Pocahontas County Drama Workshop to Present a Production at the Opera House

The Pocahontas County Drama Workshop will be presenting a play at the Opera House in Marlinton at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19th and Saturday, May 20th. Tickets will be available at the door and will cost $10.00. In addition, the public is invited to attend a free preview night on Thursday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m.

Eric Fritzius, a writer, actor and director from Greenbrier County is the Director of this play and he tells our listeners about the play and provides a brief overview of each of the five characters you will meet in this production.

“I am directing a play for the Pocahontas County Opera House in May called ‘The People on the Edge of Town’ by a West Virginia playwright named A.J. DeLauder” said Eric. “ The ‘People on the Edge of Town’ is about a lady names Ruth Eberhart who has made a success of herself, became a business woman in Pittsburgh and returns to a small town in West Virginia called Constance, to become the Interim Mayor. She does this after the father of her best friend has to resign as Mayor due to illness. Nick McGarrity, her best friend is on the City Council and owns the local gas station as well. And he welcomes her in as the new Mayor and he quickly discovers that she has an agenda in her return to Constance and that includes getting rid of a trailer park that is situated at the edge of town. She has some very personal reasons for wanting to do this, including the fact that a couple of people live there who she feels contributed to the death of her mother, but she is willing to go to some pretty underhanded places in order to accomplish this. So right away we see our main character is a bit flawed. And we come to meet a number of other flawed people during the course of the play. Another is Lawrence Mayfield -one of her allies who is another Councilman, who owns an antique shop on the other side of town. And they’ve both teamed up and planned on how they are going to do this. Nick, meanwhile, is a bit conflicted about this because the people that live in that trailer park are his main source of income because he owns the gas station directly across the road from it, so he’s not exactly one of her allies. We also have Lawrence’s ex-wife whose name is Agnes, who serves as something of a narrator of the play, but she also appears within the play itself. And she has a unique mental condition that stems from a tragedy in her past that becomes a factor during the course of this play, and also becomes a factor in whether or not Ruth is going to be able to accomplish her goals. The last character in this five person play is names Chrissy Steringer, and she is the manager of this trailer park.  She also happens to have been Ruth’s best friend from high school, and they haven’t been speaking for several years but there is definitely a lot of history there. Chrissy has a definite interest in how Ruth’s plans are going to play out, because this is going to affect not only her and her family there in the trailer park, but the many other families that live there as well, who’ve done nothing more than commit the crime of –as Chrissy calls it ‘dirt poor’. So she becomes sort of the moral center of this play. We also learn that there are family secreted that are involved. And those tend to come out in our lives, and they definitely come out during the course of this play. So, as Chrissy once points out during the play –‘nothing’s cut and dried.’ You might think you know who the heroes are as the play starts and you quickly find they are a bit more villainous than we might normally expect, and some of the villains are are a little bit more heroic than we expect. Nothing is cut and dried during the course of this, but we get to take a journey with these five characters.”

Eric said that the play is based on an actual situation regarding the attempt of the Aurora, WV Town Council to close a trailer park they considered unsightly.  The characters and plots in the play however are entirely fictional. Aurora just happens to be the home town of the writer of this play, A.J. DeLauder.

The cast of the five characters in the play:

Ruth Eberhart is played by Charlie McGhee Hughes, an actress with lots of college and community theatre experience.

Chrissy Steringer is played by Rhonda Pritt, a former Miss Pocahontas and experienced actress.

Nick McGarrity is played by Chris Curry, a resident of Pocahontas County who played in last year’s Drama Workshop production of Sherlock Holmes.

Lawrence Mayfield is played by AMR’s own Dwayne Kennison, who wanted to remind you that in real life Dwayne and Lawrence have nothing in common.

Agnes Engel is played by another Pocahontas County resident and experienced Drama Workshop actress, Arla Ralston.

Again, the play will be at the Opera House at 8:00 p.m. on Friday May 19th and Saturday, May 20th with a free dress rehearsal preview at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18th.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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