Cemetery Club begins at TVT Begins Sept. 5

The Actors for the Cemetery Club. Pictured seater(l-r) Teresa congioloso, Anita hale, Karen Slikker and standing Mike Jackson and Connie Roberts. The play begins this week at the Tennessee Valley Theatre in Spring City.(Photo courtesy of TVT)

TVT presents The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchell

Sept. 2, 2014

Spring City, Tn — The Tennessee Valley Theatre presents the Cemetery Club, a comedic drama in two acts.  The Play will begin on September 5 and run through September 14.  The performances will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 pm.  Cost for the play is $10.  The play is directed by Kathy Soja.

The play tells the story of three lifelong widowed friends who bicker and tease, hug and love, misbehave and forgive. Lucille (Anita Hale) is sassy and promiscuous, a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun. Doris (Karen Slikker) is priggish and judgmental, while Ida (Teresa Congioloso) is patient and sweet tempered, but finally ready to begin a new life.

When Sam (Mike Jackson) the butcher enters the picture, Ida is smitten. Uptight, clingy Doris connives with Lucille to squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida. They are guilt stricken when their meddling nearly breaks poor Ida ́s heart. These women will touch your heart as you follow the choices they make in their lives. They will not be reduced to being just a Cemetery Club

I meet with the Actors just to get to know the people behind the characters.  This is Kathy Soja’s first play to direct but she has plenty of experience at TVT. She has done about everything but direct before.

“The play is going quite well in rehearsals,” said Directory Kathy Soja. “It has been wonderful process. I knew I was going to do this and picked the best actors. The prep work is done. We began rehearsing the second week in July for three days a week.”

Kathy is from Chicago, Illinois and been involved with TVT for about five years.

Ida is played by Teresa Congioloso. Teresa has been in two previous plays. She was Mrs. Cunningham in Happy Days and played one of the crazy ladies in The House on the Corner.

Mike Jackson plays Sam, the lone male role in the play.

“It’s a lot of fun being the only male in the play,” said Mike Jackson. “These are very gifted women.”

Anita Hale, who plays Lucille, the sassy lady, is from the Gulf Coast area. She began early in Junior and High School, continued in College and did extensive work in theaters around the Gulf Coast Area. She moved up to Crossville and discovered TVT back in 2001. She first acted in Annie at the TVT. She has been in several plays over the years. She is a school teacher in Crossville.

“I usually do about one play a year,” said Anita. “I have had some very good roles where I could help myself grow as an actress. There are a lot of talented people here and it’s good to be here.”

Karen Slikker, who plays Doris, began her interest in acting at an early age with schooling and plays early. She took a hiatus for several years. About seven years ago she came to audition for Steel Magnolias. She has been involved with a couple of plays per year.

“Not only are there a bunch of talented people here but with very little resources, do remarkable work,” said Karen. “You just don’t run into the Diva type person here. I want to brag on Kathy. She has done a great job in her first time directing.”

Connie Roberts, who plays Mildred, is from Spring City. Her first play was about a year ago, in the The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This will be her third play.

“I enjoy acting,” said Connie. “I was in chorus in school. I have loved the plays I have been in and I loved The Crazy Ladies.”

The play is sponsored by Vaughn Funeral Homes.

The play was written by Ivan Menchell.

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