Tallahatchie River Players have a ghoulish good time with ‘Monster Monologues’

Monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and more Halloween favorites will be ready to entertain audiences this weekend for some Halloween fun, community theater-style.

The Tallahatchie River Players will be presenting, ‘The Monster Monologues’ October 28-30 at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Civic Center.

The play’s director Barbara Wise said, “Halloween is about having fun and having a good time and going to see this play is a way to have fun and to see your favorite monsters in a different light.”

This is Wise’s second play to direct, with her first one being ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ She has been involved with the community theater group TRP since its inception year of 2004.

“I have a creative side and I love finding a way to express my creative side through directing and I enjoy being a part of the experience. We also have several new people acting this time and I am really excited about it,” said Wise.

Wise encourages anyone to come and audition to be with TRP or be a part of the group and help with various aspects of the process like with sound, lighting, costuming, and more.

Assistant Director Brantley Bryant is the person in charge of doing the special effects makeup on the characters, which may include putting on prosthetic pieces, scars and makeup, and finding ways to change the look of the person.

“I wanted to make the monsters look as real as possible,” said Bryant. He is doing the special effects makeup on eight out of the 14 monsters in the play.

He said, “This kind of makeup is so new to theater, especially for us, and I wanted to create as much layer as possible, by adding a prosthetic layer to the face and other options like that.”

Bryant said that he learned a lot of makeup ideas and techniques from watching YouTube. He worked on the Cowardly Lion’s makeup in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ production and in the past production of ‘The Tide Shall Cover The Earth.’ “It has been a lot of fun learning about special effects makeup,” said Bryant. He also said that he started doing research on the classic monsters, but brought a little bit more to the 2010 version, without taking anything away from the classics.

Cathy Garrett, who plays the 50-foot Woman, has been with TRP since 2004 and said that she enjoys making people laugh. She said, “Theater is about escape and it can be fun or educational. I have enjoyed developing the character.”

“I think it is good to support anything locally and is fun and different. This show was made into a PG show instead of a R-rated show,” said Garrett.

This is the first time that ‘The Monster Monologues’ has been show in New Albany and the first time that it has been show in North Mississippi. The idea for the play was taken from the Mississippi theater group, The Fondren Group.

Bryant said, “People will be entertained, the people are really good on stage and the audience will see the characters come out, and it is a unique in the way where you will leave feeling good about monsters.”

“We want to open opportunities for all of the community to become involved with community theater,” said Bryant.

Mark Garrett, the Wolfman, said that his character goes between being an animal and a human and is very sinister-looking.

This is the first time that Garrett has been in a role like this before – he mainly does serious roles and some comedies, but he has never played a Wolfman before. There are some new cast members this time with TRP and he stressed the importance of community theater. 

He said, “I think that local theater has a quality of life offering. We have very good community theater in New Albany and the citizens are lucky to have that here. I think that is one of the differentiating factors about this town.”

The cast list is as follows: Kathy Wise as the Witch, Kagan Doom as the Zombie, Bill Hughes as the Invisible Man, Tina Barkley as The Bride of Frankenstein, Kathy Garrett as the 50-foot Woman, Phillip Nanney as Frankenstein’s Monster, Mark Garrett as The Wolfman, Tony Golding as The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Clint Reid as Jekyll & Hyde, Jamie Miller as Igor, Tony Brooks as The Blob, Latonya Norwood as the Mummy, Alex Diaz as Dracula, and in the lobby will be Paulina Dennis as the Gypsy Fortune Teller and Jana Brooks as the Mistress of the Dark Hostess.

Complimentary punch and cookies will be available in the lobby during intermission. The play will be approximately two hours long.

The tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and a discount is available for those dressed in full costume.

 For more information, call New Albany Main Street Association at 534-3438 or visit www.tallahatchieriverplayers.com.