Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)
By Cecile Wehrman
This year’s Cameo Players production of “Out of Sight . . . Out of Murder” doesn’t just ask the audience to suspend their disbelief that what they are watching is real.
Some of the cast members have to suspend disbelief too, during a story that takes place at an author’s residence.
“Through some mysterious accident the characters in his book come to life,” explains Director John Bayer, who just happens himself to be an author in real life.
Call it art imitating life, imitating art. The play is a murder mystery and comedy.
“The idea is there’s this place where every character exists, so these are kind of like stock characters who are already in a murder mystery,” explains Bayer. “They’re all stereotypes.”
A recent rehearsal had plenty of laughs -- some from the lines of the play and others from cast members’ confusion about who is “real” -- as in a “real person” in the play, and who is just a “character.”
Peter Knight, Bruce Verlinde’s character, is “real.” So is the character played by Karen Verlinde.
The other cast members, however, play figments of Peter Knight’s imagination.
Cameo regular Holly Anderson plays Kay Kelsey, the stereotypical ingenue.
“Everyone falls in love with me,” she explains, which works well, since frequent performing partner, Ryan Wissbrod, is the love interest and “he always falls in love with me, too.”
Veteran performer Mary Dhuyvetter plays Lydia Dillingham, wife of attorney Jordan Dillingham, played by second-year performer Marzell Trussel.
Another Cameo regular, Dawn Nygaard, plays Fiona Babcock, an old spinster Bayer describes as everyone’s “moral compass.”
“I cast her and then Dawn read the play and said ‘You finally gave me funny lines.’ She gets to complain through the whole play.”
The cast is rounded out by Jake Dhuyvetter as the butler, with newcomer Dawn McCleod as the maid.
McCleod said she was recruited for the play while serving Bayer at a local restaurant. She hasn’t acted since high school.
“That’s almost 30 years ago, so this is definitely a challenge for me.”
Rehearsals began Feb. 8 and will continue three times a week until the first performance.
Bayer, who performed as a player in 2013, is learning directing is not as easy as it looks.
As an actor, “I kind of stuck my nose in where it didn’t belong. I was kind of ‘clandestinely directing,’” but now that he’s the one standing back and watching the big picture, he kind of misses acting but finds both roles satisfying.
“Each satisfies a different creative need,” he said.
For the second year in a row, the play will be staged at the Noonan Community Center. The Noonan Lions plan a choice of either baked chicken or pork roast.
Tickets are $30 and are available at J. Co. Drug.
Anderson cautions that Friday and Saturday tickets may sell out faster than usual, since the Thursday night performance is up against this season’s Dollars For Scholars Auction.
That’s expected to shift even more interest to the Friday and Saturday shows, which typically always sell out first.
Tickets are on sale now.