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Summon your inner thespian

Article Published: Feb. 3, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

You don't have to be a seasoned thespian to break a leg in May. Just ask Blue Ridge Community Theatre big wig Kathleen Rowell.

She's among those challenging the High Country, especially the uninitiated, to give the stage a try.

All you need is an interest, and "Southern Hospitality" might give you the perfect opportunity to find your inner starlet.

"Blue Ridge Community Theatre (BRCT) started in 1976, and we do two to three plays a year," Rowell said.

Unlike community theaters in other towns, BRCT doesn't have a specific venue.

"We're like the gypsy theater," she laughed. "We always do it somewhere different."

Think Valborg and Farthing on the Appalachian State University campus and the Harvest House.
"It's all volunteers," she said.

And this show provides a lot of opportunities for those volunteers to get stage time.

"We're looking for eight women and five men," Rowell said.

"Southern Hospitality," penned by the Asheville Community Theatre's playwrights in residence (just like past hits "Dearly Departed" or "Dixie Swim Club") is about sisters trying to entice a salsa factory to move to town to save the economy.

"Of course, their well-laid plans have disastrous results, and it's one funny line after another," Rowell said.

And they're funny lines that you could be saying.

"We always have somebody new in a play," she said. "Very rarely does one play to the next have the same cast members."

And this play is perfect for even the busiest of Boonies. "This particular play is done in different scenes with different people," she said.

So, think an easy rehearsal schedule.

"And it's all set in one place, so it's very simple, especially for newcomers, to get used to the set," she said.

And it's not just about showing off. Theater is a social activity. "It's a way of getting to know other people in the community," Rowell said.

And it's fun.

"People just like to get on stage and perform, be silly," she said. "Adults don't get to play much, and this is one way of playing."

Expect the rehearsals to start by the end of February and a curtain in mid-May. Auditionees need not prepare anything in advance, show director Trimella Chaney said.

"As always, we welcome anyone to come read for us and to become involved in the production on some level," she said.

Auditions are Feb. 8 and 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Boone Drug downtown store.

For more information on Blue Ridge Community Theatre, visit

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