The play is directed by Hiram resident Carolyn Clark, who is directing her second C.A.S.T. production, according to alliance president Kevin Kinchloe who plays the role of aging game show host “Benny Sharp” in this performance.
The production features an ensemble of local C.A.S.T. members Shelly Frost, Leslie Goldsmith, Bruce Monro, Jill Perry and Reanna Perry.
“Shop until You Drop – Dead” combines the zaniness of the game show genre with the “whodunit” aspect of a murder mystery.
When one of the actors had to back out of a role, Clark found herself not only directing the production but also playing the character of director in the play, she said.
“No one had time to learn all of the lines,” she said, “and since I had been hearing the lines over and over in rehearsal, I knew them.”
The members of C.A.S.T. pretty much all have day jobs, ranging from attorneys to teachers to computer application designers, so the draw to performing is purely a labor of love.
“We all love this and work very hard at it,” said Clark, who is retired from the city of Atlanta and currently works post-retirement with the Villa Rica Police Department.
Although C.A.S.T. has done numerous stage productions since its beginnings in 1986, it has performed a number of light, mystery dinner shows over the years at Aldo’s (now Sam and Roscoe’s) Corollo’s and other venues. The acting troupe has now found a home with The Olive Tree restaurant locations in Lithia Springs, Villa Rica and Hiram.
“With dinner theater, you interact with the audience a lot more,” Clark said. “It can be a little disconcerting if you aren’t used to it. If you are a people person, you fall in love with that format. You make the audience feel more involved.”
In addition to the seasoned C.A.S.T. actors, audience members are invited to join in on the stage action, she explained.
“The audience participation gives you an element of the unknown. You never know what you can expect when you pull people from the audience.”
Shows often sell out quickly, Clark points out, so she encourages people to get their tickets as early as possible.
Performances are scheduled for The Olive Tree in downtown Villa Rica Sept, 8 and 15 and at the The Olive Tree in downtown Hiram on Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $36 and include a full meal, dessert and tip along with the show.
Tickets can be ordered through each restaurant or the C.A.S.T. website at www.castplays.com.