Theatre Workshop of Owensboro is reviving its first-ever production. TWO first presented the comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner” in 1955, and they’re bringing it back for two weekends in December.
began in 1955 the momentum from that show would carry them into 60 seasons. To pay tribute to the special season, they are reviving the inaugural show this holiday season.
TWO Executive Director Todd Reynolds said that while the show is slightly dated — being set in the 1930s — they wanted to bring back a quality show with well-rounded characters.
“This show continues on and it’s so darn good. It’s so funny. The characters are so brilliantly written, and some of them are actually based on real people. So that makes it really cool,” he said.
Reynolds said each of the 30 characters re-energizes the whole scene when they enter. Even after watching it over 2 dozen times, Reynolds still finds himself enjoying the show like it’s their first read-through.
The story takes place just before Christmas and follows Sheridan Whiteside, who has been invited to dine at the house of Ernest W. Stanley and his family. Whiteside is injured and causes inconveniences while confined to the house while he recovers. W
Reynolds said while he’s excited about the show, the bigger picture is how TWO — for 60 seasons — has presented opportunities for the community to engage with one another through theatre.
“It’s all about carving out those opportunities for people to be a part of something that elevates their sense of wellbeing and helps to promote empathy,” Reynolds said. “When you’re on stage, you put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, that’s what it’s all about.”
Karen Feldhaus, a theatre teacher at Daviess County High School who plays Harriet Stanley in the show, said this is like a homecoming. She had been involved in TWO for years prior to COVID and stepped back into the fold in 2021.
“Being able to reconnect with this group was wonderful for my overall mental wellbeing. It gave me something to do that I really enjoyed, gave me some people that felt like I could grow in a community with outside of people at work or students, and genuinely find connections that I would not have been able to otherwise,” Feldhaus said.
For others involved, TWO provides a chance to step away from the seriousness of life and enjoy a comedy or a fun story to tell. Scott Norris, who plays Beverly Carlton, has been involved with TWO since 1999.
“My job is demanding, and it’s nice to be able to do something that I enjoy and want to do and am glad to be able to be a part of,” Norris said.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” will run for two weekends at The Empress Theatre on 4th and Frederica streets. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on December 8-9 and 15-16, with matinee shows at 2 p.m. on December 10 and 17.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling 270-683-5333 or clicking here.