Amherst Comedy Troupe gets set for a play about senior living
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
From left - Barb Sharples, Mark Raddin and Ron Rayworth have been rehearsing the play “A Bench in the Sun” for six weeks.
AMHERST - Life doesn’t end when you’re a senior citizen, for some it should be a sign telling you to reinvigorate your life.
In a new play called “A Bench in the Sun” written by Ron Clark and performed by Amherst Comedy Troupe members Mark Raddin, Ron Rayworth and Barb Sharples the underlying message is how to bring excitement back to one’s life at that age.
Without giving too much away artistic director and actor Raddin describes the play as a fun comedy that will get you thinking about senior living.
“The basic theme of the play is that the senior citizens deserve a better life than what they’re getting in the homes.”
One of the lines in the play sums it up best, Raddin said.
“They do everything to keep you alive but nothing to keep you living.”
The play is about a young at heart, retired actress played by Sharples who visits a seniors home to breathe life into the place. She begins to flirt with the two male characters, Burt, played by Raddin, who is preoccupied with how much time he has left and Herald, played by Rayworth, who is focused too much on his past and can’t move on.
At points in the play Sharple’s character gets the men doing things they otherwise wouldn’t, like taking a trip to Casino New Brunswick or hosting a dance. As she begins to make progress, the home is sold and they have little choice but to relocate to a new location.
For Raddin this is the first time in a long time that he’s had a large role and has taken the opportunity to direct the play as well. He’s enjoying every minute of the experience.
Having been friends from way back, they’ve worked together on countless plays. However, this is the first time the three of them alone have worked on a play together.
Rayworth couldn’t be more excited to be on stage with a couple friends.
“I think it’s great being on stage with these two professionals. They’re not only professionals in acting but in the musical field they’re just astronomically these two.”
Sharples in particular is looking forward to returning to the stage after being absent for a couple years.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
For six weeks now they’ve been rehearsing the same lines over and over in preparation for the big show starting tonight.
“It’s crunch time now,” Raddin said.
It’s all about having fun but it also helps finance the company from production to production, he said.
“We’re not getting rich here, this isn’t Hollywood.”
The play will run for four nights at the Scotia Room at the Wandlyn Inn beginning this Friday and Saturday and again on June 28 to 29.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the play starts at 8 p.m.
For information or tickets call 667-3331.