Dinner theatre enthusiasts are invited out for an evening of drama tempered with comedic moments this weekend as the play “Broken” debuts on the WILLow LeaVes stage at 7 p.m. Friday.

Penned by local playwright Jason Bowser, “Broken” is the story of Gregory Roberts, a man who wakes from a coma to find his life has changed.

After surviving a car accident that killed his two young boys, Asher and Gabe, Roberts is met with a void in his memory, no recollection of the accident and an inability to use his legs. As Dr. Damian Ratliff and his team facilitate Roberts’ journey to healing they help him come to terms with regaining his memory and processing the gravity of the situation.

Horace Tucker portrays Ratliff, a doctor who takes personal responsibility for everything that happens in the hospital and, in many ways, is simply an overgrown kid.

“You will find him to be scrupulously honest and lighthearted about anything that doesn’t involve a patient,” Tucker says. “He doesn’t take himself seriously, other than it is his hospital. He doesn’t define himself by the hospital, he defines himself by the care he delivers.”

Tucker is no stranger to the stage nor matters of faith. He’s previously played the doctor role in several stage productions and also has real-life experience as a chaplain. And, given the plot of this production, that experience is certainly a boon, Tucker says.

“I have the look [of a doctor], I am tall and have glasses,” Tucker says. “I am knowledgeable, I’ve been a hospital chaplain in the past, so I know medical. I am comfortable in the environment as an actor. I know the lingo and mannerisms, I’ve watched them for years.”

However, sometimes nothing can prepare one for dealing with an ex-spouse, especially when that ex is a psychiatrist. And therein lies Tucker’s greatest challenge, he says.

The play's producer and co-director Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle portrays the doctor’s ex-wife Nancy Diana.

“That woman drives me crazy, no wonder she is a psychiatrist,” Tucker says, quoting his character. “She creates her own clients.”

Pyle describe Diana as a bit “wacky” and a “tad bit sassy.”

“She’s left of the line, if you know what I mean,” Pyle says. “I am the comic relief.”

The distance between comedic moments helps offer balance to a story that is bound to make show-goers tear up, Bowser cautions.

“A lot of the lighter moments include the dialogue between the characters,” Bowser says. “It is a love story so as the main character falls in love with his aid, there’s a lot of fun dialogue that takes place within their relationship. You find out two of the other characters were once husband and wife and that provides a lot of comic relief when they share the stage.”

Reflecting on the creative processes that led to this play, Bowser describes it as an emotional experience that led him from the heights of hysterical laughter to the depths of the deepest sadness and back again.

The roughly two-hour long production is brought to life by a cast of seven very talented actors, Bowser says. And he couldn’t be happier.

“[It} makes it very worth it,” Bowser says. “I am so very pleased with what the actors have done with the characters. Watching the actors putting their hearts and souls into it I’ve been amazed with how well it has transposed to the stage.”

Bowser stresses that despite the subject matter he cautions against making a judgment call about the play as a whole.

Yes, there are sad tears, he says, but there are many happy tears, too.

“Those who have a strong faith in God, I hope that that faith is strengthened even more,” Tucker says. “Those who are iffy, I hope it gives them something to think about further. Those who have never had an introduction, this is going to be fairly potent in matters of faith.”

Bowser adds that the overarching theme of love throughout the play builds to culminate in an opportunity for closure, so to speak.

“There is a godly message throughout this show that permeates,” Bowser says. “No matter how hard things get, love can pull you through. I think we need to hear that more than ever right now.”