Local theater groups to showcase excerpts at regional festival

WEIRTON — Cast members and crew of Striplight Community Theatre’s “Having Hope at Home” and Stage & Steel Productions “The King’s Other Men” will travel to Marietta College’s Hermann Fine Arts Center Friederich Theatre Saturday to participate in the Ohio Community Theater Association’s Southeast Regional OCTA Fest competition.

This year’s theme is Celebrate Love.

The groups each will perform a 40-minute cutting from their current season productions. Their performances will be adjudicated by responders who will choose a production to compete in the Ohio State finals that will be held during Labor Day Weekend.

Actors and crew participating include: Amy Jo Balog as Queen Isabella in “The King’s Other Men” and co-director of “Having Hope at Home;” Carly Balog as Lord Sophia in “Other Men” and Carolyn in “Having Hope;” Joshua Balog as Squire Jacob in “Other Men;”Ruth Comley, fight choreographer for “Other Men;” Shawn Holmes, Striplight’s artistic director; Rosemary Kirkbride as Dawn in “Having Hope;” Samuel J. Kiser as Lord Winter and director of “Other Men;” Emily Little as Lord Rudafina in “Other Men” and co-director of “Having Hope;” Shayne Merideth, Striplight sound technician; Aaron Oconnell as Prince Henry in “Other Men” and Bill in “Having Hope;” James “Gig” Purcell as Lord Bellows in “Other Men” and Russell in “Having Hope;” Zoe Purcell as Lord Camilla in “Other Men;” Noah Toomey as Michel in “Having Hope;” and Kendra Wickham as Herald in “Other Men” and Jane in “Having Hope.”

“It is so exciting to be working with such talented individuals and taking them to meet others in our region and showcase the talent we have here in the Ohio Valley,” said Holmes. “Both casts have been working hard through the heat, storms and even no power, to get their excerpts fest-ready, and we are really proud of both groups.”

The association serves more than 100 member theaters in six Ohio state regions including Kentucky and West Virginia. Its purpose is to promote excellence and creativity in live theater by providing its members educational opportunities for growth in artistic and technical aspects of theater, and to promote community awareness and understanding of and access to, live theater. The organization provides guidance, showcasing, scholarships, resources, a speakers’ bureau, workshops, a lending library and newsletter.

Member theaters in the Southeast Region include Actors Guild of Parkersburg; Apple City Player; Athenian Berean Community Players; Cambridge Performing Arts Center; Footlight Players; the French Art Colony-Riverby Theatre Guild; Hope Players Inc.; Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County; Mid-Ohio Valley Players; River City Players; Stage and Steel Productions; Striplight Community Theatre; Zane Trace Players; and Zanesville Community Theatre.

Supporters of Striplight and Stage and Steel are welcome to attend the festival. Tickets are $15. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with presentations starting at 9:30 a.m. Striplight will perform at 9:30 a.m. and Stage and Steel will perform at 11:30 a.m. The Friederich Theatre is located at 510 Butler St., Marietta.

Striplight Community Theatre, and Stage and Steel Productions, are housed in and perform in the Ashley Marie Performing Arts Center located at 2850 Weir Ave., Weirton.


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