Item #1: Crate Expectations

Well, loyal followers, here we are…the big day has arrived and we here at The@trics could not be more excited! Tonight thrifTheatre will be drawing back the curtains on all 10 of our new plays…but first, we have one more item, so HERE! IT! IS!

thrifTheatre item: Large PetMate Vari-Kennel plastic dog crate

  • Inspired the play “Prom Night,” written by Shanee Edwards
  • Directed by Tiffany Antone and Clint Slay, with Clint Slay, Melody Startzell, and Marnie Uhl

This awesome thing was sitting right inside the door of the CCJ Thrift Shop one day as I made my 2nd thrifTheatre sweep…and I knew we had to have it. I immediately grabbed it and actually lugged it around the store with me as I looked for more items, because, yes, I was that paranoid that someone else would come in and want it. It was just one of those gut feelings…

Then, after unsuccessfully trying to pawn off a digital scale to playwright Shanee Edwards, we mentioned we had a large dog kennel – and it was a match made in heaven. From there, I’ll let Shanee explain it herself:

A play about a crate. That was the task. My first question was, will a human fit in it? During my last jaunt to Prescott, I decided to see for myself. Yes, that’s me inside.

So now that I had proof a smallish person (perhaps a teenage girl?) could fit inside, I needed a why. I knew that the person inside the crate was there by choice. Yes, she put herself there to protect herself from something. But, what?

Much has been said about the “wired” generation – teens who’ve grown up with digital everything, never knowing what life was like before cell phones. Their brains behave differently than ours. They have greater confidence and higher expectations. I would too, if I grew up believing there was an App for all my problems…

But I wanted to entertain the idea of a girl who thinks it’s all too much. A girl whose mind is overwhelmed by society’s expectations of how she’ll spend her money, time, brain cells. A girl who just wants to listen to her heart, not her iPod.

And so I present my play “Prom Night,” directed with inspiration by the fabulous Tiffany Antone. How lucky am I? I hope you enjoy it.

Now – we all very happy that our audiences are going to get to enjoy it…because for a quick second, it looked like that wasn’t going to be an option. Just last Friday, we lost two of our actors that were supposed to be in “Prom Night.” For a little while, Tiffany and I were afraid we were going to have to pull the show. However, the director we had lined up, Clint Slay, happened to be able to step in – and look young enough to convincingly play Dean, a high schooler; Marnie Uhl stuck it out the cast changes and is a hilarious Mrs. Butkovich; and Melody Startzell jumped into the crate as Miley and has blown our theatrical minds by getting off book in a little over 50 hours and totally saving the day! Tiffany has amazingly teamed up with Clint (since he’s onstage now) to make “Prom Night” happen – and, like what happens when Shanee puts her mind to comedy, it’s a riot!

Now the countdown may be done, but it is not too late to get tickets! As always, hop on over to Brown Paper Tickets to get them online, buzz over to the CCJ Thrift Shop to get them in person, or get them tonight at the door starting at 7:00pm at First Congregational Church at 216 East Gurley Street (at Alarcon)!

Be sure to check back on the blog tomorrow for our opening night impressions, a post about the items we didn’t use in this round of thrifTheatre, and more information about our fantastic sponsors – Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group and the Puffin Foundation!

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Item #2: Pitch Perfect

Can you believe thrifTheatre opens tomorrow?! I certainly can’t…but after the tech rehearsals the past two nights, I have to say we have a stellar show with a LOT of stellar people involved. Speaking of stellar, the penultimate thrifTheatre item is quite out of this world –

thrifTheatre item: Antique two-pronged pitchfork

  • Inspired the play “American Gothic,” written by Charlotte Winters
  • Directed by Cason Murphy, with Sean Jeralds, Sarah Lemcke, Matt Montgomery, Karen Murphy, and Clint Slay

Now, I don’t know if this violates some ancient thrifTheatre tome – we here at the The@trics Historical Divison are looking into it – but this item has…(cue dramatic music)…actually already been onstage. Yes, back in the early part of 2012 after we had purchased some of the items, the Prescott Center for the Arts did a production of The 39 Steps, a silly piece of theatre based on an Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. I was cast alongside the ever-awesome Sean Jeralds (who plays Pa in today’s play “American Gothic”) by Linda Miller (our lovely director of the say-this-name-five-times-fast thrifTheatre piece “Please Knock if Amritsar is Not Required”) and when time came to play the Scottish crofter John McTyte, our prop folks started looking for an antique pitchfork…well, you can all see where this is going.

