When it comes to saving a small community from ruin, all you need is a little southern charm.
This October, the Actors' Studio of Hope is bringing "Southern Hospitality" to the stage at WiLLow LeaVes of Hope for a two-week run, producer Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle says.
Sisters Frankie, Honey Raye, Rhonda Lynn and Twink Futrelle discover it is up to them to save their beloved hometown of Fayro, Texas, from becoming a ghost town. Recently, a big box store and fat rendering plant closed taking most of the small town with it and residents are leaving in droves to seek more prosperous opportunities in area communities.
When word spreads that a salsa manufacturing company is conducting a scouting mission to look at Fayro as a possible place to relocate, the town see it as the perfect opportunity to offer some southern hospitality in order to woo the new company to choose the small town.
Suffice to say their good-hearted attempts to portray their small town as a prime location are met with a wide array of mishaps along the way.
Among the residents' dilemmas is how to stage a Civil War Reenactment with little more than one dozen participants.
"The play is done with a lot of southern humor," Pyle says. "The play is one of a trilogy, but we are starting with this one and aren't sure if we are going to do all three."
The hour and a half-long show, which has an intermission, has a cast of 13 actors from the Hope, Columbus and Seymour areas, Pyle says.
"The play runs the first two weekends in October which is the 6, 7, and 8, and 13, 14, and 15," Pyle says. "Fridays and Saturdays the doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner is at 6 p.m. and the show is at 7 p.m. Sundays the doors open at 12:30 p.m., dinner is at 1 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m."
Seymour resident Lisa Barrett plays the role of Frankie Futrelle and describes her as pretty sensible like herself.
"I feel like at heart we are similar," Barrett says. "In the end she just wants what is best for her town her family."
Barrett says she loves "Southern Hospitality" because it is a southern story that is absolutely hilarious. She says the play is in the same vein as Robert Harling's 1987 play "Steel Magnolias," which hit the silver screen in 1989 with a cast that included Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts and Sally Field.
"People love southern stories," 39-year-old Barrett says. "In the end I want people to see if you come together and have one another's best interest in mind you can accomplish anything and have fun doing it. "