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'Plaza Suite' at Emma Kelly Theater Friday through Sunday
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The Averitt STARS, Statesboro’s only non-profit community theater, will perform Neil Simon’s "Plaza Suite" Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $8 for youth under the age of 12.

            Plaza Suite is a three–act play, each act taking place in Suite #719 of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. In our first view into Suite #719, we watch a not-so-happily married couple trying to rekindle romance by revisiting the location of their honeymoon. In the second act, a former movie producer attempts to seduce an old flame. In the final act, we watch a married couple trying to convince their daughter to come out of the bathroom and attend her own wedding.

            The play touches on a little bit of everything, and has its serious moments, its witty moments, and even the kind of slapstick comedy that will have you burst out laughing.  

            The Broadway production opened on February 14, 1968 and ran for a blockbuster 1,097 performances. In 1970, Simon adapted his play into a film starring Walter Matthau.

            Here at the Emma Kelly Theater, the first act is being directed by Richard Sussman, who has acted in locations as far away as Germany. Tara Helrich, a senior at Georgia Southern, is directing act two, and the third act is directed by Laura Groover, also a student at Georgia Southern and a long-time member of Averitt STARS.

            Act One stars Sharon Altany, a seasoned stage manager, assistant director and actor as Karen Nash. Her husband Sam is played by John Gleissner, a math professor making his Statesboro stage debut.

            In Act Two, Jesse Kiplinger is being played by Mike Bevill, who was most recently seen at the Averitt Center in Emma’s Holiday Follies. Jesse Ogden, an Averitt Center employee and student at GSU is playing the waiter, and Muriel Tate is being played by Melanie Barron, who has had roles in many GSU theater productions.

            The final act stars Jeff Akins as Roy Hubley, who can also be seen in the upcoming production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Norma Hubley is being played by Eileen Bayens. Bayens is principal of Stilson Elementary and is making her Averitt Center debut in Plaza Suite. Courtney Akins is playing the role of Mimsey Hubley. Akins is a senior at GSU who enjoys acting thoroughly.

            Also appearing in the production are Meagan Van Buren, Deborah Braun, and Jeremy Clark. Van Buren is a recent Georgia Southern graduate, making her Averitt Center stage debut in Plaza Suite. Braun spent 10 years as a costume assistant with Metter High School Performing Arts. This is also her first Averitt STARS production. Clark is a teacher at Bryan County Middle School. You may have seen him in other productions such as Grease and On Golden Pond.

            Three casts, three acts, three directors – all extremely talented – equal one night of fun! Tickets for Plaza Suite are available by calling 912-212-2787 or by visiting the box office, located in the lobby of the Emma Kelly Theater. The box office is open Tues.-Fri. from 1:00-5:30 p.m.

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