The play’s the thing

Published 11:07 pm Monday, July 28, 2008

DEMOPOLIS — A group of nearly forty have been meeting each night for the past 6 weeks to get all shook up at the Old School on Main.

Under the direction of Thomasville resident Karen Dean, her cast of thirty, including musicians, are gearing up for something Demopolis isn’t quite accustomed to: a musical.

“All Shook Up” is set to open this weekend, and although there is still a lot of work to do, Dean says she knows it will all come together before Friday night.

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“We’re all shook up right now,” says Dean, who majored in theatre with an emphasis in stage management. “But I know that somewhere up there, there’s a musical, and on Friday it’ll land on this stage.”

The show is a rendition of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” told through the music of Elvis in 1955.

While Dean is over the show for all practical purposes, she says she’s not big into micromanagement.

“That’s the beauty of community theatre,” Dean said. “These people come out and audition and want to help. They’re not just interested in their roles or their characters. They get involved in the show as a whole and offer their input.”

In this weekend’s performances, look for 10 principle roles, 10 chorus members and 10 orchestra members. Canebrake regulars Kirk Brooker, Audrea Hamilton, Drew Tucker and Catie Cole all return to the stage in the show.

“All Shook Up” is a joint collaboration between the Canebrake Players and the Arts Council of Thomasville, and for a good reason.

“Demopolis and Thomasville have always been competitive in athletics – football, baseball – and that’s all good and well. But let’s leave it there, on the field. When it comes to the arts, we all need to forget our selfish desires and join as one,” said Dean.

And that’s precisely what the cast and crew have done with “All Shook Up”, as seen in the performance schedule.

The show opens this weekend with showings at 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights, and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Then, look for a schedule of the same the following weekend in Thomasville.

“We have a brand-new civic center [in Thomasville] that needs a show in it,” said Dean.

And for a new civic center with an all-digital theatre, she’s right.

Maybe it’s time Demopolis stepped it up a notch for the sake of the Arts.

Heck, maybe even for a remodeled, revamped community theatre.

Maybe, just maybe, the timing is perfect and Demopolis has something to be all shook up over.