ACP swings a different kind of golf tournament

  • Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:45 p.m.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner
Justin, played by Grant Luton, prepares his employer a drink during Wednesday's rehearsal for ACP's
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Justin, played by Grant Luton, prepares his employer a drink during Wednesday's rehearsal for ACP's "Fox on the Fairway." The set is still a work-in-process but was inspired by area country clubs to bring in an authentic touch.

The Masters Tournament may be the talk of the town in just a few days, but for the Aiken Community Playhouse, a different kind of golf tournament will be heating up. Audiences, though, can expect this tournament to be comedic, chaotic and romantic.

Opening March 29 at 8 p.m., the Playhouse will present its Mainstage production of the golf romantic comedy, “Fox on the Fairway.”

It will run March 30, April 5, 6, 10, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, though, since Woodside Plantation Country Club are the show sponsors, those members will receive $5 off their admissions on April 10.

The show starts as Henry Bingham, played by David Stinson, thinks this year’s tournament is in the bag for his club when he finds his ace – his new employee Justin Hicks, played by Grant Luton. However, the grand prize might not be not all so easy to win, when troubles start to brew.

Comedy is not exactly a stranger for Stinson, whose previous adult play was Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” but there is a bit of a difference.

“Shakespeare is so rich and so historic, and this is contemporary and much lighter,” he said. “The language isn’t as complex as Shakespeare, but the timing, the interplay are just as challenging.”

Stinson has little golf experience, so he is taking lessons to perfect a couple moves he has to perform, and he has been doing research to dig more into his character’s knowledge base. However, he has been to the Masters, so he has enjoyed the reviving some of that energy onstage.

“Keep (it) in mind when we recreate some of that excitement and that playfulness,” he said.

“Fox” coincides with the Masters’ Week, which starts April 8.

Director Peg Tribert is no stranger to comedy, though she might be a bit to golf. She doesn’t play the game and needed to slip into a few, well-known country clubs around town to get a better look at how they should construct their set.

As far as her comedic knowledge base goes, she offered this image when comparing comedy to drama: In comedy, an actor might have “to sing …, hop on one foot and still maintain character.”

“Comedy is hard work. It is very challenging to get the timing right,” she said. “To do comedy well, you really have to have a feel for tragedy, or it just comes out as fluff. … They take a lot of risks for a laugh.”

The play itself has been stamped with the cautions of having adult situations and themes on it. “It’s a farce,” Tribert said. “It’s a romantic farce.”

“Fox” centers around a young couple and two middle-age couples and is played up, in a release, as “a charmingly madcap adventure about love, life and man’s eternal love affair with golf.”

The last time a Playhouse production was held during Masters Week was with the 2010 production of “Foursome.”

Tribert could not stop smiling and praising her actors, as she listened to them rehearse from an outside room. “I got really lucky with this cast,” she said.

Louise Heindbedder is played by Jennifer Webb, Pamela Peabody by Carla Cloud, Dickie Bell by John Fowler and Muriel Bingham by Beth Hollingsworth.

Cathy Benedetto is the stage manager, with Juli Heaim as her assistant. Sound effects play a big part in “Fox,” according to Tribert, and would be nothing without David Skeen and Adam Schults.

Tickets can purchased online at www.aikencommunityplayhouse.com or by calling 803-648-1438. The show will be at the URS Center for the Arts at 126 Newberry St.

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