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New Century Players' lively comedy opens Feb. 7 at Rose Villa center in Oak Grove

Audiences will get a chance to peek behind the scenes of live theater in the New Century Players production of "Don't Talk to the Actors," opening Feb. 7 at the Rose Villa Performing Arts Center, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove.

Directed by Kraig Williams, the play centers around a young playwright who gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance of having his play produced on Broadway.

"He arrives for the first day of rehearsals with his fiancee and chaos ensues as the cast and crew of the play resort to manipulation, divalike behavior and chaotic abandon to get what they want," Williams said.

He wanted to direct the comedy because it's a good ensemble piece with entertaining characters.

"I knew right away it would be fun for both cast and audiences," Williams said.

The production has been smooth from beginning to end and Williams said he has had the most fun working with the cast.

Backstage shenanigans

Ron K. Palmblad plays Curt Logan, a well-known television actor who is famous from being on a long-running show from 10 years ago.

"The only thing Curt loves more than working in live theater is himself," Palmblad said.

His character "loves being the center of attention and enjoys it when he gets his way."

Audiences will appreciate the look behind the theater curtain, Palmblad said, adding that "there is so much humor backstage, and this one is about the development of a new work and people who want to make it their own."

PHOTO BY DICK TRTEK - Bea (Elisabeth Goebel) and Curt (Ron K. Palmblad) read through a new script by a budding playwright in New Century Players' production of 'Don't Talk to the Actors.'For Palmblad, the best part is working with the cast of actors and crew.

"I have worked with Kraig many times, and it is always a joy," he added.

Making an entrance

Williams said his favorite moment in the play is when "Bea Pomeroy makes her grand entrance and, wow, what an entrance."

Bea "is a bawdy old nightclub performer with a big personality and a ribald sense of humor," said Elisabeth Goebel, who plays the role.

"She comes off as loud and brassy, but if you look beyond that, you will find a talented woman with a big heart," she said.

Goebel said she loves her character's colorful sense of style, which includes plenty of sparkle, and admits that she enjoys bold characters who aren't afraid to be heard.

She said her biggest challenge is learning her lines and Goebel always tries to say them perfectly.

She also gets a kick out of singing the naughty songs and being encouraged to be loud and lusty. "She's a big character, and it's fun to fill those sparkly shoes. But best of all is rehearsing with the cast. They are delightful and so much fun to play with," Goebel said.

Her favorite scene is the chaos at the end of the play.

"Sometimes people say that working with actors is like herding cats, and it's not far wrong. Theater can be controlled chaos, and you get a taste of it at the end of the show," she said.

Audiences will appreciate the humor, the precarious situation, the brisk pace and the lively characters in the play, Goebel said.

"Community theater is a chance to experience theater in your own backyard. It's your neighbors, family and friends up there onstage and backstage making it happen," she said.

"It takes a village to produce a show, and when it's your own village, it's even more special."

Behind the curtain

What: New Century Players presents "Don't Talk to the Actors"

When: 7:30 p.m.

Friday-Saturday Feb. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 and at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 9, 16 and 23

Where: Rose Villa Performing Arts Center, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove

Tickets: Call 503-367-2620

or visit newcenturyplayers.org

Cast members: Jordan Fugitt, Meghan Doerfler, Gary Culver, Ron K. Palmblad, Elisabeth Goebel and Kelli Lacey.


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