Out & About

Backlot Players back on familiar ground with ‘Southern Hospitality’

‘Southern Hospitality’ is the third play written in a trilogy,” director Marion McDougall said in a recent interview about the play, which the Backlot Players will perform starting Friday. “The first one we did several years ago and was called ‘Dearly Beloved.’ It featured the Sutrelle sisters who lived in a small Texas town called Fayro. The second in the trilogy was called ‘Christmas Bells,’ which featured the same characters and a long-lost sister. This is the final play in that trilogy and it’s the story of the Sutrelle sisters doing whatever they can to keep their small town from dying.”

“There is a salsa factory, Senora Caliente’s Salsa Factory, which is considering moving from New England to Fayro. The Sutrelle sisters decide to put on the Fayro Days Festival to entice the representative of the salsa factory to move. They mistakenly assume a woman traveler is the representative and they go all out to impress her with a Civil War re-enactment, a petting zoo and more shenanigans. It’s absolutely hilarious and it is very much a Southern comedy filled with crazy characters, misunderstandings and that almost-but-not-quite-slapstick style of humor that appeals to so many people.”

“The four sisters -- Honey Raye (Kim Ducheneau), Twink (Tullye Ralph), Rhonda Lynn (Beth Stephens) and Frankie (Addie Sparks) -- make up the center of an ensemble cast,” McDougall said. “There are 13 total cast members, and they are all doing really well. We have some of the most talented actors in Georgia in our theater and on our stage. They will absolutely make you laugh out loud.”

“The set takes place in the living room of Frankie and her husband, Doug. These are blue-collar people, and it’s a mishmash of furniture that sets the scene for this comedy,” McDougall said. “Nipper Bunn, Bill Calhoun and Connie Copelan all designed our set and did a fantastic job. Costuming is done by Jane Walker, Karen McClellan and Ella Sheppard. The second act consists of a Civil War re-enactment costumes and they have outdone themselves.”

“I think that this play will really speak to our audience. It’s about a small, dying Texas town. It rings true for a lot of small towns. We are always trying to get new businesses and build a future. I think the Southern flavor of comedy will really shine through, too,” McDougall said. “Also, many of the people who saw the other two plays will be very familiar with the characters and they will want to come back and see what’s happening with these characters and the town of Fayro.”

“Southern Hospitality”

When: May 15-24

Where: The Rose Theater, 23 West Johnston Street, Forsyth

Phone: 478-994-0443

Cost: Adults $15, Students/Seniors/Military $12