However, Charlotte Winters got her hands on the pitchfork and sent us back “American Gothic” and there was no way we could pass this one up. This is the latest in Charlotte putting her own unique spin on classic pieces of art, which started with a piece in Little Black Dress INK’s Dirty Laundry Female Playwrights Festival titled “Mona Lisa Approximately” in which two sophisticated (and randy) patrons examine Da Vinci’s masterpiece, which inspires…interesting responses from them.

But “American Gothic” imagines the famous Ma (Karen Murphy) and Pa (Sean Jeralds) in Grant Wood’s seminal piece as sentient (although still fictional)…and Ma is keen to skip out on the farmhouse and find some more excitement. Her escape plans are thwarted in various ways, not only by Pa, but plucky teenager Cassidy (Sarah Lemcke), art school student Skyler (Clint Slay), and Gallery 263’s seemingly-inept security guard Clarence (Matt Montgomery). Ma, and all the others, learn some lessons about themselve along the way, experience some new exciting things, rekindle dulled passions, air out some secrets, build some new friendships – and most importantly, just make us all laugh.

So be sure to come join in the fun – don’t make Pa come after you with his pitchfork! While we may not be able to tell you where his other prong went, we can promise you that you are going to have a BLAST at thrifTheatre. Nab your tickets while you can – online here at Brown Paper Tickets, in person at the CCJ Thrift Shop, or at the door at First Congregational Church (at the door, tickets will be $15 and $10 for students with valid I.D.’s…or if they look like they aren’t old enough to carouse on the weekends). See you soon!


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Item #3: Wading for Godot

Today’s item has the possibility of making a big splash…so, let’s hop on in because, believe you me, the water’s fine –

thrifTheatre item: Yellow plastic fishing waders

  • Inspired the play “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” written by Melanie Ewbank
  • Directed by Jon Meyer, with Sal Castricone, Kimberly Dana, Matt Osvog, and David Perez

It isn’t all that often that you find waders at a thrift shop…it isn’t all that often that you find waders in any store, so when we spotted these babies, we had to have them. When we handed them off to Melanie Ewbank, we knew that if anyone could make theatre magic with them, she could. I mean, she just recently nabbed the Knoxville Writer’s Guild Award for Best One-Act Play/Script, so…yeah, she’s a big deal. However, before you think we’re just fishing for compliments, let’s talk about her thrifTheatre play.

In “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” George (Sal Castricone) is engaged in a battle with the orderlies (Matt Osvog and David Perez) at his adult care facility over…what else, the “contraband” waders he managed to sneak in to “go fishing.” However, George’s physician Dr. Marshall (Kimberly Dana) has a unique solution to the unique problem. With a heartfelt twist, “Hook, Line, and Sinker” charmed us – and we’re sure you’ll be…well, hooked!

So, spare the rod and spoil someone with tickets to thrifTheatre to see this wonderful play, amidst nine other amazing shows! If you decide to take the bait, you can get tickets here at Brown Paper Tickets, in person at the CCJ Thrift Shop on Goodwin, or at the door at First Congregational Church on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before performances! Be sure to check out the The@trics Facebook for discount ticket codes to save!

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Item #4: Wooden it be Nice…

Welcome back to the thrifTheatre item countdown! If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, head on over to Brown Paper Tickets online or the CCJ Thrift Shop to get them in person. And be sure to keep an eye out for our special deals for Facebook friends, students, and folks on the The@trics mailing list!

Let’s see, for you today, we have…oh no…no, it can’t be…well folks, here we go –

thrifTheatre item: Carved wooden statue of a little boy

  • Inspired the set of monologues “The Five Loves of Little Wooden Boy,” written by Ian Derk
  • Directed by Tiffany Antone, with Georgia Harrington, Julie Harrington, Kate Hawkes, Sarah Lemcke, and Marnie Uhl

So…at first glance of this little wooden boy, we’re sure you’re thinking exactly what we here at The@trics were thinking: “Ummmmm…he’s staring straight into my soul and I feel like I might pass out.”

