Item #8: This Little Piggy…

For our third installment of our item countdown (drumroll, please), we present to you –

thrifTheatre item: Blue plastic piggy bank

  • Inspired the play “The Cabin Incident,” written by Adam Simon
  • Directed by Don Langford, with Kimberly Dana, Justin Dennis, Paul Epoch, and Fred Lloyd

We found this item so very fascinating. There may be a lot of hams in theatre, but this fella here is quite different. Even though he is not the most ornate piggy bank ever, this little guy is truly unlike any other I’ve seen, with his segregated sections for budgeting your money. In a time when lots of people are thinking long and hard about where and how to spend their money…well, there’s this piggy. And while he isn’t going to market, or money mutual, or IRA, he does have the ability to do something that’s tough right now – and that’s to just…hold on.

And the play he inspired – “The Cabin Incident” – follows the story of a guy who is very much like this pig – holding on…to the past, as tight as he can. The play introduces us to Charlie (Fred Lloyd), his wife, Marnie (Kimberly Dana), and their son, Charlie (Justin Dennis), who have just arrived for a relaxing summer vacation in Charlie’s family summer cabin. The three of them literally come face-to-face with the past when a fellow camper from Charlie’s childhood, Trent (Paul Epoch), shows up – with memories and grievances from long ago, weighing heavy – and his eyes on a certain piece of blue plastic pork…

…but to go any further would give it all away! So if you want to see how it all turns out, be sure to nab your thrifTheatre tickets online over at Brown Paper Tickets or in person over at the CCJ Thrift Shop – at 442 West Goodwin Street here in Prescott. That’s right, we have a new ticket location! So cry wee-wee-wee all the way over to the Thrift Shop, get some tickets, and browse around for unique, interesting, and awesome items like this –

He promises you that, at thrifTheatre, you won’t be…boar‘d!

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New thrifTheatre Ticket Location Added!

Have you gotten your tickets for thrifTheatre yet?!

Well, if you haven’t gotten them through Brown Paper Tickets here (they’re still available – click through!) – or if maybe you prefer the old-fashioned non-digital transaction, fear not! Tickets are now available in person at the CCJ Thrift Shop – located at 442 W. Goodwin Street in Prescott (in the Park Plaza)!

Stop in the Thrift Shop Mondays through Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and get your tickets! They’re still just $15! And while you’re there, check out the amazing items in the Thrift Shop…who knows, you may just find an incredibly unique stocking stuffer or the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop for person!

(I just got a bowling ball there yesterday for $2, so I know what I’ll be doing after thrifTheatre is done! Anyone up for a league team? …anyone?)

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Item #9: More Fun than a Barrel of…

Here’s the second official installment of our official thrifTheatre item countdown – yeah, it’s that official. To shed a little more light on things, we pulled out today’s item –

…unlike the misnomered “poker mat,” we haven’t had ANY idea what to call this thing.

thrifTheatre item: A lamp shaped like a barrel…or, well…a barrel that was turned into a lamp…or some combination of a barrel and a lamp? A Barrelamp. There we go.

  • Inspired the play “Sue Bee and Dallas,” written by Tiffany Antone
  • Directed by Tiffany Antone, with Devon Bonelli and Carly Fonda

Now, if you are seeing a pattern develop, you can see that when Tiffany and I raided the CCJ Thrift Shop, we were drawn to items that seemed to have a life of their own. This bizarre, unique little thing jumped out at us as something that needed to be seen onstage. I mean, it’s a lamp! And a barrel! So, we picked it up (man, it’s heavy!) and off we went…and when we tried it out later, it actually worked! So, this mystical little lamp’s legend grew and grew. It proved to be too mystifying for Tiffany, who claimed the item immediately as her own and set forth on bringing “Sue Bee and Dallas” to life. After we (sadly) lost one of our directors to other commitments, Tiffany put on her directing hat and has played double duty on this piece. And it’s adorable!

While your first look at this lamp wouldn’t necessarily bring to mind “adorable,” that’s the fun and magic of thrifTheatre!

Whereas “A New Kind of Poker” is one of our sillier showings, “Sue Bee and Dallas” is of the sweeter fare. It also employs one of the finest young actresses, Carly Fonda, and one of the finest young actors, Devon Bonelli, that we have here in Prescott. They play the eponymous characters, Sue Bee and Dallas, who take a break from harassing each other and take refuge from a particularly wild thunderstorm in a room of the house where this very lamp resides. And then…well, we can’t tell you that! You have to come see the show. But just take our word for it, that what transpires is sweeter than a barrel full of Twinkies. That’s the expression, isn’t it?

…anyway, to find out just how this lamp helps the two kiddos weather the storm, you’ll have to barrel over to Brown Paper Tickets to get your thrifTheatre tickets and come see!

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Item #10: P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-poker Mat

As promised, here is our official countdown of items that will be seen onstage during the thrifTheatre performances Thursday, December 13 through Saturday, December 15! With 9 days to go, we hedged our bets and decided to start off with a sure winner –

thrifTheatre item – Plastic “Tripoley” card game mat

  • Inspired the play “A New Kind of Poker,” written by Ian Derk
  • Directed by Cason Murphy, with Kevin Goss and Matt Montgomery

So, we here at The@trics have a little confession to make…we completely forgot this mat wasn’t actually for poker. We’ve never played Tripoley, so when we found the mat, we began referring to it in shorthand as a “poker mat.” And, well, we just never stopped. The item had originally been given to a playwright out in Los Angeles, who unfortunately was so busy, he offered the item back up to be written about by someone else. When Ian took up the charge, we never thought to send him the picture, and just gave him the directive: “Write a play about a poker mat…” And did he ever!


