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Setting the stage

Pasture Prime Players produce first show

Rip Pellaton (Shepherd Henderson), left, and Brenda Jenkins (Gillian Holyroyd) get close during a recent rehearsal of the Pasture Prime Players’ production of “Bell, Book & Candle,” to be staged later this month. (click for larger version)
December 01, 2010
CHARLTON — The town will soon find out if it's big enough to support two active drama groups, as the latest troupe wraps up rehearsals for its first play.

Starting Dec. 11, the new Pasture Prime Players will be staging "Bell, Book & Candle" by John van Druten, which may be best known for its movie version starring Jimmy Stewart.

"We're probably going in a slightly different direction [from the Charlton Performing Arts group]," said director Don Konopacki. "I think the demographics are a little different; we're aiming for an old audience. … The main thing is to find out if there really is an interest."

The group may be newest on the block, but many of the players are themselves old hands at local drama. Konopacki is a former member of the Pickwick Players, and his actors almost all have lengthy experience with Gateway, Pickwick, Stageloft, school plays and other venues.

The one exception is Susan Bianculli, who is portraying Nikki, a female version of an originally male character. This is her first stage play since age 14, but she said she comes to it from years of role playing games, King Richard's Faire, and a longtime love of science fiction and fantasy novels. Among other things, she noted she still plays Dungeons & Dragons.

"That's really not a whole lot different from [this]," she said. "You just portray a person like you do on stage."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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