Yes, there is almost no way around the fact that the little wooden boy is a little creepy. We had many discussions about how worried we were that this gent could only inspire weird plays that we’d never be able to include in thrifTheatre. Our original playwright even gave us back the item, claiming he could write a play about anything else. Ay yi yi…

So, in a desperate Hail Mary, we offered the L.W.B. up to any playwright willing to take on the challenge of writing something about him. We received three submissions – and lo and beholdIan Derk (who had also turned in A New Kind of Poker) had crafted a series of five monologues that showed the statue in a completely different light. Thrilled with The Five Loves of Little Wooden Boy, and realizing this may be the only way we could get anyone to look at the wooden boy without feeling like they were opening the Ark of the Covenant, we made an exception and threw both of Ian’s plays in the mix.

Tiffany took the reins to direct this one in addition to Sue Bee and Dallas and found five wonderful ladies of all ages to fill the roles of the loves of the Little Wooden Boy. Through their memories, we chart the course of the Little Wooden Boy from childhood to old age and find how he made an indelible mark on their lives, and they on his.

The monologues have been split up and unfold over the course of the evening (along with another of our pieces, American Gothic), so you get little doses here and there…which is the best way to enjoy the Little Wooden Boy.

Okay, okay, the Little Wooden Boy isn’t as terrible as I’ve made out. And the more I have read through the five monologues about him, I have learned that you absolutely cannot judge a carved wooden statue by its cover…and the Little Wooden Boy has an important and beautiful story to share with us through the women who saw the beauty in him. Outside is a hard exterior, but inside his heart beats with a very human familiarity. His tale is one of being a stranger in a strange land, and managing to find comfort with five people as he has made his way through. Perhaps we all have a little Little Wooden Boy inside us…and we march on, hoping to make a difference to those that love us.

Even if we do at first appear a little odd.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Hot off the presses, the Prescott Daily Courier has an article about thrifTheatre up on its website! Many, many thanks to Karen Despain for the excellent coverage! And our very own Karen Murphy and Sean Jeralds have a particularly AWESOME picture alongside the column!

Hard copies should be available in the morning, so be sure to keep an eye out for us in the paper! And while you’re at it, be sure to head on over to Brown Paper Tickets to get your tickets online…or stop by the CCJ Thrift Shop and get them in person.

We have all sorts of discounts and specials for tickets, if you know where to look. See our The@trics Facebook page for special offers for our Facebook friends, students can input the code Student on the Brown Paper Tickets site to save, and if you are on the The@trics mailing list, there’s a special code for you too! If you are none of these…well, what exactly are you waiting for?!

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Item #5: Full Satin Jacket

Well, dudes and dudettes, for today’s item in the thrifTheatre countdown, we’re bringing it back old school. So, why don’t you go ahead and put the needle down on your favorite LP, pop open a TaB soda, and prepare to cruise down memory lane with this sweet thang –

thrifTheatre item: Blue satin “Liberty Lanes” bowling jacket

  • Inspired the play “Pretty Lucky,” written by Charissa Menefee
  • Directed by Karen Murphy, with Ian Derk and Julie Harrington

Vintage jackets drive me wild (if you saw Drive and didn’t dream of getting your hands on Ryan Gosling’s pillowed ivory diamond satin scorpion jacket, then…well I just don’t know what to say to you).

Ladies drool over Ryan Gosling…I drool over his jacket. I think all is fair and balanced in the world.

I have been searching Goodwills and thrift stores and the like in vain for a jacket of my own to rival the coolness of some of the satin jackets out there – and of course, when we were buying items for thrifTheatre, one of the elusive things finally rears its beautiful satin-y head. In the initial stages of buying items, we had been steering clear of clothing…but we happily talked ourselves into an exception in this case. And after seeing the play that Charissa returned for the jacket, we knew we’d turned out to be…well, pretty lucky.

