New Theater Group Formed, Plans Play
Community theater will return to Moore County in October in the form of a new group -- The Sandbox Players.
"We held a meeting in July to see if there was interest in this project," said Don Bridge, who organized the meeting a few months after the demise of the Sandhills Theater Company (STC), which disbanded after running into financial difficulties.
"Nearly 40 people showed up for the meeting," Bridge said. "Out of that meeting, we organized a steering committee to guide the formation of a new company."
Other steering committee members include Chris Brown, Randy Rime, Brenda Bouser, Rod Harter, Sara Schrock, Susan B. Paschal, Ron Gordon, Brant Clifton and Elizabeth Schilling.
Bridge said The Sandbox Players is not meant to compete with Moore OnStage, another local theater group.
"We intend to complement that group, not compete with it," he said.
Bridge said he has heard from people who had previously been involved with local theater groups as well as those who were new to community theater.
"They have donated money and volunteered their time," he said. "Because of the financial contributions we've received, the first show has basically been paid for, so what we make at the box office can go toward the next show."
The search for a debut play sent Bridge on a reading binge.
"For a week I barely left the house," he said. "I was just reading plays."
The play Bridge settled on is Ken Ludwig's "Moon Over Buffalo." Ludwig is best known for his play "Lend Me a Tenor."
"It's perfect for us," Bridge said. "Like 'Tenor,' it is a farce with mistaken identities, illicit relations and people running in and out slamming doors."
"Moon Over Buffalo," which will be directed by Robert Gay, was first produced in 1995 as a vehicle for Carol Burnett and ran on Broadway for nearly a year. Gay directed "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" for Moore OnStage last season.
Auditions for "Moon Over Buffalo" will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Homewood Suites at Olmsted Village.
"They are giving us the use of one of their conference rooms for those two days," Bridge said.
Rehearsals are set to begin Saturday, Sept. 20. However, Bridge said that the Sandbox Players is still seeking rehearsal space.
The ideal space would have to be available continuously from Sept. 20-Oct. 12. It needs be at least 1,000 square feet of open area, with air conditioning and a functioning bathroom.
"The space would have to be donated, although we would pay for the electricity and water bills for the time we are there," he said.
If anyone has space that would meet the group's needs, they can call Bridge at 528-9793.
"Moon Over Buffalo" will be presented at the Sunrise Theater the weekends of Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26.
"It will be open seating," Bridge said. "We will not be set up for reserved seating."
Tickets, which are $15 for adults and $10 for students 18 and under, can be reserved by calling 528-2134. They will also be available at the box office.
Bridge said, "This is a rebirth of community theater for Moore County."
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com or 693-2475.
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