New Depot Players performers, from left, Jenni Caruso and Jada Graves perform a song and dance from the upcoming musical, “Nunsense,” set to open in Conyers on July 10. (Staff Photo: Karen Rohr)
CONYERS — The New Depot Players’ presentation of “Nunsense: The Mega-Musical” not only represents a reprise of one of the storied troupe’s most popular musical comedies, but it also represents a reunion of theatre enthusiasts from Rockdale County High School.
“Nunsense” is directed by Bonnie Marshall, who taught and directed the theatre department at Rockdale for 27 years before taking a position with the state’s Department of Education. The play’s musical director is Mary Lynn Luke, who taught at Rockdale and Heritage, and choreography is directed by Patty Maguire, who was a special education teacher at Rockdale.
Throw in Shalonda Stroman (who plays Sister Mary Welhelm) and Candace Parr (Sister Robert Anne), two former Rockdale High students who were involved in shows with Marshall, Luke and Maguire, and the production has a considerable Bulldog pedigree.
To top it off, Marshall — who like Luke and Maguire has been involved in community theatre for decades — directed the original “Nunsense” (the “Mega-Musical” version adds a few more songs and characters) when she taught at Rockdale.
“This is a really fun production for me because Patty and Mary Lynn are two folks that I have worked with on a bunch of projects,” Marshall said. “The first thing we worked on together was the show choir Class Act. We started that in 1988 or 1989 and it was our first collaboration and was just so much fun to be a part of. It’s nice to be working with those two super-talented ladies again.”
“Nunsense: The Mega-Musical” opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 10 at Center Street Arts in Olde Town Conyers. This is the first time the New Depot Players have staged “Nunsense” in eight years. Written by Dan Goggin and premiering in 1985, “Nunsense” has weathered six sequels and three spin-offs with its story about the wacky Little Sisters of Hoboken.
“It’s a very popular show, and not just in our community,” said Marshall, who also serves on the New Depot Players’ board of directors. “For some reason, people like to see nuns singing and dancing. … I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s just the irony of the situation, but it’s a lot of fun.
“It is an unusual premise — the nuns are hosting a fundraiser to bury the four dead nuns in the freezer. To understand why those dead nuns are still in the freezer, you’ll have to come and see the show.”
Marshall said she was particularly enthused about the production due to its all-woman cast.
“I’ve directed it before and I like the show,” said Marshall, who has won the New Depot Players’ Wise and Cyndi Evans awards. “I think we are particularly blessed in our community with really strong female talent. We felt this would be a great show to use that talent. It’s a fun flight, a happy musical to do in the summer. It’s a great escape.”
“Nunsense: The Mega-Musical” is set for 8 p.m. on July 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26 and at 3 p.m. on July 13, 20, 27. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for seniors (60 and older) and students. Tickets for “Preview Night” on Wednesday, July 9 are $10.
For more information, visit www.newdepotplayers.com.
Chris Starrs is a freelance writer based in Athens. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.