Tag Archives: community theater

Blacktip Island Community Players To Stage ‘Book Of Moron’

book of moron

From left to right, Blacktip Island Community Players Payne Hanover, Marina DeLow, Gage Hoase, Jessie Catahoula, Lee Helm and Alison Diesel will star in the BICP’s typo-inspired production of ‘The Book of Moron’ at the Caribbean island’s Heritage House this weekend. (photo courtesy of the State Library of South Australia)

The Blacktip Island Community Players Wednesday announced their annual spring musical will be ‘The Book of Moron,’ a celebration of life on the small Caribbean island, at the island’s Heritage House this Saturday and Sunday evenings.

“It started as a typo, but the response was so overwhelming, we just went with it,” BICP artistic director Doris Blenny said. “We’ve never had so many people turn out for auditions. This is the first time we’ve had to turn people away.

“We had to change the songs and dialogue, of course, but there’s a ton of folks volunteering to do that, too,” Blenny said. “Frankly, on this island, a play like this writes itself. It’s really a day-in-the-life sort of narrative, set mostly in bars. And at the dump.”

Cast members say the play addresses the island’s existential angst.

“It’s the story of Temperance League organizers trying to reform residents of a small island,” Payne Hanover said. “The locals, of course, want nothing to do with them. There’s a recurring gag where the Temperance people use big words and the locals think they’re talking about fancy wine.

“There’s a couple of big party scenes, and a big anti-Temperance riot at the dump,” Hanover said. “It’s Blacktip Island in a nutshell, really. And we made some of the musical numbers karaoke so the audience can participate, too.”

Cast members include:

  • Payne Hanover as Carrie Natation
  • Marina DeLow as Billy Sunday
  • Gage Hoase as Gnarly Thompson
  • Alison Diesel as Bud Lightning
  • Cal Batten as Holden Hiscock
  • Jessie Catahoula as the Pirate Queen
  • Lee Helm as JoJo the Wonderdog

Some residents questioned the choice of material.

“We were hoping for something a little less controversial this year,” Chrissy Graysby said. “The younger kiddos are still traumatized after last year’s ‘Nudibranch’ musical, and that on-stage melee ‘Tora Tora Tora’ turned into. We keep hoping they’ll do a nice, family-friendly, animal story, like ‘Pet Sematary.’”

Others praised the play.

“Celebrates our heritage, y’know,” Dermott Bottoms said. “This’s the kind of thing makes Blacktip what it is today. Makes us proud to be Blacktippers.”

Alcohol will be available at a makeshift bar outside the Heritage House. All proceeds from the performances will go to the island’s Salvation Army chapter.

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Blacktip Island Community Players To Stage Underwater ‘Reef of Dreams’

reef of dreams

Finn Kiick, as scuba-diving pioneer Émile Gagnan, swims above Sand Spit Reef Thursday during the dress rehearsal of The Blacktip Island Community Players spring play, Reef of Dreams. (photo courtesy of Mudasir Zainuddin)

The Blacktip Island Community Players will stage their annual spring play this Saturday and Sunday underwater near the Sand Spit bar to raise money for island charities.

Reef of Dreams is a tropical re-imagining of Field of Dreams,” director Doris Blenny said. “Lee Helm got a wild hair up his butt and rewrote the screenplay at the bar one night. We were dubious at first, but Lee was adamant.

“‘When the primal forces of nature tell you to do something, you do it,’ is how he put it,” Blenny said. “Lee’s take is a dive resort owner hears a voice and builds an underwater dive shop, hoping Émile Gagnan will pay him a visit.”

Actors will perform offshore at Sand Spit Reef using full-face masks and hydrophones.

“It’s set on a reef, and we had to have some way to speak our lines,” BICP member Alison Diesel said. “We schmoozed the manufacturer to donate the masks. They really add to the dramatic feel. ‘Ever hold a wet wetsuit to your face?’ just doesn’t have the same punch on the surface.

“The underwater speakers give a way-eerier feel to The Voice, too,” Diesel said. “The first time Elena whispered ‘Oui, he will come,’ it totally freaked us out.”

The play’s cast includes:

  • Lee Helm as Ray Kinsella
  • Alison Diesel as Annie Kinsella
  • Hugh Calloway as Jacques Cousteau
  • Finn Kiick as Émile Gagnan
  • Gage Hoase as Sir John Haldane
  • Elena Havens as The Voice

Helm stressed the BICP have gone to great lengths to keep the performance from seeming derivative.

“It captures the film’s spirit without copying its trappings,” he said. “It’s set on a reef, not in a cornfield. There’s no crops of any kind. Or ball-related sports. And in the end, it turns out the voice was talking about Sir John Haldane all along.

“There’s minimal props, so a lot of it’s open to interpretation,” Helm said. “All the acting’s in mid-water, too, so the stage doesn’t get all silted. And we recruited about 40 resort guests as extras to make a long line of dive lights at the end, all coming to the underwater shop.”

The performance will be transmitted to the Sand Spit and the Heritage House, where non-scuba divers can view the show for an additional fee.

“We’ll have five different camera angles, so no one misses any of the action,” Blenny said. “You can really see the tension build on all the actors’ faces when it looks like Ray will lose his resort.

“The show stopper’s when Gage asks, ‘is this heaven?’ and Lee says, ‘no, it’s Blacktip Island,’” she said. “In rehearsals, it brought the house down. Several performers nearly drowned.”

Proceeds from the performances will go to Blacktip Island Habitat for Humanity.

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Island Players To Stage Hollywood Classic


Due to an island-wide outbreak of iguana pox, the staff of the Blacktip Times was unable to cover this week’s breaking news stories (or stop scratching themselves . . . or keep food down). Below is a reprint of an earlier story, in anticipation of next month’s Blacktip Island Community Players summer musical production.
– The Blacktip Times editorial board
(photo courtesy of Cory W. Watts)

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ December 6 – January 2 in their annual Fall Extravaganza. The production stars Payne Hanover as Adm. William ‘Bull’ Halsey, Lee Helm as Cmdr. Minoru Genada and Miss Marina DeLow as Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

“We are blessed by the quality and vibrancy of the amateur acting community on the island,” director Doris Blenny said. “This production truly showcases that talent.

“We are also appreciative of the efforts of island residents in collecting land crabs for use as Japanese attack squadrons. This production wouldn’t be possible without their help.”

As is de rigueur for the BICP, the production promises to be a visual spectacle.

“We’ve been practicing the big torpedo bombing scene for weeks now, and everyone’s pretty banged up,” Hanover said. “It’ll all be worthwhile when that curtain comes up, though, and we see those 15, 20 eager faces in the audience ducking for cover.”

Proceeds from the play will go to Habitat for Humanity of Blacktip Island.

Theatre-goers are reminded alcohol will not be served before the performance or during intermission in light of this summer’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ incident. Purses and backpacks will be searched at the door.

In related news, volunteers are needed the next two weekends to help with roofing, drywalling and repainting the playhouse.

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