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Turkey, dressing and theater set this weekend in River Falls

Cast members Glenda Gamble, Helen Bradley, Brinda Sheridan, Miranda Gamble, Charleta Davis and Mattie Freeney are shown. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

It’s been 50 years since the “theater” came to River Falls, but that will change Saturday, when “After the Church Supper” hits the stage.

Six River Falls ladies will be the production’s featured performers — Glenda Gamble, Helen Bradley, Brinda Sheridan, Miranda Gamble, Charleta Davis and Mattie Freeney­­. Their goal is simple — bring back the theatrical performances to River Falls.

“From a cultural arts perspective, we hope to especially encourage and strengthen the youth in the community; to offer something different from the usual,” Freeney said. The play centers on six ladies, all members of the River Falls Community, as they convene in the home of Mrs. Howard, an attractive young widow, to discuss the annual church supper, which has just taken place that evening.

It had been a great success until the women get together and begin to criticize each other’s’s cooking for the supper.

To go along with the theme, there will be a dinner prior to the play, which will consist of the menu from the play – turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, English peas and tea.

Freeney said this is the first play in about 50 years.

“Our seniors used to have plays to raise money and for entertainment,” she said. “The most famous of the plays was ‘Pete Skinner’s Funeral.’ ”

Freeney said all of the members of the original cast have passed away except Rowena Perdue.

“The play presented on Saturday, was recommended by Charleta Davis, who is also a cast member,” Freeney said. “A sort of dinner theater is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time to involved African American youth in the community. Hopefully this will become an annual fundraising event for the River Falls Community Center, in addition to the ‘Tastes of Black History,’ which is held each year during Black History Month.”

As for plans for the future, Freeney said she doesn’t think they can support more than one major production per year, but said they hope to start with the one-scene, 40-minute play and work up to a major production.

Tickets are still on sale for Saturday’s 6 p.m. production. The cost is $7 per ticket or $30 for five tickets.

Fore more information or to purchase tickets, call Freeney at 222-6344; Albert Porter at 582-1104; Helen Bradley at 469-5627 or Isaac Church at 222-7160.