Jennifer Joy and Shawna Burkett, both of Thayer, star in the Repertory Theater of the Ozarks (RTO) production of Edward Albee's award-winning drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at RTO's WhistleStop Theater on Highway 63 South in Mammoth Spring. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.
Joy portrays Martha, the sarcastic, emasculating college professor's wife who is also the college president's daughter; her role was created on-screen by Elizabeth Taylor.
Burkett plays Honey, the wallflower wife of a young professor; her role was created on-screen by Sandy Dennis. Both Taylor and Dennis earned Academy Awards.
Also starring are John Simpson of West Plains as George, the weak, ruthless history professor married to Martha. Nick, a cold calculating climber who'd like to be college president, is played by J.R. Briggs of Pocahontas. The director is Caroll Lucas of South Myrtle, Ark.
Joy, a long-time RTO member, deftly and brings Martha to life with deep bitterness, anger and the angst of a woman who married the wrong man. But did she? Joy has starred in "Hank Williams: Lost Highway," "My Three Angels" and appeared in "The Seven Year Itch." Owner of The Petal Pusher in Mammoth Spring, she has studied at the Creative Actors Workshop with Scott-Arthur Allen. She turns in a matchless performance as Martha.
Burkett, also a longtime member of RTO, co-starred as Meg in RTO's "Little Women" and as Bob Crachett in "The Christmas Carol." Burkett, 18, is a senior at Thayer High School.
Simpson, a long-time RTO member, is brilliant as George, who rambles, seems preoccupied, but is deadly. Simpson starred in RTO's "The Seven Year Itch" and "My Three Angels."
Briggs is a long-time member of the Imperial Dinner Theatre of Pocahontas. This summer he starred in RTO's production of the musical "Cats" as Mungojerrie and Skimbleshanks. At the Imperial, he has been featured in "Our Town" and "Pump Boys and Dinettes."
This is a play about secrets, about the dynamics of relationships between two powerful, brilliant, almost civilized people, about the "Taming of the Shrew," about what the '50s did to women and about power edged with madness. As each act progresses more secrets are revealed.
Tickets for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" are $7 in advance and $9 at the door. Special group rates are available for high school and college classes. Call or e-mail for details. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is not recommended for younger children.
Tickets are available at: Cedar Mall, Spring Dipper and The Petal Pusher in Mammoth Spring; West Plains Music in West Plains; Classic Craft Mall in Hardy; Spring River Health Connection in Cherokee Village; Expressway No 2 and China King Buffet in Pocahontas,; and The Golden Grotto in Jonesboro.