Troupe puts mysterious spin on biblical parable


A modern take on the Parable of the Good Samaritan -- with dashes of mystery and comedy thrown in -- will be the next play staged by a local theatrical troupe.

Poor Richard, by Christian playwright Warren Sager of Tennessee, will be performed this weekend at the Whetstone Community Center, 3923 N. High St.

This marks the first time Solomonrain Presents has staged a play at the center, said founder Jerry Weekly.

The Clintonville resident also will direct the play. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.

Tickets are $12 at the door for adults, $5 for students. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free.

The doors will open 30 minutes prior to performances.

Local singer and songwriter Timothy Andrew Lockett will perform at 7 p.m. on opening night.

Cast members for Poor Richard include Cara Prater, David Holland, Victoria Schrock, Debra Moody, Tim Morgan, John Barringer, Riva Dumas-Ogletree, Mark Gliva and Preston Robson.

Solomonrain Presents, which is named after Weekly's father and 12-year-old son, both of whom are called Solomon Rain, is a two-year-old nonprofit organization that not only produces plays but also concerts and community outreach, the founder said last week. The troupe's motto on the website states, "Creating art within and across disciplines and creating more of what makes our community so special."

Weekly has 15 years of experience as a writer, director, producer, set designer and lighting technician in theater.

Poor Richard offers audiences a "message of redemption," with an element of a murder mystery as well as some humor, the director said.

"It's definitely the Good Samaritan story," Weekly said. "It keeps the audience guessing. It's a mystery. You don't know to the end who actually did it."

"It's a feel-good play, very relatable to all ages," said Prater, who lives on the East Side. "It's something that's family-friendly, not something that's negative.

"It's something that helps uplift."

Next up for Solomonrain Presents will be a production of Only God Can Change You, a musical drama written by Weekly. He also said the troupe would like to put on the musical Dreamgirls, perhaps early next year.