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James Clemens delivers ‘The Rimers of Eldritch’ as Trumbauer entry

MADISON – The audience on Nov. 4 can witness the twists and trauma of “The Rimers of Eldritch,” James Clemens Theatre’s one-act play for 2021.

In addition, a showcase at 6 p.m. will feature individual events. Then on Nov. 5, the Jets cast and crew will present the play in Trumbauer district competition at Lee High School in Huntsville.

“However, only cast/crew members are invited to the performance at Lee,” Technical Director Clint Merritt said. “Family, friends and supporters are encouraged to attend the public performance at James Clemens.”

Main characters are Eva (Michaela Robinson), Robert (Adam McDougal), Skelly (Brody Millsaps) and Mary (Lee Bennett). The story focuses on the town itself, where “everybody knows everybody.” In the ensemble-based play, actors are onstage the entire time, sometimes frozen in ‘tableaux.’ One silent character suddenly will become animated to begin a different scene.

The staff include Bryson Hewell, Student Producer; Aaron Kennedy and Claire Shelnutt, Stage Managers; Andrew Williams, Student Technical Director, Set/Lighting/Sound; Madison McCleskey, Student Tech Director, Costumes/Props/Hair/Makeup; and Kenn Anderson, Student Director.

Lanford Wilson authored “The Rimers of Eldritch.”

Tickets cost $5 and are available at the event or in advance at showtix4u.com/event-details/57616.

This summer, Director Amy Patel asked the cast for their preference for a script – a play to make people laugh or one to make their audience THINK.

“I always quote Glenn Close: ‘Good live theater disturbs molecules . . . Anybody who sees live theater should come out a little rearranged.’ ‘The Rimers of Eldritch’ does that,” Patel said.

Patel describes ‘Rimers’ as “heavy . . . a bit of a mystery. We learn in the first scene that a young girl has been assaulted, a man has been murdered, and a woman is on trial. You want to find out how all those things happened, but the story is told out of sequence. You’re always trying to piece the story together, as you get more clues.”

The Jets gave a PG-13 rating to the play, which contains gunshots, violence and sexual assault. These elements are not graphic, but “we don’t want anyone to be surprised,” Patel said.

Most plays by JCTheatre target both children and adults. “This particular play does not. It deals with mature, difficult subject matter, appropriate for young adults but not for young children,” Patel said.

“Some people will say it’s not our place (as a high school), but I disagree. High school students are young adults, closer to college and the workforce than elementary school,” she said. “According to RAINN or Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. Unfortunately, many victims stay silent because the topic is considered taboo. We need to shift our definition of ‘inappropriate.’ SEXUAL ASSAULT is inappropriate; TALKING about it should not be.”

Troy State University will host the State Trumbauer Festival on Dec. 2-4.

For more information, email jamesclemenstheatre@gmail.com or visit Facebook.

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