Cumberland University


Audience Plays Key Role in Phoenix Players' Production

Cumberland University's Phoenix Players hope to see a packed house when they present Morland Cary's "Love Rides the Rails (or, Will the Mail Train Run Tonight?)" at the June & Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center, Feb. 26 - March 1.

The play, a classic melodrama, is an interactive performance that relies heavily upon audience participation, according to CU Professor of Speech and Theatre Dr. Larry T. Menefee.

"The crowd will get to cheer the hero, coo at the damsel and boo the villain," Menefee said. "Of course, the Phoenix Players will be certain to provide plenty of cues for the audience. This is a fun show that will make for a great, family-friendly outing."

The play tells the story of the villainous Simon Darkway and his vile intentions to take control of the Walker Valley, Pine Bush & Pacific Railroad. Darkway's henchmen include Dirk Sneath and Carlotta Cortez, a sultry siren with a heart of gold. Fortunately, the gallant Truman Pendennis, the beauteous Prudence Hopewell, the Widow Hopewell and the staunch Harold Standfast take a stand against the wicked trio's sinister schemes.

"It's a fast-paced and hilarious melodrama in the truest sense," Menefee said.

But do the good guys always win? The only way to find out is to enjoy the show and cheer them on, Menefee added.

Show times are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 26-28 and for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children age 12 and under. CU students, faculty, staff and CUFAC (Cumberland University Fine Arts Council) members will be admitted free of charge with a valid University ID.