Archived Story

Barn Swallow cast gets down to business

Published 2:10pm Sunday, June 13, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Cassopolis Vigilant

It took the Barn Swallow Theatre group until the beginning of May to get its lead actor for its production of “Fools,” which opens Friday.
But according to Alan Sawyer, the director of the play, it was worth the wait for Branden Pompey, who became available for the role after his semester at Grand Valley State University came to an end.
Pompey, a Dowagiac native, has performed in many community theater performances and even directed a production of “Uninvited” at Beckwith Theatre in Dowagiac last year.
Sawyer says Pompey has impeccable comedic timing and even does some stand-up comedy in his spare time.
“Every character is funny and talented,” Sawyer said. “They all do the little things while they’re acting to enhance the production.”
It’s also an experienced group with some cast members veterans of Swallow Theatre since its inception 26 years ago.
Sawyer said it’s a good thing they are experienced, because the group got a late start.
“We had trouble casting the play in April, because other theater companies were doing plays while we were casting,” he said. “We had to go to the highways to tell people about it.”
But Sawyer is very comfortable with his cast of 10, who range in age from 14 to 81, and he says it will be a hilarious show.
“There is no lull in this play,” he said. “They’ll laugh the whole play through.”
“Fools” follows the story of a young teacher named Leon (played by Pompey), who accepts a teaching position in a remote village in Russia. When he gets there, he find outs the town has been cursed with stupidity.
“And the girl he has been hired to tutor is the most stupid of the lot,” Sawyer said.
But after meeting Sophia (played by Denise Green), he falls in love and decides he needs to break the curse over the village before he too falls into the curse.
“It’s kind of frivolous and farcical,” Sawyer said. “It’s just quip after quip after quip.”
Performances are slated for June 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at Edwardsburg Middle School. Performance are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights with Sunday matinees at 4 p.m. Call (269) 370-1555 to reserve tickets, which are $10 or $7 for children and seniors.

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