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Potomac Playmakers present Southern-fried comedy 'Farce of Nature'

Potomac Playmakers present Southern-fried comedy 'Farce of Nature'

Jim Zuna describes his character D. Gene Wilburn in the Potomac Playmakers production of “Farce of Nature” as “a little bit of a victim of circumstance.”

His business, Reel ‘Em Inn, is failing. He’s found himself in business with the wrong people to help him get out of his financial hole. And his wife thinks all his sneaking around means he’s having an affair. Although it’s bad for Gene, it’s great for the audience as lies start to build up and explode in this Southern-fried farce.

“Farce of Nature” will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11 and 18, Saturday, May 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at The Women’s Club in downtown Hagerstown.

Zuna of Hagerstown sits on the play selection committee for the Potomac Playmakers.

“So every year we review between 30 and 50 scripts,” he said. “I did not read this script last year, but just the description of it, my reaction was that either I wanted to direct it or I had to be in the show. It was absolutely hysterical just from the description. All sorts of craziness happens throughout, all things the audience isn’t going to expect. It’s crazy, it’s funny, it’s hilarious. Honestly, if we do this right, this will be the funniest show the Potomac Playmakers has done in years.”

Nic Sigman of Martinsburg, W.Va., plays Sonny, a mobster from Chicago. 

Sigman said he was eager to do something lighter after his current run of shows. 

“We’ve been doing some heavier stuff. The last show was ‘Death by Design,’ which I was directing,” he said. “I was really happy to get on stage and do something on stage this time. So that’s why I was drawn to this one.’

What he loves about comedy is “finding the nuances of the timing, and then also hearing the response from the audience. Rehearsing and doing a comedy like a month-and-a-half ago, it was funny. And now we’re still trying to maintain the funny just because you tell a joke or do something so many times, it becomes sort of just rote. But then the audience will be really great about giving us feedback. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”

Jim Zuna, left, as D. Gene Wilburn, and Cheri George as his wife, Wanelle, in the Potomac Playmakers production of “Farce of Nature.” (Photo by Crystal Schelle)

Wanda Dittmann of Hagerstown plays Loyla, Sonny’s girlfriend.

“I love everything about her, the way she talks, the way she moves,” she said in a thick Brooklyn accent for the show . “She comes off like a bimbo, but she’s really a savvy broad.”

Dittmann said the show is “just hilarious from beginning to end. And the characters are all rich, and truly an ensemble piece.”

Although she started out in drama, Dittmann said, she’s learned to embrace comedy. 

“You have to be willing to go over the top and be willing to make a full of yourself,” she said. I used to be terrified of comedy. I used to only do drama. I said, ‘no, no, no.’ Now I’m comfortable with it.”

She said this show’s “cast is amazing, everyone is really talented individually and the chemistry is really good.”

And Sigman said a way to say thank you to the cast is to attend the show.

“Because I’m a giant supporter for community theater, we all volunteer so the best way the audience can pay us is to actually come in and see what we’ve put on. It makes it really worth it to have audience feedback,” he said. “It’s about the price of a movie ticket and way more entertaining.”

Top photo: Starlene Hamilton, left, as Maxie yells at Andrew King as Carmine in the Potomac Playmakers production of "Farce of Nature." (Photo by Crystal Schelle)

If you go ...

WHAT: Potomac Playmakers presents "Farce of Nature" 
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, May 11 and 18, Saturday, May 12; 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20 
WHERE: The Women's Club, 31 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown
COST: $11 in advance or $13 at the door.

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