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WBC Theatre Dept. to Stage Fool's Paradise


The Williams Baptist College theatre program will close the 2012-2013 season with the British farce Fool's Paradise by Peter Coke. The production is set for Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, at WBC.

"The play is just fun," said Melinda Williams, director of the production. "It is similar to shows like I Love Lucy where seemingly innocent situations suddenly take an odd twist."

The play centers around two women, Jane and Catherine Hayling. Although surrounded by valuable antiques, the ladies live in debt, for the late husband of both ladies, Basil Hayling, left house and property to them, stipulating that they were both to live there but could not sell any of it.

His sister has just left a spray of emeralds in her will. If they prove valuable, all their debts can be paid. Unfortunately, Jane giddily accepts deposits on the emeralds from too many people and can only hold them at bay by inventing a third owner for them - a Senhora Conchita Elvas- whom she then impersonates.

As debts and troubles increase, she even accepts a deposit on Catherine's son, rashly promising his hand in marriage to glamorous and enamored Fiona Renshaw. They all spend some merry moments solving this almost inextricable tangle.

"The play has lots of twists and turns, some physical comedy and a lot of great characters," Williams added.

The cast is led by Seniors Anna Hayden of Conway and Jessica Howington of Pine Bluff, playing Jane and Catherine. "These ladies have great chemistry. They have been on stage together many times," the director stated. Both actors are liberal arts majors with an emphasis on theatre and will graduate in the spring.

"I wanted to do a play that showcased their remarkable talent. I think this one does," Williams said.

"And of course, we need a villain," Williams added. Nick Scarbrough of Batesville will be playing a cunning, greedy antique dealer, Julius Caxton, who tries to swindle the ladies out of their furniture and possessions. "I like to add new faces to the cast. This time it was Nick," the director said.

Other members of the cast include Rose, the maid, played by Christina Graham of Jonesboro; Susan Dawson, played by Ashley Newman of Southhaven, MS; Philip Hayling, Catherine's son, played by Brandt McDonald of Concord; Fiona Renshaw, played by Callison Hopkins of Southhaven; and Brigette Blair, played by Anna Kane of Harrison.

The production is scheduled for April 12 and 13 beginning at 8 p.m. each night in WBC's Old Chapel. Admission will be $1 for students and senior citizens and $3 general admission.

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