“The Foreigner” was Kyle Woods’s favorite theatre production.
His daughter and Moscow Community Theatre Vice President Aubree Flannery decided to direct the production in honor of his passing a few years ago.
“The Foreigner,” opening Nov. 2 at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, is a two-act comedy by Larry Shue about a shy proofreader, Charlie Baker, on vacation at a small Georgia fishing lodge. With a strong desire to be left alone, he pretends to be a non-English speaking foreigner.
The lodge’s other tenants begin speaking freely around him, revealing their secrets, scandals and intrigue. The storyline focuses on many socially relevant topics, such as socioeconomic class divisions and intolerance of people who are different, Flannery said.
“No matter how many times I’ve seen the production, I always laugh out loud,” Flannery said. “While it will be a night of hilarity, there will still be moments that make you cry and moments that will make you raise your eyebrows.”
Flannery said the cast is made up of three University of Idaho students, two UI alumni and two Moscow community members.
“The cast was able to bond very quickly, and is a group of talented people I could have never dreamt or imagined of being so lucky to end up working with,” Flannery said. “The play is truly a feel-good comedy about family and friendships, but more importantly the family you can make, not necessarily the family you are born with.”
Sally Shephard, an experienced actress in the Moscow community, said it has been a privilege to work with such a talented cast.
“Even though everyone has varying levels of experience, each person is so good at what they do, (which) is hard to find most of the time,” Shephard said.
There is something special about having the ability to create a character who lives in real life, Shephard said.
Playing the character of Betty — an over 70-year-old widow and proprietor of a Georgia fishing lodge — is enjoyable because there are so many levels to her, she said.
She is cantankerous, but still a sweetheart, relating positively to nearly all of the other characters, Shephard said.
“It’s fun to be on stage with people who can give to you and you can give back to,” Shephard said. “You really are a family for the length of the show and for a long time after. It is fun to be around people who are so accepting, bright, quick and funny.”
As in years past, attendees will be able to donate at the door to a local cause, which was chosen by the theatre board members.
Since one board member has been fostering local children for the last year and decided to recently adopt, toy donations for foster care children will be the subject of this year’s fundraiser.
Bringing new, unwrapped toys to the door as a donation does not discount ticket prices, but would be greatly appreciated as a way to support a local cause, Flannery said.
Allison Spain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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