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BTCPA returns to stage

In March 2020 the Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts joined the roster of organizations canceling events as the coronavirus descended fiercely across the nation.

After foregoing the entire 2020-21 season, the BTCPA is back.

The arts council announced this past week that plays will begin again this November with “Seasonal Allergies,” directed by Emily Edmonson – and auditions are coming Sept. 12-13.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring back plays. It is as much for us, the actors and directors, as it is for our audiences,” said BTCPA board member Scotty Kennedy. “They have been asking for months when we will bring them back; they are so ready, as we are.”

Kennedy said the BTCPA board had decided a couple of months ago, when things were looking better as far as COVID, to raise the curtain again on BTPCA shows.

“We saw where other theaters were beginning to come back, as well as other events,” Kennedy said. Although the rise of the Delta variant has since made the situation bit more tenuous again, Kennedy said the BTCPA decided to go forward with their plans. “I feel there is concern about attending the performances now, but hopefully things will get better in the future.”

The November 2021 show, “Seasonal Allergies,” is one Kennedy said the council had ordered a while back to consider for a future season.

“One of our board members, Emily Edmonson, who will be directing this play, suggested it,” Kennedy said. “Sometimes we do a holiday-themed play in November, since it’s close to Christmas. This one covers three holidays in three scenes and everything that goes with family get togethers, especially during the holiday season. We pretty much only do comedies now, so we know our audiences will enjoy it.”

A show description warns audiences they “might be experiencing the symptoms of seasonal allergies and not even know it. Seasonal allergies tend to show themselves right around the holidays: Do you feel a tickle in the back of your throat when you realize your vegetable dishes cooked faster than you thought and now they’re ready a full hour before the turkey will be out of the over? Do your eyes water uncontrollably after you’ve nearly broken your back climbing into the attic to find the Christmas lights and then discovered only half the strand lights up? Do you find yourself over-heated when family members decide to extend their vacation and ‘hang out’ for a few more days in your home?

Then you, my friend, have got seasonal allergies – and you are not alone! Nine out of 10 people have seasonal allergies, but nobody has a case worse than Julia Shelby and her brother Peter. So get ready to laugh away your throat tickle and clear your sinuses with a healthy dose of holiday fun.”

Kennedy said while the BTPCA draws a reliable group of return actors with each show, the council is always looking for new talent.

“We usually have at least one new person in each production,” Kennedy said. “This is a great way to explore whatever talent you have or think you have in acting. It’s also a good way to become friends with new people. Some say they become like family by the end of the run of the play.”

Auditions will be Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. and Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

The cast consists of three adult males, three adult females and one child, male or female. Kennedy said older teenagers could be cast as young adults.

“Rehearsals are usually Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday,” Kennedy said. “If you are not in the part that’s being rehearsed, of course you don’t have to come, and directors are willing to work with everyone’s schedules.”

Dates for the performances will be Nov. 11-14 at The Weatherford Centre in Red Bay. Ticket information will be shared at a later date.

The BTPCA board of directors includes Kennedy, Edmonson, Tina Smith, Mark Richardson, Randy Mink, Anna Carol Porter, Brente Jeffreys, Georgia Jeffreys, Matt Hester, Mary Moore, Sharon Strickland, Joey Allen, Jerry Self, Molly Thorn and Stacy Stepp.

For more information send a message through the BTCPA Facebook page or contact Kennedy at 256-356-8758 or