But you know…since “A New Kind of Poker” follows the off-the-wall, get-rich-quick scheme of not-so-bright Aaron (Matt Montgomery) and his long-suffering roommate, Barry (Kevin Goss) – maybe this goof just fits. To find out what makes this mat so special and just what exactly this new kind of poker is, be sure to get your tickets for thrifTheatre here and join in the fun!

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So…what is thrifTheatre?

That’s a question I’ve heard a lot lately.

For the answer, we’ll need to go all the way back to early 2011 while I was serving my AmeriCorps term as the Technical Director for the Prescott Center for the Arts. We were in one of our monthly meetings and discussing how all of the AmeriCorps/VISTA sites in the Prescott area could work together to form interesting and unique partnerships. I admit that working at a community theatre, I felt like the odd man out – as our season was set by independent committees, our organizational structure was different from that of the other non-profits that were service sites, the types of partnerships we could form wouldn’t be the traditional sort…you know, the usual laundry list of excuses we all can make sometimes. But then I thought, “Well, jeez, we’re a community theatre, shouldn’t we be putting the community in there somewhere?”

Then it hit me. I thought, “Man, I bet there are some awesome things in thrift stores around here that you could use as props in theatre.” And the lightbulb went off: grab a bunch of items from a thrift store, hand them out to some playwrights, and see what wackiness was returned.

I immediately turned to one of my AmeriCorps buddies and whispered the idea – and by the end of the meeting, he had an idea for a play with a jacket on a coat rack that gets passed along through several different people. And I knew then that somehow, someway, somewhere what was to become thrifTheatre was a go.

Shortly thereafter, Tiffany and I were first formulating ideas for our fledgling theatre-creating machine (which you all now know as The@trics) and the idea evolved right before our very eyes. “What if we auctioned off the items after the play?,” queried Tiffany over a productive meeting over a pound and a half of steamed crab legs. “Yeah!,” I responded. That suggestion underlined a central idea that I hadn’t been able to put my finger on until she asked that simple question: Every thing on stage would be special because it would have a story. A point, which stands for a beautiful metaphor about the items and people around us that have had life outside of our view, illuminated by her simple yet brilliant idea. I knew there was a reason I love collaborating with her!

Oh, and Fun Fact: thrifTheatre was the original name for our company, complete with the bowler hat and two-toned “T” logo.

At the time, we were thinking we would do the thrifTheatre concept a lot – which now we realize is definitely best served as more of a once-in-a-while idea as opposed to framing your entire theatrical output around it. While the two of us are glad we settled on The@trics for our name, those first conversations about reaching out into community-based organizations is something that is infused into the core of everything we do here at The@trics – and for that, we couldn’t be more grateful.

But needless to say, thrifTheatre has been on our mind for a while. And in the meantime the idea has been germinating, just waiting for a reason for The@trics to put it on.

On a whim, earlier this year, I applied for funds for thrifTheatre from the Puffin Foundation. If you haven’t heard of these phenomenal folks, they are a grant-giving group for under-recognized artists and art organizations. Back in June, a letter came bearing great news – The@trics had been selected to receive a Puffin Theater grant for the 2012 cycle. The only caveat was that the festival needed to occur before the end of the calendar year.

The wave of excitement gave way to panic as we looked at our jam-packed calendar. We honed in on December to get in before the deadline because of the faith and fundage the Puffin Foundation was putting into thrifTheatre. Since we were grabbing all of our awesome items from the Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) Thrift Shop here in Prescott, we approached CCJ about being involved. Fresh from their first theatrical stint with Nickeled and Dimed this past February, their fantastic coordinators Michael Dummeyer and Vanessa Silverstein jumped at the chance.

With CCJ on board, Tiffany then contacted our ready and willing playwrights, both here and Los Angeles, and we sent them pictures of the 16 items we’d amassed, including (but not limited to): yellow fishing waders, a large dog kennel, a satin bowling jacket, a mini Casio keyboard, a lamp made out of a small barrel, a plastic poker mat, a blue piggy bank, a pitchfork, the strangest little pillow anyone has ever seen, and a carved wooden little boy. Then in mid-August, we received nearly 20 funny, poignant, intense, brilliant plays which we whittled down to a list of 10. In a countdown to the event next Thursday, we’ll be highlighting each of the final items here on the blog – be sure to check back in each day to get the inside scoop!

While The@trics was working on the production, CCJ co-production work led to securing the First Congregational Church as a space, along with some unique marketing ideas that sprouted forth from initial meetings of the two organizations. Through this, Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group signed on to be the major sponsor of the event. We’re incredibly fortunate for them to have seen this as a worthwhile Quad-City happening (though having one of their anchors, Sandy Moss in one of the shows probably didn’t hurt!).

So, we encourage you to keep checking back here as we count down the days to thrifTheatre with blogs, info about the show, how to bid on the items, and more! Additionally, please be sure to stop by the websites of the major thrifTheatre players – CCJ at; The Puffin Foundation at; and Arizona’s Hometown Radio Group at or or

Oh! And get tickets! They are $15 – and you can nab them by clicking here, or on that button that says “Brown Paper Tickets” in the upper right portion of this page, or the old-fashioned way by calling us at 928-273-3884. If you are trying to find a great holiday gift for that hard-to-shop-for person, we’ve got you covered!

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