Pretty Lucky, the play, is a wonderfully sweet and silly story of formerly down-on-his-luck Steve (Ian Derk). Steve returns from a play festival where they auctioned off the items onstage after the show (sound familiar?) having won an ill-fitting blue satin jacket. Eager to show it off to Celia, his put-upon wife, Steve goes on and on about how his winning of the “lucky” jacket as a sign of a change in their fortunes. Little does Steve know that Celia has a piece of news that proves that their luck has changed…just not in the way Steve had believed.

Celia’s secret and more will be revealed when thrifTheatre starts its run this weekend. Now, we have a few tickets to spare so strike while the iron is hot (okay, enough bowling pins – er…puns) – get them online over at Brown Paper Tickets or in person at the CCJ Thrift Shop at 442 West Goodwin Street in Prescott.

Check the The@trics Facebook for special discount ticket offers for Facebook friends and students (with valid ID), be sure to input the code Student on the Brown Paper Ticket site for a special discount for you!

But in the meantime, all of you stay pretty – pretty lucky


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“Perkin” Things Up at First Congregational Church

We here at The@trics are thrilled that First Congregational Church and their amazing pastor, Jane Cheek, were so willing to allow us to use the stage in their fellowship building, Perkins Hall, for our show. thrifTheatre was conceived to highlight the untold stories of seemingly normal (but secretly AWESOME) everyday items. Little did we know that the building itself we’d be performing in has such an amazing story waiting to be told, too!

As we were touring the space one afternoon, one of our directors, Karen Murphy, stumbled across this picture hanging on the back wall of the hall.

“In memory of – Capt. Robert M. Perkins, 1919-1944, while in active military service.”


Now, if you’ve been around the Prescott area, the Perkins name might be one you might have heard before – especially if you’ve turned onto the main thoroughfare out at Antelope Hills Golf Course. Intrigued, we here at the The@trics History Division did a little further research. Here what the First Congregational Church’s website had to say:

On November 25, 1894, the church purchased two additional lots adjacent to the one on which the building was standing. This constitutes the present property.

Construction of the Parsonage began in 1898 to the East of the existing church building, but within a few years the church structure was moved to the lot where Perkins Hall now stands and the Parsonage moved onto the old church site.

On June 26, 1904 the cornerstone was laid for the present church building and this church, which cost $10,000, was dedicated on October 15, 1905. The church was rebuilt in 1916 at a cost of $3,500 and at that time, the electric reed organ was installed.

Twenty ministers had served the church during the first fifty four years before the Rev. Charles Franklin Parker became pastor in February 1934. In June, 1938, ground was broken for the new Youth Center Building to the North of the Sanctuary. Through the generosity of the Perkins family, the building was completed and named Perkins Hall in memory of Robert M. Perkins, who lost his life in World War II. Perkins Hall was dedicated in 1955.

I’ve grown to love the little stage that sits in Perkins Hall, and am so thrilled that The@trics will be able to bring more theatrical performances to life there in 2013 with our showing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the end of our Shakespeare Workshop in April and our upcoming Pet Plays Festival which will occur in May to benefit the Yavapai Humane Society.

The Perkins funded this building to encourage fellowship and communion between members of the Prescott and Quad-City area community. They did so in loving memory of a son who gave the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to be free to express ourselves however we wish. That is a right we hold very dearly here at The@trics, and we can only hope we are honoring the wishes of the Perkins Family through the fun, intriguing, thought-provoking, local works that we are presenting, in hopes of bringing folks together. As we get closer to next weekend, the stage is certainly being set for that to happen.

So, Robert, this one is for you…


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Item #6: Pillow Talk

And here we are again! Can you believe we are halfway through our countdown already? Well, grab your coffee, strap in, and get ready…because to commemorate our midpoint, we have a doozy of an item for you today –

thrifTheatre item: The “pillow”

  • Inspired the play “Please Knock if Amritsar Not Required,” written by Micki Shelton
  • Directed by Linda Miller, with Julie Harrington, Pam Martin, and Sandy Moss

Okay…we saw this thing sitting in the kids’ section at the CCJ Thrift Shop and KNEW in our theatrical heart of hearts that it was too strange not to make a thrifTheatre appearance. Well, okay, Tiffany balked at first, but I shoved it into our bag and told her to not ask too many questions. When we were looking over the items later, there was a lot of speculation over the particulars of this pillow – some of it trying to decipher the cryptic, grammatically-incorrect, misspelled message drawn on and some of it attempting to determine if this was a weird Noah’s Ark or strange plushy hotel?

