More than 300 enjoy SKITS spring play

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Mr. Albert Webster, the town banker (played by Anne Hoffman) tries to intimidate local womenfolk and gossipers Della Tisdale (Kathy Patterson), left, Caroline Pickens (Liz Stevenson), and Beverly Hall (Barb Van Dusen), during a scene of “The Groom Has Cold Feet,” SKITS’ spring production. Julia Kilmer/

Murder suspect narrowed down after 'groom gets cold feet'

Shell Knob in the Spotlight (SKITS), a local theatre group in production since 2013, served up its 10th performance in its spring production, "The Groom Has Cold Feet," Friday through Sunday, a whodunit murder mystery that kept audience members' attention from the curtain call.

With a cast of 15, the plot is set in an 1890s western town, and takes off when greedy businessman Albert Webster turns up murdered on the morning of his wedding.

SKITS character single farmer Harley Stuber (played by Travis Phillips), asks Mabel Mayfield (played by Karin Stanley) where he can buy a wife in town before noon. Julia Kilmer/

Due to his lack of mercy with local residents who are indebted to him for property, or due to the romantic rants of his slighted ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend of the bride, a lonely bachelor, and other individuals' motives, Webster had-it-coming so many with vendettas are suspected and must be narrowed down one-by-one by Sheriff Tickle and his over-eager sidekick and daughter, Sarah Tickle.

Near the end of the production, audience members were given the opportunity to cast their vote on who the murderer was.

Homemade snacks were provided by the United Methodist Women of the Central United Methodist Church, where the venue took place in Shell Knob, with proceeds going toward the Shell Knob Library reading program.

Courtney Sturm, left, practices her lines shortly before the Shell Knob in the Spotlight (SKITS) spring production began Sunday afternoon. Kim Przybyl stands by for support. The theatre group made up of community members wowed audiences again with their production, The Groom Has Cold Feet, April 27-29 in Shell Knob. Julia Kilmer/

"We are pleased to present our 10th performance and bring the arts through community theater to the Shell Knob area," said Barb Van Dusen, SKITS president. "Our goal is to make people laugh and have a fun time while involving local folks in the process."

"This is truly a community event," emcee Courtney Sturm said to the audience, thanking local sponsors as she prefaced the production and inviting the community to become involved in future productions of SKITS.

"Five out of seven board members act and are in this production," said Van Dusen, who played one of the town gossipers, Beverly Hall. "The other two are stage managers."

Cast and crew included: Sue Ramonette, director and props; Patty Ellison, stage manager; Twilia Harrison and Courtney Sturm, emcees; Liz Stevenson, costumes; Heather Andres, makeup; Paul Ramonette, Marvin Peterson and Rob Utter, lights/sound/video; Bob Van Dusen, engineer; Gloria Wattam, Becky Pim and Sue Ramonette, set; Barb Van Dusen, Susy Taylor, Sandy Schulz, Oleta Smeltzer, Patty Herbert and Keith Espinosa, PR, Front of House/Tickets; Kim Przybyl, graphics.

The SKITS Board of Directors includes: Barb Van Dusen, president; Kim Przybyl, first vice president; Patty Ellison, second vice president; Sue Ramonette, treasurer; Karin Stanley, secretary and Liz Stevenson and Don Herbert, members at large.

For the stage assembly and breakdown, thanks was extended to: Sue & Paul Ramonette, Mike Flandrena, Bob Van Dusen, Don Hebert, Ernie Wattam, Anyssa Wright, Marvin Patterson, Jim Pim, Jerry Patak, Travis Phillips, LUC Boys, Patty Ellison, Bob Miller and Bob Stevenson.

For more information about SKITS or to get involved in acting or production, visit them at, on Facebook, or call 417-858-9590. No acting experience is necessary.

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