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Bar fights. Damsels in distress. Shakespearean references. Crowd interaction. All this and more is sure to make the Farmington High School Theater Guild’s fall production an experience to not be missed.

“The Melodrama” will be performed at Truman Auditorium on Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.

Emmagyn Parton, who plays saloon-regular Annie Pinely in the performance, said the great thing about "The Melodrama" is that it was written by the troupe’s director and teacher, Diana Mays-Nielson.

“The Melodrama was written by our very own director,” Parton said. “I think the best thing about it is that when we do plays, there are moments where we think things could be funnier or better if we did them a different way, but we can’t change it because it’s somebody's already-written work.

“Because she wrote it, we get more freedom with it. If there’s a line that we think should be done a different way, we can change it to make the play a better experience for everybody.”

Ryan Fuemmeler, who plays Woody the Bartender, said the performance will provide something for everybody to enjoy.

“I think it’s a show that most people can enjoy, because there’s little aspects of it that are very broad,” he said. “There’s a fight scene, a dance sequence, a chase scene—all kinds of things in this play that make it a wide variety of fun and entertainment.”

C.J. Hart, playing the part of Monty Romeo, said in addition to being accessible to a wide audience, the play will also be a fun, interactive experience for the audience.

“I think the good thing about this play is that it’s a different kind of acting because we’ll get to talk to the audience sometimes,” he said. “There’s even parts where we come out into the audience. That’s really cool because I haven’t got to do that in theater yet.”

Mays-Nielson said she took on the task of writing the play in order to conserve resources for the troupe’s spring production of the Wizard of Oz. In addition, she said ads were sold to local businesses for placement into the production to help offset cost.

“I threw everything in it but the kitchen sink,” Mays-Nielson said. “There are some stock characters—you’ve got the bad guy with the curly mustache, the damsel in distress and that whole thing, but I threw in other references that I hope people will get. Some of them have Shakespearean names and references to shows and movies.”

The Melodrama cast includes Ann Raymer playing Doc Asa Chiron; Emmagyn Parton as Dannie Pinely; Jackson Umfleet as Cassius Carson; Katie Orr as Julia Kidd; C.J. Hart as Monty Romeo; Steven Quinton as Julius Carvell; R.J. Griffith as Bow Legged Bob; Parker Shinn as Bright Bart; Jordan Barnes as Thadeus “Tad” Pole; Jacob Henderson as Bardolph Barfly; Ryan Fuemmeler as Woody Malone; Brady Poucher as B.H. Jennings; Kirby Fletcher as Pistol Page; Hanna Hughes as Rosie the Soap Lady; Glore Ruiz as Daisy Baxter, owner of the Copper Lantern; Kate Howard as Claire Bradshaw; Josh Barnhouse as Hank Bradshaw; Maitlin Halter, Faith Fields, Andrew Clover and Malachi Ellis as audience members; Cassie Widdow as the Popcorn Seller and Sally Shipton, the Painted Chair Lady and Jordan Young, Graci Blyze, Isabella Burgdof and Kayla Galcyznski as Dance Hall Ladies.

Tickets for the performance will be $5 at the door on the days of the performance.

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Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Farmington Press. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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