My Kingdom for a Cupcake
Written and directed by Glenn Gannaway
From left: Lewis Horton (Pantagenie), Glenn Gannaway (Johnson), and Dr. Joel Bailey (Doc)
Performed at the Natural Tunnel Amphitheater at the Natural Tunnel State Park on Sunday August 4th, 2019.
My Kingdom for a Cupcake explored themes of greed and miscommunication in the comedy tradition of the Marx Bros., The Three Stooges and old vaudeville acts.
Written and directed by Glenn Gannaway and starring Glenn, Lewis Horton and Dr. Joel Bailey; My Kingdom for a Cupcake delighted the audience members of all ages!
The ACAC would like to thank Amelia Townsend and the cast and crew of the Shoestring Theater Company for their wonderful performance of Haint So. The crowd delighted in the ghost stories of yore as told by the Wells Family of Roda, Virginia. The Shoestring Theater Company has visited us 3 years in a row and we hope they come back again soon!
Adapted by Anne Coulter Martens from a story by Lloyd C. Douglas
Directed by Dr. Joel Bailey
The principle cast and extras from Home for Christmas
The Clayton family has scattered to every part of the country. Some of them have been successful and some have difficult problems. Their mother isn't well and this may be her last Christmas. One of the daughters, determined that the family recapture something they seem to have lost, forces them all to come home for Christmas. She insists on turning back the clock and they all dress up as teenagers—much to the amusement of some of the actual teenagers. In the midst of the laughter, they discover something your audience will want to discover with them.
Written and directed
The Cast: Back Row from left: Lewis Horton, Buddy Delp, Glenn Gannaway, and Joel Bailey.
Seated from left: Jennie Hill, Amanda Clark, Gabby Blanton, Bailey Lantman and Jane Branham.
The ACAC Players presented a historical mystery in Finding Wentz
On the morning of October 14th, 1903; coal and land owner Edward Leisering Wentz (E.L. or Ted as he was known to his friends such as John Fox Jr.) left his loyal dogs in his home on Poplar Hill in Big Stone Gap, mounted his horse and was seen passing through Appalachia on his way up to Norton by way of the Powell River trail up through the Kent Junction area and disappeared; never to be seen alive again. His body was then accidentally stumbled upon the following May in the same area that had been exhaustively searched . Had he run afoul of the "mountain folk" he bullied and intimidated? Or was there a truth stranger than fiction to his disappearance?
Murder Me Always by Lee Mueller
The ACAC Players delighted audiences with zany antics and encouraged participation from the audiences in solving who murdered the director of their play: Murder Me Always. One of the funniest and most innovative plays so far that the ACAC has done.
The cast in the upper left picture: In front: Amanda Clark 1st row from left: Annie Jane Cotten, Jennie Hill, and Renee Roberts.
2nd row from left: Bailey Lantman, Lewis Horton, Leonce Hall and Roy Munsey
Back row from left: Assistant; Makayla Bentoski , Director Joel Bailey, Glenn Gannaway and Janet Hampton.
Tomorrow Might Be Sunday
The ACAC Players presented a trip back in time to the terrible flood of April, 1977. The flood destroyed homes and properties but the one thing it could not destroy was the spirit of the people.
The cast of characters (Played by Joey O'Quinn, Buddy Delp, Jane Branham, Bailey Lantman, Skye Blanton, Glenn Gannaway, Lewis Horton, and Jennie Hill) looked out over the flood waters from the mezzanine of The Appalachian Hotel, and pondered their fates as well as the fates of their neighbors and loved ones.
This one act play; written by the ACAC's own Glenn Gannaway (who also directed the play) and Jennie Hill, blended drama and music into a tale of 8 people whose lives became intertwined by the Great Flood of '77.
When the entire community of Keokee, Virginia gathered at the Blue Star Bar and Grill to celebrate the accomplishments of their favorite son,tall tales and family resentments were served up along with the potato salad and banana pudding.
