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July 6, 2014

DLT to serve ‘Lemonade’ to festival

DUNCAN — A lemonade stand in the 1960s will force two women to face their empty nests while learning more about each other.

Duncan Little Theatre’s one-act production of “Lemonade” will be its entry this year in the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA) Fest.

 The festival opens Thursday and continues through July 13 in Duncan.

  DLT will perform “Lemonade” at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Simmons Center.

The two women will be portrayed by Elizabeth Pitts and Tana Ashford, both  DLT veterans.

  Gina Flesher, DLT Board president, is making her directoral debut for the non-profit organization. Darrel Ashford is the stage manager; he was also stage manager on “Dixie Swim Club,” DLT’s production that won state in 2012.

“The play is really interesting,” Pitts said. “They’re empty nesters, who aren’t really friends, just kind of acquaintances. They start talking and opening up to one another.”

To prepare for their contest performance,  DLT will perform “Lemonade” at 7 p.m. Sunday in First United Methodist Church’s FUMCenter. Pitts said being able to perform in front of an audience will help Ashford and her get better in character. During Sunday’s performance, donations will be taken to support the FUMC music ministries.

Sunday’s performance is sponsored by The Chancel Choir. Lemonade and cookies will be served.

“Because the community gave us so much during ‘Dixie Swim Club,’ we wanted to help support the church choir,” Ashford said.

For Pitts, the production is a chance to spend time with friends. And those involved in the production are having a fun time putting it together and working with one another. Because the cast and crew makes up a small group, they have had more flexibility in their rehearsal schedules.

She said the production has funny moments, but runs the gamut on emotions. She said much of the emotion and humor will rely on timing for the two actresses.

Pitts said a lot of work has gone into the production and she’s excited for people to see the final product.

“We have a good time doing this,” Pitts said.

Ashford and Pitts last worked together in “Fiddler on the Roof,” but neither had speaking roles. Prior to that, they were among the five women in “Steel Magnolias” in November 2010.

Ashford said she’s in awe of Pitts’ acting talent and looks forward to working with her during each rehearsal. She said the most difficult part of the show is the body language, which was different in the 1960s than it is today.

“The body language, the mannerisms are not natural to us,” Ashford said.

The two women said they’re excited to be part of OCTA Fest and can’t wait to see what other plays are performed. Ashford said the festival will give people exposure to various other community theaters from around the state.

None of the plays will be longer than an hour.

“It’s just a wonderful thing,” Ashford said. “It’s in our backyard.”

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