Mother Hicks is a witch … people say!
Just in time for the Halloween season, “Mother Hicks” will be the opening production for the Maysville Players 57th season.
“This is a play I have wanted to present for years,” said Mike Thomas, producing director for the theatre company located at the Washington Opera House in downtown Maysville. “I believe our audiences are going to love the experience it gives.”
Written by Suzan Zeder, “Mother Hicks” is set in a small Illinois town during the Great Depression and follows three outsiders … a foundling child known only as “Girl,” a deaf-mute boy named Tuc, and the eccentric recluse known as Mother Hicks; as the story unfolds, these three misfits find themselves, and one another, in the midst of troubled times and troubled hearts.”
“The language and the staging are magically poetic,” Thomas explained. “It is a very unique form of storytelling.”
Performances are October 11-14 & 18-21 with curtain times at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors age 65 and above, and $10 for students and children 18 and under. “Super Saver” Thursdays offer all seats for $10. These seats are non-reserved and only available at the box office one-hour prior to the 7 p.m. show time.
Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (606) 564-3666 or reserved on-line at www.maysvilleplayers.net.
Thomas explains that the character of the deaf-mute boy called Tuc narrates most of the play using American Sign Language.
“This has been a unique learning experience for all of us,” Thomas said. “It is eloquent to watch.”
Tuc is played by Logan Gallenstein, who studied ASL at Eastern Kentucky University and is being coached for this production by Renee Trabue, an ASL instructor at Maysville Community and Technical College.
“My grandparents were deaf, so I began to learn the silent vocabulary through them,” Trabue explained. “I was excited to be invited to coach and interpret this production.”
Through the course of the production the narration signed by Tuc is given voice by a chorus of actors. The remaining dialogue is spoken by the characters as indicated in the script.
To be inclusive for a hearing impaired audience, the entire production (including every spoken line of dialogue) will be completely signed at performances on Sunday, October 14 and Thursday, October 18.
“We are very excited to be able to present these interpreted performances for our hearing impaired audiences,” Thomas said. “These events make our theatre much more inclusive for all members of our community who wish to attend.”
Eleven-year-old Kahdyn Kimball leads the production in the role of “Girl.” She is a student at St. Patrick’s School and was recently in the Players’ productions of “Madeline’s Christmas” and “Dear Edwina.”
“I knew when I met her a year ago that there was something special about this young actress,” Thomas said. “Knowing she was available was another reason I selected the show for this season. She carries the entire production.”
Paulette Roberts, a resident of Adams County and a frequent performer with the Players, including productions of “Steel Magnolias,” “Christmas Belles,” “Holiday Memories,” and “the Foreigner” has the title role of Mother Hicks.
“She is a fine actress and one of the most special, loving people I have ever met,” Thomas said.
The cast also features Marty Voiers, Kim Keef, Missy Owens, Mark Funk, Ian Sarver, J. T. Williams, Joel Todd and Gavin Hitch.
The set design is by Mike Lewis. The lighting design is by Todd Pickett.
“We are blessed with incredible, creative designers,” Thomas said. “They make our productions look very professional.”
Thomas encourages families to attend “Mother Hicks.”
“This play was created for family audiences to experience together,” he said, “especially since the theme is about finding your family.”
The remaining productions for the 2018-19 season are “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” in December, “Doubt” in February, “Heaven Can Wait” in April and “The Music Man (Jr.) in August.
For more information, call 606-564-3666 or visit maysvilleplayers.net.