But trying to sit there and figure it out is like pondering the great mysteries of the universe…so enough of our armchair play analysis, why not let one of our beloved thrifTheatre writers actually speak for themselves? Playwright Micki Shelton sent this in about her hilarious, bawdy, and all-around awesome piece:

Ah, women. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. At least I hope you can’t. When, this past summer, I received my appointed found object for thrifTheatre, I couldn’t have been happier. (Shhh…I think I got the best one!) And the play that came out of it? Well, here’s a peek at the play, “Please Knock If Amritsar Not Required” from whence it sprung. (I think I have the grammar right on that last sentence.)

The three women are on a road trip. Wendy has spent the day gallivanting through the town’s thrift stores. Charlotte is at her laptop. Eva has just come in from exercising. Soon, the three will go out to dinner. But first, Wendy has returned with her prized purchase—a purchase Charlotte finds, um, odd, to say the least. Thus begins a conversation about attraction, sex, and morality that will keep you, if not the writing on the pillow, in stitches.

And what a cast! Pam Martin portrays a wonderfully reputable Wendy; Sandy Moss is the inimitable Eva; and the wonderful Julie Harrington will make Charlotte last in your memories for weeks to come. 

We here at The@trics couldn’t have said it better ourselves! So, there you have it folks – what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now – either online at Brown Paper Tickets (if you read this before noon, you can still get tickets at a discount with the code 24hour) or head on over to the CCJ Thrift Shop for tickets in person!

The Thrift Shop is closed Sundays, so stop by today if you can’t wait until Monday – otherwise if you go there tomorrow, you might just have to…

…and no, I still haven’t the foggiest what that means exactly.

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24-Hour thrifTheatre Ticket Discount!

Okay, listen, we don’t have much time! We have a 24-hour discount on thrifTheatre tickets if you buy them online here at Brown Paper Tickets! Now, you only have until noon tomorrow (December 8th) to redeem this discount, so here’s how to do it.

First, go to our thrifTheatre ticket page on Brown Paper Tickets.

Second, find the clickable function to “Enter a Password or Discount Code” (pictured below) – click it and enter the code: 24hour 

Third, hit the button saying “Show Available Tickets,” and voilà, you just saved $2.00! Finish your checkout to get the tickets at the discounted price!

Now this code is only good through tomorrow at noon, so hurry, hurry, hurry! The clock is ticking…

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Item #7: Key(board) to Success

And here with are with a very special Friday edition of the thrifTheatre item countdown! Since the countdown will be over by next Friday, things are pretty black or white. This is a one-time-only deal! So if that sounds like music to your ears, prepare yourself for today’s item –

thrifTheatre item: A functional Casio SK-1 mini-keyboard

  • Inspired the play “Dated,” written by Alex Gabaldon
  • Directed by Kate Hawkes, with Kevin Goss and Judy Stahl

I don’t know about you, but I love these mini-keyboards, so when I found a fully functional one in the CCJ Thrift Shop, I snapped it up, sure that it would inspire brilliance. Then, as I was driving home, I started thinking about how much I wanted the keyboard and started having ulterior motives and scouting hiding places…however, I finally acquiesced. And man, I’m glad I did, because Alex Gabaldon came back with a wicked funny piece – “Dated.”

We see the keyboard first, along with a mysterious musician playing along to a pre-programmed beat with his guitar, but he promptly hides in the bushes as Fred (Kevin Goss) and Betty (Judy Stahl) return from…well, a pretty disastrous first date. However, love (and Casio chords) may still be in the air, as it seems that the mysterious musician could just be in on the finale ultimo of the not-quite-yet-over encounter. Will this help Fred and Betty’s date crescendo to success – or will this be the painful coda to the evening?

To find out if Fred, Betty (and Alfredo) make beautiful music together, be sure to get your tickets to find out! We have two very convenient options for you – online here at Brown Paper Tickets, or in person at the CCJ Thrift Shop at 442 West Goodwin Street here in Prescott!

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