Pioneer Playhouse of Danville continues its 73rd season under the stars with Cockeyed, a witty and whimsical modern romantic comedy from award-winning playwright William Missouri Downs.
Cockeyed, which opens today and runs through August 6, tells the story of a nerdy accountant named Phil who falls head over heels in love with his boss’ secretary, the beautiful Sophia, and tries to win her heart despite the fact that she can’t see him – literally.
“Cockeyed is an extremely well-written romance with an offbeat high-comedy concept,” says Robby Henson, artistic director of Pioneer Playhouse, which is Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theater and was founded by his father, Colonel Eben. C. Henson in 1950.” We have done several plays by author William Missouri Downs, and in addition to having a fantastic pen name, he writes thought-provoking works about the failings of the human condition with great brilliant characters, outtakes and dialogue. I think his comedic writing is influenced by his experience on television and in sitcoms.
Adian Chapman, who has been a crowd pleaser at the Pioneer Playhouse for the past three seasons, plays Phil, while newcomer Peyton White plays Sophia. Silas Waugh, who gave memorable performances this summer as the crazed fly-eating Renfield in Dracula Bites and the steadfast Beecham in Southern Fried Nuptials, plays the self-absorbed boss, while Jack Giglia who zipped audiences this year as Dracula himself completes the small cast.
Longtime Pioneer Playhouse favorite Erika Lee Sengstack will make her directorial debut.
“After eight years of acting at the Playhouse, it was a real pleasure to be on ‘the other side’ as a director for Cockeyed,” says Sengstack. “Because this is the last show of the season, I’ve developed great relationships with the cast on and off stage, which makes for a unique, intimate and rewarding rehearsal process. They were incredibly prepared and helped my first directorial experience at The Playhouse feel remarkably smooth and fulfilling.
“We’re thrilled to have Erika leading this smart and fun show,” says Heather Henson, General Manager of Family Theater and Robby’s sister. “It’s a perfect match.”
“I’m enjoying every second,” Sengstack says. “I think I’ve found a new passion!”
And we are delighted to announce that the playwright himself will be here for a performance,” adds Robby.
William Missouri Downs will attend the show on Saturday, July 30, and viewers are invited to stay after for a Q&A with the playwright.
“It’s not every day that a nationally acclaimed playwright comes to see a production, so we’re honored,” says Heather. “And we think patrons will enjoy learning more about the play from the writer’s perspective.”
Cockeyed runs every night, Tuesday through Saturday, July 26 through August 6. A barbecue dinner is available before the show. Pioneer Playhouse is an outdoor theater located at 840 Stanford Road in Danville Kentucky. For reservations and information, call the box office at 859-236-2747 or go online at www.pioneerplayhouse.com.