The Butterfield Stage Players presentation of “Rex’s Exes” premiered
Thursday night and continues through May 20.
The opening show was the first time the comedy unfurled before a live
audience, which puts Butterfield Stage Players in a
“It’s the equivalent, in community theater, of opening on Broadway,”
actress Sandy Geyer said during rehearsals on April 19. “We get to set
But some feel this play, and its production company, help uphold an
element of Americana that may soon go extinct.
“It’s a first-class comedy with some amazing talent: local talent,”
actress Kelly Fiore-Watson said Thursday morning. “Frankly, theater is
struggling out there, both professional and community. If we don't try
hard to save our theaters, it will go the way of the dinosaurs and
The show — made possible by First State Bank underwriting and written
especially for the Gainesville stage by playwright trio Jessie Jones,
Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten — exploits the comedic travails of the
fictional Verdeen family of Sweetgum, Texas.
It’s a “downhome” comedy suited to the tone and sensibilities of Cooke
County, a place that nonetheless maintains a healthy level of support
and participation in the arts.
Watson said “Exes” backer Frank Morris recently told her that any town
is always better off with a community theater.
“And seeing how he is our producer for this event,” she said, “he is
definitely walking the walk.”
The “Exes” cast of 13 includes Shelley Head, a first-time actress who
credited the input of veteran director Sally Page in keeping her
guided on stage.
“There is a bit of adrenaline, nerves and anticipation all going on at
the same time,” she said. “Working with a director like Sally, and all
the other experienced actors like Sandy Geyer and Kelly Fiore-Watson,
I will certainly pursue other roles. And with the nurturing and
encouragement of these people, it makes the acting process so much fun
and you almost become a junkie to continue on.”
Head also added that if anyone local finds themselves smitten with the
idea of attempting acting, they could find worse support systems than
Butterfield Stage Players.
“This acting company would be the one to go to,” she said. “Every
single one of the veterans are so open to help you grow as an actor.
Each individual brings their own unique talent and experience, and
they are willing to share that with you.”
Watson concurred, and said the same notion applies to talent behind the stage.
“Do not hesitate!” she said. “When you see that a production is having
auditions, jump in. Maybe you can sew or be a craftsman or an artist.
Come to the auditions and meet the auditions and meet the director and
get on board.”
Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30
p.m. May 17-19 and 2:30 p.m. May 20.
For more information, visit www.butterfieldstage.org.