'Laughing Stock' to bring curtain down on 2017 Playhouse season

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Putnam County Playhouse presents the final show of its 2017 Season of Laughs with the comedy "Laughing Stock" on stage beginning Thursday, Sept. 7 and continuing Sept. 8-9 and 13-16.

The box office at the Hazel Day Longden Theatre off Round Barn Road in Greencastle is open 5-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, beginning Monday, Sept. 4. Tickets may be reserved for the 8 p.m. shows by calling 653-5880 or purchased in person during box office hours.

The fictional production staff of The Playhouse -- from left, Caroline Good, Andrew Ranck, Kathy Dory and Dustin Bond -- contemplates poor Yorick's skull in a scene from the Putnam County Playhouse season-finale comedy "Laughing Stock," opening Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Hazel Day Longden Barn Theatre off Round Barn Road in Greencastle. Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

Murphy's Law could be a replacement title for this fun romp that tells the tale of a summer theater troupe that performs its repertory season in an old converted barn (sound familiar?) with hilarious outcomes.

All the characters necessary to lampoon the art of theater are here: Invisible producers that really run the show, wacky directors who think rehearsals just get in the way of true performances, a tottering older couple who know nothing more than their lives in the theater, the spaced-out actress, a "serious" actor who must find motivation for every possible movement on stage, an artistic director who writes his own scripts to save on royalties and even a drunken stage manager holding it all together by a very loose thread.

Mix these misfits in with a season that includes the plays "Hamlet," "Dracula" and "Charley's Aunt" and you have a delicious and hilarious recipe for disaster.

Everyone in theater has a tale of something that went wrong in a production, so imagine if all of these things happened at once. That is "Laughing Stock."

While the show is funny and the disasters come one right after another, the true heart of this show is summed up by all those involved: "We wouldn't trade it for anything."

The cast of "Laughing Stock" is headed by PCPH veteran Dustin Bond who plays Gordon Page. He is joined on stage by Dustin Boothby (Jack Morris). Ashlee Vitz returns to the Playhouse stage as Susannah Huntsman, while newcomer MacKendra Stewart plays Mary Taylor.

Playhouse favorite T.J. Tincher returns in "Laughing Stock" as Tyler Terry, while PCPH veterans Jim Rambo and Don Wilson, last seen in the 2016 musical "1776," appear in the season finale as Vernon Volker and Richfield Hawksley, respectively.

Dianna Baysinger plays Daisy Coates and Andrew Ranck lends his comedic talents to his character, Craig Conlin. Caroline Good, who portrayed Grandma in "The Addams Family," plays stage manager Sarah McKay. Kathryn Dory makes her return to the PCPH stage with newcomer Brian Cox (Braun Oakes). Sandra Rossok (Karma Schneider) and Drew Harris (Ian Milliken) play overworked interns.

Director Ranck is assisted by a production staff of stage manager Jessica Masner, technical director Dustin Bond, stage designer Linda Gjesvold, costume designer Shelly McFadden and production assistant Aubrey Sutherlin.

"Laughing Stock" is sponsored by Bittles & Hurt and Hopkins-Rector funeral homes.

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