Actors Workshop brings comedy and gossip with one-act shows

Hiibner (centre) demonstrates Hattie’s explosive personality (Cailyn Mocci/The Omega)

TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre is set to welcome its second production of the 2017-18 season with two one-act plays sure to make the audience laugh.

Laundry and Bourbon and its accompanying act Lone Star are written by James MacLure and directed by theatre faculty member Robin Nichol. Both are relatable comedies with great gossip and nostalgia.

Set in Texas in 1973, Laundry and Bourbon focuses on two best friends. Hattie, played by Ashley Hiibner and Elizabeth, played by Brittney Martens, are spending an afternoon together on the porch when their ‘friend’ Amy-Lee, played by Shannon Cooper, shows up. Amy-Lee is considered an outsider. In this Texan community, the people are simpler whereas she holds herself above the others. Her husband owns the local appliance shop and Amy-Lee’s wealth makes her known and hated in the community.

“Amy-Lee is self-righteous and God fearing and loves to gossip but pretends that she hates it,” Cooper said.

That penchant for gossip often gets her in trouble, but her ego makes her believe that she can get out of any unsavoury situation.

Laundry and Bourbon also features Hattie, the only mother of the group. Hiibner’s character is tougher than her female counterparts due to her parenting experience. Hiibner also felt that Hattie was the “crazier of the two” when she described her relationship with Elizabeth.

“The most unfiltered with language and the way she responds to a lot of things,” Hiibner said. “Big personality, big feelings.”

Cooper (left) “consoles” Marten (right) after sharing some gossip (Cailyn Mocci/The Omega)

Elizabeth is a far more stoic character according to Martens.

“She doesn’t let things bother her on the surface,” Martens said.

Audiences can expect to laugh and relate to the characters. While you may not be a Texan housewife from the 1970s, the themes are still relevant to this day-jealousy between friends, gossip and that one friend you don’t want to show up on your front porch.

The second act, Lone Star, features the men from the same community. Elizabeth’s husband and his friends try to live through the same world, but with more “boy humor”.

Originally written as a contemporary piece, Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star have aged into the category of a period piece. Director Robin Nichol expressed the interest in looking at these dated realities through a 2017 lens.

Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star will run Nov. 23 to 25 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. Tickets can be purchased at the TRU Black Box Theatre Box Office in Old Main or by calling 250-377-6100