Pass the popcorn! Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) caps its 8th annual mainstage season by staging Popcorn Falls.
The show opens Friday, Feb. 12, and runs three weekends through Sunday, Feb. 28. Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees Feb. 14, 21 and 28.
In James Hindman’s comedic play two actors portray more than 20 roles in a world of farce, love and desperation, proving once and for all that art can save the world—or at least the town of Popcorn Falls.
The story centers on the sleepy town which has fallen on hard times and the only thing that can save it is…a play! The two main characters we meet at the top of the show are the new mayor Mr. Trundle (Nathanael Fisher) and the town handyman Joe (Jason Hedden), who are setting up for a community meeting on the stage of the town hall. We learn that the town is in terrible shape, and the head of the county budget committee is coming to the meeting and has promised them a large check which will solve all their problems. But, of course, antics ensue.
The script sets the scene by calling for, “one small town, two medium sized actors, 21 over-the-top characters.” New York Theater Guide describes it as “an actor’s dream of a play.” When it debuted in 2017, Theater Nova said, "The new play ‘Popcorn Falls’ is an energetic romp, full of impressions, wit, and (slightly manic) charm.”
Popcorn Falls stars Nathanael Fisher, ECTC cofounder and producing artistic director, and Jason Hedden, ECTC board president, portraying more than 20 different characters. This marks the first time these two actors, friends and fellow ECTC board members have shared a stage.
“Having the opportunity to be on stage with Jason Hedden is an exceptional gift that I could not pass up,” said Fisher. “Returning after an eight-year hiatus for this hilarious show that is full of humor and heart is exactly the creative challenge I was looking for in 2021.
Nathanael Fisher is the cofounder and producing artistic director of ECTC. A Florida native, he received his BA in theater studies from Palm Beach Atlantic University and later went on to receive his MFA in acting at Regent University. His professional career was launched through the Equity Membership Candidacy Program at Jupiter Theatre in Florida. Fisher has performed on many of the stages throughout Florida, including American Stage, Eckert Theatre Co., Burt Reynolds Theatre, Angel Garden Theatre, Ballet Florida, The Mark II, Riverside Theatre, and Seaside Music Theatre and on stages across the United States. Favorite roles include Chris in All My Sons, Pete in Crazy for You, Sohovic in Damn Yankees, Gerry in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Rochefort in Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of The Three Musketeers.
Jason Hedden is an actor, director and teacher based in Panama City Beach. He is currently a professor of theater and Chair of Visual and Performing Arts at Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) where he is currently directing ShakespeaREMIXED. Hedden holds an MFA in acting and devised theater from The Ohio State University and undergraduate theatre degrees from The University of South Florida and GCSC. Professional credits include roles with Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre. Hedden has appeared with ECTC in Art, A Wrinkle in Time and Around the World in 80 Days. He was last seen on ECTC’s stage in his original solo show, Resurrecting van Gogh, as part of ECTC’s StoryTeller series in 2020. He is also active in the region as a comedy producer and standup comedian.
This production is directed by guest director Vincent Pelligrino with assistance from Charlie Meeks. Originally from Michigan, Pelligrino is a performer, director, musician and theater professor. He holds an MFA in acting from West Virginia University. Regional performance credits include Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Meadowbrook Theatre, RWS Entertainment, and Carnival Cruise Line. For ECTC, he has directed Florida Girls and Pinkalicious the Musical.
Lighting and set design is by Rebeca Lake. Costume and prop design is by Anna Fisher. Sound design and stage management is by Phillip Padget.
A part of the Professional Theatre Mainstage series, Popcorn Falls will be staged in ECTC’s performance space located on the second floor of 560 Grand Boulevard in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in Miramar Beach.
The show runs around 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets to Popcorn Falls are $32 per person for adults, $30 for seniors/military and $28 for students. Purchase tickets online at www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org
Save the date for ECTC’s StoryTeller Series: Three Palaces at Yalta (Feb. 9); and Katharine Hepburn (Feb. 23 & March 2).
ECTC’s 2020-2021 season is made possible with support from Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, St. Joe Community Foundation, Howard Hospitality, and South Walton Tourist Development Council. ECTC TYA productions are made possible with support from Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County.
ECTC is implementing its Safety Protocol Plan to ensure our patrons can enjoy all offerings in a safe environment. Patrons can find the detailed plan on ECTC’s website.
To make a tax-deductible donation, volunteer or learn more about Emerald Coast Theatre Company, find them on Facebook, call (850) 684-0323 and visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org