A local playwright is bringing jokes to the stage and laughter to our hearts once again this year as a part of a recurring event on New Year’s Eve.
Ken Bradbury, along with a number of familiar local faces, is once again putting on the show he calls “The Jokesters” on New Year’s Eve at the playhouse on the square. Our own Gary Scott will be in the show, and he got the chance to speak with Bradbury about the show on WLDS earlier this month.
Bradbury tells us how the show got started.
“Rich McCoy and I were thinking, ‘well gosh, there’s nothing theatrical being offered in Jacksonville on New Year’s Eve,’ but we didn’t want to interfere with people’s partying. So we thought, what about a five o’clock show that runs about an hour so that they can be out around 6:30 or so and enjoy the rest of their evening, and I believe that’s how it got started,” Bradbury says.
He also gives us a rundown of some of the people who will appear in this show.
“Rich and Lori McCoy, of course who own the theater, Jeff Westerfield, Bruce Surratt, Katie Phelps, Jodi Heitbrink, and Becky McCartny will be making a guest appearance as well. I’ll be making a surprise appearance, and Stephanie Sulterman is our entire orchestra,” says Bradbury.
The show will be a “reader’s theatre,” where performers will read their lines and there will be no extravagant sets. Bradbury explains what differences he sees between a traditional play and a reader’s theatre.
“It’s about the same really. I do a lot of reader’s theatre and basically I write it like I do any other piece of theater. The advantage is, when you’re writing a piece of reader’s theatre, you can have fifty different scenes an elephants running across the stage and anything you want. In a regular piece of theater, the director says, ‘wait a minute, I’ve got to put that on stage somehow,’ so in other words, you actually have a little bit more freedom,” Bradbury explains.
The Jokesters will be this Sunday evening at the Playhouse on the Square at 5 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.