by Nancy Holley
Special KRL coupon code at the end of this article.
Doublewide, Texas is a hilarious comedy by the writing trio of Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. Jones Hope Wooten, as they are collectively known, are famous for their well written laugh-out-loud scripts. Other works include The Dixie Swim Club and Always a Bridesmaid.
For the setting of Doublewide, Texas, the playwrights chose one of the smallest trailer parks in Texas with only four doublewides and a shed. Doublewide, as the park becomes known, is also infamous for its year-round nativity scene. Into this setting, the authors introduce zany characters, who are not always what they seem.
The residents of the trailer park are at odds with their neighbor Haywood Sloggett (David Peden). According to Peden, “Sloggett is a widower who lives in the house he built for his wife. He is in conflict with those who live in the trailer park. He calls them trailer trash.” Peden is new to the Ice House, but no stranger to theater or Visalia. He is a native of Tulare County who recently moved back to the area from Oklahoma where he and his wife were heavily involved with community theater.
Big Ethel Satterwhite (Pat Jansen) is rather like a guardian angel to those living in Doublewide. Jansen noted, “Her heart is as big as all out doors. Her mission is to help out the trailer park people. She loves them.” Jansen was last seen at the Ice House in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but her real passion is comedy. “There is nothing I won’t do or wear to give the audience an opportunity to laugh, and I have lots of opportunities to do that in this show.”
Doublewide’s nearest town, Tugaloo, wants to annex the park which puts its residents into a dither. Lomax Tanner (Mike Goodin), the new city manager, tries to charm his way into the hearts of the Doublewide women, particularly Georgia Dean (Marla Alberstein) and Joveeta Crumpler (Melinda Hatfield). Goodin explained, “He’s the heart throb. The women have a crush on him, but he has his own agenda.” Goodin is a Visalia native, who did shows at the Ice House, COS, and the Enchanted Playhouse several years ago, but has since spent time behind the camera in the TV industry in LA.
A womanless beauty pageant is the focus of Baby Crumpler (Aaron Johnson). His sister Joveeta worries about seriousness of his participation, but his mother Caprice (Susan Mathews) does not have the same concern. Johnson describes Baby as “the nicest, most down to earth, innocent guy who loves his mama.”
The talented cast also includes Leiana Petlewski (Lark) and Tonya Rousseau (Starla). The actors obviously enjoy working together, and the opportunity to bring joy to audiences. “I like seeing how young actors become who they need to be in this show. It’s fun to work with new people I haven’t worked with before,” said Jansen. Peden commented, “Having a wide age range is great. Get them while they are young, and you have them for a while.”
While everyone in the cast emphasized the hilarity of the show, Director Peg Collins summed it up nicely, “I need to find the value of any play. A line in the play ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ is based on Proverbs 17:22. That is the value of this play.”
Doublewide, Texas opens at the Ice House Theatre at Race and Santa Fe in Visalia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2017 and runs for three weekends with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on 1/13, 1/14, 1/20, 1/21, 1/27, and 1/28, and matinees at 2:00 p.m. on 1/15, 1/22, and 1/29.
For more information about the Visalia Community Players and to purchase tickets, check out their website and KRL’s article about VCP. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 734-3900. For details about local arts groups in Tulare County, visit the Visalia Arts Consortium website.
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To purchase two tickets for the price of one, enter KRLDWT in the Have a code? box on the Buy/Redeem Tickets Reservation page via the Players website.