Monday, January 19, 2009

M*A*S*H at Newnan Community Theatre Company

A Mobile Army Surgical Unit from the Korean War has moved onto the Newnan Community Theatre Company's main stage for just six performances. M*A*S*H, the famous 4077th, is taking a brief tour in Newnan for the theatre's first show of their 2009 Season.

Richard Hooker wrote about his experiences as a surgeon during the Korean War. His book eventually became a movie, TV series, and play. Much loved and probably best well-known was the TV series, starring Alan Alda. The play (by Tim Kelly) features the characters now so famous - Hawkeye, Hot Lips Houlihan, Father Mulcahy, Trapper John, and Frank Burns.

One of the challenges for this production has been recreating Korean War-era barracks and hunting down older uniforms. The show is being directed by NCTC's managing director, Rick Olsen. This is Olsen's directorial debut. As a history buff and U.S. Air Force Retiree, Olsen was a good fit to direct this show.

The cast includes 25 adults, both NCTC veterans and newcomers. Darren Mathews, head of NCTC's Improv group, N.I.T.W.I.T.S., is portraying Hawkeye. JohnPaul Phillips is his buddy, Duke, and Chaz Ferguson is Trapper John. New to NCTC is John Chappell, portraying Col. Henry Blake. Also new to NCTC is Bill Monroe as Capt. Frank Burns. Last seen as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Sam Gentry is Father Mulcahy. NCTC veteran actor Amy Beachaum is Margaret Houlihan.

Rounding out the cast is Reynolds Allen (Gen. Hammond), Scott Pollak (Cap. Waldowski), Stephen Pye (Ugly), RaShaan Smith (Spearchucker), Jamie French (Sgt. Devine), Christian Pollak (Radar), Brian Walsh (Pvt Lopez), Duck Kingsenamongkhol (Ho-Jon), Judie Hardin (Bridget), Heather Hyde (Janice), Megan Martin (Louise), Sarah Jordan (Nancy), Renee Gentry (Mercy), Brenda Naughton (Ruth), Kristin Owens (Mitzi), Kelsey Gentry (Fritzi), and Ashlee Sims (Agnes).

M*A*S*H will be performed only six times. Opening night is Friday, January 23rd at 8 pm. Performances following are: Saturday, January 23 at 8 pm; Sunday, January 25 at 2:30 pm; Thurday, January 29 at 8 pm; Friday, January 30 at 8 pm; and Saturday, January 31 at 8 pm.

Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. Reservations can be made by calling the theatre at (770) 683-6282. You can purchase tickets in advance by visiting their website at Newnan Community Theatre Company is located at 24 First Avenue in downtown Newnan.
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