Westerville North High School's thespians will attend a wake like no other, as they bring the comedy "Dearly Departed" to the stage beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 9, at the school, 950 County Line Road.
"I chose this play as my first show to direct at North because of the brilliant comedic writing; the quirky, fun characters; and the twists throughout the storyline," director Mary Lee DeWitt said. "The play offers opportunities for a large cast and new challenges for our actors and tech crew as well."
"Dearly Departed," written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, follows a dysfunctional Southern family as the members struggle to cope with challenges following the family patriarch's death. After many missteps and much mayhem, friends and neighbors help the family pull together in time for the funeral.
Westerville North's presentation is produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc.
Lindsey Hartshorn, who plays the role of the widow, Raynelle, said her husband dies in the first scene.
"The show is about me kind of coming to terms with that and also the whole set-up with the funeral procession and all that good stuff," she said. "Our show is extremely funny, so you should definitely see it because of that. We have a lot of great characters. It's a lot of good energy."
Hartshorn said the play takes audiences to an unconventional funeral.
"I'm not going to give everything away, but we have a lot of fast food, which isn't something you'd exactly expect," she said.
Stage manager Kaitlynn Gleich said the whole show is about the characters in the family.
"It shows their dynamic as a family and their relationships with each other," she said. "It's a comedy, so it's very funny. But it also has a lot of moments in it that are really like heartwarming moments of the family coming together in a time of grief. It's a really nice play."
Other characters and cast members include Marguerite, Lauren McCann; Royce, Nathan Gillenwater; Ray Bud, Christian Potter; Lucille, Autumn Nelson; Junior, Sawyer Swick; Suzanne, Paige Welsheimer; Juanita, Caitlin Kohut; Reverend Hooker, Timothy Nathan; Delightful, Elena Fahmi; Veda, Quincy Thomas; Norville, John Brown; Nadine, Elise McGann; Clyde, Max Lee; Bud Turpin, Peter Harte; Merline, Elizabeth Fair; and Bernice Talbot, Delaney Roush.
The ensemble features Andrew Kowski, Jessica Oliver, Rebeccah Pluviose, Sarah Pluviose and Lucy Wise.
The Joy of Life Singers are played by Oliver, Rebeccah Pluviose and Sarah Pluviose.
Tickets for general admission seating cost $10 each.
Tickets may be purchased at the school beginning at 6 p.m. on performance days or may be ordered online at tinyurl.com/y3chs5bp.