Exits and Entrances, the award winning drama by South African playwright, Athol Fugard, and directed for Sumter Players by South African native, Irmgard Schopen-Davis, will be performed at the GSW Fine Arts Theatre on Friday, March 1 at 7:30 pm. The performance will be a tuneup for the Players trip to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete in the Southeastern Theatre Conference as the Georgia community theatre representative and will be the last chance for local supporters to see the play performed in accordance with the competition rules.
No admission will be charged, but donations are encouraged to help defray the cost of travel to Louisville the following week. Attendees also will bid in a silent auction for articles offered by donors to the theater group. Tickets to the Players’ production of Hairspray at the Rylander will be available as well as subscriptions to the remainder of the 2012-2013 season. Credit/debit cards may be used for all donations and purchases.
Having won at the Georgia Theatre Conference last October, the cast of Exits and Entrances — Jason Wallace and Ron Fross — will pit their talent against 10 other community theatres from Mississippi, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama in performances taking place March 6-9. Winners will be announced at a dinner on March 9 with the best play, as selected by a panel of professional judges, going on to a national competition later in the year in Carmel, Indiana.
Exits and Entrances is the story of the relationship between a young man (Wallace) on the threshold of his career as a playwright and an aging actor (Fross) who has reached the end of his career on the stage. The play is based directly on Fugard’s own early formative experiences in South African theatre and the effect that the legendary Afrikaans actor André Huguenet had on him in shaping his own vision of theatre. It is a play in which the young man’s optimism and hope balance the despair and disillusionment of the aging actor. The action takes place in a series of scenes set in various dressing rooms during which the confrontation between two starkly differing realities plays out with humor, pathos and dramatic power. As the prize winning performances by Wallace and Fross reveal, this is a play that is intensely human and speaks to everyone. But, above all else, this is a play that celebrates theatre and its abiding significance. From the two very different perspectives of the young man and the old actor, Exits and Entrances also reflects the search for a theatre of relevance in an oppressive society.
Approaching its 50th season, Sumter Players presents mainstage productions at the Rylander Theatre in downtown Americus — the next being the hit musical, Hairspray, on March 21, 22, 23 and 24. Reserved seat tickets to all performances are available at the Rylander box office, 310 West Lamar Street in Americus, telephone 229 931-0001 or (tollfree) 1 877 662-2312, and online from rylander.org and sumterplayer.org. Groups of ten or more receive discounted rates. Major credit/debit cards are accepted.