NTA Reveals 2018 Season Plays

Navasota Theatre Alliance’s board president Sheryl Brown announces the non-profit live community theatre’s 2018 season which opens February 9.

Featuring four Main Stage productions and two summer theatre camps for youth in NTA’s intimate 87-seat traverse stage, the new season features the regional premiere of Too Soon for Daisies directed by Chaz Pitman; the regional premiere of a murder mystery of sorts The Psychic directed by Jane Brewer; a Southern Fried Murder a story filled with southern charm and directed by Chaz Pitman; and the classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol directed by Earlene Rainey, who will also direct NTA’s youth camps.

The Theatre Board took a new approach in selecting plays for the upcoming season. Traditionally, the Board creates an annual list that includes unselected titles approved from previous years and screens new offerings to add to the list. This year they also invited proven directors to submit titles to bring to NTA’s stage. “Bringing these processes together has resulted in a promising season of NTA regional premieres and continues our tradition of offering comedies, mysteries, and classics that our patrons love,” explains Brown.

Opening Feb. 9, 2018 for 11 performances, Too Soon for Daisies was written by William Dinner and William Morum and follows the antics of three retired English ladies who’ve escaped from their retirement home and go to great lengths so they don’t have to go back because it is truly too soon for daisies. This play is sponsored by a leadership gift from Jo Ann Smith & Harold Urbanosky and made possible through the Hotel Tax Revenue funded by the City of Navasota through The Arts Council.

Opening April 13, 2018 for 11 performances, The Psychic was written by Sam Bobrick and is a murder mystery of sorts. The storyline follows the chaotic life of Adam Webster, a down-on-his-luck writer who in desperation to make his rent, puts a sign in his apartment window that reads “Psychic Readings $25.” Made possible through the Hotel Tax Revenue funded by the City of Navasota through The Arts Council.

Opening Sept. 28, 2018 for 11 performances, Southern Fried Murder was written by Billy St. John is a murder-mystery-comedy where the wealthy family matriarch Magnolia Capote summons her kith and kin to discuss her will. But before she could reveal her plans, she’s murdered.

Over the holiday season, NTA will present A Christmas Carol directed by Earlene Rainey, it’s the perfect treat for the whole family. Opening Dec. 6, 2018, this festive ghost story remains in the ethereal planes of the afterlife as Marley scrambles to redeem himself by reforming cold-hearted, selfish-miser Ebenezer Scrooge in just 24 hours.

Chaz Pitman Returns to NTA

Chaz Pitman is delighted to return to the Navasota Theatre Alliance after an eight-year absence, having left in 2010 to continue his ‘day-job’ employment in the Seattle area. He retired in December 2016 and has come back home. Prior to his departure he was active in several Brazos Valley theatres and he’s gotten back into the local scene since his return.  While he did a few acting projects in Washington, lately he’s been seen as Mark Twain (et alia) in Theatre Company’s production of “Big River” and as (the butler called) Dawson in Stagecenter’s summer melodrama “For Her Che-ild’s Sake.”  He is currently directing Theatre Company’s musical for the Christmas season, “She Loves Me,” and will direct NTA’s season opener “Too Soon for Daisies.”  He’s also on board to direct next fall’s production of “Southern Fried Murder” for NTA.

Chaz and NTA have a long and successful history.  He proudly recalls working the sound for “Night of the Iguana” in the Sunny Furman Theatre long before there was an office or tech booth.  He and the lighting operator and director, the late Randy Wilson, were wedged into a tiny elevated platform like Apollo astronauts and orchestrated a number of special effects, including a full gale force storm complete with wind and thunder and lightning.  Since then he’s been in, worked on or directed a number of shows, usually comedies, all to great popularity and success.  Additionally he served on the board, two years of which he was president.

While he likes to reflect on his past accomplishments, he looks forward to the coming season and hopes to bring the comedy thriller “Too Soon for Daisies” to life on NTA’s unique and intimate stage.  The show centers around three senior English ladies, out for a rowboat ride, who lose their oars and end up down the coast outside a small village.  They discover an abandoned but very usable cottage and when the owner shows up, then passes away suddenly, they decide to hide his body and make it their home, instead of returning to their assisted living ‘prison.’  Tension and comedy builds when villagers, and the owner’s niece, appear and begin suspecting something’s not quite right.

Says Pitman “I love directing comedies.  The timing has to be just right, the technical aspects have to be tighter and there are always opportunities for more creativity.  Besides, I just love to laugh.  I think that that love is reflected in the shows I’ve done.”

If you’re interested, please peruse the “Too Soon for Daisies” by [CLICKING HERE],  for more information, or come to auditions on December 18 and 19 at 6:45pm at the Theatre.