Play teaches ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

SHERBURN – Tacky pink flamingos are just one irritant for Leona Crump in the play “Love Thy Neighbor,” being performed by Martin County West high school students this weekend.

The play is a first for staff adviser Biny Claussen, and is a chance to showcase some of the seniors who have been involved with drama since their freshmen year.

The comedy centers on Leona Crump, a grumpy, opinionated woman who is adamant about any “undesirable” people coming into her neighborhood when the house across the street goes up for sale. Her group of friends attempts to trick Leona into seeing the error of her ways by creating her worst nightmare and posing as an “oddball hillfolk” family that is moving in.

“Think of Ma and Pa Kettle,” Claussen said when describing the family. “It’s a fun comedy because they’re playing people in their 40s, and it’s the first time for most of them playing older people, There are also some fun accents that they’re doing very well.”

Another challenge is that some of the actors are playing dual roles.

“We have one young hillbilly that’s acting like he’s falling in love with Leona,” Claussen said. “And we just see Leona getting more and more frustrated with them until she finally just loses it.”

Senior roles include Leona Crump played by Kalene Forsberg, “Judy” played by Dani Cagle, “Ava/Ma” played by Megan Suter, “Albert” played by Lucas Stoffel, and “Officer Frank” played by Dan Smith.

Other roles include Sam Baker as Turner, Nick Holm as George, Caitlin Smith as Gafina, Marissa Duchene as Rose, Jake Helmstetter as Paul, and Anders Filler as the paperboy.

Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sherburn Theater.

Tickets are available at the door.