Washington students debut ‘Dearly Beloved’ this weekend

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The plight of the Futrelle sisters is coming to the stage, as part of Washington High School’s performance of “Dearly Beloved.”

Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, “Dearly Beloved” is the first in a trilogy set in Fayro, Texas, and follows the disastrous events surrounding Frankie Futrelle Dubberly’s daughter’s marriage to Parker Price.

“Add to the mix a twin sister, a scared seminary student, a sick boyfriend, a local deputy, a determined wedding planner/florist and the father of the bride, and things get really wild,” a press release states.

Washington High students performed the trilogy in reverse, starting with “Southern Hospitality” in 2009 and “Christmas Belles” in 2011.

“We wanted to do the current play that we’re doing first, and Belhaven did it the exact same year we were going to do it,” said Travis Carter, performing arts teacher. “I like them all. It’s just a little strange doing them in reverse because you hear the end of the story before you hear the beginning.”

Carter said this year’s cast has worked hard to master the characters, and although the cast is different from the 2009 and 2011 shows, the transition has been smooth.

“Being a high school, it happens quite frequently,” Carter said of cast changes. “It’s not real hard when you look at it and you change the parts because the characters are really, really good. … Each (student) brings their own little twists to the characters.”

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Senior Kelly Toppin, playing florist Geneva Musgrave, runs through her lines during a dress rehearsal.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Senior Kelly Toppin, playing florist Geneva Musgrave, runs through her lines during a dress rehearsal.

Abby Harris, a senior at Washington High, is set to play the embattled Honey Rae Futrelle.

“She is honestly a pistol. She is probably one of my favorite characters that I’ve ever done,” Harris said. “She’s challenging, and she’s got a lot of layers to her.”

According to Harris, Honey Rae is a middle-aged woman on a downward spiral, with a love life that’s been nothing but troublesome.

Harris said she has enjoyed working with the rest of the cast, which has been committed to making the show a success.

“Everyone is willing and committed to learning their lines,” she said. “I’ve had my lines memorized for maybe two, three weeks now. Everything is coming together really nice.”

The cast includes: Harris, Alana Donadio, Emma Guereschi, Joe Vick, Cassie Teixeira, Callie Smith, Connor Smith, Kendall Smith, Kelly Toppin, Zack Woolard and Adriana Cilluffo.

Carter said he is excited to debut the show to the public this weekend, but after the curtain falls Saturday night, it’s back to business to prepare for the next performance.

“We’ve been rehearsing four days a week since the first Monday in September, with the exception of last week when we had to deal with the hurricane,” he said. “We’ve been putting forth a lot of effort into it.”

“Dearly Beloved” performances will be Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Washington High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from the cast or at the door.