Eunice Players' Theatre

As the Eunice Players’ Theatre opens its 40th anniversary season, Jody L. Powell brings to the stage a classic piece of American theatre and cinema, Edward Albee’s explosive “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Written, staged on Broadway, and brought to the silver screen in the 1960’s, the same decade as the origin of EPT, this drama about the complexities of human relationships and the games we play with ourselves and each other, tells the tale of marital warfare between George and Martha. Rarely does a playwright seek to entertain with such a caustic couple, but Albee uses these namesakes of American history to draw the audience into their harrowing descent, just as they do the unsuspecting couple of Nick and Honey who appear on their doorstep for a late-night drink.

Stage veteran Deborah D. Ardoin of Eunice gives us Martha, daughter of a college president, who still struggles for her father’s acceptance. Although Debbi usually plays comedic roles, she is developing a penchant for the dramatic ones, having won the Best Actress Irving Award for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes in “Misery”. Debbi has also directed several plays at EPT including “Agnes of God”, “’Night Mother”, and the musicals “The Fantastiks” and “The Sound of Music”.

Former EPT actor David McGee returns to Eunice to play George, a history professor at Martha’s father’s college. Now living in Jennings, David has been active in their community theatre as an actor and set builder. EPT audiences may remember him in the roles of Bo Decker in the original “Bus Stop” and Bill Sikes in “Oliver”. He also sang his way through many of EPT’s earlier musicals including “Guys and Dolls”, “L’il Abner” and “Damn Yankees”.

The role of Honey, a plain, sickly woman disillusioned by marriage is played by Bonnie Pitre, a Eunice native who returns to the stage following her Irving Award-winning performance in last season’s “Providence”. Bonnie appeared in several plays at LSU while earning a minor degree in theatre; she has also been seen on the EPT stage in “Woman” and “The Sound of Music”. She also ran the lighting for “If the Shoe Fits”.

Rounding out the cast as Nick, the college’s new and ambitious biology teacher, is Gabe Ortego of Opelousas. Gabe was previously seen on the EPT stage in “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Providence”. Gabe has many credits from Opelousas Little Theatre, including director of “Monky Business” and “The Last Five Years”.  

The show will open with a matinee on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m.  Dinner theatre is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. at Nick’s on Second St., with the performance immediately following.  Other performance dates include April 29 - 30 and May 1 - 2 at 7 p.m.  

Individual tickets for the show are not on sale yet although season tickets may be purchased and more information can be obtained by calling 457-2156. For $20 a season ticket includes 3 shows, reservation rights, voting privileges and an invitation to the 40th Annual Irving Awards. Angel and patron packages are also available for purchase.

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