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"Christmas Belles" Hits the Stage Next Week

Staff Report
web posted November 26, 2012

EDGEFIELD – The Edgefield County Theatre Company will present "Christmas Belles" on Dec. 7, 8, 9 and Dec.14, 15, 16--the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit! Play times are 8 p.m. on Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15, and 3 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 16. "Christmas Belles" is a Southern holiday comedy by well-known playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.

Set in the town of Fayro, Texas, "Christmas Belles" revolves around the lives of the three Futrelle sisters--Franke, Twink and Honey Raye--and an annual church Christmas play spent hilariously out of control.

"The play is absurd, quirky, definitely funny," said Director Tony Baughman. "But at the core, it's about family, acceptance and love, what the season is all about."
Honey Rae is played by Betsy Wilson-Mahoney; Frankie by Janet Johnson; and Twink by Caroline Bland.

Baughman said the play is coming together nicely.

"Most of the cast are veterans of the Edgefield stage," he said. "This cast has embraced these characters. We have an amazing time. We laugh more off-stage then in any play I've done. It's locking in sooner than most plays."

He said that although this is the first time the Edgefield Theatre Company has done this particular play, he has directed several of these playwrights' plays, including "The Dixie Swim Club" and "Till Beth Do Us Part."

"They have a way of capturing the Southern experience," he said. "I love their material. I think a lot of us can see ourselves or people we know in the characters."
He said the theatre company has plans to do, "Hallelujah Girls."'

Baughman said by a strange turn of events he played Dubberly in "Christmas Belles" years ago in Aiken and Bradley Watts directed him. Now he is directing Watts in the play.

The Edgefield Theatre Company was founded in 2010 and this is their third season. They have done almost 20 shows and most of them have been sold out.
"We have people come from Greenwood, Greenville, Savannah and all over," said Baughman.

The play will be presented at the William Miller Bouknight Theater at the Joanne T. Rainsford Discovery Center on Main Street in Edgefield. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling 803-637-3833. Reserved seating is now available.

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