‘Come Home’ opens in Brundidge tonight

Published 9:37 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

The curtain will come up tonight on the 15th season of the Brundidge folklife play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” and, perhaps surprisingly, there’s a good bit of excitement among the cast and crew.

“Many of us have being doing this for seven years now, but we get excited about each season because it’s another opportunity to tell stories of the rural South during the Great Depression,” said Lawrence Bowden, president of the sponsoring Brundidge Historical Society. “We look forward to opening night and playing to many new people at suppertime and also to the familiar faces of people from our community and those who come back time and time again.”

Bowden said when the original folklife play opened in 2002, the idea was to perform a play centered around real life characters who milled around the Brundidge community and strowed around stories that have endured with time.

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“If anybody connected with the play had any idea that it would be as successful as it has been, I don’t know who it was,” he said, laughing. “I don’t know what we thought but it surely wasn’t this.”

The play has been performed before110 sold-out audiences and for dress and special performance audiences. It has been designated “Alabama’s Official Folklife Play” by the Alabama Legislature and received the 2008 Governor’s Tourism Award.

“We appreciate those who come and enjoy what we do,” Bowden said. “The cast and crew work very hard to prepare for each season. They are very dedicated and it takes that kind of dedication and enthusiasm to keep this going, as well as the interest and support of our audiences. We thank all of those who are part of ‘Come Home, It’s Suppertime.’ They share in any success that we might enjoy.”

Bill Hazen, play director, said the 2009 spring production will offer something new and something as familiar and comfortable as an old shoe.

“Each year, we change a few things and add something new,” he said. “But the down home flavor of the play never changes. I think, that’s what makes the play so successful.”

Hazen said he’s been told that “Come Home” is like going home to grandma’s and spending time with family.

“It’s real people telling real stories,” he said. “And, no matter how many times ‘grandpa’ has told that story, it’s just as good and just and funny as the first time he told it.”

At “Come Home,” a full country supper is served to familiar toe-tapping tunes played by the WPA Scratch Band and then the audience is treated to a two-act play that tells the story of Hard Times and good times.

“Our hope is that each person in the audience will leave having basked in the warmth of being home at suppertime,” Hazen said.