the friends and relatives who must have their say in how Bud should be laid to rest.
The “grieving widow,” played by Brenda Gilbert, who is right on the mark as the matriarch of the family, who is counseled by her Japanese Southern Baptist preacher, played hysterically by Hiromu Ogahara.
Dearly Departed has always been one of Beggs favorite comedies, for no other reason than the audience will definitely “know” many of the characters on the stage, she said.
The playwrights David Bottrell and Jessie Jones have captured every idiosyncratic characteristic that we all love in the residents of many of our rural communities. In the country, everyone pulls together in their neighbors’ time of need. This show is a terrific commentary on Americana.
Along with the aforementioned actors, the other characters will be played by Tyler Davis, Sayvion Proctor, Jason Wilson, Cinny Beggs and Gray Gilbert.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for students and may be purchased at the door ½ hour prior to each performance. Morris Morgan Theatre is located in the Liberal Arts Building on St. Andrews University campus, 1700 Dogwood Mile, Laurinburg.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-276-2311