TROY — Troy Civic Theatre this weekend will present its newest production, “Making God Laugh,” a play that spans three decades in the life of an American family.
“I actually saw an excerpt from this play performed at an Ohio Community Theater Association competition,” said director Steve Dietrich, who is directing his second production with Troy Civic Theatre. “I liked the part of it I saw, so I read the script. I liked it because of the combination of its comedy and its poignancy.”
“Making God Laugh” opens in the family home on Thanksgiving 1980, in which Ruth and Bill’s three children — a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former football star — all visit for the holiday and discuss their lives. The narrative continues in ten-year increments, chronicling Christmas 1990, New Year’s Eve 2000, and Easter 2010, with each character aging and developing in the process.
“We’re spanning 30 years,” Dietrich said. “The kids go from their 20s to their 50s. The parents go from their 40s to their 70s. We see the family relationships and how they evolve over this time period. It’s been an interesting process working with the actors, and explaining that you need to act your age. If you’re a 20-something, and you’re playing someone in their 50s, you’re going to move differently. You’re going to get up and get down differently.”
Dietrich feels that the play’s appeal comes from its inherent relatability to anyone who visits family during the holidays.
“What strikes me about this show is that there’s things in it that will resonate with you as far as how you relate to your family,” Dietrich said. “At my parents’ house, there’s some things there that are still the same as when I lived there. Some things change, and some things don’t. That’s one of the things that makes this play meaningful.”
The cast includes, alphabetically, Alain Alejandro of Englewood as Bill, Derek Starsong Dunavent of Tipp City as Tom, Gage Emerson of Englewood as Richard, Beth Shrake of Troy as Ruth, and Rachel Smith of Clayton as Maddie.
“Making God Laugh” will be held at the Barn in the Park at Troy City Park.
Showtimes are Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. Showtimes the following week will be on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m.
Tickets for “Making God Laugh” are $14.
The play runs approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. The cast and crew request that all in attendance arrive at least 15 minutes prior to each performance.
For more information, visit www.troycivictheatre.com.