SKITS play opens Friday in Shell Knob

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Members of Shell Knob in the Spotlight show off their costumes for "Mind Over Manor," a play the group will put on beginning Friday. Those pictured include, front row, from left: Eileen Ploss, Karin Stanley, Kathie Vice and Barb Van Dusen. Back Row: Sherri Lewis, Susan Ramonette, Rob Holmberg, Merri Magula, Bob Van Dusen and Connie Figgins. Contributed photo

Local thespians have fun with comedic drama

Rehearsals are underway for the fourth and newest play produced by Shell Knob in the Spotlight (SKITS).

The production, entitled "Mind over Manor," is a comedic drama, according to Barb Van Dusen, vice president and spokesperson of SKITS.

"The play centers around Jasmine Winters, who is determined to claim her rightful ownership to Summer Meadows Manor, a beautiful mansion," Van Dusen said. "She hires private investigator, Chester Banks, to look into the backgrounds of the manor's current owner, Opal Summers, and the other ragtag tenants. Jasmine and Chester arrive at Summer Meadows, looking for the owner. What they meet is a collection of people who are, at the very least, eccentric.

"When Jasmine starts to question them fiercely, the residents start to question her motive. Then, Jasmine goes missing. At one point during the production, the play will stop and the audience will get a chance to guess whodunit, with a prize awarded to one winner."

The play will be performed at the United Methodist Church in Shell Knob on Highways 39 and YY. Play dates are: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., May 15 and 16 at 7 p.m., and May 17 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $7 in advance or $9 at the door and can be purchased in Shell Knob at the Central Crossing Senior Center, the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce, Treasures Now & Then, Service #1 Credit Union and the United Methodist Church. Group and company discounts are available.

Van Dusen said she is excited for the productions to start and anticipates a strong turnout. This will be SKITS' fourth production and plays are typically held twice year, in the spring and fall. For the previous production, they only performed one weekend, but had over 100 in attendance at the shows. Van Dusen said this time, they are performing two weekends to allow everyone the opportunity to see the production.

"We've had a great response from the community," she said.

According to Van Dusen, the idea for the plays were initiated by Jim Robinson, a native of California with a background in theater. Van Dusen said the actors are all made up of local amateur actors, and Robinson invites anyone who has an interest in theater or wants to be involved in various aspects of production such as acting, makeup, costumes, singing or other areas to inquire.

Financial assistance for the project was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

"We make just enough money for each production," Van Dusen said. "We have a little left over for stage, lighting and sound. It takes nearly $2,000 to put together each production. We are a non-for-profit agency and get a grant through the through Missouri Arts Council.

"I am very excited because we have worked very hard to learn our lines, get our costumes right, and we're looking forward to sharing this fun production. The first time somebody laughs we'll go, 'Yes, we did it.'"

SKITS invites everyone to enjoy and support the local community theater.

"We'll look forward to seeing you as the curtain rises," Van Dusen said.

For more information, people may call Van Dusen at 417-858-9590, or find SKITS on Facebook at SKITS Community Theater, or www.shellknobspotlight.com.

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