Valley Playhouse presents Messiah on the Frigidaire in August

Messiah on the Frigidaire by playwright John Culbertson will be presented by Valley Playhouse on Aug. 2-5 and Aug. 9-12  at the Court Square Theater.

Regular performances begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees start at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12/ or $10 per person for seniors and for a group of ten, and can be purchased at the door or online at  “Pay What You Will” night is Thursday, Aug. 9th.

Plot Summary: The small town of Elroy, South Carolina is thrust into the evangelical spotlight, when what seems to be the image of Jesus appears on a refrigerator in a trailer park. The discovery by Lou Ann Hightower, her husband Dwayne, and her best friend Betsy, sets into motion a frenzy of conflict, communion and good old fashioned commerce. When the National Investigator turns the appearance into front page headlines, their trailer park becomes a mecca for miracle seekers, soul searchers and disciples with a decidedly political agenda.

At the urging of the towns business leaders, Betsy pretends to get messages from the appliance-based apparition, and the crowds multiply like loaves and fishes. Through the ordeal, the three undergo an evolution in their relationships with each other, and they are forced to come to grips with their lowly status in the caste system of the rural south. In a region where religion is as much a part of life as grits and cotton fields, God surely moves in mysterious ways.

The play is directed by Jay Zehr and the cast includes: Jessica Farley, Chris Gallagher, Howard Jeffries, Jenny Sappington, Stephen Winegard, Dawn Womack and Nevin Zehr.

About the Author: John Culbertson has always made his living as a writer. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, he went to work as a news reporter for WYFF-TV in Greenville, South Carolina. His ten years there resulted in numerous Associated Press awards and honors, but most importantly led to the idea for his first play, The Spectator Sport. After a successful opening production of the play, one newspaper reviewer called it, ” a blend of Neil Simon and Jean Kerr, with a splash of Tennessee Williams. It is an excellent piece of work.”

Valley Playhouse has been providing opportunities for the community to participate in theatrical productions in Harrisonburg since 1966. Recent plays include Harvey, Three Viewings, The Lion in Winter, The End of the World As We Know It, Kimberly Akimbo, The Drawer Boy, Our Town, Life X3, Morning’s at Seven, The Last Night of Bally Hoo, Collected Stories, The Blue Hotel, and Almost Maine. The organization welcomes novice or experienced actors, and volunteers for staff positions or stage crew.

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