Theatre at Barton Presents Coop’s Homecoming April 8-10

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Logo and artwork for the play Coop's Homecoming

WILSON, N.C. — March 30, 2021 —  Theatre at Barton’s “Coop’s Homecoming,” by Barton alumnus Zachery Rayburn, has been rescheduled for Wednesday – Friday, April 8-10.

The theatre performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Kennedy Family Theatre. Seating will be limited to 16 seats in the audience for each performance. All those attending must wear face masks and observe social distancing protocols.

Tickets are $10 each for adults, and $5 each for student, seniors, and military. Reservations must be made online at barton.edu/theatre. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Rayburn first debuted a staged reading of his original musical at the 2017 New Works Festival in the Kennedy Family Theatre. “Coop’s Homecoming” follows the reunion of four friends, as they struggle with the loss of one of their own, a fallen hero, and the profound impact he had on their lives. The next step in presenting this formal theatrical piece, offers additional new music by Rayburn and Jim Grant with further exploration of the US Marine soldier, his family, and friends, as they recall, celebrate, and relive moments of his life.

Composer Jim Grant also serves as music director for the show, which he and Rayburn have been working on for nearly five years. “It’s great to have the playwright and composer in the rehearsal room for original intention or necessary adjustments, as we discover the depth of relationships and each character’s emotional connection,” notes Sherry Lee Allen, director of Theatre at Barton. Excited to direct this production, she adds, “This production provides an opportunity for Barton College students to originate these roles, and work alongside members of the Actors’ Equity Association union on stage, and within a creative, professional workshop environment.

“With Broadway and most of the performing venues closed at this time, it has become a wonderful time to investigate, create and develop new works,” Allen continues. “We are rehearsing with the strictest safety and health protocols in place, including temperature monitoring, documentation, and thorough sanitization practices. I am pleased that Theatre at Barton can offer a platform for collaborating on something fresh and relevant at this time. In addition to the story-driven content with very relatable personalities, the show has a variety of music styles. There are upbeat and fun numbers, comedic songs, ballads which are sometimes haunting, with an underlying theme of patriotism. But at the center is the importance of friendships and loyalties, even though it may seem a bit dysfunctional at times.”

The talented cast of strong actors is supported by a younger version of their character: Class of 2020 graduate Jamie Allen as Krysta, Alyssa Krasovich as Young Krysta, Matthew Clay Raines as Jonah, *Collin Yates as Young Jonah, *Melvin Gray as Xander, Jordan Peartree as Young Xander, Matty Reda as Robbie, Luke Eason as Young Robbie, and Coop played by Skylar McKinney.

Michael Dornemann, set and lighting designer, is responsible for all technical elements of the production, and costume designer Dorothy Austin-Harrell will oversee wardrobe an all properties. Nick Leek is sound designer and operator, with Brianna Tenhet as stage manager. Three local musicians will join the production: Dale Bryce on bass, David Daniels adding percussion and Ronnie Raper on guitar.

Don’t miss this journey reuniting old friends with memories, reminding us that we may have a surprising and powerful impact on others, without recognizing the significance at that moment in time.

For more information about upcoming theatre events, please contact Sherry Lee Allen, director of Theatre at Barton, at slallen@barton.edu or 252-399-6492, or visit www.barton.edu/theatre. 

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