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RCLT is getting naughty

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Christina Stock Photo Pictured from left: Angela Wipperman, Will Atkinson, Shelly Forrester, Dan Coleman, Randy Nolen and Guy Malone. Roswell Community Little Theatre promises adult-geared comedy fun for their new play, "Unnecessary Farce."

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Roswell Community Little Theatre brings risqué comedy to stage

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The new comedy, “Unnecessary Farce,” rings in a new era for the Roswell Community Little Theatre (RCLT). It is a relatively new play by Paul Slade Smith that premiered in 2006, and it is geared to an adult audience.

In an email Smith wrote, “So happy to hear the theater is directing the play to a younger adult audience. I hope they have great success with it.”

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According to its director, Gina Montague, she immediately fell in love with the comedy.

“The deadline for submitting was coming up quickly, and so I immediately submitted it after reading it only one time. Normally, I would read it multiple times before submitting, but, I knew, this is a great play, so funny, energetic. It’s a lot of action. I thought, I got to do this one,” Montague said.

The fast-paced story, where timing is everything, has multiple scenes set in two rooms of a motel. There is an embezzling mayor and a sting operation that goes sideways. Add to that attempted homicide plans by professional hitmen and an accountant that has the tendency of losing her clothes for her love interest.

Each character in the story is, simply put, unbelievable and unbelievably funny in the style of a screwball comedy.

Two of these characters are cops: One is an over-enthusiastic rookie that should have stayed in the academy for another decade; one is a paper-pusher who finally sees action.

RCLT has the benefit of having Chris Wipperman, a retired Kansas City Police officer, as assistant director overlooking the play. His wife, Angela Wipperman, plays the rookie cop. It is her first time on stage, having worked backstage before. She said that she enjoys being able to play the role of the inept, though enthusiastic, new cop.

“At the same time, I honor my friends who are police officers to get to see this and go, ‘I am so glad we don’t train like that,’” Angela Wipperman said and chuckled.

Asked about the themes of the comedy, Wipperman said, “It is more adult-rated, probably PG13, because there is some language and involvement of situations that are more adult-geared. We tell them, ‘You’re the parent; use your judgement. It’s not for small children. … It is a first for this theater because they were usually EG or PG, but never went over the PG13 number. We figured it’s time to kind of branch out. There are younger audiences out there now, and we need to get those people in to start watching.”

Will Atkinson — no relation to Will Atkinson who has performed at RCLT many times — is new to the stage.

“I play Erik. He’s this shy, bookish-type college nerd,” Atkinson said. “He’s entered into the police force, been stuffed into an office, shuffling papers all his life. He’s done some field training through the academy, but hasn’t really done anything since. The character himself has this love interest, who is the bait for this embezzling case, and we find each other in this uncontrolled situation and are dragged along as the story goes, which is a lot where the comedy comes from. You think you get the upper hand and then you get dealt another deck of cards.

“I hope everybody is enjoying the show that the cast, the director and everybody puts on for them,” Atkinson said.

Building the motel rooms on stage has been a community effort, Montague said.

“Debbie and Gary Blair at Blair’s Trading Post, they helped us out with the furniture. They buy out hotels oftentimes, so they have that stuff and they were so nice to us. They said, whatever you need, we’ll get for you. Candlewood Suites gave us all the little accessories, all those little hotel things that you need in a room to make it look like a hotel room. That really helped bringing it together and make it look official,” she said.

Montague said that she wants the audience to be aware that there will be a gun shot and gun props. However, RCLT is following the strict protocols for theaters in handling guns.

Concerning the adult themes Montague said, “I tell people, it’s kinda naughty, in a funny way. Nothing worse than what you see on TV all the time.”

Other actors are Dan Coleman, Shelly Forrester, Guy Malone, Mary Rebman and Randy Nolen.

Performances of “Unnecessary Farce” will be Oct. 8-10 and 15-17. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show will be held at 7:30 p.m. On Sundays, the performance will be held at 2:30 p.m. RCLT is located at 1717 S. Union Ave. For more information, visit roswelltheatre.com.

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