Actors all Over

Prince Edward Community Theatre opens its 2024 season this weekend with comedy Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van

There’s a strange kind of double vision on offer at Mount Tabor.

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van tracks an upcoming performance of Hello Dolly by The Neighborhood Actors Summer Fun Rep Theatre. A lack of wing space at the troupe’s playhouse squeezes the production. Much of the play must take place at the rear of a cramped playhouse and in its adjacent parking lot.

Its eerily similar, in other words, to the layout at the diminutive and charming Mount Tabor theatre, where the Prince Edward Community Theatre troupe is putting on a rollicking comedy about what happens backstage as a local theatre troupe rehearses.

Mary Lynn Dobson’s script focuses on the unsung heroes of theatre — the backstage actors who call the show, work the spotlights, sew the costumes, count the tickets and suffer through every flubbed line, forgotten prop and missed cue, over, and over, and over again.

Director Mike Trites said Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van is all about the characters.

“The play is about a ragtag theatre troupe who have artistic conflicts and catastrophes. It’s got some good old belly laughs. In the same way people laugh at the physicality of the Three Stooges, the antics of Lucille Ball, and facial expressions of Jim Carrey, the ten actors — all from the County — have a collective comic brilliance,” he said.

The lineup includes an aging diva, a full-of-herself leading lady, a stressed-out artistic director, and lots of egos. The script combines typecast characters with real people.

One of the delights here is the set. Producer Deb Smith noted it was no small feat to dress the Mount Tabor Stage for the production.

This is a really fun performance, full of the colliding energy of wayward characters.

Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van opens at Mount Tabor Playhouse Saturday April 6 at 7:30 p.m. and continues Sunday April 7 at 2 p.m., Friday and Saturday April 12, 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday April 14 at 2 p.m.

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