This original production was written by the late, incomparable Dink
Shackleford and presented by The Shoestring Theatre Company. Starring Trail Alumnus DJ Neace and directed by Big Stone Gap native, Amelia Townsend
Arsenic and Old Lace
Directed by- Hunter Swiney and Juanita Quillen (their ACAC directing debuts)
The Cast- An all-star cast of 12 ACAC veterans and newcomers played 12 characters in this huge hit! The players included: Pamela Counts, Juanita Quillen, Hunter Swiney, Trey Stidham, Glenn Gannaway, Greg Edwards, Matt Sturgill (in his ACAC acting debut),
Kelli Fraley (in her first ACAC production), Glenda Flannary, Janet Hampton, David Morangello (in his first ACAC production), and Clyde Quillen.
The Story- We meet the charming and innocent sisters (Pamela Counts and Juanita Quillen) who populate their cellar with the remains of socially and religiously "acceptable" roomers, and we see the antics of their nephew who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt (Greg Edwards). The activities of another nephew, Jonathan (Hunter Swiney) who has escaped from prison for the criminal insane, and returned home with his partner, a phony "plastic surgeon" (Glenn Gannaway) keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. All the while, another nephew, Mortimer (Trey Stidham) tries to keep his aunts safe and stay sane with the woman he loves, Elaine Harper (Kelli Fraley). And what would a story be without a police force full of "flatheads" (Matt Sturgill, Glenda Flannary, Janet Hampton, and David Morangello) who just can't seem to believe that there are thirteen bodies buried in the cellar? Throw in some elderberry wine, bugle blowing, and a curtain cord, and the hilarity multiplies! An amazing show, with a simply wonderful cast.
Merry Christmas, Dear Grandpa
Directed by- Gary Bush
The Cast- Janet Hampton, Lewis Horton, Juanita Quillen, Trey Stidham, Glenda Flannary, and David Gilbert.
Amber (Janet Hampton) has invited her whole family to her new home to have the "perfect family Christmas." She has decorated her house, carefully planned the meal, and even ironed her shoelaces! Once her brother (Trey Stidham), sister (Juanita Quillen), parents(Glenda Flannary and David Gilbert), and curmudgeon of a grandfather (Lewis Horton) show up,
nothing goes right. When a last-minute accident prevents Amber from making Christmas dinner, it falls upon her kitchen-challenged siblings to take up the slack, with hilarious results. Just when the dinner can't get any worse, it ends up with a twist or two that makes it, indeed, the perfect family Christmas.
Three Murders and it's Only Monday
Directed by- Pamela Counts
The Cast- Hunter Swiney, Sierra Bevins, Trey Stidham, Greg Edwards (in his first ACAC production), Lewis Horton, Hollie Rose, Juanita Quillen, Janet Hampton, and Clyde Quillen.
The Story- In her first big ACAC direction, Pamela Counts directed Private eye Harry Monday (Hunter Swiney) as he investigated a series of murders at the Peacful Pines Sanitarium. "Odd how relatives show up on a suspect list," he notes as the deceased's families arrive. Odder still when he finds out they're all in the same family! What did these murders have in common? And why would lawyer Lilly Dramkean (Sierra Bevins) get
involved in shady legalities? Throw in a flamboyant actor, a socialite, an Indian, and a Swedish
gardener and the confusion multiplies. This comedy/mystery was a hit- with fast and furious laughs and
an ending that simply... killed you!
Farce of Nature
Directed by- Gary Bush
The Cast- Juanita Quillen, Lewis Horton (in his first ACAC production), Sierra Bevins, Hunter Swiney (in his first ACAC production), Pamela Counts, Trevor Wagner (in his first ACAC production), Glenda Flannary, Glenn Gannaway, and Janet Hampton.
