Local theater produces southern comedy

Beamer Barron/Contributing photographer

Charm, humor and secrets come together in “Second Samuel,” a southern comedy, which will be presented by Playhouse in the Park this weekend.

“The play takes place in Second Samuel,” said Lisa Cope, Playhouse in the Park director. “We learn that the town has a big secret. We don’t want audiences to know the secret before they come to the show, so we’re being unusually quiet!”

The cast and crew of “Second Samuel,” many of whom have worked with Playhouse in the Park before, have been working on the play since early March.

“B-Flat, my character, is a ‘slow’ boy who narrates the story as it goes on, and jumps inside the scenes while they’re happening,” Wayne Hogue, Jr., freshman from Mount Washington, Ky., said. “He is special because he goes around doing odd jobs to get by, with help from his friends. He’s the main character.”

Hogue is one of six actors in the show who have previously acted with Playhouse in the Park.

“This is my third involvement with Playhouse in the Park shows,” Hogue said. “I started with ‘Sound of Music,’ and I’ve done ‘13 the Musical,’ and now ‘Second Samuel.’ I’m also the musical director for an upcoming musical titled ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie.’”

Playhouse in the Park was founded in January 1977, making it one of the oldest continuously-running theaters in Kentucky. A programming committee reads scripts and researches plays before deciding which ones to perform.

“I went to the national community theatre festival last summer in Rochester, N.Y., and ‘Second Samuel’ was one of the national finalists,” Cope said. “I fell in love with the show and brought it home for our committee to look at. They loved it, too. We felt it would play well here. It’s very southern.”

Cope said one of the challenges with the play was the different sets.

“The play takes place in three different sets: a beauty shop, the exterior of a home, and a saloon/bait shop,” Cope said. “All three sets are on stage for the entire show. All of the characters are basically on stage for the entire play and are only in their set. Our stage is small to begin with, so making this work within our parameters was very challenging.”

The play has also challenged the actors to grow and explore their characters.

“Being the lead in this show has been really troubling because I’ve had to make myself more aware of mentally handicapped children,” Hogue said. “I have done tons of research for this show. I have really done lots

of people watching. I’ve tried to

understand how children act in

public, whether they’re being punished or praised or rewarded. I’m really having fun with this show, but it’s really hard for me not to let the big secret out.”

Playhouse in the Park is currently looking for actors for their next show of the season, “Doubt.”

“There are dozens of ways to be involved and we’re always looking for new volunteers,” Cope said. “Send me an email, call or just show up.”

Cope can be reached by phone at 270-759-1752.