Richmond Hill Community Theatre rings in 2017 with "Growing," a comedy by Steve Mason.
Mason is also directing the production, which is being staged at Life Moves Dance Studios, Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5. Tickets are on sale now.
In the play, Daniel and Jennifer thought their first chance encounter would be just that. However, when the unexpected happens, and they are reunited, they must begin making choices that will affect their lives forever. Set in present day Atlanta, "Growing" takes a nine-month look at how two families become one, and how bringing a baby into the world, can both divide and unite those families.
"Growing" is a sit-com style comedy inspired by stories told to the playwright by friends and family whose marriages and pregnancies created challenges, both large and small. In a world where no two families look alike, the tagline to the play, "every family has to start somewhere," holds true.
"As a military spouse, I have a lot of friends that tell me about their pregnancies, and come to me when things aren’t going as planned," Mason said. "When I was asked to write about something by one of these friends, her current situation with her mother-in-law just seemed perfect for some comedic relief. Later, I saw that other stories from other pregnancies just fit, and ‘Growing’ was born."
"My wife and I don’t have children," Mason said. "We tried for years, but it never happened, and with no good explanation. "Because of our infertility, ‘Growing’ became a labor of love. It encouraged me in times of sorrow, helped me laugh in times of struggle and, at times, was a healing force from the realities of infertility and rejection. It’s like my own child, in a lot of ways."
Ashlee Farris, assistant director and president of the troupe’s board of directors, said, "We chose to bring ‘Growing’ to life because Steve’s play resonated with us. Those of us with children could see ourselves in these situations. He captured, in comedic form, something that definitely runs the gamut of emotions. Plus, bringing a world premiere to the Richmond Hill community fosters new art and lends to our mission as a community theatre."
Mason has performed in various shows at the Fort Lee theater in Virginia, and at other locations throughout Florida. His one-act play, "The Final Fifteen," was performed at the 2015 Tampa Theater Festival.
"Growing" is his first full length production.
In "Growing," Mason also stars as Daniel, alongside Emily McMullan as Jennifer. Other cast members are Allen Edwards as Jennifer’s best friend Alex, Catherine Simmons as Jennifer’s sister Jill, and Leigh Payne as Daniel’s mother, Ms. Madison. The production team includes Kelly Loomis (producer) Fran Dearman (design), Amanda Barker (lighting and sound design), Silvia Slutsky (props master) and James Faurote (dramaturg).
Show times will be 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25 and March 3-4 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 and March 5.
Life Moves Dance Studio is at 11260 Ford Ave., Richmond Hill.
Tickets cost $10, $8 for military, students and seniors, and are available at www.richmondhilltheatre.eventbrite.com