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James Clemens Theatre to present Madison playwright’s “Phobiology”

MADISON – James Clemens Theatre’s production of “Phobiology” will reveal small-town secrets magnified by Hollywood hype.

In "Phobiology," the constable Spencer Shafer endures the rabble from actors Abbie Chatelain, from left, Madison Johnson, Lexi Mecikalski, Jessi Hicks and Kylie Thorum. (PHOTO/KAITLIN RUNNELS)
In “Phobiology,” the constable Spencer Shafer endures the rabble from actors Abbie Chatelain, from left, Madison Johnson, Lexi Mecikalski, Jessi Hicks and Kylie Thorum. (PHOTO/HANNAH ZBUCHALSKI)

Set in 1970, Castleville, Maine, is thrust into the spotlight when a Hollywood film director announces plans to shoot a movie. “The sudden national limelight could mean 15 minutes of fame but easily may divulge a secret that Castleville has been struggling to hide for years,” director Amy Patel said.

“Tracing one resident’s fight to expose the truth, ‘Phobiology’ uses an unconventional, multistoried performance space to literally peek through Castleville windows,” Patel said.

Patel was intrigued by site-specific theatre, or performing on-site — not in a theatre. Multimedia publications teacher Daniel Whitt helped materialize the concept. Patel doesn’t believe theatre is “about just ‘doing shows.’ It’s about creating. When we started, we had windows and an idea.”

Lead actors are Zach Layman (Christopher Wyatt), Emma Boudreaux (Sam Beaumont) and Kylie Thorum (Mrs. Beaumont).

The playwright, Nick Mecikalski, is an alumnus of Bob Jones High School and now a sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying theatre, computer science and film studies. Mecikalski’s plays have been produced professionally in Los Angeles and on Bob Jones, Vanderbilt and festival stages.

“‘Phobiology’ is a play for everybody,” Mecikalski said. “It takes an honest look into the foundations of fearfulness and intolerance of a mob mentality, using unique, multistoried staging to deconstruct an ‘average’ American small town.”

Mecikalski classifies his work as drama for “exploring the fundamental literary conflict of man versus society, revealing just how magnetic a mob mentality can be.”

Mason Overcash is assistant director. Technical directors are Daniel Whitt and Kyle Mumaw.

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

“Phobiology” will open at Lowe Mill in Huntsville on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. The unique presentation will use the dock and upper windows. Donations are requested.

The show at James Clemens auditorium will be performed Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. with dramatic acts opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available at the door or showtix4u.com.

For information, call 256-261-5313, ext. 95135 or email to Appatel@madisoncity.k12.al.us or Mpovercash@madisoncity.k12.al.us.

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