It’s one of the oldest continuously operating community theaters in all of New York State, and The Oswego Players is kicking off their 83rd season with Dearly Departed.
“It’s a great comedy, family comedy” says Director Paul McKinney, who is also Vice President for Administration of The Oswego Players, Inc..
Here is a synopsis of the show, by David Bottrel and Jessie Jones:
In the Baptist backwoods of the Bible Belt, the beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South are seldom tidy and always hilarious. Despite their earnest efforts to pull themselves together for their father’s funeral, the Turpins’ other problems keep overshadowing the solemn occasion: Firstborn Ray-Bud drinks himself silly as the funeral bills mount; Junior, the younger son, is juggling financial ruin, a pack of no-neck monster kids, and a wife who suspects him of infidelity in the family car; their spinster sister, Delightful, copes with death as she does life, by devouring junk food; and all the neighbors add more than two cents. As the situation becomes fraught with mishap, Ray-Bud says to his long-suffering wife, “When I die, don’t tell nobody. Just bury me in the backyard and tell everybody I left you.” Amidst the chaos, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors, an eccentric community of misfits who just manage to pull together and help each other through their hours of need, and finally, the funeral.
The show was in rehearsals in 2020, when it put on hold due to COVID-19.
Tammy Thompson is President of The Oswego Players, and a cast member of Dearly Departed.
“It’s great to be back on the stage” she says. “We all just kind of picked up where we left off. We were missing some cast members, but it was just the feeling of being back in the theater together, our little theater by the lake, was just awesome. I’m proud to be a part of this cast. It’s an ensemble cast, so I can’t really say that there’s really a lead in the show. Everybody brings something to it and I just I’m proud to, proud to be on stage with them all.”
The cast of Dearly Departed is honoring an actor who was in last year’s production but passed away in July.
“Patrick Carman was a dear friend and colleague of the Oswego players, as well as many other theater groups around Central New York” says McKinney. “He was young man in his mid-20s, and he was a consummate actor. He had a beautiful singing voice and there was no part too small or too large that wouldn’t try out for it. The cast wanted to honor him in some way, so we are dedicating the entire show in honor of Patrick.”
You can see Dearly Departed August 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm and August 8 and 15 at 2:00 pm. Shows are staged at the Frances Marion Brown Theater, located at the Civic Arts Center of Oswego in Fort Ontario Park in Oswego.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. To purchase them, call 315-343-5138.