One-weekend only show a comedy-drama about growing older
The Pulaski Fine Arts Association is scheduled to present Ron Hill’s “House for Sale” in a special one-weekend-only run May 18, 19 and 20 at the Theater on the Square in downtown Waynesville.
The story focuses on Glenn Martin, a widower faced with growing old, living alone and dealing with an assortment of nutcases, who challenge his sanity and independence.
From the neighbor next door dropping in for coffee to his daughter pushing him to sell his home and move in with her, Glenn faces an array of characters, each with their own set of issues in this comedy-drama.
The play was written by Ron Hill, an Air Force veteran now living in Ohio, and was in the works for nearly 50 years before it was ready for the stage. “It was about 50 years ago I passed a house for sale on the way home from work. On the porch sat an old man, and I wondered to myself why would he be selling his home. I used that as part of a short story I wrote for a writing class I was taking at the time,” Hill said.
“I re-read that short story years later, and I am so glad that I didn’t write the play then. I would have missed many of the nuances of growing old that I realize now that I am old,” he said.
The storyline centers around the tug of war between Glenn, played by Robert Johnson, and his daughter Helen, played by Shannon Shrum, over whether to sell his home and move in with her and her husband.
April York, the play’s director, explained the allure of the storyline and why she felt it was a great comedy-drama for Theater on the Square and PFAA. “What drew me to this script was the impact of memories and family that runs throughout,” York said. “People cope with difficult situations in a variety of ways, and humor has always been my ‘go-to’ means. This show reflects some of that in how Glenn faces difficult decisions.”
York said the show appeals to audiences of all ages, but especially those who may have been faced with caring for an aging parent.
Johnson said the role of Glenn has been a fun task, as his character goes through a roller coaster of emotions during the two-act show.
“It’s always fun when you have to shift gears on the character and suddenly go from sorrow to anger to laughter in a matter of seconds,” Johnson said.
“When I first read the script, I really didn’t get a lot of Glenn’s issues, but as the cast came together and we could portray those emotions, the show becomes a powerful message,” Johnson said.
The cast consists of a PFAA veteran group that includes Rhea Anne Matthews, Jamey Pellegrin, Amber Franks, T.J. Moffitt, Stephen Woolsey, Margie Rogers and Curtis Wood.
Curtain times for “House for Sale” are 7:30 p.m. May 18 and 19 and 2:30 p.m. May 20. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those 12 and younger.
The show is rated PG for adult themes and language.