By Jennifer Jones
When the family Memorial Day weekend getaway starts off with Great Aunt Tammy locked in the cabin bathroom and daddy charged at by a territorial Javalina (skunk pig) while changing a flat tire, it would seem that not much else could go wrong. Or could it?
“Cabin Fever: A Texas TragiComedy” is being presented on the stage of the Dalton Little Theatre. The play, written by Mark Dunn, also author of DLT’s 2012 hit play “Belles,” continues this weekend, including today, and next.
The Beckle family is gathering at the Beckle cabin in the Texas hill country for the first time since Mrs. Beckle’s death. Besides trying to free Aunt Tammy, played by Susan Ridley, from the bathroom, family patriarch Aubrey Beckle, played by Jim Kirk, is also trying to keep the peace among his four daughters who each arrive with their own set of issues and cannot seem to get along.
Cesca Beckle Cody, played by Natalie Bruce, arrives at the cabin bearing scars from a round with her abusive husband, Michael, played by Ron Tucker. Pidge Beckle, played by Amber Sane, unexpectedly shows up from the group home where she lives, in Cesca’s car with Michael in the trunk.
The oldest daughter, Karen Beckle Hoffman, played by Nancy Broussard, is a “control freak” trying to take charge and solve everyone’s problems, while the youngest daughter, Georgine Beckle, played by Jenny Lock, is dealing with weight, dieting and dating issues but cannot seem to eat enough cookies.
Ron King, who last directed DLT’s “Barefoot in the Park,” directs with Macavan Kalafut as his assistant this “whirlwind of action” which deals with family problems and struggles in a comedic way.
“The play deals with everyday life ups and downs,” said King, “such as alcoholism, mental instability, abuse and death, and they are all filtered through the comedy of how one perceives themselves in any of these situations.”
King adds, “The author has brought it out in such a comedic way that it makes it funny to watch and not hate the situation or the individual. Each actor has added their own take on the character and it just makes it that much more real.”
On choosing this particular play to direct, King notes, “When I read the synopsis, it stuck with me because I can relate the show to someone in my family or among my friends and I thought it would be a fun show to bring to the stage. I’ve loved the whole experience and would do it a thousand times over.”
“Cabin Fever: A Texas TragiComedy” first premiered at Theatre Works in Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 8, 1998, as the winner of the 1998 Playhouse on the Square Playwriting Competition. It then received its East Coast premiere on May 21, 1999, at the New Jersey Repertory Company.
Production dates are today, Saturday and May 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. with a matinee this Sunday at 2 p.m.
For more information, contact DLT at (706) 226-6618, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.daltonlittletheatre.com.