The Jacksonville Theatre Guild’s production of Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” is set to premier on Thursday. The group announced it was no longer doing plays at the theatre on the grounds of the Jacksonville Developmental Center after the state said it would shut off power to the facility next month.
“Don’t Drink the Water” is set in 1965 in an American embassy in a fictional Eastern European country. A U.S. ambassador temporarily leaves it in the care of his bumbling but gold-hearted son, who manages to cause an international incident within minutes of being in charge.
Director and WEAI weekend personality Brad Karr says it’s bittersweet for him to be closing out the Sophie Leschin with this final show.
“This is my sixth directorial effort with the theatre guild, but I have been involved with the theatre guild in some capacity since 1984,” says Karr. “I was 14 years old and was brought on as an extra in ‘Oklahoma!’ under Gene Laurent.”
Production manager Jane Hadden says the final show will be highlighted by a display in the lobby featuring memorabilia.
“If there is anybody that has any souvenirs or pictures or anything they’d like to contribute to the display, we’d be more than happy to have them and we’d really appreciate that,” she says. “Because we’ve had a good run, as they say, at the Leschin building, and we are going to miss it desperately.”
There will also be a buffet meal Friday and Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $11 and do not include admission.
While the theatre guild looks for alternate places to hold future shows, Hadden says plays will be held at the JTG West College studio.
“Our line up for next year [is made up of] smaller plays, but because it is a smaller theatre, we’re going to have more productions of it so people will still have adequate time to see it,” says Hadden.
Karr encourages anyone who’s performed in a play at the theatre to come out for the final show. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.
The doors open Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., while curtains go up for Sunday’s matinee finale at 2:00.