Union County

Original play will kick off Waxhaw Storefront’s 9th season

Storefront Theatre announced the schedule for its ninth season, which opens with “The Fragrance of Books” on the first weekend in October. Storefront Theatre Director Judy Simpson Cook, left, and Melvin Faris will have roles in the production.
Storefront Theatre announced the schedule for its ninth season, which opens with “The Fragrance of Books” on the first weekend in October. Storefront Theatre Director Judy Simpson Cook, left, and Melvin Faris will have roles in the production. COURTESY OF JUDY SIMPSON COOK

Storefront Theatre has announced the lineup for its ninth season.

Judy Simpson Cook, Storefront founder, director, playwright and actor, recently discussed what’s to come.

The first play of the season will be “The Fragrance of Books,” written by Judy Simpson Cook, presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 and 2:30 p.m. Oct 4.

“I’m really excited that the first show is a brand new play,” Simpson Cook said. “I’m even more excited that I wrote it. I’ve had a pretty long dry spell.

“I love the smell of a book, old or new, because it’s a promise. There’s the promise of laughter, tears, amazement, education. Who knows what will be inside the pages of a book?”

The story grew from a mystery she and actor Melvin Faris unearthed in an old textbook at the Waxhaw Reading Room.

It is only fitting that she and Faris should play the lead roles of Jim and Carolee, book lover and bookstore owner, respectively.

“There’s a lot of humor in the play, lots of literary and movie allusions, nostalgia for things in the past and some fear of the tools of the future,” Simpson Cook said. “Ultimately, it explores the question: are you ever too old? Too old for love? Too old for new things?

“I won’t say what conclusion I reached but you can probably guess.”

At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Storefront will present “Bob’s Your Elf” by Norm Foster, one of Canada’s most produced playwrights.

“His plays are hilarious, silly, goofy, but pure of heart, if you can say that of a play,” Simpson Cook said. “They always reflect a belief in the goodness of people, and things frequently turn out well.”

In early 2016, things will take a more serious turn when Storefront presents “Mold” by John Biguenet the weekend of Jan. 16-17.

March 5-6 will be the fourth celebration of concise dramatic creation under the banner of “We Like Short-Shorts: A Festival of 10-Minute Plays.” This will be the third season “Short Shorts” will be a competition, with entries judged by a panel and winners invited for a talk after the works are presented.

The season finale will be April 16-17: “Fox on the Fairway,” a madcap romp on the grounds of a stuffy country club.

Here are a few basics for those who have never seen a Storefront Theatre production: Storefront uses the reading-stage format, where onstage actors read their parts while seated or standing and a narrator describes the setting and action.

The audience experiences the play in their imagination, aided by the dialogue and description by the narrator.

Shows are performed at 8100 Old Waxhaw Monroe Road. Saturday evening performances are presented at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30.

Tickets, detailed show descriptions and other information are available on the Storefront Theatre’s website: http://thestorefronttheatre.org.

John Anderson is a freelance writer: jafortrel@aol.com.

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