Robert W. Komendera, director of Michigan City’s Footlight Players’ “Doublewide, Texas Christmas,” knew he had a hit on his hands at their first reading of the quirky comedy last year.
"It took us almost three hours to read a show that lasts less than two hours because we were laughing so hard," he said. “It was a definite choice. We read 41 shows last year, and this was the only one that we said was going to be on the schedule."
Opening Dec. 7 and running through Dec.14, “Doublewide” follows the townsfolk of the namesake, trailer park-heavy small town, which boasts a population of 10 residents, who are in a battle to save their community from the clutches of outside forces.
“Doublewide” was penned by the trio Nicholas Hope, Jessie Jones and Jamie Wooten, whose comedies have proven hits for Footlight Players, as well as Hammond’s Beatniks on Conkey, over the years.
Komendera’s relationship with the trio goes back more than a decade, starting with a Footlight production of “Dearly Departed,” which was penned solely by Hope. Since then, Footlight has staged more than a half dozen Hope, Jones and Wooten plays, including “Christmas Belles,” “The Savannah Sipping Society” and “Dashing Through the Snow.”
"It's southern humor, but I think that it plays anywhere,” Komendera said of the trio’s works. “And the characters might seem to be overblown or characteristic, but they all have such heart, and you really get to like the people."
Komendera assembled a cast of more than a half dozen area thesps to bring “Doublewide” to the stage.
"Everyone in the play reading read it, and nobody didn’t want to do it,” Komendera said. "We're having so much fun. We're laughing every night at rehearsals."
Next up for Footlight Players is a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” scheduled to open March 1.
WHAT: “Doublewide, Texas Christmas”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 13-15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16
WHERE: Footlight Theatre, 1705 Franklin St., Michigan City
HOW MUCH: $15, $10 children 12 and under and for the Dec. 13 performance
FYI: (219) 874-4035, FOOTLIGHTPLAYERS.ORG