Show packs laughs, chances for cast to shine
Authors have long been crafting tales of the sea, life aboard pirate ships, luxury liners and tiny ships out for a mere three-hour tour.
Bexley's Junior Thespians will look to reel in a good crowd as they present Anchors Aweigh Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 10-12.
"I first read the script several years ago, and I quickly put it on the short list of plays I wanted to do in the future," said Rebecca Rhinehart, Bexley's theater program director. "While the plot and characters are silly and cartoonish, it makes portraying them extremely fun. Combine that with the fact that the script offers 26 near equal parts for the actors, and I knew Anchors Aweigh would be a great play to produce as there are so many talented sixth- through eighth-graders this year."
The Junior Thespians' production features colorful sea-going costumes and backgrounds. The action begins with Captain Creeg, who is a little apprehensive about his next cruise aboard the S.S. Flounder -- the mysterious owners of the line are aboard the old ship to decide her fate.
As if that weren't enough pressure, the cruise falls on a day Creeg has always dreaded.
Passengers on board are set for a singles cruise. They include a famous romance novelist looking for inspiration for her next novel, her chronically depressed secretary still longing for a lost love, and a pair of stowaways hoping to escape a big-time bad guy.
The cast gets swept away with mistaken identities, lively chase scenes and a storm that almost runs the cruise aground.
"Every year I teach my Bexley High School Intro to Theatre students that there are many different reasons why theater companies produce plays and musicals: to educate, to advocate, to express, to make money and to entertain," Rhinehart said. "As a silly farce, Anchors Aweigh falls purely into the entertainment category."
This isn't the first time Rhinehart has directed a sea-themed stage production. After bringing Titanic to the stage in Bexley in 2007 and Anything Goes in 2008, she said it has been fun to "get back on the boat" with another salt-water tale.
But there's another reason why this production has a special place in Rhinehart's heart.
"Directing Anchors Aweigh has allowed me to recall many personal memories of past beloved family vacations to the Caribbean," she said with a smile.
Anchors Aweigh will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11, 2 p.m. Oct. 12, in the Cassingham Theater, 250 S. Cassingham Road in Bexley.
Tickets are $8, $5 for students, and can be purchased at the box office during regular school hours, and one hour prior to each show.
Tickets are free for Golden Buckeye and Lion's Pride card holders, and all Bexley staff members.