This Friday, Saturday and Sunday an area theater group will perform at the L.H. Jones Community Resource Center in Mount Airy. The NoneSuch Playmakers will be performing a courtroom drama called “Charlie America.”
NoneSuch co-founder Brack Llewellyn, who founded the local theater group with wife Angela in 2001, said he wrote this weekend’s play. According to Llewellyn the play will feature a character named Charlie who was laid-off and finds himself accused of assaulting his former company’s chief executive officer.
Llewellyn said that he has wanted to tell the story of the economic recession that affected Surry County and many other areas in the United States for some time. Llewellyn said that “Charlie” will be a character with whom many displaced factory workers can identify.
“We never say where the story takes place, or what Charlie’s company manufactured,” he said. “That’s on purpose. We want everyone in the audience whose lives were touched by layoffs, downsizing or outsourcing to be able to identify with Charlie’s story, no matter where they come from.”
According to Llewellyn, Elkin native Gary Maxey will play the part of a factory worker who loses his job as a result of a poor economy. “Charlie” then attends a rally at his former workplace. While there he comes to the aid of his sister, which leads to assault and inciting a riot charges.
Rather than offer a plea bargain, two young prosecutors demand a jury trial. Charlie is represented by a young attorney from the public defender office. Additionally, a local tabloid picks up Charlie’s story, blowing the small altercation out of proportion.
Llewellyn said that those who attend this weekend’s performances should pay attention to Charlie’s journey. However, he also said the story of young attorney Sara Finch is just as interesting. Through her work with Charlie, Finch finds her niche in “defending the underdog.”
“I love courtroom dramas,” said Llewellyn, adding that he enjoys watching the television series Law and Order.
Llewellyn said that his play has been through a number of edits in order to get to the final product. He added that the play is about 150 pages in length and will last about 165 minutes. However, Llewellyn said the play won’t be hard to sit through.
“It moves well,” said Llewellyn, “It is fast-paced and full of energy.”
Additionally, Llewellyn said that members of the audience will be picked to come on stage and become jurors at Charlie’s trial. Though the play is a drama, Llewellyn said it won’t be without some lighthearted fun. “There are light and funny moments,” commented Llewellyn.
Llewellyn said that “Charlie America” should make for a pleasant evening for adults who take interest in the art of theater. However, he warned that some colorful language in the play makes it not ideal for children under 12 years of age.
According to Llewellyn the NoneSuch Playmakers have been primarily a touring theater group for the past 15 years. Llewellyn said that he and his wife had both been involved in theater. Able to tell her husband missed theater, Angela floated the idea of starting a small theater group to Brack.
Llewellyn said the group consists of a handful of talented local individuals who perform in what are mostly small cast plays and storytelling events. Llewellyn said the group does about three to four productions each year. Llewellyn also said that this weekend’s play isn’t the first time the group has performed plays written by its members.
The cost for tickets to this weekend’s performances is $5. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Llewellyn said that though many have encouraged him to increase the cost, he wants to keep the group’s performances affordable and accessible to all members of the community. He added that any funds raised go toward props and costumes for the group’s performances.
Andy Winemiller is a staff writer at the Mount Airy News. Andy can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or [email protected]