The Member of the Wedding Press Release

The Member of the Wedding Not Married to Traditional Interpretation in the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis

Memphis, TNThe Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers will ceremoniously take over the Next Stage at Theatre September 19 – October 5, 2014, as the first production in the 100-seat black box space for the current season. An American classic, this story is funny as it is touching and heart-warming, Frankie, a 12-year-old tomboy, is coming of age in a small Southern town in the 1940s.  She is a troubled adolescent who dreams of escape from her seemingly hopeless environment and is befriended by her loving confidante housekeeper and younger cousin. A plot that has timeless relevance, it is a mid-century look at attitudes on racial and sexual identity that has lessons that can be applied to society today.   Director Irene Crist has assembled a cast that has come together to perform what is conceivably a period piece with modern day messages. She says, “It has been both interesting and horrifying to be working on The Member of the Wedding during this turbulent time in our nation's civil rights history. Our play takes place when civil rights were but a whisper in the community and I want the cast and audiences to understand what strength it took  - takes - to be grounded in one’s belief.”  Leading the cast is Judi Gray as Berenice Sadie Brown and Lauren Ledger as the freedom– and love- seeking child, Frankie Adams. Holden Guibao who recently appeared as Winthrop in TM’s The Music Man plays the young cousin, John Henry West. Other cast members are Paul Webb, Joseph Prestigiacomo, Taylor Wood, Chris Wilson, Delvyn Brown, Thomas King, Leigh Ann Evans, Baylee Thielemier, Hannah Newsom and Thymia Rogers.   Crist reveals, “The play has the power to shock an audience in the way it suddenly depicts wounds in friendships that will likely never heal. The old ways versus the new ways and the thinly veiled, if veiled at all, racism of the late 40s and early 50s are themes that McCullers visits in this epically beautiful tale of one's search for belonging.” Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says the importance of mounting such a strong story is about the message as well as the opportunity. “As a community theatre, Theatre Memphis constantly looks for scripts that will ignite a conversation or bring to light a broader face of our community. The issues addressed in The Member of the Wedding can be related to events currently facing our city and nation and we feel a thoughtful presentation of this show to be absolutely timely and appropriate.” ### 

 TITLE: The Member of the Wedding 

 WRITTEN  BY: Carson McCullers 

 DIRECTOR: Irene Crist 

 VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis in the Next Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: September 19 – October 5, 2014 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays

 TICKETS: $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 SPONSORED BY: Gene and Sandra Cochran 

 MEDIA SPONSORs:  WKNO 91.1FM and  The Best Times

Posted by Randall Hartzog at 4:33 PM
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