“THE DAYPORCH” Comes to Threshold Rep
FOR SOME, the past comes with mixed emotions. However, the folks at award-winning Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina are thrilled with their revival of the comedy/thriller, The Dayporch, which is playing through May 7. They chose it to celebrate twenty years producing in our state.
Originally a hit at Piccolo Spoleto in 2001, The Dayporch by Ceille Baird Welch reveals three women in a group home and their recently divorced nurse living deep in the countryside of South Carolina. When a new chaplain visits, they are delighted, as he seems to be the answer to their dreams. However, he isn’t what he appears to be.
The play has been called “a hilarious Southern comedy with a Hitchcock twist,” and once you see it, you’ll understand why it has remained an audience favorite. The Dayporch is steeped in Southern imagery and quirky personalities. It’s got everything: drama, comedy, mystery, great characters, and delightful dialogue.
For two decades, Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina has become known for quality theatre and film. The number of theatre productions is impressive: ninety-two, many of them original works by staff writers, including the poetry and plays of Ceille Baird Welch.
Welch has a winning way with words, as seen in her poetry and plays. Particularly in The Dayporch, she modeled the female characters after herself and parts of her life. Aside from having an established writing career, Ceille holds degrees in psychology and worked in the mental health field for over 30 years. While there, she helped the chronically ill and many who were otherwise forgotten.
Broadway veteran, film and TV veteran, actor/writer, Clarence Felder is the director. He has worked with major film actors and directors including Danny DeVito and Bette Midler in the comedy “Ruthless People,” Bruce Willis in “The Last Boy Scout,” and with John Ritter for two years on the hit TV series “Hooperman.”
Mr. Felder’s decades of acting on Broadway, with New York’s Shakespeare in the Park and many other top theaters in the US and Canada, give him unique insight into directing. With Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina, he has written, acted in and/or directed many of the 90 productions since 1995.
Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina has a special place in Felder’s heart, just like the beautiful city of Charleston has left a lasting impression on him and his wife, Chris Weatherhead (actress/writer/producer for the company). They pride themselves on producing quality theatre and they founded one of the few professional acting and film companies in our state.
Felder comments that playwright, Ceille Baird Welch, “has an amazing command of the language and story structure. When you put that together with delightful and compelling characters, you get a great evening of theater. The Dayporch is in a unique genre; it is a comedy/thriller, which is why I can’t mention what happens in the play.”
Felder wants to share this production with as many people as possible. And because Ceille Baird Welch is originally from Monck’s Corner, he believes “it’s a perfect show for visitors who want to see a great Lowcountry play. Also, it’s great for locals who want to identify with some amazing funny ladies and a witty script.”
What might you take away from the comedy/thriller The Dayporch? One, laugh a lot. Life is too short. Two, cherish those you love and forgive them. Three, be ready for some wild surprises that life might hand you. Four, the producers ask you not to reveal what happens in the play. But they think you will “make some great memories.” That’s the motto of Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina.
The Dayporch is now playing weekends until May 7.
Learn more at:
Threshold Repertory Theatre
84½ Society Street
Tickets: 843-277-2172 • www.thresholdrep.org
Note: Dr. Welch’s works can be seen at the SC Poetry Archives, Duke Library, at Furman University, as well as the Carolina Library at USC.