College News

Back County Crimes

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11.11.2008Arts & Entertainment

In 2005, Central Carolina Community College theatre students and instructor Ellen Bland received the NC State award for Community Theatre for their year-long grassroots production, Millworker, which began in a make-shift corner of the Chatham Mills building in Pittsboro. Since then, acting students and community theatre participants have continued to produce sell-out shows in the unorthodox “theatre,” including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Dreamland,” and last fall’s “We Regret to Inform You.”

November 20, 21, & 22 at 8:00 p.m. Central Carolina Community College acting students and community guests will return to the rustic stage to present the quirky play, “Back County Crimes,” by Lanie Robertson ( by arrangement with Samuel French Publishing).

Samuel French Publishing describes the play as "similar in structure to Our Town, it's life--and in this case--crime and death--in a small town, tied together with a running commentary by the town's sole physician of many years. The author has a savvy sense of black comedy, all utilized in weaving a series of sordid tales of backwoods murder" (and other crimes).

Each of the vignettes recounting the crimes begins with the line, "I never meant to do no evil thing," and is either "compelling or caustically comic."

This fall semester the acting class is comprised of students aged 16-75, including local musician Marie Vanderbeck, Siler City businessman Charles Johnson, CCCC early childhood instructor Sue Boyd ; equerry Yvon Chaigneau and hospital administrator Susie Whorley of Chapel Hill;Chatham county students Victoria Cox, Nick Jabbour, Michael McCurdy, Harry Moss, Kailie Batsche, and Millworker actor Tom Honeycutt; and advanced acting student Layton Sheppard from Sanford, who plays numerous roles.

As usual, community performers and artists will be joining the students, including community theatre mainstays Dr. Jim Schwankl as the town doctor and Pam Smith in a cameo role as the town's “floozie.” Millworker co-author Drew Lasater is assistant stage manager, local artist Jeff Gannon is designing the set, and local drummer Eric Davis is providing the lighting. Chatham county bluegrass musicans Joe Snipes and Lanelle Davis will perform preshow and transitional music to enhance the setting and mood.

Tickets are $8, available at CCCC or Chatham Marketplace, also located at Chatham Mills at 480 Hillsborough St. This is not a show for children: no children under 13 will be admitted. Patrons should dress warmly (think football game) and arrive early for optimal seating, as seating is limited.

For more information contact:
Ellen Bland