Charleston Community Theatre to perform dark comedy


Cassie Buchman, City Editor

The Charleston Community Theatre will explore familial conflicts and sibling rivalry when they perform the play “Daddy’s Dyin’:Who’s Got the Will?” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Tarble Arts Center.

Director Richard G. Jones, Jr. said the play is about a family whose patriarch has had a stroke, and is subsequently in poor health.

His children all come home and reunite to help take care of things and spend time with him.

“The play is about all the family dynamics that happen,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of conflict sibling rivalry.”

The siblings rival each other for control over their father’s will.

“A lot of times, when someone in the family is dying, there’s some conflict over how to divide assets, like the inheritance,” Jones said. “The characters have history together as brothers and sisters.”

This history the characters have leads to a lot of past problems being let out through their reunion.

Jones said he decided to pick the play for the Charleston Community Theater to perform after seeing it 18 years ago.

“The production stuck with me as a play that I like,” he said.

The southern element of the play, which is set in Texas, also stood out to him.

“I’m from the South so I love to watch plays set in the South,” Jones said.

Jones said while the play is not too southern, the different cultural aspects of the South are present in the play.

“It’s part of the play’s dynamic,” Jones said. “It’s part of the dialects they speak into the food they eat, to references to music and television.”

The actors and cast all worked to get into character for the show.

“They refer to each other by their character names, we all talk in a pronounced southern accent before the show starts, and in rehearsal,” Jones said.

It was not hard for the cast to adapt to the southern elements of the play, as many of them already knew how to speak with a southern dialect.

“We practiced as we rehearsed,” Jones said.

This is Jones’s second time directing a play for the CCT. His first time he directed the play “The Foreigner,” which is also set in the South.

“The CCT does a variety of shows, and it’s typical to do a comedy each semester,” he said.

Jones said “Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will?” is more of a dark comedy.

“It definitely  has some dark elements- it deals with death,” he said.

The play is one many people will be able to relate to, he said.

“Anyone is going to be able to see some of their own family relationships in the characters,” Jones said.

Everyone in the play is an experienced actor, and Jones said he helped him or her with the comedic parts of the play.

“Comedy is difficult  because of timing, they have to have good timing to make the joke come out for the audience,” Jones said.

Jones said the biggest challenge he had as director was helping the cast figure out where the jokes started and where the punch line ended.

“I just want to make sure they get every laugh they can,” Jones said.

Making sure the laughs and emotion of the play gets through to the audience is important to Jones.

“That’s my goal, to make sure the audience feels emotions, and the audience gets that entertainment,” Jones said. “The play’s over two hours long, it’s a great escape to just go and laugh and be entertained.”

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].