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The original item was published from 5/29/2020 10:33:05 AM to 6/14/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Leisure Services

Posted on: May 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] CPAC offers virtual theatre experience with ‘5! …Thank You, 5’ June 6, 7

A man stands on the ledge of a building in CPAC's ř! ... Thank You, 5"

COOKEVILLE – What do actors say when a stage manager yells, “Five!”?

Cookeville Performing Arts Center answers that question in the title of its next production – “5! … Thank You, 5” – a virtual theatre experience set for June 6 and 7.

“The backstage practice of acknowledging time until curtain seemed to be the perfect fit,” Chad McDonald, Cookeville Leisure Services cultural arts superintendent, said of naming the show. “Customarily, the stage manager announces how much time is left before the show starts (15, 10, five, etc.), and performers respond with, “Thank you, (15, 10, five, etc.).”

“5! … Thank You, 5” consists of five 10-minute plays: “Class Conflict,” “On the Edge” and “A Mother’s Love,” all by Craig Pospisil; “Sure Thing” by David Ives; and “Claire De Lune” by Romulus Linney.

Tickets are $5.55 and available HERE or by calling 931-528-1313. Patrons will be given a link and password for unlimited online viewings on both show dates.

The virtual theatre project came about as CPAC strived to work around social distancing challenges that have limited what performers can offer a live audience.

“We have produced an evening of one-acts in the past and this will be very similar – except there will be no audience in attendance,” McDonald said. “We hope to give our patrons an opportunity to see and enjoy a local theatre production from the safety of their home.”

McDonald is the executive producer of the show, while CPAC’s Steve Gwilt serves as director. Performers include CPAC staff members along with their spouse or life partner.

“CPAC’s staff has always been committed to providing the highest quality production possible for audiences,” McDonald said. “Collaborating and working to create a performance is what they live to do. When presented with this idea, all were very eager to participate and get back to the process of creating art.”

In “Class Conflict,” Patrick Mannle, CPAC’s assistant technical director, portrays “Billy,” a shy, sweet 6-year-old who is nervous about his first day of school. His wife, Katie, plays classmate “Megan,” a pint-sized lawyer-type who already considers herself an adult and is ready to take her case to the Supreme Court and cash in.

“On the Edge” is the story of a man, “Gene,” portrayed by CPAC’s technical director, Matthew Wilson, on the ledge of an apartment building. There’s a party inside, and the girl he loves is making out with someone else – so he’s ready to jump. A classmate, “Sammy,” played by Emily Amonett, mocks him for being melodramatic but then realizes his pain runs deeper than a girl. Will she pull him back from the edge… or push him over?

“A Mother’s Love” is a dark comedy monologue with CPAC’s Kimberly Frick-Welker, assistant producer of the show, portraying “Melissa,” who calmly explains her reasons for taking a parent’s natural desire to protect her child a little too far.

In “Sure Thing,” a man and woman (Mannle and Amonett) meet in a cafe and find their way through a conversational minefield as a bell interrupts their false starts, gaffes and faux pas on the way to falling in love. McDonald portrays their waiter.

“Claire De Lune” is the story of a retired couple – Frick-Welker as the mother and John Fowler as the father – who bask in the solitude of Florida while reminiscing, with some regret, about their chronically self-destructive children.

The five plays are presented by a special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

“I think we have chosen a good variety comedy and drama to appeal to all tastes,” McDonald said.

“5! … Thank You, 5” is the latest example of how CPAC has continued to provide cultural content for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Conversations from Backstage,” a series featuring conversations with local performers, directors and stage technicians about their theatre experiences, began in mid-April. New episodes appear each Thursday at 7 p.m. on the Cookeville Leisure Services YouTube channel. In addition, CPAC provided an opportunity for local high school seniors to perform solo dance recitals, which were posted on YouTube in early May.

McDonald is eager to present “5! … Thank You, 5” to online audiences.

“We realize that nothing will replace the singular experience of live theatre, but we hope our patrons will take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “We will strive to create something exciting and new with this project.”

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