The third time, is it a charm?
Katie Forgette’s comedy “A Facility for Living” has had a number of starts and stops, but is expected to hit the Olympic theater arts scene in early October.
The play, now performed and in rehearsal, was originally scheduled for the 2018-19 season, but the show lost its director and had to be brought forward a year. This placed the show in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – forcing a second cancellation.
Now, “A Facility for Living” seems to be the starting point for OTA’s 2021-2022 season programming.
Set in a darker but wacky alternate reality, the play sees retired actor Joe Taylor moving into a prison turned into a senior care facility shortly after Medicare went missing.
There, Taylor discovers a community of “lovable and irascible inmates, determined to oppose the dehumanizing system they have landed in,” describe OTA officials.
“It’s a comedy for our time,” said Christy Holy, longtime director of OTA. “He talks about trying to stay human in this world where everything is becoming more and more technical and automated. I love the timing and the characters.
Vicki Miller, who plays nurse Claudia of “hard love,” said, “We don’t care about our shortcomings and our little human weaknesses.”
Steve Rodeman, chairman of the OTA board and actor, last seen leading Dr Watson’s workshop, plays Wally Carmichael, an “eccentric trash”.
“If you really pay attention to the play and what people are saying, you’ll learn a lot about the human condition, but you’ll do it with a laugh,” Rodeman said.
“I was part of the committee that picked this piece and I really insisted because it was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time,” said Cathy Dodd, who plays Ditsy ‘Mitzi Kramer. .
“But there was also that human element that made it accessible to a lot of people. I think that’s why people will find humor in it – there are things going on that people can relate to.”
New to OTA is Frank Barevich, who plays Kevin, a settlement assistant whose aspirations exceed his intellect.
“I just like a good, funny story,” Barevich said. “Like any good comedy, it’s really the characters that make it funny.”
Veteran OTA actor Joel Hoffman, best known for his performance as Willy Loman in OTA’s 2019 production of “Death of a Salesman,” and Rebecca Weston, enjoying her second time on stage after 20 years – the first being in the recent New from OTA Vitrine des travaux; Hoffman plays rebellious new resident Joe Taylor, and Weston is chosen as the soft-spoken Judy.
After completing co-organizing fundraising for OTA’s Kings, Queens and Royal Scenes Renaissance Faire, Marissa Meek takes on the role of backstage stage manager.
A Facility for Living runs from October 1 to 17. The performance hours are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. a “Talkback” session where the audience can stay after the performance and talk with the cast and production crew in an open forum setting.
Tickets for this comedy on the main stage are $ 18 for the general public, $ 16 for OTA members, and $ 12 for students with school ID. Tickets are available at the theater box office from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Friday, or online at OlympicTheatreArts.org.
For more information, call the theater at 360-683-7326.