The Story- The non-stop hilarity in this production highlighted a day in the life of the Wilburn family. Juanita Quillen and Lewis Horton led the cast as Wanelle and D. Gene Wilburn. We meet Wanelle and D. Gene, the
owners and proprietors of the Reel'Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks.. but business is down, and the lone guest who's just checked in- Carmine Deluca (Trevor Wagner) is only there in the Witness Protection Program. Who better to protect him than D. Gene's feisty sister, Maxie, (Pamela Counts) who has her own problems trying to get back on the police force, and she never anticipated the gangster Sonny Barbosa (Glenn Gannaway) walking through the door, looking for his wife Lola (Glenda Flannary) who has driven hundreds of miles to follow her boytoy, D. Gene and Wanelle's son Ty (Hunter Swiney). Lola meets her match in Ty's seemingly innocent girlfriend, Jenna (Sierra Bevins) whose patience has reached the breaking point after months of waiting for Ty to come home. Hiding, lying, crossdressing, and much more took place to make this production such a hit, and it won the audiences over- hook, line, and sinker!
You Can't Get There From Here
Director- Gary Bush
The Cast- Trey Stidham,
Sierra Bevins (in her first ACAC production), Juanita Quillen, Pamela Counts, Susan Spruill, Janet Hampton, and Glenn Gannaway.
The Story- The Mavis Garner bed and breakfast is not the sort of place you'd find on a freeway or even a map. That's because they get most of their customers from cars disabled when they hit the pothole on mainstreet. Scandal-sheet reporter, Arthur Lyman (Trey Stidham) decides to do an expose on the pothole "scam" and checks into the bed and breakfast. During his stay, he's fined 8 times, dragged across town by the local watchdog, and fired from his job. What else could he do but fall in love with one of the proprietors (Sierra Bevins)! When his boss (Janet Hampton) shows up and takes over the story, hes treated to scenes from Shakespeare, seances, and a witch (Pamela Counts) who can't keep her hexes straight!
Director- Gary Bush
The Cast- Juanita Quillen, Trey Stidham (in his first ACAC production), Glenn Gannaway, Roy Munsey, Sofie Ellstroem (in her first ACAC production), Pamela Counts, David Gilbert, Janet Hampton, and Susan Spruill.
The Story- All Claire Finley (Juanita Quillen) wants is the perfect Christmas. She's hired the celebrated gourmet chef, Vilma Hasenpfeffer (Pamela Counts) to prepare her famous Hasenpfeffer Hollandaise Sauce for her dinner guests- the new pastor (David Gilbert) and his very pregnant wife, Mary (Janet Hampton).
Unfortunately, however, the chef is late, the guests are early, and there are burglars (Sofie Ellstroem and Roy Munsey) in the neighborhood. To top it all off, Claire's father (Glenn Gannaway) has been hit on the head and thinks he's the leading man in all of the West End theater productions of the last thirty years. With the help of her quirky brother George (Trey Stidham), Claire tries to keep everything together as it continues to unravel. In this sidesplitting farce, reminiscent of Arsenic and Old Lace. But once the mayhem dies down and the mixed up identities unscramble, the true Christmas spirit shines bright in a surprise ending, which involves transformation, forgiveness, and a beautiful new beginning.
And A Nightingale Sang
Directed by- Deborah Smith
The Cast- Pamela Counts, Crystal Thompson, Glenn Gannaway, Glenda Flanary, Gary Bush, "Chase" Wireman, and Donny Jenkins.
The Story- "The word 'bittersweet' was invented for plays like C.P. Taylor's And a Nightingale Sang." There were seven excellent roles in this touching and funny play about the growth of an English family during the war.
"The author finds understated farce in the midst of would-be grief." One of the daughters, a plain girl with a limp who doubts that any man will ever find her of interest, was the center of the play and her wry point of view propels the play which,"...brings the rambunctious household up to a high comic boil. There are telling glimpses of small lives eked out on the edge of momentous events." This play involved the cast and audience in a family experience that was touching, and ultimately universal.