Queen of Bingo to turn Tarble into bingo hall


Olivia Swenson-Hultz

Babe who is played by Tracy Harpster gets into a sprawl with her sister Babe who is played by Lauren Schuberth in a rehearsal for The Queen of Bingo on thursday night, featured by The Charleston Communty Theater in The Tarble Arts Center.

Angelica Cataldo, Entertainment Reporter

The Charleston Community Theater will be turning the Tarble Arts Center into a bingo hall 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday for their production of the comedy, “Queen of Bingo.”

The show stars Eastern alumna Tracy Harpster as Sis and Lauren Schuberth, director of The Language Company, as Babe and will be directed by Scott Brooks, a long time member of the CCT.

The play focuses on sisters Sis and Babe, who are attending a bingo game hosted in their local Catholic church every Tuesday night.

Babe’s character is a competitive and high-strung woman looking for love as opposed to her older sister Sis, who is an organized, reserved and quiet widow.Harpster and Schuberth said their characters spoke to them when they originally auditioned for the show back in August.

“I felt like I identified with the women in the show,” Schuberth said. “I also like comedy, it’s my favorite.”

Both women are no strangers to the stage.

Although this is Schuberth’s first show with the CCT, she has been involved in theater since high school and worked with the Central Illinois Stage Company in Charleston.

Harpster has worked with the CCT for over 6 years and also worked with Brooks during the CCT’s production of a female rendition of “The Odd Couple.”

The actresses prepared for their roles by working together on their dynamics on stage.

“There’s a huge chunk (of the show) that is just us talking,” Harpster said.

Working on this helps with sticky situations during performances.

“You’re out there (performing on stage) and if you don’t remember your line, hopefully the other one can get you out of it,” Harpster said. “You have to really build a good relationship with each other and be able to work well together.”

After nearly two months of rehearsing together, the two have done just that.

“Every night we are sitting next to each other, so when you’re in that close of quarters with someone all the time, you build a relationship with them,” Schuberth said. “Now I feel like it’s almost second nature to have her at the right side of me.”

Harpster and Schuberth found their own costumes for the show by getting unique costume pieces that complemented their character at thrift shops.

In preparation for her role, Harpster attended an actual bingo hall to get an authentic feel for what the experience is really like.

“I found myself acting like Sis,” Harpster said. “I just wanted to get (the game) started. I was organized and ready to go.”

Both actresses said bingo has become a constant in their lives and they have formed a new appreciation for the game.

“My character plays, like, 32 cards and that is so difficult, and it’s difficult for me to keep up with,” Schuberth said.

Right before intermission, the audience will have the chance to participate in a real game of bingo where a prize will be awarded to a winner for every show.

The show will also be performed 2 p.m. Oct. 9 and 7:30 p.m. Oct 13-15 at the Tarble. Adult tickets are $10, senior tickets are $8 and student tickets are $5.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to come.

“(The show will) make you laugh and you’ll leave feeling good,” Schuberth said.

Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].