Buchanan director’s debut at Beckwith

Published 4:35 pm Friday, February 18, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
A rambunctious physical comedy about a feud, "Rest Assured," marks the Beckwith Theatre directing debut of actress Toni Mayberry of Buchanan.
Mayberry, who has directed at Buchanan's Tin Shop and at Barn Swallow Theatre in Cassopolis, is no stranger to Donald Payton's three-act play opening Friday, Feb. 18.
She directed a production of it at Brandywine Junior/Senior High School some years ago.
Gary Hood's Mr. Morlock is a hyper, grouchy, stress pain-wracked money worshipper who recoils at the thought of his daughter Mary (Jessica Bailey-Blank) marrying Joe Lanconi (Thomas Bailey) because he's the poor son of meat cutter Luigi (Will Biek of Mishawaka, Ind., who played Mr. Morlock in high school).
Luigi calls on Morlock to plead his son's case. The two men start feuding. Morlock says if Mary weds Joe, it will be over his dead body! Luigi says if they don't get married, it will be over his. When Luigi suffers a heart attack, their rift seems moot, until Luigi receives permission from "up there" to hang around and haunt Morlock as a ghost until he relents and gives the couple his blessing.
Jared Stroup of Dowagiac assists Mayberry with direction. Jay Mayberry is technical director.
The cast for the first production in the Beckwith's 16th season of community theater also features Stephanie Biek of Mishawaka, Trina Ramos of Niles, Franklin Ward of Dowagiac, Stephanie and Tim Skinner of Dowagiac, Pat Sanders of Edwardsburg, Aislinn Frantz of Dowagiac, Colleen Gentry of South Bend, Ind., Alex Taylor of Edwardsburg and Tyler Hall, a Central Middle School eighth grader. Biek appeared in "The Nerd" at the Beckwith last year and has performed in plays at Southwestern Michigan College.
Hood, a student at SMC, has performed at the Beckwith and at the college, where he'll be part of the children's theater play next month.
Performances of "Rest Assured" will be staged Feb. 18, 19, 25 and 26 and March 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m.
Reservations can be made by calling the Beckwith box office at 782-ROLE (7653). Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens 62 and older and $5 for students.