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Southern Maryland theater reopens to audiences

By Kathy Knotts 

Live indoor theater has returned to Southern Maryland with the opening of the New Direction Community Theater’s production of Tom Dulack’s comedy Breaking Legs

Breaking Legs’ cast come from three Southern Maryland counties, and includes Sid Curl, Justin McCright, Monica Jones, William Righter, Robert Sebo and David M. Thomas. 

The show has been designed with the pandemic in mind. “We placed the stage area so that windows can be opened on both sides to allow cross-ventilation,” said director Rick Thompson. “The facility also has silent overhead fans that will be operating to further enhance ventilation. Basically, we’ve turned the indoors into the outdoors.” 

Thompson reports that all members of the cast and crew have been vaccinated, and temperatures will be taken at the box office before performances. As per CDC guidelines, non-vaccinated patrons must wear masks and observe social distancing. 

“We are excited to finally get onstage in front of a live audience,” said NDCT Artistic Director DiDi Olney. “Online shows and Zoom rehearsals were good for stage work during the pandemic, but there’s nothing like performing in front of a live audience.” 

Thompson agrees. “The audience is the last part of the theater experience,” he said. “The audience responds to the players, and they in turn respond to the audience. It’s the beauty of live theater.” 

Breaking Legs tells the story of college professor Terence O’Keefe, a somewhat successful playwright who is seeking funding to produce his new play in New York. He visits the family of a former student, and finds they are quite interested in the idea. Complications arise when the family turns out to be minor Mafia godfathers who’ll back the play, provided they never have to read it. But that doesn’t mean they won’t want to make some changes. 

Making Terry’s life more complicated is the fact that the former student is the lusty, unmarried daughter of the house who makes no secret of her attraction to him. 

And Terry’s play? It’s about a murder. 

Breaking Legs ran over a year at the largest off-Broadway theatre in New York, garnering reviews like “a silly symphony of laughs” and “a crowd pleaser that is what comedies on Broadway used to be like.” 

Breaking Legs runs thru June 12, FSa 7pm, Long Beach Community Center, St. Leonard, $15 w/discounts, RSVP: www.ndctheater.org