A play known as Maintenance will take place in the community room of the Center for the Arts in Homer this Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
Produced by Window Sills Productions and the Paul Yaman First Steps Play Reading Series, the play is in tribute to the late Center for the Arts founder and volunteer, David Moreland. Moreland died of liver cancer on Aug. 22.
Moreland was a volunteer at the center for 17 years. He offered his time to paint the walls (due to constant movement and shifting of art in the center) and fixed a variety of mechanical needs throughout the center.
Masks are required to attend the show to ensure safety for the actors, crew and audience. Admission for Saturday’s play is by donation. Proceeds raised from the show will support the Center for the Arts’ HVAC Campaign. The center is looking to replace its boiler and install a ventilation system to comply with the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, said Jack Carr, co-writer of the play.
The play, co-written by Carr and Matthew B. Steele, is detailed in the premise:
Imagine, if you will, a waiting room, a Twilight Zone-esque holding tank.
Could be a classroom before the teacher arrives. Could be a bus station. Could be an all-purpose activity room. Could be a gym.
Here we see four unrelated people: an angry Black drug-addicted Vietnam veteran, a street-sassy bitter bus driving woman, a breast cancer survivor, and a man who has created a future for himself after having his entire family and his own childhood stolen by a concentration camp.
Maintaining order, asking questions, keeping records, and dealing cards in a mysterious game of truth-or-dare is Steav, a maintenance man. Or is he?
He holds all the cards and while the four strangers are “waiting for the bus,” truths are revealed, secrets shared, and lessons learned.
Or not. Such is the world of Maintenance.
The cast of Maintenance is as follows:
- Tone Merrick as the Black drug-addicted Vietnam veteran (also played Diomedes (the Greek suitor) in the Shakespeare-In-The-Park’s summer production of Troilus and Cressida)
- Marcia Mele as LaTawnya (Performed in The Vagina Monologues and Ty Marshal’s Animal Farm; acting in the film Dragonfly by Terrence Dwyer)
- Nancy Kane as Millie (Performed as Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan)
- Jack Sherman as Eugen (Played Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida; performing this month in the play I Hate Hamlet)
- Jonathan Gay as Steav (replaced Steele in the role; played as Fred in Jim Coon’s 2019 version of A Christmas Carol, and as Captain Von Trapp in Cortland High School’s The Sound of Music (directed by Bill Lee).
The play was privately shown twice via Zoom, and tied for first place for drama recently at the Community Arts Challenge. Saturday will be a one-time only reading, first-time showing of the play, Carr said.
Carr started writing the play with Steele in January of 2020. Since then, Carr and Steele have written 10 drafts on the play, Carr added.
“Jack and I have worked together on several projects in the past and over the years we’ve shared stories,” Steele said. “We discovered these special characters from our lives, and we created a place for them to meet.”
Piano music will be composed and performed by Laurianne Fleming, who will greet the audience on Saturday as they take their seats, Carr said.