A dinner party gone wrong is the premise behind the play opening at the Washington Community Center this weekend. For their 20th anniversary performance, the Harp Players will present “The Nerd,” a show about friendship, love and trust.
The theme of the show is fitting as the Harp Players, a group of seven friends who have formed their own theater group, have been tangling with these themes for years. The friends originally met more than 20 years ago while doing community theater and have since formed their own theater troupe.
Together they choose a show, one person volunteers to both direct and be in the show while the rest make up the supporting cast. This year, Harp member Greg Wiley, who portrayed the nerd, Rick Steadman, was also the director. He said they chose “The Nerd” as their show this year because it was the very first one they ever did together as The Harp Players.
“Because we like this show so much we thought it would be fun to commemorate by doing a show we really enjoy,” he said, explaining that all proceeds gained from the performance go to a charity of their choice. “Not only do we have this great time doing the play, but we also have something to show for it after.”
This year the charity of choice was the Lake Darling Youth Center.
The show revolves around characters Willum Cubbert, an architect, played by Ed Colby, and his tenants, Tansy McGinness, played by Lori Wiley, and Axel Hammond, played by Tom Dawson. Willum decides to entertain new clients, Warnock Waldgrave, played by Mike Tschantz, his wife Clelia Waldgrave, played by Lynn Partridge, and their son Thor Waldgrave, played by Philip Elgin.
Everything moves swimmingly until chaos ensues when Willum’s Vietnam friend Rick Steadman, played by Greg Wiley, arrives and sets the whole dinner party on its ear with his jokes and antics.
Wiley said performing the show every night is most fun because he gets to do it with his friends and people he has known for years.
“We trust each other so much and so everybody just goes out there and feels like they can completely trust everybody and it makes for a better environment for performing, too,” he said.
Wiley said the witty jokes and chemistry between the cast are what make the show so special and why he hopes people come out to support.
“I like this show because it’s just so ridiculous (that) you just abandon all desire for reality and the audience just kind of goes along for the ride,” he said. “There’s no great message in it, it’s just a lot of fun.”
“The Nerd” will be playing at the Washington Community Center March 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Lake Darling Youth Center.