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May 29, 2014

DLT to perform 'Always Patsy Cline'

DUNCAN — “Always Patsy Cline” might be one of the most unusual plays produced by Duncan Little Theatre, not for story line or acting, but for the few differences that make it stand out.

Duncan Little Theatre will  perform “Always Patsy Cline” at 7:30 p.m. June 12 through 14 in the First Baptist Church Chapel in Duncan. First Baptist offers a different venue for DLT, which has used the Simmons Center and  Marlow Opera House for  past productions.

“Always” is about a woman named Louise who reflects on her friendship with country singer Patsy Cline. The show features  28 songs and 10 costume changes.

  The production is designed for only two actors, but Director Beth Ann Hough decided to cast two women to portray Cline. One plays the singer when she shows up on stage as a memory and the other portrays Cline when she interacts with the Louise character.

 Michelle Jones and Tonya Bardsher won the Cline roles after auditions while Penny Gardner was selected to play  Louise.

“They were all such good singers,” Hough said.

Although Hough has directed DLT productions in the past, her more recent directing opportunities have been for Teen Theatre, a workshop of DLT. She said she was having fun working with adults, although she isn’t used to musical theater.

For Bardsher, portraying Cline is a role of a lifetime.

“I have sung Patsy Cline for a while,” Bardsher said. “I thought it was kind of neat how it was done. To get to sing her songs is an honor.”

Bardsher has experience in Duncan Little Theatre, playing the lead in “South Pacific.”

She said she discovered some songs she didn’t know Cline had performed. One has become her new favorite.

“I always loved ‘Crazy,’” Bardsher said. “But I think now it’s ‘You Belong to Me.’”

As with other DLT productions, “Always” was made possible because of a grant by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

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Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson talks during Wednesday's Duncan Rotary meeting.

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