The inaugural production of the Old Bluff Theatre Company will be an original. The company is bringing to the stage of the Sampson Community Theatre an original play written by Justin Lockamy and directed by his wife, Lucy Lockamy.
Lucy Lockamy is the producer behind the newly organized theatre company. She has her Masters of Fine Arts in acting from the University of Nebraska. Justin studied play writing in his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prior to law school and has written several plays in the past that have been produced locally as well as in California.
Audition for the play “Dragons in the Path” are scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Small House, 709 College St., Clinton.
The play, written by Justin Lockamy, is based on a book by Dr. Victor Small entitled, “I Knew 3,000 Lunatics,” and takes place at a mental hospital in the early 1930s. Doctors and patients wrestle with disease, a changing institution, and occasionally each other in this lively, character -driven work. The roles are diverse, the director said, urging all those interested in theater to come out and audition for a part.
Auditions, she said, will involve cold reading of the script (no monologues required).
“If anyone would like a copy of the script in advance, please email me at email@example.com,” expressed Lockamy.
Rehearsals will begin Aug. 13, with performances scheduled for Sept. 14- 16, at the community theater on Fayetteville Street.
“Most of the rehearsals will be held at the Small House. I think it is most fitting that we hold the auditions and the rehearsals at the home of Dr. Small. Any time you visit the Small House, you have a sense of a special closeness to Dr. Small, and since the play is based on his novel, what better place to prepare to tell his story?” asserted Lockamy.
The production is actually co-produced by the Sampson Arts Council and the Old Bluff Theatre Company.
Lockamy received a grant to produce this play and is excited to be able bring to the stage a local story, written by a local playwright and involving local actors. The play is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, with additional funding from local arts councils in Cumberland, Moore, New Hanover and Robeson counties.
According to Lockamy, Dr. Small worked at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh for five years prior to coming to Clinton and had also worked in a large mental hospital in Ohio prior to that. His book was based on his experiences of those years spent serving the mentally ill and some of the issues that arose, some, admittedly, that were humorous.
“Although ‘Dragons in the Path’ is an adult-themed play, it is a drama that includes some humor. The story is reminiscent of what many of us experience in our real lives daily. Older teenagers and adults should find the play enjoyable,” remarked the director.
A cast of six men and six women are needed for the major characters and about five extras with no speaking parts will be needed to serve as nurses, patients and assorted staff members.
The play will be set in the 1930s and will feature scenes from a mental hospital of that time period.
“We are hoping that we will have several talented local actors that will audition for this play. It will be a great production of something that was written by a local author and someone that loved this community as Dr. Small had for Clinton and this area. Because of his great love for the arts we are so fortunate to have the Small House and a permanent location for the Sampson Arts Council. Anyone interested please come on Sunday and be a part of this great opportunity,” cited Lockamy.
The play will be staged Friday through Sunday at the Sampson Community Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices will be $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students.