Community theater hits the stage this week

Published 9:01 pm Monday, November 14, 2016

BELHAVEN — The Way Off Broadway Players of Belhaven are at it again with “Move Over, Mrs. Markham.”

The play is slated to run two nights this week: Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Charlie Smith Community House at the end of Main Street.

The community theater company is celebrating 34 years of local productions and pulling in friends, family, neighbors and students into the drama, according to director George Wahab.

Wahab has spent many years encouraging people to take part in performance, onstage and backstage.

“Either I go to them and ask them if they’d like to do it, or they come to me and tell me that they’re interested. And sometimes my students tell me they want to be in plays or tell me about students at other schools who want to be in my plays,” Wahab said.

Wahab, an English and Spanish teacher at Pungo Christian Academy, said he’s always on the lookout for new talent, and draws people into various roles. He said he’s always like theater, which led to teaching drama every year that he taught in public school.

“In college, if they said write a research paper or do a skit, I’d rather do a skit,” Wahab laughed.

Written by John Chapman and Ray Cooney, “Move Over, Mrs. Markham” is described as a farce — as are most of the Way Off Broadway Players’ productions.

“The plot is so convoluted it’s difficult to explain,” reads a press release from the Way Off Broadway Players, but affairs, suspected affairs, assumptions and aborted assignations are the meat of this British comedy.

“The word play is great. Mistaken identity is rampant. Sexual innuendo is a key force,” the press release stated.

Cast members and crew include Macy Morgan, Zachary Stevens, Vickie Armstrong, Mara Coltrain, Allen Benson, Mike Gibbs, Aaron Stevens, Mary Wahab, Jewel Cook, Braxton Bell, Fran Coleman and George Wahab.

For Wahab and his actors, along with his students who say they always come to Wahab’s thrice-a-year productions, participation is artist expression.

“It gives people a creative outlet, and it exposes them to other cultures sometimes,” Wahab said. “This play is set in England — most of our plays are set in England, and they pick up little things about the English culture.”

Admission to “Move Over, Mrs. Markham” is $10 and reservations for the two showings can be made by calling 252-943-3796.